Ilya Yashin

Russian opposition politician, expert on non-violent actions

A Threat to National Security

Ilya Yashin says the goal of his report about the Chechen President is “to open Russian society’s eyes to the fact that Ramzan Kadyrov, with the connivance of the country’s authorities and secret services, has become a figure that poses a threat to Russia’s national security.”

His report tells about the regime established by Ramzan Kadyrov in Chechnya, reveals his crimes and corrupt schemes and shows how he impacts the current Russian political system.

We believe that Ramzan Kadyrov is not only Russia’s internal threat – he has definitely become a global danger. Kadyrov is known not only by his public intimidation of Russian pro-democracy opposition leaders, human rights activists and journalists, he’s also known for his countless violations of freedoms and human rights in his republic. There are not only suspicions, but also clear traces, of his involvement in the assassinations of Anna Politkovskaya, Natalia Estemirova and Boris Nemtsov. There are also known cases when Kadyrov’s opponents were murdered not only outside Chechnya, but also outside of Russia. One of his archenemies, Sulim Yamadaev, was killed in the UAE. His former bodyguard Umar Israilov, who publically spoke about Kadyrov’s numerous crimes, was shot dead in Austria. Law-enforcement structures of those countries were not able to interrogate the President of Chechnya.

One year after the assassination of Boris Nemtsov, Ramzan Kadyrov enumerates his new enemies on his Instagram and in Chechen official media outlets. He calls Russian oppositionists “leash-dogs of the U.S.” Today Kadyrov is posting photos on social media photos of former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov and Vladimir Kara-Murza, leaders of Parnas political party, through a sniper rifle lens. It’s not too far of a stretch to believe he will soon declare some world leaders are his enemy and he’ll start chasing them.

Besides, it’s very important to note that Kadyrov keeps over a million Chechens who live abroad and are citizens of other countries as his hostages. They can’t openly criticize Kadyrov as they still have close relatives in the Republic of Chechnya. Chechnya’s leadership puts enormous pressure on these people – including abduction and torture. Because of Chechen control over its former citizens, the leadership of their new countries can’t protect those who have fled to the U.S. and Europe and they can’t provide them with a basic freedom common in the West – freedom of speech.

Kadyrov has puzzling control of Putin and the leadership of the Russian government. He flaunts his power in very public and embarrassing ways and he seems to be becoming more brazen on a near daily basis. Kadyrov is the creation of the Putin regime and is our common problem at a global level. The very least the West can do to protect itself is to put Ramzan Kadyrov and his accomplices on the Magnitsky List for gross violation of human rights, add Kremlin’s propagandists there for creating the atmosphere of hatred and start an independent international investigation of Boris Nemtsov’s murder. People like Kadyrov revel in the impunity. If there is no political will in the Kremlin to rein him, there should be international procedures to stop this ungovernable criminal. 

Download PDF