Khodorkovsky’s NGO reveals incriminating documentary about Ramzan Kadyrov
Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s NGO Open Russia has posted a documentary film about Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov online. The film is titled Family and talks about the Chechen leader’s role in Russia’s power structures, shows how he established special security agencies in Chechnya, and details human rights violations such as kidnappings and torture in the region.
The film claims that in addition to billions of dollars in federal subsidies for Chechnya, Kadyrov personally gets money from a “complex system of tributes.” According to the film, every Chechen pays a monthly fee to the Akhmat Kadyrov Foundation (bearing the name of former Chechen leader, father of Ramzan Kadyrov). State employees transfer up to 10 percent of their salaries to the foundation, those employed in the private sector give up about one-third of their earnings, and business owners pay up to half of their income to the foundation.
On its website, Open Russia describes itself as a social movement network initiated by Mikhail Khodorkovsky. In mid-April, police raided Open Russia’s Moscow office, claiming they’d received a tip that the organization was storing materials to disseminate at an unsanctioned opposition protest. Representatives of Open Russia denied these allegations. Mikhail Khodorkovsky said that the real reason for the search was Open Russia’s work on the film about Ramzan Kadyrov.
On May 8, a statement was posted on the official website of the government of Chechnya denouncing Khodorkovsky for slander and “ideological subversion.” The post was a response to Khodorkovsky’s interview with Meduza in which he describes Chechnya as “a territorially distinct ethnic criminal gang.”