Facebook, Instagram, Suspend Chechnya Strongman Ramzan Kadyrov

The anti-gay dictator claims the move was instigated by the U.S. government.

The international LGBT community got an extra Christmas present this year, as Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has been suspended from Facebook and Instagram.

The ban was enacted on December 22, shortly after the U.S. increased sanctions against Chechnya. 

ELENA FITKULINA/AFP/Getty Images

“The network has long been pretending to be independent from Washington D.C. and their move came right after the U.S. Treasury sanctions,” wrote the anti-LGBT dictator. “They wanted to annoy me, but failed—which is the only thing that pleases me.”

Kadyrov added he’d been thinking about leaving Instagram, “but [I] didn’t want to upset my friends and followers—almost four millions (sic) of them.”

In the meantime, Kadyrov’s Twitter account still appears to be active, with more than 400,000 followers.

In a tweet on Wednesday, he asked Facebook “Where is your dedication to democracy and the right of citizens to receive information?”

Last month, Kadyrov told reporters he was ready to step down, though he has made such claims before.

“Once there was a need for people like me to fight, to put things in order. Now we have order and prosperity … and time has come for changes in the Chechen Republic.”

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.
@ItsDanAvery