Chechen leader praises son for beating up prisoner

FILE - Chechen regional leader Ramzan Kadyrov speaks at a stadium during a celebration in Chechen capital of Grozny on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015.
FILE - Chechen regional leader Ramzan Kadyrov speaks at a stadium during a celebration in Chechen capital of Grozny on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015. Copyright Musa Sadulayev/AP
By Rory Elliott Armstrong
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After posting a video on Telegram, Ramzan Kadyrov said he was “proud” of his son for assaulting a man accused of burning the Quran.


The leader of Russia's Chechnya region, Ramzan Kadyrov, said on Monday he was pleased with his son for beating a prisoner accused of burning the Quran.

Kadyrov posted his comments on Telegram along with a video of a young man dressed in khaki kicking and slapping a man in a chair, before throwing him to the ground.

The 46-year-old, often referred to as "Putin's mad dog", said he released the video to clear up any doubts if the incident had actually happened.

"He beat him, and he did the right thing," Kadyrov said, adding that "anyone who infringes on any Holy Scripture should be severely punished."

"Adam [Kadyrov's son] has always been distinguished by his desire to grow up not among his peers, but among his elders, and because of that, he has developed adult ideals of honour, dignity, and defence of his religion," he added. 

The prisoner is reportedly Nikita Zhuravel, who has complained about the assault to Russian officials. 

Kadyrov, like his father, has ruled Chechnya with an iron fist and has enjoyed generous funding from Putin.

Chechnya is a restive part of southern Russia in the Caucus region. 

After the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, its primarily Muslim population tried to break away and establish their own state. This led to two horrific wars during the 90s, which ended in Moscow establishing control over the region.

Chechen forces are reported to be on the ground in Ukraine, and have allegedly been used to execute mutinous Russian soldiers, as well as intimidate Ukrainian civilians. 

In October, Kadyrov claimed to have sent his three sons, aged 14, 15 and 16, to fight with Russian forces on the front lines in Ukraine.

The eldest, Akhmat, was pictured with Putin in the Kremlin in March, fuelling rumours he was being groomed as Kadyrov's successor.

Russia’s Human Rights Commissioner Tatiana Moskalkova has expressed restrained disapproval of the Chechen leader.

Following the video's publication, Moskalkova said the destruction of religious texts “cannot go unpunished,” but stressed: “No matter what terrible crime a person commits, they must answer before the court according to the law.”

Earlier in September, rumours swirled that Kadyrov was in ill health, with some even claiming he had passed away. 

Various reports have claimed he suffered from kidney problems in the past. 

Footage of Kadyrov, who was made Colonel General by Russian President Vladimir Putin in October, was later posted in a bid to dispel this speculation.

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