A few days ago, something happened that should have happened long ago, i.e. the US Department of State on July 20 included head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov in its human rights violations blacklist for torture, extrajudicial killings and other violations that have been committed for over a decade.
The department announced that Kadyrov, his wife Medni Kadyrova and their daughters Aishat and Karina have been barred from entering the US.
According to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, this was done due to Kadyrov’s involvement in gross violations of human rights in Chechnya. “Today’s action serves to notify Mr. Kadyrov that his involvement in gross violations of human rights has consequences, both for him and his family.”
Previously the US had imposed economic sanctions against Kadyrov, including the freezing of his assets in the US.1 Only one thing is unclear in all of this – why did it take ten years to include Kadyrov in the blacklist where he should have been included a long time ago? In all fairness, for his actions against the people of Chechnya Kadyrov actually deserves a place in prison – a place from where he should never return. But the truth is that we are a long way from the triumph of justice.
But something else was more surprising. There were no doubts that Kadyrov would say something in this regard because that’s what he likes to do. Even the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed that the accusations against Kadyrov are unjustified and promised that the Russian MoFA will respond to the actions of the US. Everything is clear – the MoFA as Putin’s instrument in foreign affairs will do everything its master demands. We know that Putin takes care of his henchmen – but only if he has something to benefit from it.
What was I surprised about? It was the statement by Russia’s High Commissioner for Human Rights Tatyana Moskalkova, who said that sanctions are not a constructive approach to resolving disputes and that bans and restrictions can lead to human rights violations and are uncivilized forms of dealing with conflicts. She added that her stance has always been clear: sanctions are an unconstructive approach in resolving any issue or dispute. It can be done only by dialogue, the possibility to provide arguments and by making some compromises. But bans and restrictions related to economic, cultural and political processes lead to human rights violations and are uncivilized ways of resolving conflicts and reaching agreements.2
Well, we can’t say that she’s not right. I agree that any problem can be solved via discussions, but this will work only if all the engaged parties make corrections to their behavior and actions. Russia’s politics have lately been characterized by doing whatever it wants however it wants, ignoring anyone else’s opinion. But when Russia gets accused of something it becomes offended and starts blaming everyone else.
It sounds like Moskalkova has joined the Kremlin in believing that Kadyrov can do whatever he wants, be it torture or murdering, but no one has the right to do something about it. It is ironic that when asked about any possible actions on her behalf, she replied: “I am not allowed to take any action in this regard, because these are sanctions, these are political issues.”
The question was whether she intends to assess the information on the violations of human rights in Chechnya.3 It is logical that Russia’s human rights commissioner is unable to affect the decisions of other nations, but she can certainly assess whether the accusations against Kadyrov of violating human rights are true. This is why we can conclude that Moskalkova has taken the Kremlin’s stance regarding Kadyrov, by saying that he can do whatever he wishes. I have no doubts that Kadyrov will fully exploit this freedom given to him by the Kremlin.
What does Kadyrov have to say about all this?
There were no surprises, because his statement contained plenty of boasting, incompetency and arrogance. Kadyrov said that he will impose every possible sanction against US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, including the blocking of his bank accounts in Chechnya. He also said that he is cancelling his invitation of Pompeo to visit Chechnya to discuss exactly what rights are being violated in Chechnya.
Kadyrov couldn’t understand why his children were also included in the sanctions and asked the question – where is it written that married daughters should answer for their father’s sins? Why is his wife included in the sanctions if she isn’t involved in anything – she isn’t a politician and doesn’t really do anything.
Kadyrov emphasized that he is proud for being included in the blacklist because this proves he is being elevated to a global level and now everyone knows him. Kadyrov said that he “accepts the fight” and that “it will only get more interesting”. Then, he published a photograph of him holding a weapon, later explaining that the weapon belongs to the Russian National Guard and that the photo was taken during an inspection assessing how weapons are being stored.4
None of this is too surprising, since Kadyrov has always been a complete clown. We also have the opportunity to listen to his statements on Youtube.5 Along with what I already wrote, Kadyrov also revealed that he has information from intelligence services that Pompeo had ordered the assassination of George Floyd. This, of course, is complete nonsense, and Kadyrov is quite good at talking complete nonsense. Moreover, when I watched the video I couldn’t resist asking the question – how many grades did this self-satisfied baboon finish in high school? I would say no more than six.
Let’s look at how Kadyrov once again demonstrated his incompetency and arrogance.
First, Chechnya as a republic of Russia doesn’t have its own ministry of foreign affairs. This means that it has no rights to invite foreign officials or impose any sanctions, as this can only be done by the Russian MoFA. It seems that the head of Chechnya is unaware of what rights he has or what ministries there are in Chechnya. There are 17 ministries in Chechnya, and you can see them all here: http://chechnya.gov.ru/organy-vlasti/ministerstva-i-vedomstva/. I also burst into laughter when I heard Kadyrov’s announcement about blocking the accounts of Pompeo. I don’t think I can even comment on this.
Boasting about how the sanctions elevate him to global level is ridiculous in its essence – well, not if his goal is to become the world’s biggest hypocrite, scoundrel, murderer or sadist. But in reality he is known only for these things. To each his own I guess – some boast about the good deeds they have done, while some boast about the bad ones.
Kadyrov’s confusion about his wife and children also being included in the sanctions is understandable on the first glance. But we know that his family also enjoys the goods that he has stolen – because of Kadyrov being in power, his family members are living an opulent lifestyle. What is more, Kadyrov must have forgotten about his own statements regarding children and parents. He once said: “I officially declare the end of times, when we believed that parents are not responsible for the actions of their sons and daughters. In Chechnya, they will be responsible.”6 So, it seems the should be no problem with that. Now, it looks like the doctor doesn’t want to take the medication he himself prescribed.
If all of this came out of the mouth of a drunken fool with a four-grade education, not the head of a state, there wouldn’t be any problems.