Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov vows to leave presidential post if exiled blogger beats his son in a fight

Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov has vowed to leave his post as Head of the Chechen Republic if dissident blogger Tumso Abdurakhmanov defeated his 13-year-old…

By: Karim Zidan | 2 years ago
Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov vows to leave presidential post if exiled blogger beats his son in a fight
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov has vowed to leave his post as Head of the Chechen Republic if dissident blogger Tumso Abdurakhmanov defeated his 13-year-old son Adam in a fight.

Kadyrov initiated the bet when he and his family were recording a video blog while out picking strawberries. During the live broadcast, he referenced Abdurakhmanov, claiming that the blogger once called his son a “bag,” a reference to the 13-year-old’s weight.

“Wouldn’t you be afraid to fight him?” Kadyrov asked his son, who replied that he would be interested in fighting the adult. Kadyrov then vowed to leave his post if the blogger defeated his son.

“The challenge has been extended,” Kadyrov said on the broadcast, which was first reported by Readovka through their Telegram channel.

Abdurakhmanov is a popular Chechen blogger and critic who is currently living in exile after fleeing the region in 2015. The Chechen Human Rights Association revealed that Magomed Daudov—one of Kadyrov’s closest henchmen who goes by the nom-de-guerre “Lord”—declared a blood feud on the blogger, which put his life in immediate danger.

Last year, Abdurakhmanov revealed that he had survived an attempt on his life. The blogger reportedly fought off the assailant who was armed with a hammer, eventually managing to disarm him. Abdurakhmanov then neutralized the attacker and called the police. When asked who sent him, the alleged attacker said he came from Moscow and that “they have my mother.”

The attempt on Abdurakhmanov life was the latest in a string of attacks on Chechen exiles over the past year. Two other Chechen dissidents had been murdered since August 2019, including a Chechen blogger who was stabbed repeatedly in the neck in a hotel room in Lillie, France. Another Chechen exile, Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, died after being shot in the head from behind in a Berlin park.

Despite the threats facing him, Abdurakhmanov responded to Kadyrov’s challenge, stating that the Kadyrov clan should first “fight off their excess weight” before challenging him.

“The only competition in which you can beat me is eating cutlets,” Abdurakhmanov added.

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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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