Gym rat Ramzan Kadyrov: I’m not dying, look at me pumping iron

The Chechen leader — an ally of Russian President and combat sports fanatic Vladimir Putin — added: “Remember, taking care of your health is an investment in the future, and consistency and perseverance will lead you to success, both in sports and in life.”

Earlier Monday, Novaya Gazeta Europe, a Latvian-based independent Russian newspaper reported that Kadyrov was diagnosed with pancreatic necrosis in January 2019, prompting Moscow to look for his successor.

“Kadyrov had been hospitalized last year with acute pulmonary insufficiency after overdosing on a preoperative sedative,” the outlet reported, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.

Kadyrov is the head of the majority-Muslim Chechen Republic in Russia and is considered one of Putin’s most prominent allies in his all-out war on Ukraine.

P.S. If anyone can let POLITICO know whether Kadyrov’s backing track conforms to Chechnya’s strict rules on musical beats, please get in touch.

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