Kadyrov places retaliatory sanctions on US politicians

Ramzan Kadyrov announced sanctions against US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in response to Washington’s latest round of sanctions against the Chechen dictator and…

By: Karim Zidan | 3 years ago
Kadyrov places retaliatory sanctions on US politicians
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

Ramzan Kadyrov announced sanctions against US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in response to Washington’s latest round of sanctions against the Chechen dictator and his family.

“I declare that we will impose [on Pompeo] all the sanctions that we have in the republic, up to and including blocking his accounts. They did the same against me,” Kadyrov said.

On July 20, 2020, the United States Department of State announced its decision to sanction Kadyrov for “gross violations of human rights.” According to the official press release, Kadyrov is publicly designated under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2020 due to “extensive credible information that Kadyrov is responsible for numerous gross violations of human rights dating back more than a decade, including torture and extrajudicial killings.”

Human rights organizations and international watchdogs have repeatedly linked Kadyrov and his cronies to abysmal abuses against dissidents, LGBTQ+ individuals, journalists, and activists who oppose Kadyrov’s corrupt dictatorship. HBO recently produced a documentary titled “Welcome to Chechnya: Inside the Russian Republic’s Deadly War on Gays,” which documented Chechnya’s anti-gay purge that has been taking place in the republic since 2017.

The sanctions, which include financial limitations and visa bans, also apply to Kadyrov’s spouse, Medni Kadyrova, and his daughters Aishat Kadyrova and Karina (aka Khadizhat) Kadyrova. Washington also encouraged other countries to take similar actions against Kadyrov and his family.

“Today’s action serves to notify Mr. Kadyrov that his involvement in gross violations of human rights has consequences, both for him and his family, and that the United States is committed to using all the tools at our disposal to ensure accountability for those who engage in this abhorrent behavior,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

Kadyrov expressed bemusement at the inclusion of his wife and family on the sanctions list, who, amongst other things, are now banned from getting US visas.

“Having no evidence, without a trial, we [Kadyrov and his family] were included in the list of the most serious American sanctions,” the Chechen leader said. “If I have committed a crime, what have my children got to do with it? Where is it written that married daughters are responsible for the sins of their father?”

The dictator, who continues to maintain a relationship with the US-based Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) with a handful of Kadyrov-affiliated fighters signed to the current roster, also added that he had “reliable information” that Pompeo “ordered” the killing of George Floyd in order to sabotage US President Donald Trump’s upcoming presidential election.

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About the author
Karim Zidan
Karim Zidan

Karim Zidan is a investigative reporter and feature writer focusing on the intersection of sports and politics. He has written for BloodyElbow since 2014 and has served as an associate editor since 2016. He also writes for The New York Times and The Guardian. Karim has been invited to speak about his work at numerous universities, including Princeton, and was a panelist at the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival and the Oslo Freedom Forum. He also participated in the United Nations counter-terrorism conference in 2021. His reporting on Ramzan Kadyrov’s involvement in MMA, much of which was done for Bloody Elbow, has led to numerous award nominations, and was the basis of an award-winning HBO Real Sports documentary.

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