Vladimir Putin's ally finally addresses health speculation after rumours of mysterious poisoning

Vladimir Putin’s ‘bloodthirsty’ ally Ramzan Kadyrov who was out of the public eye due to possible poisoning, finally responded to the rumours. But the experts are not persuaded and question his loyalty to Kremlin.

Vladimir Putin's ally finally addresses health speculation after rumours of mysterious poisoning
© Photo by Emile Alain Ducke/picture alliance via Getty Images
Vladimir Putin's ally finally addresses health speculation after rumours of mysterious poisoning

Ramzan Kadyrov, who has been the leader of the Chechen Republic since 2007 and is a staunch ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, attempted to shut down the rumours about his deteriorating health by recording and posting a video on his Telegram channel on Wednesday.

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What did the rumours imply?

Ramzan Kadyrov, known for his ‘bloodthirsty’ statements in support of the war in Ukraine, was told to be gravely ill with severe kidney problems due to the mysterious poisoning.

Earlier this month, Kazakh journalist Azamat Maytanov, citing his own sources, wrote that Kadyrov might have a terminal condition and that Dr Yassin Ibrahim El-Shahat, the head of the department of Nephrology at Burjeel Hospital in Abu Dhabi, had arrived in Grozny, the capital city of Chechnya, to treat him.

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Maytanov’s Telegram post read:

His area of expertise lies in nephrology, dialysis, transplantation, glomerulonephritis, and acute renal failure. Kadyrov is allegedly very bad and has serious kidney problems.

Citing Akhmed Zakayev, the now-exiled former prime minister of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, the journalist reported that Putin’s ally had become a ‘drug addict’ and that ‘some kind of energy pills previously supported the overactivity of the head of Chechnya’.

‘I Am Sorry To Upset You'

Kadyrov, who is told to maintain a personal relationship and even have a ‘mutually-dependent father-son relationship’ with Putin, said he is ‘healthy’ and ‘full of energy’.

The alleged father of 14 children and husband to 3 wives stated on Telegram:

For those who console themselves with the hope that I am terminally ill, I am sorry to upset you.
As before, I go in for sports, go to the mountains, where I go hiking, and solve important issues of the development of the republic.

He suggested that people behind the rumours ‘need a doctor’ instead.

He added:

Something with your psyche, guys, contact the specialists. Well, we will continue to crush all evil spirits and develop our republic.

Supporting the war but not contributing enough

Kadyrov is one of the biggest supporters of Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine when it comes to public statements.

On March 2, he issued an ominous warning after Russia accused Ukrainian ‘saboteurs’ of crossing into its southern region of Bryansk and taking hostages.

He said:

Shoot to kill. No flirting with terrorists. Do not let them leave, punish them on the spot and neutralize them forever, and then take retaliatory measures against Kyiv. Just bomb all the points that are directly or indirectly related to this attack. And you don't need to look that there may be civilian objects nearby.

But the experts are not persuaded that Kadyrov is invested enough in the actions on the frontline in Ukraine.

Referencing his meeting with Vladimir Putin, the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) suggests that Kadyrov feels ‘considerable pressure to present Chechnya, himself, and his troops in a positive and productive light’ to maintain their relevance to Putin.

Chechnya is one of the most heavily subsidised regions in Russia and funding from Kremlin is vital for Kadyrov’s influence in the republic.

But Chechen fighters have a ‘very minimal role’ on Ukraine's front lines, the ISW evaluated. Some will be found in the contested eastern Ukrainian Luhansk region, but many will be ‘carrying out law enforcement tasks’ behind the front lines.

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Sources used:

- Newsweek: 'Putin Ally Ramzan Kadyrov Responds To Health Rumors'

- Newsweek: 'Chechen Leader Kadyrov Appears Nervous Reading Achievements to Putin'

- Kavkaz.Realii: 'Dagestan and Chechnya were the most subsidised Russian regions in 2021'

Vladimir Putin ally’s latest appearance fuels rumours about 'health crisis' Vladimir Putin ally’s latest appearance fuels rumours about 'health crisis'