The warlord leader of Chechnya, one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s main cronies, is reportedly gravely ill with kidney problems, sparking fears that he was poisoned.
Ramzan Kadyrov brought the United Arab Emirate’s chief nephrologist, or kidney specialist, to Grozny, Chechnya’s capital, for treatment, Kazakh journalist Azamat Maytanov reported.
Kadyrov, the leader of the Chechen Republic since 2007, opted for a doctor from outside of the region over concerns that he was poisoned and therefore does not trust Moscow doctors.
“Kadrov is allegedly very bad and has serious kidney problems,” Maytanov wrote.
“Kadyrov is ill and has already become a drug addict,” he continued, citing Akhmed Zakayev, the now-exiled former prime minister of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria . “He claims that some kind of energy pills previously supported the overactivity of the head of Chechnya.”
Kadyrov has been a vocal ally to Moscow since Russia invaded Ukraine’s Crimean Pennisula in 2014 and has championed Putin’s cause in the year since the full-scale invasion began.
In September, he called for Russia to use low-yield nuclear weapons against Ukraine and Putin promoted him to Colonel General in the National Guard of Russia the following month, the Kyiv Independent reported. In October, he referred to the was as a “Big Jihad.”
The rumors that Kadyrov was poisoned comes after he said that one of his top generals was poisoned by an envelope last month.
Kadyrov wrote on Telegram that Apti Alaudinov, who leads the Akhmat special forces, was poisoned with a strongly scented letter on Feb. 8, Newsweek reported.
The Chechen warlord called the incident an “assassination attempt.” Alaudinov has since recovered.