Continued concerns about the health of Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of Kremlin-controlled Chechnya, underscore Russian President Vladimir Putin’s reliance on him to maintain stability in the region, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISV). Ukraine’s General Intelligence Directorate confirmed that Kadyrov was in critical condition, leading to rumors among Russian military bloggers and insider sources. Kadyrov himself denied these rumors in the video. ISV notes that destabilizing Kadyrov’s rule in Chechnya would be a significant blow to the Putin regime, as establishing stability in Chechnya through a brutal war was key to Putin’s early popularity. Analysts suggest that Kadyrov and other Russian officials may be worried that persistent rumors about his health will affect the long-term stability of their control over Chechnya, and by extension Putin’s control.
On September 17, amid rumors of his deteriorating health or even death, Ramzan Kadyrov, head of Kremlin-controlled Chechnya, posted a personal video on social media for the first time in two weeks. The Ukrainian parliament recognizes Chechnya as a temporarily occupied territory by Russia. In the video, Kadyrov advises those who do not distinguish truth from lies on the Internet to take a walk in the fresh air and get their thoughts in order. However, Kadyrov himself is more abstract in the video, declaring that he is listening to the Koran and that he took a long walk.
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