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.
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People ask me if it is easy for me to rule my People … I do not even know what to say. As the millennia of a history, has shown, it is impossible to simply “rule” my people like a thoughtless community of slaves or opportunists is impossible. The power of the Spirit of my People was known to many arrogant conquerors – from the greedy Genghis Khan to the cruel Timur, from the insidious satraps of autocratic kings to international terrorists of recent history … My People do not accept loud threats or eloquent messages. The Chechen People are capable of performing the wonders of History, raising flowering cities from the ruins, It, sacrificing itself as if an impregnable rock is ready to protect the rest of the world from impending disaster … But, at the same time, remember, my People will never tolerate humiliation !!! So my "rule" is nothing but a duty imposed on me by the People. Therefore, this question is not for me, but for my people. Because It rules over me and not the other way around … ☝🏻