Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of the North Caucasus republic of Chechnya, has long been allowed to flout Russian law. And the Kremlin this week reaffirmed his untouchable status as security officers loyal to the former warlord continued their high-profile pursuit of the family of an opposition blogger. The blogger’s mother — a woman of retirement age and seriously ill — was last month detained in her apartment in the city of Nizhny Novgorod and taken to Chechnya. Amid a wave of outrage, Kadyrov arranged a meeting with President Vladimir Putin and flooded his social networks with photographs from the Kremlin.
- Kadyrov last month declared war on the family of 63-year-old Saidi Yangulbayev, a former Chechen high court judge. Chechen police officers came to Yangulbayev’s apartment in Nizhny Novgorod — some 1,100 miles from Chechnya — and tried to detain the retired legal official and his diabetic wife, Zarema Musayeva, on fraud charges. They did not manage to seize Yangulbayev because the law states that ex-federal judges enjoy immunity from prosecution. But Musayeva was arrested and driven to Chechnya without even being allowed to put on her shoes.
- The day of this de facto kidnapping, Kadyrov said that “there’s a place waiting for Yangulbayev’s family, either in jail or under the ground” and added he would do everything to find all members of the Yangulbayev family. Adam Delimkhanov, a member of the Russian parliament from Chechnya and a close associate of Kadyrov, said (in Chechen) that he had declared a “blood feud” with Yangulbayev…
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