President of the Chechen Republic since 2007
Predator since taking office
Russia, 150th/180 countries in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index
PREDATORY METHOD: Reign of terror
Ramzan Kadyrov has established a climate of fear for journalists in Chechnya. He uses the judicial system and police to censor, threaten, attack and imprison media personnel. Journalists are threatened and physically attacked with complete impunity, while the police make a point of taking no action. Calling himself “Vladimir Putin’s foot-soldier,” he uses the Chechen national media such as state-owned Grozny TV to disseminate his propaganda, while “death squads” from the Russian Caucasus periodically target critics in the Chechen diaspora.
FAVOURITE TARGETS: All critics (targeted for elimination)
OFFICIAL DISCOURSE: Death to enemies
On 4 November 2019, Kadyrov said that persons who spread negative information about the Chechen Republic should be “killed, imprisoned and intimidated.”
“Those who spread rumours are our leading enemies. We are responsible for order and security in our region (...) Those who publish such information must be identified and punished around the clock (...)We will fight these people [journalists] very hard. They spread confusion among us, break the harmony among us, and then make us fight each other.” (Comments made on 28 January 2020 during a meeting with Chechen security chiefs, as reported by Grozny TV).