Akhmad Abdulkhamidovich Kadyrov (Ахмат Абдулхамидович Кадыров) (August 23, 1951 – May 9, 2004) also spelled Akhmat was the Chief Mufti of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria in the 1990s during and after the First Chechen War. At the outbreak of the Second Chechen War he switched sides, offering his service to the Russian government, and later became the President of the Chechen Republic from October 5, 2003, acting as head of administration since July 2000.
In May 2004 he was assassinated in Grozny by a bomb blast during a World War II memorial victory parade. His son, Ramzan Kadyrov, who led his father's militia, became one of his successors in March 2007 as the President of the Chechen Republic.
Akhmad (or Akhmat) Abdulkhamidovich Kadyrov was born in Karaganda
in the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic
, to a Chechen family that had been expelled from Chechnya during the Stalinist repressions
. In April 1957 his family returned to Shalinsky District
of the Chechen-Ingush ASSR
. He studied in Bukhara
and at Tashkent Islamic University
. In the early 1990s he returned to Chechnya and founded the Islam Institute in the village of Kurchaloy
First Chechen War
Following the Chechen declaration of independence
, he became a supporter of separatist president Dzhokhar Dudayev
. Kadyrov fought in the First Chechen War
on the Chechen side as a militia
commander. In 1995 he was appointed Chief Mufti
of Chechen Republic of Ichkeria
. Following the outbreak of violence between Moscow
and Chechen separatists, famously declaring that "Russians outnumber Chechens in many times, thus every Chechen should kill 150 Russians.
Second Chechen War
After the de facto
independence of Ichkeria
, Kadyrov soon fell out of favor of new Chechen president Aslan Maskhadov
. Kadyrov, as Chief Mufti, was critical towards Wahhabism
, which was condemned by Muslim Congress of Northern Caucasus, assembled in 1998 by his initiative. Kadyrov offered his support to Russian federal forces in Second Chechen War
. Maskhadov immediately fired him from Chief Mufti chair, although this decree was never accepted by Kadyrov, who abdicated himself a few months later due to his civilian chairman career.
After the Russian forces seized control over Chechnya, in July 2000, Kadyrov was appointed acting Head of the Administration by the Russian president Vladimir Putin. On October 5, 2003 he was elected first President of Chechnya. In this position he remained mainly pro-Moscow. He also advocated numerous amnesty campaigns for former rebel fighters, who were allowed to join Chechen police and loyalist militia forces if they surrender. His chief personal bodyguard was Movladi Baisarov. Reportedly, there were at least a dozen assassination attempts against him before the final one.
Death and legacy
On May 9
, an explosion ripped through VIP seating at a "Dinamo" football stadium
during a mid-morning Soviet Victory Day parade
in the capital Grozny
, instantly killing Akhmad Kadyrov. Two of Kadyrov's bodyguards, the Chairman of the Chechen State Council
, a Reuters
journalist, and as many as a dozen others were killed (later report said more than 30 died). Some 56 others were wounded, including Colonel General Valery Baranov
, the commander of Russian forces in Chechnya who lost his leg in the explosion. The bomb was said to have been built into the concrete of a supporting column during recent repairs.
Akhmad Kadyrov had four children, three sons and a daughter. As of 2008, only one son is still alive, Ramzan Kadyrov, who led his father's militia (the eldest son Zelimkhan Kadyrov died later in May 2004). Ramzan was later appointed as Prime Minister of Chechnya, and as President of Chechnya in March 2007. He soon organized the cult of personality regarding his father and himself.
- Akhmad Kadyrov: Had I been the dictator of Chechnya by Anna Politkovskaya, Novaya Gazeta, March 22, 2002
- Obituary: Akhmad Kadyrov, BBC News, 9 May 2004
- Obituary Akhmad Kadyrov, Chechen president widely seen as Moscow puppet, The Guardian, May 10 2004
- Obituaries: Akhmad Kadyrov, Russian-backed President of Chechnya, The Independent, 11 May 2004
- Obituary in brief: Akhmad Kadyrov, president of Chechnya, The Economist, May 19th 2004