Russian opposition politician Ilya Yashin says Ramzan Kadyrov didn't respond to a request for an interview in connection with Yashin's report criticizing the Kremlin-backed Chechen leader. So Yashin concluded his report with the following 20 questions that he would have liked Kadyrov to answer:
1) During the 1990s, you fought in Chechnya against the Russian Army. You were also personally acquainted with the leaders of the terrorists. Do you still have any photographs of yourself with, for example, [Chechen field commanders] Shamil Basayev or Doku Umarov? Would you comment on those photographs and tell in detail about your participation in military actions? What orders did Basayev give to you and to your father [former Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov]? How many people have you personally killed?
2) In one interview, you said that you first took an automatic weapon into your hands when you were younger than 17. That time is well known in Chechnya as a period of ethnic cleansing when the Russian population of the republic was brutally driven beyond its borders. Did you personally participate in ethnic cleansing? Who did you shoot when you were 17?
3) Do you feel regret at having fought against Russia?
4) When Akhmad Kadyrov was killed in a terrorist bombing [in Grozny in 2004] you were in charge of his personal security. Where were you at the moment when he was killed? How did the security detail that you were in charge of fail to prevent the explosion? Do you see in this a lack of professionalism or betrayal?
5) At various times, you have put forth different versions about who was responsible for the murder of Akhmad Kadyrov. You have said at one time that the separatist Shamil Basayev was involved. At other times you have said the Hero of Russia Sulim Yamadayev [a former Chechen rebel commander who switched to support Russia and who was assassinated in Dubai in 2009] was. So who really killed your father?
6) A significant number of the current Chechen security forces are bandits who formerly fought against Russia and who were amnestied by you. Why didn't you find them civilian work? Why have you legalized militants and armed them under your command?
7) Chechnya today is the only subject of the Russian Federation that has its own regional army. In December 2014, you gathered more than 20,000 armed fighters at a stadium in Grozny in a demonstration of force. These fighters publicly proclaim their personal loyalty to you, rather than to the Russian state. Why do you need your own army?
8) In 2015, you publicly ordered your forces to fire during a confrontation with Russian security forces who were operating in Chechnya but not under your command. Do you understand that this order was a gross violation of Russian law and is grounds to question your right to lead the republic?
9) Do you understand that your policies of de facto rejecting the [Russian] Constitution and ignoring Russian laws represents a direct path for Chechnya's withdrawal from the Russian Federation? Is this your goal? Do you understand the consequences of such a policy for the Chechen people and for yourself personally? Do you not fear those consequences?
10) You do not conceal that you live in luxury. You often show off your collection of expensive watches and elite automobiles, your enormous residence, your personal zoo. All of this clearly does not correspond to your official asset declarations. Where does your money come from? What are the real sources of your income?
11) Nearly 30 million people in Russia today are living below the poverty line. You are a state official, living at the expense of taxpayers. Do you not think it is immoral to show off your personal wealth, which so obviously does not correspond to your official declarations?
12) What is the real income of the Akhmad Kadyrov Foundation? Can you confirm that every resident of Chechen is de facto obligated to contribute to the accounts of that foundation?
13) Your policies in Chechnya are characterized by setting the norms of Islam against Russian legislation. Are you aware that according to the [Russian] Constitution, our country -- of which Chechnya is an inseparable part -- is a secular state? In your leadership of Chechnya, which take priority -- the norms of Shari'a law or Russian legislation?
14) You often emphasize your own personal religious devotion and your dedication to Islam. At the same time, Islam forbids the glorification of any individual personality. To what extent does your cult of personality throughout Chechnya correspond to the norms of the Muslim faith? Do you not see in this the sin of pride?
15) You have publicly acknowledged that Chechnya has become the single largest contributor [of people] to [militant group] Islamic State. Hundreds of young Chechens have joined the ranks of terrorists in the Middle East. Do you see any personal responsibility in this? Do you understand that your policy of setting Islam against Russian law in Chechnya creates the ideal basis for Islamic State recruiting there?
16) According to prosecutors in Austria, you are the likely organizer of the murder of your former bodyguard, Umar Israilov, who had been granted official asylum in Europe. It has been demonstrated that you were personally acquainted with the killer, Ruslan Edilov. Photographs of you two together were found on his mobile phone. Did you participate in Israilov's murder? If not, why did you refuse to testify in the Austrian court in 2010 in order to demonstrate your innocence?
17) In 2009, an assassination attempt against Isa Yamadayev was thwarted. The would-be killer, Khavazha Yusupov, was arrested and told investigators that you personally ordered the murder. Also during interrogation, Yusupov said that you confirmed in a conversation with him that you were involved in the murders of two other Yamadayev brothers, Sulim and Ruslan. Were you really involved in those murders? If not, how do you explain Yusupov's statements?
18) The deputy commander of the Chechen battalion Sever, Zaur Dadayev, has been arrested in connection with the murder of [former Russian Deputy Prime Minister and opposition leader] Boris Nemtsov. His fellow serviceman, Ruslan Mukhudnov, is wanted in connection with the case. Investigators have repeatedly tried to question one other deputy commander of Sever, Ruslan Geremeyev. How do you explain the involvement of your officers in Nemtsov's murder? Did they really act on their own initiative or were they acting in accordance with your will?
19) Do you know anything about the possible involvement in the murder of Boris Nemtsov of [Russian State Duma deputy] Adam Delimkhanov or [Sever battalion commander] Alibek Delimkhanov? Or [Russian presidential aide] Vladislav Surkov? Or [Russian Internal Forces commander] Viktor Zolotov?
20) How do you explain the fact that people who enter into conflicts with you and whom you name as your enemies are murdered one after another?
Translated by Robert Coalson