Political Corruption in Chechenia: Kadyrov

Por: Laura Paola Villa García | Posted on August 30, 2019



Chechenia is a Muslim nation that was under tsarist and soviet rule until 1850 when achieved independence in the second half of the nineteenth century. It was not until 1994 when Russia sent troops to gain power in Chechenia, however, this time Chechens were the victors (Bullough, 2015).

During the nineties, Chechenia was rules by no more than criminals and Islamists. Chechenia was outside anyone’s control (Bullough, 2015).

In the late nineties, Vladimir Putin became prime minister of Russia and saw an opportunity to regain Chechenia with the help of Ahmad Kadyrov. Together they formed a militia known as Kadyrovtsy in order to gain control of Chechenia (Bullough, 2015).


Facts: Who gave what to whom and why?

In Chechenia everyone earning a wage has to pay an unofficial tax directed to a public fund controlled by Ramzan Kadyrov. This fund is called the Akhmad Kadyrov Regional Public Fund (Spaic, s.f).

Moreover, the percentage of this tax depends on the person’s employment. For example, “a public sector worker is expected to donate 10% of his monthly income while business owners must donate half of their earnings” (Spaic, s.f).

This fund collects around USD$648 to 864 millon, which represents two thirds of Chechenia’s budget (Transparency, 2019).  Also, this fund is not subject to tax nor regulated by the law (Spaic, s.f).

Despite of the fact that this questionable fund was created to build mosques in Chechenia and provide aid in Somalia, it was allegedly used to pay for Ramzan Kadyrov’s thirty-fifth birthday party, in which celebrities attended and sixteen motorcycles were given away a gifts  and during which Kadyrov took a boxing lesson worth USD $2 million with Mike Tyson (Transparency, 2019).


Applicable Law

United Nation Convention Against Corruption.


¿Why is this case relevant?

This case is extremely relevant as it shows a typology of political corruption, this is the manipulation of policies, institutions and rules of procedure in the allocation of resources and financing by political decision makers who abuse their position to sustain their power and wealth (Anti-Corruption Glossary, s.f).


Lessons learned

Even though no one has been brought to justice for the corruption allegations, we can learn from this case that political corruption can have various forms and that there is no limit in the unabashedly display of money by some of politicians like Kadyrov, who let’s recall treated himself with a gift of a USD $2 million boxing lesson with Mike Tyson. This also means that during investigations, it is necessary to look not only for formal aspects of the person being investigated, but also for informal aspects such as their social media. In these platforms there might be a display of suspicious conduct and relevant content about a person’s life can be found.


What type of corruption is it and what are the crimes involved?

This is a case of political corruption as there was a manipulation of policies, institutions and rules of procedures in the allocation of resources financed by political decision makers in order to maintain their position of power. Kadyrov actually manipulated chechenian policies by creating an unofficial tax applied to wage earners with the purpose of syphoning off the resources to a very questionable fund.

Moreover, the present case is also considered to be grand corruption due to the amount of the transactions made using Akhmad Kadyrov Regional Public Fund.


References (Harvard – Anglia)

International, T., 2019. Transparency International the global coalition against corruption. [Online]
Available at: https://bit.ly/2jXdvoh

Convention, U. N., s.f. Grand Corruption occurs when. [Online]
Available at: Grand corruption occurs when. [Ebook]. Oficina de las Naciones Unidas contra la Droga y el Delito. Recuperado de https://bit.ly/2momz6s

OCCRP, 2017. OCCRP. [Online]
Available at: https://bit.ly/2lPIsLw

Bullough, O., 2015. The Guardian. [Online]
Available at: https://bit.ly/2hatlIE

International, T., 2019. Transparency International the global coalition against corruption. [Online]
Available at: https://bit.ly/2jXdvoh


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"Political Corruption in Chechenia: Kadyrov"; Laura Paola Villa García, México, 2019.