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Chechen Leader Kadyrov Posts Workout Video After Pancreatitis Report

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov appeared to show off his physical fitness in a workout video after independent media reported that the 47-year-old has been living with pancreatic necrosis for over five years.

Citing anonymous sources at the Moscow Central Clinical Hospital where he was allegedly treated, the news website Novaya Gazeta Europe reported Monday that Kadyrov was diagnosed with acute pancreatic necrosis in January 2019 and has returned to the hospital almost every year since.

Hours after the publication, Kadyrov’s channel on the Telegram messaging app shared a 4-minute video of Kadyrov meeting regional officials. In the video, he does not move his body and can be heard speaking with difficulty.

Closer to midnight, another video on Kadyrov’s page on the Russian social network Vkontakte showed him working out with close allies in a gym.

“A busy day ended with exercise and positivity,” Kadyrov wrote without addressing his reported diagnosis. “Remember that taking care of your health is an investment in your future.”

Similar to the previous video, the latest 1.5-minute footage is edited to show Kadyrov stretching, bench pressing and even pinning down his sparring partner in a wrestling move. 

A song overlaid onto the montage contains the lyrics “God willing, my dear, may you live forever.” The workout video’s previous version initially shared by Kadyrov’s aide in an Instagram story and reported on by the state-run news agency RIA Novosti showed Kadyrov doing a set of dumbbell side lateral raises.

Officials, as with previous videos of Kadyrov, have not commented on Novaya Gazeta Europe's report, and its details could not be independently verified.

Kadyrov has been accused of committing human rights abuses, including systemic torture and extrajudicial killings, since being formally appointed to lead Russia’s republic of Chechnya in 2007.

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