Chechen Leader Ramzan Kadyrov Rumored to be Terminally Ill Despite Attempts to Quell Speculation

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, a key Putin ally, rumored to be terminally ill, raising concerns about Chechnya's stability and succession.

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Chechen Leader Ramzan Kadyrov Rumored to be Terminally Ill Despite Attempts to Quell Speculation

Chechen Leader Ramzan Kadyrov Rumored to be Terminally Ill Despite Attempts to Quell Speculation

Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of Chechnya known as "Putin's attack dog" for his loyalty to Russian President Vladimir Putin, is rumored to be terminally ill with necrotizing pancreatitis, according to Russian media reports. Despite attempts by Kadyrov's team to dispel the speculation, concerns about his health and the future of Chechnya persist.

Kadyrov, 47, has regularly visited Moscow Central Clinical Hospital over the years to undergo medical procedures. Novaya Gazeta Europe, an exiled newspaper, claims that Kadyrov has been living with pancreatic necrosis for more than five years and has no hope of recovery. The news outlet reports that Kadyrov's size increased by one and a half times, his abdomen acquired signs of pancreatogenic ascites, and he developed severe shortness of breath, spoke with difficulty, walked slowly, and dressed too warmly for the Chechen climate.

The Kremlin is reportedly scrambling to find a successor to Kadyrov, who has been a vocal supporter of Putin and has sent Chechen soldiers to fight in Ukraine. One potential successor named is Major General Apti Alaudinov, the commander of Kadyrov's Akhmat military unit and the Chechen special forces volunteer association. However, experts and activists believe Kadyrov's position in Chechnya is still strong, and his successor is more likely to be someone close to him, possibly one of his children.

Why this matters: The potential terminal illness of Ramzan Kadyrov, a key ally of Vladimir Putin, could have significant implications for the stability and future of Chechnya. As the Kremlin works on a plan for a managed transfer of power, the situation highlights the complex political dynamics and the importance of Chechnya in Russia's strategic interests.

While Kadyrov has attempted to dispel the rumors of his terminal illness by posting a video of himself working out, the Kremlin has previously worked to spread the narrative that he is healthy. Ukrainian intelligence has also stated that Kadyrov was in a coma last year. Although Kadyrov's death could create a perceived window of opportunity for renewed conflict, experts expect the chain of command to remain continuous. The reports of Kadyrov's illness have prompted discussion and speculation about Chechnya's future, but some remain skeptical about the reliability of the information.

Key Takeaways

  • Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechen leader, reportedly has terminal necrotizing pancreatitis
  • Kremlin is seeking a successor to Kadyrov, a key Putin ally, amid health concerns
  • Potential successor is Apti Alaudinov, commander of Kadyrov's military unit
  • Kadyrov's death could create instability, but experts expect continuous chain of command
  • Reports of Kadyrov's illness have prompted speculation about Chechnya's future