Instagram Deletes Chechen Dictator Kadyrov’s Account — Again!
For the second time in 11 months, the social-media site Instagram has suspended an account of the controversial Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov.
Although Chechen officials deny that the @za_kadyrov_95 account belonged to him personally or officially, it was common knowledge among Russians and other observers that it was in fact his. Stills and videos of his activities were being posted to the account in real time, and it was referenced by his associates such as his right-hand man Abuzayed Vismuradov and UFC fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov, as well as the dictator’s Akhmat sports club.
Chechen officials; Grozny-based MMA fighters such as Magomed Bibulatov; Khabib’s father Abdulmanep Nurmagomedov; and UFC manager Ali Abdelaziz regularly commented with an @ to the account.
The @za_kadyrov_95 account appeared in July — six months after Facebook-owned Instagram suspended Kadyrov’s original account @kadyrov_95 when he was targeted by the U.S. State Department for sanctions under the Magnitsky Act.
More recently, on November 1, the Moscow Mechanism was invoked by 16 countries because of concerns about serious human rights violations and abuses in Chechnya.
We call on Russia to cooperate fully with the Moscow Mechanism mission.
— U.S. Mission to OSCE (@usosce) November 1, 2018
The LGBT community has promoted the Moscow Mechanism announcement in their own press releases and have long pushed for social-media sites to delete accounts belonging to Kadyrov, who is suspected of mass atrocities against his citizens who are perceived gay or bisexual. In particular, Chechen singer Zelim Bakaev is widely believed to be one of those killed in Kadyrov’s anti-gay purge last year.
Dagestani fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov is now referencing the @za_kadyrova_95eng account, which posts Kadyrov photos with English captions.
The earliest photo on this account is dated October 29, 2018. It has fewer than 10,000 followers as of November 11.