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Kadyrov offers Ukrainian POWs in exchange for lifting US sanctions on family

9 January 2024
Ramzan Kadyrov on a rally in Grozny. Screengrab from video: Ramzan Kadyrov/Telegram

Head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov has announced that he is willing to offer 20 Ukrainian prisoners of war if US sanctions against his mother, adult daughters, minor children, and wife are lifted. 

The offer was made on 6 January, during a visit to Chechnya by disgraced former US Marines intelligence officer Scott Ritter, to whom the head of Chechnya handed over a list of captured Ukrainian military personnel. Ritter, who is a convicted sex offender, frequently speaks in support of Russia, and appears in Russian state media. 

Speaking at a rally of thousands of Chechen soldiers in Grozny, Kadyrov accused American and European politicians of having ‘no honour or dignity’, and vowed to continue to fight against America and the West until they changed their attitude towards Chechnya and ‘Muslims around the world’. 

‘They could come up with sanctions for their own granddaughter’, said Kadyrov. ‘We are fighting those terrorist murderers who do not allow people to live in peace. [...] We fight with dignity and set an example of tradition and customs.’

‘I have an interesting proposal for our guest — we have prisoners we took from Donetsk and Lugansk’, said Kadyrov. 

He went on to suggest that if the US were to lift sanctions against his mother, daughters, children under 18, and his wife, he was willing to offer the prisoners in exchange. 

‘All of them have absolutely nothing to do with politics’, wrote Kadyrov in a later Telegram post. 

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Kadyrov is known for appointing his family to political positions, with Ayshat Kadyrova, 25, currently serving as Chechnya’s deputy prime minister for social issues. 

[Read more: Kadyrov’s daughter sole woman appointed to Chechen women’s rights council]

Kadyrov stated that he was making the proposal as he ‘knew in advance’ that ‘the lives of ordinary Ukrainians mean nothing to the US authorities’. 

‘They are only interested in their own priorities, and that’s why I made the announcement, to show the true face of American politicians.’

However, in a Telegram post following his announcement, Kadyrov claimed that Scott Ritter had ‘correctly understood’ that his announcement was ‘trolling’. 

‘Regarding the sanctions, they don’t interfere with our lives in any way’, added Kadyrov. 

In September 2022, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed sanctions on the head of Chechnya and close family members as ‘collaborators of Russian aggression in Ukraine’. 

Close relatives of the leader are included in a list of ‘Specially Designated Nationals’ with whom US citizens and residents are prohibited from entering into business transactions. The list includes Kadyrov’s wife, Medni Kadyrova, daughters Aishat and Karina Kadyrov, cousin Turpal-Ali Ibragimov, and Fatima Khazuyeva and Aminat Akhmatova, who are also referred to as Kadyrov’s wives.

[Read more on OC Media: Kadyrov sanctioned by US Treasury ]

Read in Georgian on On.ge.