Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov hospitalised in Moscow with suspected coronavirus - reports
Rumours of his evacuation to the Russian capital by private jet had been circulating on anonymous social media channels earlier in the day, and were picked up by several popular news outlets. "Kadyrov is suspected of having coronavirus, he is under the supervision of doctors," Interfax quoted its source as saying.
The news agency emphasised that it does not have official confirmation. At the same time, Yekaterinburg-based Znak wrote that the information department of the government of Chechnya refused to comment. It says a spokesman told its reporter “we are not giving any information."Also on rt.com ‘Don’t be in a rush to die, you’ll die anyway': Chechen leader Kadyrov urges public to stop panicking over coronavirus
Znak, citing an anonymous Telegram account which often breaks Russian political stories, said Kadyrov had been sick for a few days. This is unconfirmed.
Kadyrov has effectively run Chechnya for over a decade and a half since his father Akhmat was assassinated in 2004. The Kadyrov family initially fought against Moscow during the First Chechen War in the 1990s, but later switched to the Russian side after Vladimir Putin came to power.
Chechnya, located in mountainous southern Russia, has been under a strict lockdown for almost two months. Official statistics record a total of 1,026 Covid-19 infections in the region.
A number of high profile figures in Russia have been struck by coronavirus. They include the Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, who has since returned to work, Culture Minister Olga Lyubimova and Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov.