The Kremlin has no information on the current health status of Chechen head Ramzan Kadyrov, its spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.
“I don’t think the presidential administration can provide information on anyone’s health condition,” Peskov said, denying rumours that Kadyrov had flown to Moscow on Sunday to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Citing Andriy Yusov of Ukraine’s military intelligence, Ukrainian news outlet Obozrevatel reported that Kadyrov was in a critical condition on Friday. The outlet’s sources in the Chechen diaspora said that Kadyrov was in a coma.
On Sunday, Kadyrov’s official Telegram channel posted a video with no sound of him walking in a park. The caption read: “I strongly advise all those who can’t tell a lie from the truth on the internet to take a walk in the fresh air and settle their minds”. The date of the recording was not given.
Abubakar Yangulbaev, an exiled Chechen activist, claimed on Sunday evening that Kadyrov had died. VCHK-OGPU, a Telegram channel believed to be linked with Russian security services, reported that numerous vehicles with Chechen number plates had been seen driving to the Moscow Central Clinical Hospital, a government medical facility also known as ‘The Kremlin Clinic’, throughout the day on Sunday. It later reported that Kadyrov’s private jet had departed Moscow for Grozny, the Chechen capital.
Alexey Venediktov, the former editor-in-chief of the now defunct Echo of Moscow radio station, reported on Monday that Kadyrov was suffering from acute renal failure and had been admitted to the government hospital.
Putin appointed Kadyrov as head of Chechnya in 2007 as soon as he reached the minimal required age of 30, three years after the assassination of his father Akhmad-Khadzhi Kadyrov, who held the position previously. Ruling the republic with extreme brutality and crushing any Islamic extremist or pro-independence movements, Kadyrov has proved an important asset to the Kremlin in the region and his death could potentially lead to power vacuum in the region.