Support The Moscow Times!

Chechen Leader Kadyrov Made Honorary Professor at Islamic College

The extravagant leader of Russia's republic of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, said he has received an honorary degree and title of professor from a theological university he helped found.

"I have declined honorary degrees from dozens of colleges," Kadyrov said on his Instagram account Wednesday, without naming any.

"But I have accepted a diploma and gown from the [Kunta-Haji] Islamic University [in the Chechen capital Grozny]," he said.

The university, opened in 2009, was founded at Kadyrov's insistence, according to its official website.

The first 19 graduates on Wednesday celebrated the completion of their five-year studies at the university, named after a 19th-century pacifist Sufi mystic known as the "Chechen Mahatma Gandhi."

Kadyrov, 37, a former Islamist insurgent-turned-Kremlin loyalist who runs Chechnya with an iron fist, is known for his many additional titles.

Contrary to his claims, this includes honorary academic degrees, mostly from Chechen-based colleges but also from the controversial Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, which counted in its ranks the likes of the late anti-Semite occultist Nikolai Levashov.

Kadyrov is also a "hero of Russia" and a recipient of the Akhmad Kadyrov Award — named after his late father, the first Chechen president — as well as a "guardian of the relics of the Prophet Muhammad" and the honorary president of the Terek Grozny football club.

Most recently, Kadyrov, who is also reportedly an avid sports-car and racehorse collector, was inducted into Russia's best-known motorcycle club, the Night Wolves, which has recently abandoned counterculture ideology in favor of fervent pro-Kremlin nationalism.

Read more