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Fred Weir, Correspondent | February 29, 2016 | THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR
Reading the Deeper Meaning: Coming so soon after a damning report on his despotic reign, Ramzan Kadyrov’s declaration that he will not run for reelection may look like political retreat. But it is actually a show for his patron, Putin.
Moscow — When Chechnya’s pro-Kremlin strongman, Ramzan Kadyrov, appeared to tender his resignation on Saturday, the Moscow rumor mill went into overdrive.
Just days after a liberal opposition group published a damning report accusing Mr. Kadyrov of corruption, murder, and imposing an unconstitutional dictatorship of sharia law during his eight-year rule, he told a stunned TV interviewer on the weekend that he felt his time at Chechnya’s helm was up.
“Now I feel that the country’s leadership should find another person so that my name cannot be used against my fellow people,” he said. Instead, he added, he’d like to devote himself to family, business, and the study of Islam.