A giant statue of Akhmed-hadji Kadyrov that stood in front of the newly inaugurated mosque in Grozny was dismantled last night following a decision by his son and current leader, Ramzan, and the family.
The removal of the monument was attended by Kadyrov Jr., representatives of the pro-Moscow Chechen government, and religious and public figures.
The late Kadyrov, who was assassinated in 2004, asked in his will that there be no monuments in the form of graven images of stone and metal, a family elder was quoted as saying.
According to Kadyrov, the statue will be replaced by a memorial complex dedicated to "thousands of comrades of Akhmed-hadji Kadyrov who died fighting terrorists and Wahhabis."
The bronze statue, created by Russia's quasi-official sculptor Zurab Tsereteli, was unveiled in 2005. RFE/RL correspondents are reporting that Kadyrov's statues are also being removed in other cities and towns.
It isn't entirely clear why this is happening; Kadyrov's mind is very difficult to read. It probably has less to do with Islam and the prohibition of images, or the planned memorial, but could instead be due to Moscow's desires to stamp out any vestiges of a cult of personality.
Regardless, it's a pretty ugly monument anyway and Chechnya will be better off without it.
-- Aslan Doukaev