Russian President Vladimir Putin has bestowed an award on the leader of Chechnya — just as the North Caucasus strongman hailed the suspected killer of an opposition politician as a "true patriot."

Documents posted on the Kremlin website Monday listed Ramzan Kadyrov as a recipient of the Order of Honor, which is given in recognition of achievements in public life.

Kadyrov drew criticism from government opponents Sunday after praising a suspect in the murder of Kremlin foe Boris Nemtsov as a "deeply religious man," committed to Russia. Kadyrov said the suspect may have been offended by Nemtsov's comments after the attack on French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo.

Putin also granted a medal for "services to the motherland" to a man British police say poisoned former security services agent Alexander Litvinenko.