Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has appeared on video with his close ally and Russian lawmaker from Chechnya, Adam Delimkhanov, following growing rumors that he has been suffering from serious health problems.
In the three-minute video published on Instagram Sunday, Kadyrov was shown seated beside Delimkhanov at a dining table.
“We’re living our lives, slowly but surely,” the Chechen leader said in the video, switching between Chechen and Russian.
“We want to tell all the devils and gossipers — Akhmat is strong, Allah is Great,” Delimkhanov said, at one point displaying the date on his phone as July 2.
Kadyrov “is healthy and full of energy, exercises regularly,” Delimkhanov later wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
The video came amid unconfirmed reports by Chechen opposition bloggers that Kadyrov has been seriously ill.
The health of the 46-year-old, who has ruled Chechnya with an iron fist since 2007, has been the subject of much speculation in recent months.
In March, an article in German newspaper Bild claimed he had summoned a specialist from the UAE to treat a serious kidney condition, allegedly the result of an attempted poisoning.
Kadyrov brushed off the claims and insisted he was in good health.
Meanwhile, Delimkhanov has also become the subject of rumors following media reports in June that he had been wounded in Ukraine.
Kadyrov at the time denied the reports and said the lawmaker was "alive and well and not even injured."
Still, there had been no independently verified accounts of Delimkhanov’s whereabouts since June 14.
In Sunday’s Instagram video, neither Kadyrov nor Delimkhanov showed visible signs of injury or illness.