On 15 September, the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned Head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov and close family members, as ‘facilitators of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine’.
Ramzan Kadyrov was added to the list for ‘links to previous cases of torture and murder’ and having ‘mobilised Chechens to fight in Ukraine.’
In a press release, the US Treasury noted that ‘Kadyrov has amassed extreme wealth due to his close relationship with Vladimir Putin’. Amongst the assets of the head of Chechnya, the Treasury notes ‘a home in the United Arab Emirates, a private zoo, expensive private vehicles, and a lavish slush fund’.
The leader’s close relatives have also been added to the list of ‘Specially Designated Individuals’, with whom US citizens and residents are prohibited from entering into business transactions.
This includes his wife Medni Kadyrova, his daughters Ayshat Kadyrova who holds the post of Minister of Culture of Chechnya, Karina Kadyrova, who heads the department of preschool education in Grozny, Tabarik Kadyrova.
The list also includes Kadyrov’s cousin, Turpal-Ali Ibragimov, who the US Treasury notes has ‘held numerous high-ranking positions in Chechnya and has reportedly participated in… extrajudicial killings.’
The list also includes Fatima Khazuyeva and Aminat Akhmatova, whom it identifies as Kadyrov’s wives. However, despite frequent claims in social and mass media, there has not yet been any official confirmation in Chechnya that Kadyrov has more than one wife.
Kadyrov reacted to the sanctions on the day that they were announced with a video published on his Telegram channel. He claimed that he has ‘neither property, nor accounts in the West,’ and attributed the decision by the Treasury to ‘the absence of morals and logic in the leadership of the States, or the desire to antagonise all those who oppose Western ideology and plans’.
He also accused the USA of attempting to cause ‘the downfall of Russian sovereignty through terrorism in the North Caucasus’, but claimed to have ‘destroyed these devils’.
Finally, he announced the creation of a new unit of the riot police, and suggested that more Chechens were due to join the fight in Ukraine.
The unit, named ‘Akhmat-1’, would allegedly have ‘two thousand trained, committed fighters, armed to the teeth, who will shower the Nazis and NATO mercenaries with lead rain’.