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Kadyrov's son assaults Ukrainian accused of burning Quran

Wednesday, 16 August 2023, 15:13
Kadyrov's son assaults Ukrainian accused of burning Quran

Mykyta Zhuravel, 19, a Ukrainian who was arrested for burning a Quran in the Russian city of Volgograd, says he was assaulted in a Grozny pre-trial detention centre by Adam Kadyrov, 15, a son of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov. [Chechnya is a federal subject of Russia; the Ukrainian parliament has recognised it as the temporarily Russian-occupied territory of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria – ed.]

Source: Tatyana Moskalkova, Russia’s Human Rights Commissioner; Kremlin-aligned news agencies Grozny-inform and TASS; Caucasus. Realities, a Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty project

Quote from Moskalkova: "I have received an appeal from Mykyta Zhuravel, who has been charged and is being held in a pre-trial detention centre in Grozny. He claims that he was physically assaulted by Adam Kadyrov, son of the Head of the Chechen Republic, during his visit to the detention centre."

Details: Chechen Human Rights Commissioner Mansur Soltaev said he had talked to Mykyta Zhuravel, who told him he had met with Ramzan Kadyrov, only to be assaulted by Adam Kadyrov when the Chechen leader left his cell: "He allegedly hit his arms and legs."

Soltaev promised that the case would be looked into.

Earlier, the pro-government social media groups ChP/Vainakh and ChP/Grozny reported the incident involving Zhuravel. They posted identical content, citing information from the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service in Chechnya.

Ramzan Kadyrov has repeatedly threatened reprisals against anyone involved in Quran-burning actions.

A video of the Quran being burned in Volgograd emerged on social media on 19 May. Two days later, Russian security forces reported the detention of a suspect, local resident Mykyta Zhuravel, originally from Ukraine, who had moved to Volgograd from Russian-annexed Crimea and worked as a food deliveryman.

Aleksandr Bastrykin, Chief of the Russian Investigative Committee, ordered that Zhuravel's case be transferred to Chechnya. Shortly afterwards, the teenager was taken to Grozny, where he was summoned to a "people's court".

Last October, Ramzan Kadyrov claimed that his three sons, Akhmat, Eli and Adam, all under 18, had taken part in the fighting against Ukraine. He posted a video of them firing a machine gun and a grenade launcher to back up his claim. Chechen opposition Telegram channels pointed out that details in the video indicate that the footage was shot in the rear.

The Chechen leader's sons Akhmat, 17, and Adam, 15, were decorated with badges for Distinction in the Fight against Terrorism in March 2023. Kadyrov's sons, as well as his daughters and "other family members", are reportedly undergoing military training.

Human rights activists have called the involvement of Kadyrov's children in war propaganda a "show project" intended to encourage the region’s residents to sign up as "military volunteers" in the war against Ukraine.

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