Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) meets with Chechnya's leader Ramzan Kadyrov at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, in this Dec. 10, 2015 file photo. REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik/Kremlin/Files
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MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin has imposed the Kremlin's writ on every corner of Russia except one: the Chechnya region whose leader Ramzan Kadyrov often pays little heed to the rules that govern the rest of the country.A former Islamist rebel who has ruled the turbulent, mainly Muslim region in Russia's North Caucasus since 2007, Kadyrov swears loyalty to Putin.Asked in February what would happen to Kadyrov when his term expires, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was up to the president to decide who runs Chechnya.The family switched sides and Akhmad Kadyrov became Chechnya's pro-Moscow leader in 2003 but was assassinated in a 2004 bomb attack and his son, who had been his head of security, was groomed to take over.Since he was formally appointed by Putin in 2007, Ramzan Kadryov has overseen the rebuilding of the Chechen capital Grozny, devastated in 1994-96 and 1999-2000 wars by Russian forces intent on keeping Chechnya in Russia.According to Russian media reports, on several occasions when Russian federal law enforcement agents have entered Chechnya in pursuit of suspects, their path has been blocked by armed men loyal to Kadyrov.In the meantime though, Putin will make Kadyrov wait for a decision on a new term, something of a habit for man who often keeps visiting world leaders waiting and a ploy to re-assert his authority over the Chechen leader.
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