Chechen warlord Ramzan Kadyrov – a close ally of Vladimir Putin – is reported to be seriously ill with kidney problems amid fears of ‘poisoning’.
The fanatical pro-war zealot who has advocated using nuclear weapons against Ukraine is rumoured to have summoned a leading doctor from the United Arab Emirates because he ‘does not trust’ Moscow doctors.
Several opposition sources have claimed kidney illness accounted for Kadyrov’s surprising absence from Putin’s state of the nation speech on 12 February, and a recent ‘bloated’ appearance, as seen at a recent meeting in his palace in Chechen capital Grozny with Denis Pushilin, head of the invaded Donetsk People’s Republic.
The Chechen’s leader’s luxury private jet was known to have made several trips recently to the UAE, and he has been less visible than usual in recent weeks.
While Kadyrov, 46, is one of Putin’s closest allies, the Chechen strongman – reportedly a father of 14 with three current wives – has strongly attacked the running of the war, especially by the Russian defence ministry and certain generals.
The claims suggest Kadyrov may have been poisoned, a fate which reportedly befell his close ally Major-General Apti Alaudinov, 50, last month in an ‘attempted assassination’.
Kazakh journalist Azamat Maytanov citing his own sources claimed Kadyrov may be terminally ill, with poisoning the possible cause.
‘There is information that the chief nephrologist of the UAE, Dr. Yasin Ibrahim El-Shahat, a well-known doctor with 30 years experience, has arrived in Grozny [the capital of Chechnya],’ Maytanov wrote on his Telegram channel.
‘His area of expertise lies in nephrology, dialysis, transplantation, glomerulonephritis, and acute renal failure.
‘Kadyrov is allegedly very bad and has serious kidney problems.’
Exiled Kremlin foe Leonid Nevzlin echoed the claims, which were also reported by Bild in Germany.
‘My sources confirm this,’ he said.
‘Kadyrov is treated in the UAE, and when he is in Grozny for a short time, a nephrologist from Abu Dhabi specially comes to him.
‘Kadyrov clearly does not trust Russian doctors.
‘There are reasons.
‘My sources say that [problems with] kidneys are a symptom of poisoning and that’s what Kadyrov is afraid of.’
Kadyrov had ‘made too many enemies among the generals who have access to the GRU’s developments.’
The GRU is Russian military intelligence, held responsible for poisoning double agent Sergei Skripal in Britain in 2018.
Putin’s FSB has also carried out poisoning attacks, for example on opposition leader Alexei Navalny in 2020, in Siberia, and foe Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006.
Ukrainian Telegram channel Trukha claimed that ‘over the past few months, [Kadyrov] has gained a lot of weight and looks very swollen.’
When Alaudinov was poisoned last month, Kadyrov said: ‘There is an investigation of the assassination attempt, identifying those involved.’
There were ‘already results’ from this probe, he said.
Putin promoted Kadyrov to Colonel-General in the National Guard of Russia last October.
A month earlier he urged Putin to contemplate ‘declaring martial law in the border territories and using low-yield nuclear weapons’ to overcome his latest military humiliations in Ukraine.
Despite rumours about his health, Kadyrov urged Putin to crackdown on ‘saboteurs’ who crossed from Ukraine into Russia’s Bryansk region this week.
‘Shoot to kill. To deal not only with them, but also to bring to justice their families, who may live in Russia,’ he urged on his Telegram channel.
‘Check them thoroughly and carefully. Experience shows that without their assistance, indulgence and approval, such terrorist acts do not occur.’
Again demanding martial law, he alleged Ukraine had unleashed a ‘war without rules’.
‘It is necessary to deal with all the participants in the sortie to the Bryansk region in the most severe way, as harshly and even cruelly as possible,’ he said.
‘Deal not only with them, but also bring to justice their families who may live on the territory of Russia.’