Kadyrov Criticizes Personality Cult

ReutersA security guard standing in front of a Kadyrov portrait on a Grozny building.
GROZNY -- Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov has called for a toning down of a personality cult blossoming around him and told people to take down his portraits from public places.

"Many people post photographs for their personal aims, to attract my attention and gain immunity," Kadyrov, a former rebel now backed by the Kremlin, said Wednesday.

"Everybody wants to call their institute or street after Kadyrov, but we have to understand that this is not correct," Kadyrov said.

Posters of Kadyrov, alongside his father -- former Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov, who was assassinated in a bomb blast in May 2004 -- and President Vladimir Putin line the streets of Grozny, the rebuilt regional capital.

Kadyrov, 31, was nominated for the post by Putin in March 2007 and subsequently confirmed by the Chechen parliament.

In last month's State Duma elections, Kadyrov promised that all of Chechnya would vote for Putin and United Russia, whose ticket Putin led in the election. The official result showed that more than 99 percent of voters cast their ballots in the election, more than 99 percent of whom voted for United Russia.