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Putin ally Ramzan Kadyrov demands blood feud if government official is murdered, calls for execution of family members if criminal not found

During a recent Chechen government meeting, Ramzan Kadyrov said that if a state official is murdered, law enforcement should declare a blood feud against the perpetrator's family. A video of the meeting was released by the Chechen opposition Telegram channel 1ADAT.

At the December 30 meeting, Kadyrov said one of the perpetrator's relatives should be executed if the criminal is not found.

“As has been customary for centuries, if one of the relatives has done wrong and the culprit cannot be found, then his brother, his father, would be killed,” the Chechen leader said.

Kadyrov also stressed that he “wasn’t satisfied” with the current situation where the wrongdoers' families typically disown them without facing accountability.

Kadyrov also vowed to kill all his critics.

Last year, the Chechen leader notably declared a “blood feud” against Abubakar Yangulbayev, who runs the aforementioned 1ADAT, an opposition channel on messaging service Telegram reporting on kidnappings and torture in Chechnya.

Yangulbayev’s mother, Zarema Musayeva, was sentenced to 5 and a half years in prison for “using violence against a police officer” last year. On July 4, during the announcement of the verdict, unknown attackers targeted journalist Elena Milashina and lawyer Alexander Nemov, who had arrived to report on the court session. While en route from the airport, armed individuals in three cars blocked their vehicle, assaulted them, and stole their equipment. Milashina sustained broken fingers during an attempt to obtain her phone's password, along with a diagnosed closed head injury.

Zarema Musayeva’s case began in January 2022, when Chechen law enforcers broke into the Yangulbayev family apartment in Nizhny Novgorod, some 1,800 kilometers from Chechnya. Musayeva’s husband, retired judge Saidi Yangulbayev, and their sons, human rights activists Abubakar and Ibrahim, regularly criticized the Ramzan Kadyrov regime.

Abubakar Yangulbayev has accused Kadyrov's law enforcement and security officers of “lawlessness on a daily basis” and said the case against his mother is Kadyrov's personal retaliation for his activities.

Kadyrov and multiple other Chechen officials, including a member of the Russian State Duma, have publicly vowed to kill all members of the Yangulbayev family, calling them “terrorists.”

Due to his judicial immunity, security forces were unable to carry out the planned abduction of Yangulbaev Sr. However, they detained Musaeva under the pretext of her alleged involvement as a witness in a fraud case in Grozny. The investigation claims that she scratched the face of one of the law enforcement officers during her detention. The claim led to a case being opened against her for “violence against a representative of the authorities, posing a threat to their life and well-being.”

Baisangur Yangulbayev and his brother Ibrahim left Russia in 2021. Abubakar fled Russia in December 2022. Their father, retired federal Judge Saidi Yangulbayev, and their sister Aliya, fled Russia in early 2022 fearing for their safety.

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