People who fail to self-quarantine after testing positive for
COVID-19 should be killed, said Ramzan Kadyrov, the president of Chechnya, during
an interview with local state-run media on March 23.
The threat — reported by a Chechen television journalist after a
private meeting with the close political ally of Russian Vladimir Putin — was
immediately taken as credible in Russian media circles because of Kadyrov's
long history of crushing political dissent, and allegedly murdering people who
displease him since he took near-total control of the region in 2005. Chechnya
is a semi-autonomous republic within Russia's sphere of control.
"The person who creates himself and created this problem, if
you ask me, should be killed. Not only he gets sick, but also infects his
family, his sisters, brothers, neighbors," Kadyrov told a television
reporter from the Kavkazsky Uzel media outlet.
Photo gallery: Authoritative Chechen leader Kadyrov
Russia has reporting a bafflingly low number of cases, which
has left many critics openly speculating about under-reporting or a cover-up.
Chechnya, however, has taken aggressive measures to contain the deadly,
fast-spreading virus despite only recording three cases so far.
The three cases which apparently came from people who had visited
Mecca on a religious pilgrimage immediately roiled Russia's only Muslim
majority province as wild rumors spread on social media and shoppers began to