Akhmad Kadyrov

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 Uzbekistan. 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, 2004, 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.

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