GROZNY, May 21(RIA Novosti) – The head of Russia’s Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov has denied reports alleging the existence of “death lists” of locals identified as radical separatists.
This is not the first time that Kadyrov has denied accusations that he is seeking to crack down on people the Chechen authorities identify as current or former supporters of the unrecognized, self-proclaimed Chechen Republic of Ichkeria.
Many fled after the conflict in the volatile North Caucasus republic during the 1990s-2000s.
“Talk about the existence of some kind of ‘execution lists’ of former Ichkeria supporters is absurd and a vile lie,” Kadyrov said during a government meeting on Monday.
“Those who left for the West at the sound of the first shot and call themselves politicians have long been forgotten here,” Kadyrov was quoted as saying in an official statement by the republic’s government.
In March 2012, the Sunday Telegraph reported British security services as saying that they had issued a warning saying they suspected an assassination plot targeting Akhmed Zakayev, Kadyrov’s rival and self-exiled Chechen separatist leader. Kadyrov denied any involvement.
Foreign media reports have, in the past, speculated that the Chechen official keeps lists of people to be executed.
Lists of hundreds of Chechen names have been circulated online, but these lists have not been independently verified or officially recognized.