Moscow, Sep 18 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Ramzan Kadyrov, leader of Russia’s Chechen republic, has denied having prepared “hit lists” of his critics.
During a BBC interview, Kadyrov said: “The person who makes this claim is schizophrenic. I swear to Allah, that idea would never come to my mind.”
Kadyrov rose to power in 2007, shortly after the 2004 assassination of his father Akhmad, who was also head of the republic.
However, Ramzan Kadyrov has been accused of restoring what he says is law and order in the republic through human rights abuse and a regime of fear.
Critics have accused the leader of involvement in a string of high-profile killings in recent years, including those of a human rights worker and a journalist.
Kadyrov has consistently denied any role in the murders, and claims instead that his critics are attempting to smear him.
“They are prepared to do anything to blacken Kadyrov’s name, and tell the world that Kadyrov is a bad person,” he said.
Chechnya fought two wars with Russian federal forces throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. The Kadyrovs initially fought on the rebel side but later turned their allegiance to Moscow and crushed the separatist forces fighting against Russian rule.