Chechnya's leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, has threatened to obliterate Putin’s opposition critics in Russia, entailing an uncertain future for critics and independent media in Kremlin.
Former rebel fighter Kadyrov, called Putin's critics a "gang of jackals" who "dream of destroying our state," through a long diatribe in pro-Kremlin daily Izvestiya.
"We will save Russia if we don't spare the enemy," he wrote.
The son of assassinated President Akhmad Kadyrov wrote that he considers himself as "Putin's foot soldier" and offered to put the opposition in a Chechen asylum where "there won't be a shortage of injections."
The comments created strong public criticism over the leader, climaxing on Siberian lawmaker Konstantin Senchenko, calling Kadyrov "the shame of Russia" over abusing his wealth and power.
Later, Senchenko apologised for his comments, writing that he "talked to some Chechen people and became convinced in the authority of the leader of Chechnya," where many believed he implied he was him receiving life threats.
It is believed that several people’s deaths were related to the leader, due to challenging his authority, such as investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya and rights activist Natalia Estemirova.
Kadyrov is also believed to be involved in the murder of critic Boris Nemtsov, who was shot dead last February by suspects allegedly linked to the leader, who was first nominated for presidency by Russian President Putin.
Adding to those threatened is the editor of liberal Echo of Moscow radio, as one of those Kadyrov’s writing referred to, who is looking to reinforce station security.
Russian independent media pointed out that the source of Kadyrov’s writings, as a result of either being betrayed by the Kremlin or a method to sustain his power to the upcoming legislative elections.
"Regardless of the reasons for the Chechen leader's media activity, it's easy to see the gravity of its consequences," wrote Vedomosti daily.