Chechen leader’s 16-year-old son named to post in rifle battalion

(Reuters) – Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov’s teenage son, who was shown beating a prisoner in custody this year, has been named as an observer in a new battalion that is part of Russia’s defence ministry forces, a senior Chechen official said late on Tuesday.

Adam Kadyrov, who turned 16 last week and who recently was appointed as his father’s top bodyguard, was shown in a social media video posted by Ramzan Kadyrov in September punching and kicking a prisoner accused of burning the Koran.

The video drew broad condemnation, including from some pro-Kremlin hardliners. Ramzan Kadyrov, a staunch ally of President Vladimir Putin, said at the time he was proud of his son and respected Adam for acquiring “adult ideals of honour, dignity and defence of his religion”.

On Tuesday, Adam Delimkhanov, who heads the Chechen division of the Russian national guard and is also a member of Russia’s parliament, said the young Kadyrov was named a curator, or observer, of a rifle battalion.

“This appointment was a natural result of Adam’s significant services in upholding the religious, family and cultural values of our people,” Delimkhanov, who is seen as Chechnya’s second most senior official behind Kadyrov, said on the Telegram messaging app.

Kadyrov’s press service did not immediately respond to a Reuters’ request to comment.

The Chechen rifle battalion was created earlier this month, according to Russia’s state media. It is now a part of Russia’s defence ministry forces

Ramzan Kadyrov, who has ruled Chechnya – a federal republic of Russia – since 2007, has sent thousands of his fighters to Ukraine since the start of Russia’s invasion on its neighbour in February 2022.

(Reporting by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)