Kadyrov’s announcement sparked debate over whether he is really considering stepping down or just trying to curry favor with the Kremlin, Radio Free Europe/Radio Svoboda (RFE/RL) writes on its website.
Forty-five-year-old Kadyrov has ruled Chechnya with an iron fist since 2007.
In a pre-recorded video, he said there is a saying in Chechnya: “No matter how welcome and honored a guest is, if he leaves on time, he is even more pleasant.” For Kadyrov, he said, there came a time when he “noticed that he had sat in his position too long.” “I think I deserve an unlimited and long vacation. I hope you will support me and understand,” he added in a pre-recorded video. “I think my time has come before they kick me out,” he said. He also complained that he was getting old.
The Chechen leader is one of the most powerful people in Russia and has close relations with President Vladimir Putin. The last time the two men met was on August 5 in Sochi.
“I’m skeptical about that. (Kadyrov) has said similar things in the past,” said Ivan Klyszcz, an expert on the Caucasus at the Institute of Political Studies in Estonia. “Such statements usually come when he wants something from Putin, even the smallest expression of support,” added Klyszcz.
Analysts say the timing of the announcement, at a time of Europe’s biggest war since 1945, is somewhat unusual. Kadyrov has played an important role in promoting Russia’s war interests in Ukraine, including recruiting troops to fight alongside the Russian military in the neighboring country.
“If Kadyrov is telling the truth and is indeed stepping down voluntarily, it would be unprecedented. The message of the entire (Russian) system because of the war in Ukraine is now ‘stay alert in places,'” Anton Barbashin, director of the Riddle Russia analytical platform, wrote on his Twitter account.
Ilya Grashchenkov, director of the Center for the Development of Regional Policy, told the Russian-language server Lenta that Kadyrov could soon take up a new position. His political activity had long outgrown the status of a simple governor, he added.
“Air defense systems are in demand on Russia’s southern border more than ever,” said Chechen leader and staunch ally of Vladimir Putin Ramzan Kadyrov, adding that he would take “proactive tactical measures.”
Kadyrov thus reacted to the events in his native Chechnya, where, according to several independent sources, resistance to the Russian occupation is being prepared. Russia is getting volunteers in Chechnya for the war in Ukraine by blackmail, threats, threats of torture or kidnapping loved ones, the investigative website The Insider has found.
“He actively participates in various federal political events. Starting with being one of the main speakers on the topic of a special military operation, ending with old stories when Kadyrov criticized political parties or expressed the position of Muslims in Russia,” Grashchenkov told Lenta.ru.
The political scientist said that information about a possible change in Kadyrov’s post appeared earlier. Kadyrov’s regime in Chechnya has been accused many times of widespread human rights abuses or of ordering political assassinations of its opponents elsewhere in Europe.