Putin Ally Ramzan Kadyrov Is a Misunderstood Joker, says Chechen Aide

Damien Sharkov
Ramzan Kadyrov dances in a stadium

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov is not known for his comedic skills, but one aide thinks more people should appreciate his wicked sense of humor, Russian radio RSN has reported.

Since heading the region of Chechnya in 2007, Kadyrov has been undyingly loyal to Russian President Vladimir Putin and has adopted a hardline approach in dealing with dissent. His militia, known as the Kadyrovtsy, were among the most infamous units fighting anti-Russian rebels in the Chechen wars and Kadyrov has since been accused of using his strongmen on multiple occasions to intimidate, kidnap and kill opponents.

He has denied all such claims, but has publicly maintained a very critical line against the Russian opposition. In January, Kadyrov said all critics of the government should be trialed as becoming “a law unto himself.”

Kadyrov’s second term as president of Chechnya expires in 2016 and earlier this month he said he would leave it up to his mentor Putin, whether or not he continues to govern the region.

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