A senior Ukrainian official said the Kremlin faked a meeting between President Vladimir Putin and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who was rumored to be seriously ill.
Russian state news agencies and a pro-Putin reporter published videos from the meeting, and the Kremlin posted still photos and a transcript of the conversation between the two leaders on its official website, claiming it took place on Thursday.
But Anton Gerashchenko, advisor to the Ukrainian Interior Minister, raised doubts about the meeting between Putin and Kadyrov. Writing in a post on XPreviously Twitter: “It is unclear when this meeting took place.”
In a follow-up post, Gerashenko summarized five pieces of evidence suggesting the meeting actually took place at another time, which were first laid out by Telegram channel VChK-OGPU.
“The first video of the meeting was posted by a Kremlin propagandist [Pavel] “Zarubin,” Gerashchenko wrote. “It shows the time on Putin’s watch: 12:48. The full version of the video is less than four minutes long, and then Kadyrov’s conversation with Putin suddenly stops (because Kadyrov doesn’t look well?).
Reporters covering the meeting were then asked to leave the room, according to a Telegram channel that allegedly has ties to the Russian security service.
Zarubin released the first video from the meeting at 13:11 p.m. local time, but it only showed Kadyrov from behind, according to Gerashenko, citing the VChK-OGPU publication.
The full version was published at 13:22 and showed Kadyrov smiling.
“The video’s metadata reveals it was edited on a MacBook,” the Ukrainian government official noted. “About a month ago, Apple products began being banned in government offices, starting with the Kremlin.”
This could mean that Kadyrov’s meeting with Putin took place more than a month ago, “or that the propagandists, as always, violated their own rules.”
Meanwhile, Kadyrov’s plane is said to remain in Moscow, and security remains tight at the city’s Central Clinical Hospital, but guards have been moved to another building, the Telegram channel reported.
Rumors circulated this month that 46-year-old Kadyrov, dubbed Putin’s “attack dog,” was seriously ill, with a Ukrainian official claiming he was in a coma in hospital.
Earlier this year, it was reported that the Chechen warlord was suffering from severe kidney problems, which required the attention of major kidney specialists in the UAE.
But when Zarubin was asked about his alleged health problems In an interview she allegedly fired On Thursday, Kadyrov laughed and declared “Akhmad – power” — a Chechen political slogan evocative of his late father, Akhmad Kadyrov — while playfully flexing his muscles.
Kadyrov later posted on Telegram that he and Putin spoke about a wide range of topics during their one-on-one meeting, including the role of Chechen fighters in Ukraine. He added vaguely that “other issues” had been raised, and promised “more on this later.”
It was not clear whether he was referring to the beating of an ethnic Russian prisoner by his 15-year-old son.
Kadyrov sparked widespread anger even among Putin’s supporters when he praised his child, Adam, who was seen on video mercilessly beating prisoner Nikita Juravil, allegedly burning the Qur’an.
With mail wires
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