U.S. Imposes Additional Sanctions Against Chechen Leader Kadyrov


The United States has imposed another set of sanctions targeting Ramzan Kadyrov, the strongman leader of Russia’s North Caucasus region of Chechnya and a loyal supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The U.S. Treasury Department on December 10 announced sanctions against Kadyrov, as well as five individuals and six Russia-registered legal entities with close ties to him.

The sanctioned entities include the Akhmat Kadyrov Foundation and the Akhmat Grozny soccer team.

The sanctions were imposed under the so-called Global Magnitsky Act, a 2016 law that authorizes the U.S. government to sanction suspected human rights offenders around the globe by freezing their assets and banning them from entering the United States.

The law is named after Russian tax lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, a whistle-blower who died in Russian custody in 2009 after allegedly being tortured and denied medical care.

Kadyrov, 44, has been the head of Chechnya since 2007. He has been accused by Russian and international rights groups of massive human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings, torture, kidnapping, and the persecution of homosexuals.

He has been accused of involvement in numerous targeted killings of political and personal opponents both in Russia and abroad.

In 2017, Kadyrov was personally sanctioned under the Magnitsky Act. In July, the sanctions against him were expanded to include his wife, two of his daughters, and other relatives.

He has also been sanctioned by the European Union, as well as Canada and other countries, since 2014 for his support of Russia’s forcible annexation of the Crimean Peninsula.