Chechnya’s President Ramzan Kadyrov
Chechnya’s strongman President Ramzan Kadyrov, known for his ruthless rule and threatening to kill his critics, has vowed to “protect human rights” at his inauguration for a fourth term leading the Caucasus region.
Kadyrov’s inauguration on October 5, which coincided with his 45th birthday, came nearly two weeks after he won 99.97 percent of the vote in last month’s Russian election.
The election in the Russian region was widely seen as merely symbolic as he faced no real challenger.
Kadyrov, who has ruled Chechnya since 2007 with a cult of personality around him, is frequently accused by Russian and international human rights groups of overseeing grave human rights abuses including abductions, torture, extrajudicial killings, and targeting the LGBT community.
Kremlin critics say Russian President Vladimir Putin has turned a blind eye to abuses and violations carried out by Kadyrov because he relies on the former rebel commander to control separatist sentiment and violence in Chechnya.
Chechnya went through two devastating post-Soviet wars and an Islamist insurgency that spread to other mostly Muslim regions in the North Caucasus.