“The Family” – a film about Ramzan Kadyrov

May 25, 2015

Open Russia presents The Family, a film about Ramzan Kadyrov, head of the Chechen Republic, whom Vladimir Putin calls a son…

«In the film Family we have identified the problems, which are not spoken about on state media. In fact, we found another Chechnya, with mandatory extortion, destruction of buildings, and the opponents of Kadyrov disappearing without trace».

Mikhail Khodorkovsky

The myth of the restoration of Chechnya is exactly that — a myth. The public face of a restored Grozny, endlessly shown by federal channels, is in fact only one street in Grozny, Putin Avenue. The rest of Chechnya still lies in ruins — there are traces of shells and bullets on the walls of buildings. After a few days in Chechnya, we can confidently say that billions of federal aid money has been spent on a Potemkin village, and on Ramzan Kadyrov’s Arab sheikh lifestyle. Ordinary residents have seen nothing of this aid.

“[Kadyrov] has turned Chechnya into his own personal feudal appanage”

Mikhail Khodorkovsky

A comprehensive system of tribute collection, which is levied on all residents — from businessmen to ordinary state employees — operates in the country. It works like this: a state employee signs for 20,000 roubles, and receives 18,000. The remaining amount, 2,000 rubles, goes to the Akhmat Kadyrov Fund, which is formally headed by the mother of Ramzan, Aymani Kadyrova.

There is no rule of law, and no protection of people’s rights in the country. Any citizen of Chechnya can be beaten, kidnapped or killed. In the film, there are numerous testimonies of people talking about the victims of Kadyrov’s thugs.

«Our task was not simply to show the actual state of affairs in the country, and to analyse the causes and possible consequences; what was most important was to look for a solution.
I have my own vision of how to fix the twisted social and political processes that led to the current situation. I hope that experts in regional development, journalists, social activists, and all those who would like to see real peace, development, and prosperity in Chechnya, will join the discussion».

Mikhail Khodorkovsky

We need to help the Chechen people rather than Kadyrov. We believe that the federal government had no right to allocate the billions earned by Russian citizens, to create an independent and uncontrolled feudal state in Chechnya. Chechen residents are formally citizens of Russia. Support from the federal centre should be aimed at social and economic development of the whole of the country, and the protection of people’s rights, rather than the purchase of arms for Kadyrov’s personal guard.

Watch The Family in German here and in French here.