The head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, has hit back at the Polish Prime Minister’s suggestion that Chechnya ‘deserves independence’, accusing Europe of failing to support Chechens during their fight for independence during the 1990s.
In a video on his Telegram channel on Sunday, Kadyrov claimed he was ‘an ardent Ichkerian’.
‘It was you who did not allow us to build our state’, he said.
Kadyrov, along with his father, Akhmat Kadyrov, defected from the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria to Russia during the Second Chechen War.
Kadyrov labelled the Polish PM, Mateusz Morawiecki, a ‘schizophrenic’ for his comments.
‘He says that it is necessary to support Ichkeria. I have a question: where were you when we fought for Ichkeria? When we defended the interests of independence? Why didn’t European states, including Ukraine, support us? And today, suddenly you decided to support a non-existent state?’, he asked.
Kadyrov went on to defend his support for Chechnya’s place in the Russian Federation.
‘Today, no matter how much we want a separate state, we can’t exist [as a separate state] because one and a half million people [need] to be fed, clothed, [given] shoes, [given] education, social issues [need to be solved].’
‘We can’t pull it off. Therefore, in every sense, in every direction, our people made the right choice. And every year, every day, we are convinced of this.’
Kadyrov was responding to comments made by the Polish PM in an interview with France’s LCI TV on Friday.
In it, Morawiecki supported the breakup of the Russian Federation, including an independent Chechen state.
‘There are parts of Russia that are prisons for other nations. Those parts of Russia should be liberated, like Chechnya, for instance’, he said. ‘They were fighting for this for ages’.
‘I believe this nation deserves their independence’, he added.
The First Chechen War, 1994–1996, was fought between the newly proclaimed Chechen Republic of Ichkeria and the Russian army and ended in an Ichkerian victory. The war claimed the lives of 25,000–80,000 people and ended with the de-facto independence of Chechnya. This situation continued until the conclusion of the Second Chechen War in 2001.