by Susan Katz Keating
Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov is in a coma after falling suddenly and critically ill, according to Ukrainian SBU Security Service officials.
“Yes, indeed, there is information that war criminal Kadyrov is in serious condition,” SBU spokesman Andriy Yusov said on Friday. “His existing diseases have worsened and caused such a serious condition.”
Kadyrov was accused earlier this week of murdering his personal physician, Elkhan Suleymanov, in retaliation for the Chechen leader’s deteriorating health. Kadyrov believed that Suleymanov poisoned him, and buried the doctor alive, according to the Telegram channel VChK-OGPU. The channel claims to have contacts within Russian security forces.
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Kadyrov has been suffering from chronic health issues, Yusov said.
“He has been ill for a long time, and it is about systemic health problems,” Yusov said. “But he has been in serious condition for the last few days.”
Kadyrov last month emerged as a bombastic successor of sorts to Yevgeny Prigozhin, who died in a plane crash after running afoul of the Kremlin.
Unlike the former Wagner leader, Kadyrov was predictably loyal to the Kremlin and to Russia’s Ministry of Defense.
Kadyrov made opportune use of a Putin-approved public platform, announcing Kremlin-boosting battlefield victories and defeats. He wrote that Russian forces repelled a Ukrainian attack in Donetsk; and said that large numbers of Ukrainian forces were killed there in combat. He additionally said that Ukrainian troops are giving up the fight.
“This situation is making many of them pause and think and make the only right choice to lay their arms down,” Kadyrov wrote on his Telegram channel. The comment was published by Russia’s state news agency, TASS.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Soldier of Fortune. The question was emailed as per Moscow’s policy to the public correspondence office of the Government Department of Culture.
Susan Katz Keating is the publisher and editor in chief of Soldier of Fortune.