Russia to choose successor to former Islamist rebel who has been accused by human rights bodies of arbitrary arrests and torture of opponents

Ramzan Kadyrov, the outspoken leader of Russia’s Chechnya republic, said he was ready to step down, leaving it for the Kremlin to choose his successor.

Kadyrov, a 41-year-old father of 12 whose interests vary from thoroughbred horses to wrestling and boxing, has been accused by human rights bodies of arbitrary arrests and torture of opponents, zero tolerance of sexual minorities and tough political declarations that have embarrassed the Kremlin.

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