The Chechen ruler Ramzan Kadyrov has proposed a dubious barter deal: in exchange for the release of 20 Ukrainian prisoners of war, he demanded the lifting of international sanctions against his family.
Chechen soldiers captured the Ukrainians during fighting in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, Kadyrov said, according to Russian media reports. He showed a video in Grozny in which these Ukrainians also allegedly advocated an exchange under the conditions he mentioned.
The Chechen leader said that the punitive measures against his mother, his daughters and his horses should be lifted. "Even if there are a few more sanctions against me, we will release these people," he said.
Kadyrov is one of the closest followers of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has been waging a war of aggression against Ukraine for almost two years. That's why Moscow lets him get away with the tyranny in his homeland and his autocratic behavior. According to the Geneva Convention, Kadyrov is not allowed to treat the Ukrainian prisoners of war as his private prisoners or to display them in the video. He is also not authorized to negotiate.
The EU and the USA have imposed entry bans on Kadyrov and his family and blocked possible assets on their territory. In the Czech Republic, a valuable horse that was said to belong to him was confiscated and disappeared under mysterious circumstances in 2023.