Putin Critic Warns Over “Chechen Caliphate”


Chechnya”s leader has built a caliphate that could one day start an IS-style war with Russia, a prominent critic of the Kremlin has said.

Ilya Yashin claimed Ramzan Kadyrov and his militia had engineered attacks in Russia and abroad.

“In the last few years, our own local Islamic state has formed on Russian territory,” Mr Yashin wrote in a report called A Threat To National Security.

“Not one politician or department is able to guarantee today that the Islamic state created in Chechnya by Kadyrov … will not over time become a new Islamic State ready to declare jihad on Russia,” he added.

People attend a rally to protest against satirical cartoons of prophet Mohammad, in Grozny, Chechnya

Mr Yashin, from the People”s Freedom Party, said the “Chechen caliphate” lived by its own laws and received billions in subsidies – which he claimed Mr Kadyrov was syphoning off.

He also said he had “no doubt” that the Chechen leader was involved in last year”s murder of opposition politician, Boris Nemtsov, who was shot four times in the back in Moscow.

The main suspect is an officer in Mr Kadyrov”s security force, but the Chechen leader has denied involvement.

Mr Kadyrov became head of the predominantly Muslim Chechen Republic in 2007 at the age of 30.

He is one of Vladimir Putin”s most loyal followers and has largely subdued the volatile region, securing a high degree of autonomy.

He was accused last month of threatening murder after posting a video of the former Russian prime minister under the crosshairs of a rifle.

The release of the report, at the party”s Moscow HQ, was interrupted by a bomb threat.

An unknown protester also showered Mr Yashin with fake bank notes as he spoke.

Mr Kadyrov posted a link to the report to his 1.7 million Instagram followers and dismissed its contents as “chatter”.