Chechnya’s Iron-Fisted Ruler Is a Mama’s Boy

By Sadie Bass

Feb 10, 2010 10:24am

ABC's Alexander Marquardt reports from Moscow: Chechnya’s president is a mama’s boy, who knew? Ramzan Kadyrov, accused of ordering kidnappings, torture and murders, has dropped libel suits against two well-known Russian human rights activists and a group of journalists at his mother’s urging. It seems Mrs. Kadyrova was irked by her 33 year-old son’s lack of respect for his elders, something Chechens take seriously. "Aimani Kadyrova has repeatedly asked her son to be reasonable and withdraw libel suits against Oleg Orlov, taking into account his senior age," Kadyrov’s spokesman told news agency RIA Novosti. Orlov heads the Memorial rights group and had accused Kadyrov of being behind the murder of Memorial activist Natalia Estemirova last July. Kadyrov also dropped his suits against 82 year-old Lyudmila Alexeyeva of the Moscow-Helsinki rights group and reporters from the liberal Novaya Gazeta newspaper. Kadyrov had won $2,300 in a previous case against Orlov but his mother, along with political and religious leaders, were tiring of his crusade to clear his name. It is unclear if Russia’s top leadership played a role in asking the Kremlin-backed president to drop the suits.  "It is a bad actor trying to put a good face," Orlov said Tuesday. "It is quite obvious that the criminal case against me was to be closed because there was no crime.” There is ongoing violence in Chechnya, as well as in its North Caucasus neighbors Ingushetia and Dagestan, as the Moscow-appointed leadership tries to put down a homegrown Islamist separatist insurgency.

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