Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who is loyal to Russia, met with President Vladimir Putin. The recording of this event attracted a lot of attention, because there has been a lot of talk about the Chechen’s health in recent days.
The video of the meeting between Putin and Kadyrov was published on Thursday, September 28. Many commentators immediately considered it a response to the rumors that had appeared in the public space in recent weeks. It was about reports regarding the health condition of a Chechen politician. His health condition was said to be serious, and some versions even reported his alleged death.
Is Kadyrov safe and sound?
Alexei Venediktov, former editor-in-chief of “Echo of Moscow”, talked about Kadyrov’s kidney problems and the need for frequent dialysis. The politician himself reacted to this with a recording of him walking through the streets of Grozny and saying that people should not believe rumors about him. The response was that the recording had been prepared in advance for just such an eventuality.
In turn, the latest video on Thursday was very short and did not fully show Kadyrov’s face. It was only possible to see it fully in the photos shown by the Kremlin press service. Later, a video showing the laughing leader of Chechnya also appeared on the Internet. However, journalists from the Belarusian NEXTA television still expressed their doubts. In their opinion, Kadyrov or the person impersonating him has a significantly changed voice and does not look like he did a few months ago.
Instable Chechnya is a problem for Putin
Experts from ISW emphasized that the end of Kadyrov’s rule in Chechnya would be a big loss for Vladimir Putin’s camp. Subjugating it after a bloody war was one of the first successes of the Russian leader.
The Americans emphasized that the very rumors about poor health, which had not been sufficiently denied for a long time, were important for stability. The rumors themselves are intended to influence the long-term stability of the situation in Chechnya and the position of Putin himself and his control over the region.