NewsPutin's Chechen deal: Power, bribery, and bloodshed

Putin's Chechen deal: Power, bribery, and bloodshed

This is how Kadyrow came to power. Great help from Putin
This is how Kadyrow came to power. Great help from Putin
Images source: © Telegram

7:53 AM EDT, June 18, 2024

Over two decades ago, the Kadyrov family rose to power in Chechnya thanks to Vladimir Putin. Ramzan's father received $5 million in cash and a house in Sochi for their obedience.

The Kadyrov family took control in Chechnya in 1999. With the outbreak of the Second Chechen War, the Kremlin began appointing pro-Russian candidates to key administrative positions, those who were not pushing for separation from Russia.

Movladi "Ruslan" Atlangeriev, a thief recruited by the FSB and leader of the Lazan criminal group, played a crucial role.

In simple terms, Vladimir Putin bribed the Chechens to support him. Akhmad Kadyrov, who had previously declared jihad against Russia, agreed to take the position of head of Chechnya's administration.

In exchange for loyalty to the Kremlin, Russian authorities offered candidates for the head of Chechnya $5 million in cash or a house in Sochi. As a gift from Putin, Akhmad Kadyrov received control over Chechnya and a prayer rug, which he was particularly proud of.

In 2003, Kadyrov won the presidential election in Chechnya. According to the investigation, during these elections, the Kremlin was prepared to bribe other candidates (particularly businessman Malik Saidullaev) to ensure Kadyrov's victory.

Ramzan Kadyrov, in turn, the youngest and favorite son of Akhmad Kadyrov, has served as the commander of his father's armed unit since 2000, assisting the FSB in searching for separatist supporters in Chechnya.

Conflict with Putin. Ramzan's father died

On May 9, 2004, Akhmad Kadyrov, who had begun having disagreements with the Kremlin, died in an explosion during a parade at Dynamo Stadium in Grozny. The bomb was planted directly beneath the seat occupied by the senior Kadyrov.

The head of Chechnya's State Council, Khusein Isayev, who was sitting to Kadyrov's left, also died, and the commander of Russia's army in the Caucasus, General Valery Baranov, who was seated to his right, was injured.

Ramzan Kadyrov was not with his father that day but in Moscow. Putin immediately received him and offered condolences. According to a former official in Moscow, it was during this meeting that Putin made it clear to Ramzan Kadyrov that he would be the next leader of Chechnya.

The Kremlin shows excellent patience toward the antics of the Chechen authorities. It turns a blind eye to mass extrajudicial killings of Russian citizens and tolerates murderers and kidnappers who roam the country, eliminating people who have offended Kadyrov.

It allows the existence of concentration camps where those who have offended the authorities end up. Perpetrators of crimes approved by the authorities face no punishment. Moreover, federal investigative bodies have no access to the republic's territory.

Related content