Chechen warlord Ramzan Kadyrov responded to Elon Musk's challenge to fight Putin, saying Musk would get destroyed

Chechen warlord Ramzan Kadyrov responded to Elon Musk's challenge to fight Putin, saying Musk would get destroyed
L-R: Elon Musk, President Vladimir Putin, and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.Patrick Pleul/Pool/AFP / Alexsey Druginyn/AFP / Yelena Afonina/TASS, all via Getty Images
  • The Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said Vladimir Putin would destroy Elon Musk in a fight.
  • It came after Musk challenged Russia's leader to "single combat" to decide Ukraine's fate.

The Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov responded to Elon Musk's surreal offer to fight Russian President Vladimir Putin in single combat over the fate of Ukraine, saying that Musk would face swift defeat.

Kadyrov, a top Putin ally who rules Russia's quasi-autonomous Chechnya region, said Putin would destroy Musk in a fight. "I would not advise you to compete with Putin," he wrote in a lengthy Telegram post.

It came after the Tesla CEO posted on Twitter Monday to challenge Putin to "single combat" over Ukraine.

Kadyrov seemed amused in his response and offered Musk some ways to get stronger before facing Putin. Both Ukrainian and Russian news sources have reported Chechen soldiers fighting in Ukraine, and Kadyrov has claimed to be on the battlefield himself.

Kadyrov noted Putin's qualifications in judo but said this was not the main reason Musk would lose. He said Musk was merely a "businessman and Twitter blogger" compared with Putin, a "world politician, strategist, a scourge of the West and the US."


Putin, he said, "would look unsportsmanlike beating a weaker opponent."

Instead, he said, Musk should undergo training at one of Kadyrov's special-forces academies and at "Fight Club Akhmat" — a chain of Chechen boxing clubs he founded and named after his father, the former Chechen ruler Akhmat Kadyrov.

Ramzan Kadyrov is one of Putin's firmest loyalists. Putin formally handed Kadyrov the leadership of Chechnya in 2011 after Kadyrov spent several years as the region's prime minister.

His personal fighting units have earned a bloodthirsty reputation. While Putin has embraced that image for his own propaganda purposes, an analysis from the think tank New Lines Institute said: "Their operational effectiveness has not lived up to the hype."

In the invasion of Ukraine, Kadyrov has repeatedly called for harsher attacks, frustrated by Russia's lumbering advance. On Sunday, he claimed to be near Kyiv with his soldiers, without providing evidence.


Kadyrov's hypermasculine posturing is underpinned by brutal rule. According to Human Rights Watch, he has led a crackdown on LGBTQ rights and is known for extensive use of torture, forced disappearances, and extrajudicial killings, all tolerated by Putin.