Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has congratulated the leader of the Russian biker gang Night Wolves for having been targeted by the United States' latest round of sanctions against Russia.
Alexander Zaldostanov, more commonly known as "The Surgeon" among his biker comrades, was added to the list of sanctioned individuals signed by U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday. The list targets individuals who have supported Russia's annexation of Crimea.
Formed in the 1980s, the Night Wolves are frequently referred to as the Russian Hell's Angels. Kadyrov was reportedly inducted into the biker gang in August.
"I congratulate you with all my heart on such exceptionally great news! Even if the U.S. publishes a million such lists, you and I will never change our opinions, not on Crimea, not on Malorossia ["little Russia," a derogatory term for Ukraine dating back to the 17th century] and definitely not on the U.S.!" Kadyrov wrote on his Instagram page over the weekend.
Kadyrov went on to joke that he was wondering why it took so long for Zaldostanov to wind up on the list.
"Today I breathed a sigh of relief. It was just the bureaucracy of the U.S. State Department dilly-dallying in its preparation of the sanction documents," Kadyrov wrote.
The sanctions that took effect on Saturday prohibit the export of any American goods or services to companies based in Crimea, and U.S. citizens are now banned from conducting business with any individuals on the list.
Apart from Zaldostanov, the list of sanctioned individuals also includes Crimean prosecutor Natalya Poklonskaya, Interior Ministry deputy head Dmitry Neklyudov, Russian businessman Konstantin Malofeyev, and representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic, as well as the Night Wolves biker gang in its entirety.