Chechen leader Kadyrov taken to hospital with suspected coronavirus

(FILE) Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov. EPA-EFE/ALEXEY NIKOLSKY / SPUTNIK / KREMLIN POOL

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Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has been taken to hospital with suspected coronavirus, Russian media report.

He was flown to Moscow on Wednesday for treatment after developing flu-like symptoms, said Interfax news agency quoting a source.

“He’s in hospital in Moscow,” another source told the Ria Novosti agency.

The authoritarian leader – who previously fought against Moscow as a Chechen nationalist – is now a key ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He is considered one of the most feared men in Russia, BBC Moscow correspondent Steve Rosenberg reports.

Mr Kadyrov has come under scrutiny for imposing his own interpretation of Islamic law in the region, as well as for his poor human rights record.

Unconfirmed reports suggested a plane belonging to the 43-year-old leader was tracked flying from near the Chechen capital, Grozny, to Vnukovo airport in Moscow on Thursday afternoon.

His condition is unknown, although initial reports suggested his doctor had recommended he travel to the Russian capital.

Read more via BBC

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