‘Shoot them dead!’ Chechen leader Kadyrov teaches security services how to deal with drug abusers

Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov at the Sochi International Investment Forum 2016. © Ramil Sitdikov
The head of Russia’s Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, has likened the threat from drug addicts on the roads to that of terrorists, telling ministers that security forces must not hesitate to use lethal force to ensure public safety.

“To hell with those who violate order in the Chechen Republic, they should be shot dead. It doesn’t matter if it’s against the law… shoot them dead! Got it?.. that’s the law!” Kadyrov said at a meeting with ministers and religious leaders, according to a recording that quickly spread across the internet.

The Chechen leader apparently lost his temper after learning new information about the rate of traffic-related deaths caused by drug intoxication that has recently risen sharply. All efforts made by authorities to reduce the number of car accidents have been in vain so far.

Last year Chechnya introduced strict laws that enabled police to strip intoxicated drivers not only of their driving licenses, but of their cars as well. However, the measure failed to significantly change the situation.

Authorities in Chechnya also limited the sale of alcohol from 8:00am-10:00am. The initiative, however, turned out to have a downside as well. Following the restriction, the number of people using drugs in the form of pills instead of alcoholic beverages soared.

Recently, the Chechen leader said in a statement on Russian social network Vkontakte that terrorism would be fully eradicated in the republic – and that the next step of his policy would be a war on drugs.

“We have neutralized thousands of bandits [terrorists] that came here from dozens of countries. A set of measures helped us change the situation with drugs. According to various sources, Chechnya is one of the most successful regions in this regard,” Kadyrov wrote, however adding, that there's still no place for complacency.

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Drug substances are not produced on the territory of the republic while pharmacies don’t sell mind-altering drugs, according to Kadyrov. However, the problem remains, as drugs are still smuggled into Chechnya from other Russian regions and from abroad.