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Kadyrov Indignant at Polish PM’s Support for Chechen Independence

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov on Saturday criticized Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki for comments he made in support of Chechen independence during an interview with the French news channel LCI.

“There are parts of Russia that are prisons for other peoples,” Morawiecki. said in an interview with LCI on Friday. “For example, Chechnya… this nation deserves independence.”

Kadyrov, who succeeded his father as head of the Russian-installed administration that has ruled Chechnya with an iron fist since the nationalist movement ultimately failed to secure the country’s independence, responded to Morawiecki’s comments with a video message on Saturday.

“He says that people should support Ichkeria. Where were you when we fought for Ichkeria? When did we defend the interests of independence?” Kadyrov saidreferring to the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, an independent state proclaimed between the two Chechen wars.

Kadyrov added that the Chechens do not want independence and stressed that they have chosen to live within the Russian Federation.

However, Kadyrov’s outspoken critic and human rights activist Abubakar Yangulbayev publicly disagreed with Kadyrov, arguing that the 2003 referendum that retained Chechnya as a federal subject was illegal.

“Vote [in Chechnya] was carried out at gunpoint, neither the Council of Europe nor the election observers recognized the results,” Yangulbaev. said in a video message posted on his Telegram channel.

Yangulbaev’s point of view is also widespread outside of Russia. In October, the Ukrainian Parliament adopted a resolution announcement The Chechen Republic of Ichkeria is “temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation”.

Kadyrov’s father Akhmat initially fought on the side of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria during the First Chechen War (1994-1996), but switched sides in 1999 when the Second Chechen War began. Moscow appointed him president of the republic in 2003.

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