Chechen warlord Ramzan Kadyrov who is a close Putin ally is critically ill and fighting for life, says Ukrainian intelligence amid reports 46-year-old is in a coma
- Unconfirmed reports claim he is in a coma, with doctors called in from Moscow
Chechen warlord and close Putin ally Ramzan Kadyrov is ‘critically ill’, according to Ukrainian military intelligence.
Unconfirmed reports claim he is in a coma and that kidney doctors have been rushed from Moscow to his regional capital Grozny to treat him.
‘Indeed, there is information that the war criminal Kadyrov is in a serious condition,’ said Andrey Yusov, spokesman for the GUR military intelligence.
‘We can confirm that he has had a severe relapse and has been in critical condition for several days.’
Earlier this year there were claims of Kadyrov health problems, with observers noting a rapid weight gain and swollen face.
The most recent video published four days ago shows him with close associates and a boy, the son of a crony.
The health of 46-year-old Kadyrov – who has sent tens of thousands of fighters to Putin’s war in Ukraine – is the subject of deep speculation in Russia amid claims he is terminally ill.
He is believed to have serious kidney problems.
In one meeting with Putin earlier this year he appeared breathless, bloated and quivering as he read awkwardly from a large font as he reported to Putin.
Reports emerged this week that Kadyrov claimed his former doctor – who was also his health minister and deputy premier – for poisoning him, causing his health problems.
Elkhan Suleymanov, 49, a professor, was fired from his official posts and has not been seen for more than a year.
One version is that he was ‘buried alive’ on Kadyrov’s orders but Chechen sources have denied he is dead, claiming he is now living in Azerbaijan.
Despite this, there have been no confirmed sightings of Suleymanov for a year.
In March after a spate of speculation, Kadyrov insisted he was ‘healthy and full of energy’ and regularly checked by doctors.
The same month Putin took the unusual step of summoning his eldest son Akhmat, 17, for a one-to-one meeting in the Kremlin.
Ramzan Kadyrov inherited the leadership of the region from his assassinated father.
In early July amid another swirl of health rumours, Kadyrov in a rambling post said he had recorded a film to prove was not dead.
‘We are still alive somehow,’ he said. ‘Anyway, we don’t want to live long. We will live a short but decent life.’
Exiled Chechen opposition politician Tumso Abdurakhmanov said at the time: ‘His kidneys have completely failed, and dialysis does not help.’
However, since then he has been seen, apparently looking slightly more healthy.
Kadyrov, a father of at least 14 children, is a colonel-general in Putin’s national guard.