ABC News reports:
Russian state news agencies have reported that Ramzan Kadyrov, the authoritarian leader of Russia’s southern region of Chechnya, has been transported to a Moscow hospital with suspected COVID-19 symptoms.
“Ramzan Kadyrov has been flown to Moscow with suspected coronavirus. He is currently being monitored by doctors,” an unidentified source in the Moscow medical community told Tass agency, adding that Kadyrov’s condition is “stable.”
Kadyrov, 43, has run predominantly Muslim Chechnya with an iron fist since 2007. The Kremlin has relied on him to keep the North Caucasus region stable after two devastating separatist wars. International rights groups have accused Kadyrov’s feared security forces of extrajudicial killings, torture and abductions of dissenters.
Beginning in 2017, Kadyrov has led a murderous campaign against Chechen LGBT people, saying that gays are “inhuman devils” and that Chechnya must “purify our blood” of their presence. At least 100 gay men are believed to have been tortured or killed by Kadyrov’s vigilantes.
“I recommend that all shave their heads as beauty salons are closed and households do not have barbers,” Kadyrov said in a video released on Instagram. Other Chechen officials quickly began posting photographs online with shaved heads.’https://t.co/KjhslMS3l4
— Matti Paasio (@mspaaz) May 22, 2020