New Footage of Top Putin Ally Sparks Rumors About His Health Issues

Ramzan Kadyrov, head of Chechnya, has been a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and a recent video of him has contributed to the continuing worry over his health.

For months, Kadyrov has been the subject of rumors. Human rights groups throughout the world have accused him of abusing his power as president of the mainly Muslim Caucasus region in Russia. Fighting side by side with Russian soldiers in Ukraine, his men are fiercely devoted to Putin.

Andriy Yusov, a spokeswoman for the Ukrainian military intelligence, said in September that Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov had been ill “for a long time,” while the Ukrainian journal Obozrevatel claimed that Kadyrov had slipped into a coma and been airlifted to Moscow, fueling speculation about his health.

Kadyrov subsequently shared a video on his Telegram account of himself strolling in an undisclosed place, which has not been authenticated. He warned about being unable to tell the truth from lies online.

According to the independent Russian news site Agentstvo, the film, which was likely meant to debunk allegations about the decrepit condition of the Chechen leader, only strengthened them.

A video from April 1 shows Kadyrov silently passing a Grozny Palace of Celebrations building site.

One night, during supper, Agentstvo noticed his reserved behavior. When everyone else clapped enthusiastically, he tapped the table weakly. The agency looked at the film and saw that he clapped hard at a similar occasion in 2021.

According to the news agency, Kadyrov is shown in a video welcoming Jordan visitors who seem uneasy. He is also seen using a cane while visiting the tomb of an Islamic thinker.

For the second year in a row, Kadyrov did not accompany Putin to Russia’s Federal Assembly in February, when the president and other high-ranking officials gave speeches.

Kadyrov reportedly acquired a cold, according to the Russian daily Kommersant. An independent daily, Novaya Gazeta Europe, speculated that Kadyrov’s absence may have been due to his following a different treatment regimen.