Kremlin Prepares for Regime Change: Putin's "Attack Dog" Seriously Ill

Written by Camilla Jessen

Apr.24 - 2024 1:36 PM CET

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Rumors about Ramzan Kadyrov's illness have circulated for years and have gradually intensified.

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Rumors about Ramzan Kadyrov's deteriorating health have been circulating for years, but they have recently intensified.

The independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported that the Kremlin has begun preparing for a regime change in Chechnya due to Kadyrov's declining condition.

Kadyrov's Health Concerns

Ramzan Kadyrov, often called "Putin's attack dog" due to his staunch loyalty to the Russian president, has long been the subject of speculation about his health.

Last fall, he was hospitalized for respiratory failure after an overdose of sleeping pills prior to surgery, resulting in an induced coma. These events sparked rumors that he was in poor health, with some Russian Telegram accounts and Ukraine's intelligence service claiming Kadyrov was indeed in a coma.

Kadyrov was reportedly diagnosed in 2019 with a severe form of pancreatitis, a potentially fatal condition that causes acute tissue death, sepsis, and organ failure. Even with treatment, the illness can lead to death, raising concerns about Kadyrov's ability to continue leading Chechnya.

Kremlin's Response

To divert attention from Kadyrov's health condition, the Kremlin has launched an intensified PR campaign. However, speculation about his health continues to grow, leading to discussions about a potential regime change in Chechnya.

Novaya Gazeta reported that preparations are underway for a possible succession plan.

Apti Alaudinov, a hardline commander of Kadyrov's paramilitary Achmad Battalion, which fights for Russia in Ukraine, has been identified as a potential successor. Alaudinov's alignment with the Kremlin's interests and his strong leadership within the Chechen paramilitary forces make him a likely candidate to replace Kadyrov if his health continues to decline.

Implications for Chechnya and Russia

A change in leadership in Chechnya could have significant implications for the region and Russia's broader political landscape.

Kadyrov's close ties to Putin and his role in maintaining control over Chechnya have contributed to relative stability in the region. A regime change could shift power dynamics and potentially alter the Kremlin's approach to governing Chechnya.

For now, Kadyrov's condition remains uncertain, casting doubt on his future as the leader of Chechnya.

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