Chechen leader puts bounty on Koran burners
The head of Russia’s Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, has offered a generous bounty for the “elimination” of purported Ukrainian servicemen who were caught on video desecrating a Koran. The footage, which the Russian official reposted, shows two men in what appear to be Ukrainian military uniforms using pages from the Muslim holy book to start a fire.
Taking to Telegram on Friday, Kadyrov insisted that merely issuing a “formal condemnation of the Ukrainian vermin’s action that recently burned pages from the Holy Koran” would not be enough.
“I announce a reward of five million rubles [$64950] for eliminating this scum,” he wrote, adding that the bounty would be twice as high should the desecrator be captured alive.
He emphasized that the award could be claimed at any moment in the future. “Whenever it happens – today, tomorrow, in a year – the money will be waiting. And no matter who does it: a platoon, a group, a sole person, a neighbor in the trench, the money will be handed over in full.”
In a separate post, Kadyrov swore that he would not let anyone treat the sacred text of Islam with such disrespect. He expressed hope that God’s punishment would be delivered to the blasphemers “through our warriors who want to destroy you more than you want to live.”
According to Kadyrov, the latest footage is representative of the Ukrainian state’s ideology and illustrates its “fascist-satanic” nature. He also expressed doubt that any of the men in the video would have dared to do this had there been a single Chechen or Muslim around at the time.
The Chechen leader also heaped scorn on the “so-called Muslims who are allegedly fighting as part of the Ukrainian armed forces.” Such people can have no excuse for siding with the “enemies of Allah,” Kadyrov concluded.
Commenting on the controversial video, Ibrahim Aydin, an MP from Türkiye’s ruling Justice and Development party, characterized the scenes in it as a “provocation and an attack on our religion.” He, however, expressed skepticism over the veracity of the footage, calling social media an unreliable source.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian military representatives and diplomats alike on Thursday denied that the country’s military personnel were involved in the incident.