Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov received the green light from Russian President Vladimir Putin to run for another term in Chechnya’s upcoming elections, despite statements by Kadyrov saying he is ready to leave the post, as reported by RBC citing three sources close to the presidential administration and the leadership of the Autonomous Chechen Republic.
As stated by RBC’s sources, Kadyrov will indeed run for reelection in September, and all statements regarding the former Chechen rebel’s resignation should not be taken seriously.
In an interview with Russian NTV on February 27th, Kadyrov suggested that it was time for him to leave the post of the head of Chechnya, stating that “I believe it is necessary for the country’s leadership to find another person.”
On March 2nd, Kadyrov told Interfax that “any decision on the matter [the reelection] should be made by the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin. I am only a foot soldier.”
According to the representative of Chechnya in the Federation Council, Ziad Sabsabi, Kadyrov will run as a member of Putin’s “United Russia” party in Chechnya’s direct presidential elections in September.
When asked about potential opposition candidates, Sabsadi said it did not matter, because “no one has a chance of beating Kadyrov.” The Chechen representative went on to state that 98% of the autonomous republic supports Kadyrov.
Many analysts believe Kadyrov’s statements about finding a replacement were part of a ruse to gain popularity.
President Putin allows Kadyrov to control the predominantly Islamic region in the northern Caucasus in exchange for absolute loyalty. The head of the war-torn region has come under heavy criticism from the international press due to allegations of widespread corruption and human rights violations.