Video appears on Chechen leader Kadyrov’s social media amid rumours of his critical condition and death

Ramzan Kadyrov, Kremlin-controlled Head of Chechnya, has posted a personal video on social media for the first time in two weeks amid rumours of a sharp deterioration of his health and even death [Chechnya is a federal subject of Russia; the Ukrainian parliament has recognised it as temporarily Russian-occupied territory of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria.].

Source: Kadyrov on Telegram; Agentstvo (Agency) news outlet; Latvia-based Russian media outlet Meduza

Details: A video posted on Sunday features Kadyrov walking down an asphalt path in the rain. One of the two videos posted depicts a building that looks like Kadyrov’s residence in Grozny. The temperature in Grozny on Sunday was around 16 degrees Celsius and raining, according to Yandex.Pogoda (Yandex.Weather) and Gismeteo meteorological services.

The post below the video reads: “I strongly advise everyone who cannot distinguish truth from lies on the Internet to take a walk in the fresh air and put their thoughts in order.” However, in the video itself, Kadyrov utters a more abstract text, saying that he is listening to the Quran and has walked several kilometres.

Prior to this, the last videos of Kadyrov, which indicate the time of filming, appeared on his accounts and the Russian-controlled state channel of the Chechen Republic over two weeks ago, the Agency’s analysis found.

Rumours of a sharp deterioration in Kadyrov’s health appeared on the evening of Thursday, 14 September: one such report emerged on the opposition Chechen Telegram channel NIYSO, which on the night of 14-15 September reported that Kadyrov had fallen into a coma.

Andrii Yusov, a representative of Ukraine’s Defence Intelligence, also said on Friday, 15 September, that Kadyrov was in critical condition.

A few hours after Yusov’s statement, a 10-second video appeared on the social media accounts of Kadyrov and his assistant Umar Daudov, featuring Kadyrov together with his family from the back. It’s impossible to determine when this video was shot, but the propagandists from RIA Novosti, Moskovsky Komsomolets and Tsargrad all reported on it.

Before Sunday, the last videos on Kadyrov’s social media, on his official website and on the website of the Grozny State TV and Radio Company where the time of filming could be confirmed were dated 1 September. The video depicted Kadyrov attending a ceremony to mark the start of the school year at the Grozny Education Centre.

Kadyrov had not appeared in videos or photos related to current events after 1 September. His channels commented on such events only through text messages.

A video of him walking with his family and jogging was posted on social media on 8 September, a recording of him talking to his grandson Yusuf on 9 September, a video of him meeting up with his mother on 10 September, and a video of him visiting the head of the Chechen government, Magomed Daudov, on 12 September. Kadyrov does not say a word in any of the videos. The time of recording of the videos cannot be identified.

Meduza reported that after the video had emerged on Kadyrov’s Telegram channel on Sunday, Chechen human rights activist and oppositionist Abubakar Yangulbayev claimed that Kadyrov had died. He did not provide any evidence or references to the source of the information.

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