"Izvestia" newspaper has quoted Chechen leader Ramazan Kadyrov reiterating that he thinks the leader of the Islamic insurgency in the region, Doku Umarov, is dead.
In the interview, published on January 28, Kadyrov claimed that Umarov was severely injured during security operations in Chechnya two months ago and died from his wounds.
According to Kadyrov, secret talks between Umarov's close associates -- allegedly monitored by Chechen intelligence services -- prove Umarov is dead.
In the same interview, Kadyrov also bragged that several years ago he personally killed four brothers of Aslambek Vadalov, a possible replacement for Umarov as insurgency leader.
Kadyrov first said Umarov was dead in December and repeated that claim earlier this month.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told CNN last week that Umarov should be considered alive as long as there is no firm evidence confirming his death.