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Chechen leader tells men to open fire on Russian federal troops if they act without approval

FILE -  In this Oct. 5, 2014 file photo Chechen regional leader Ramzan Kadyrov talks with the press in the Chechen regional capital, Grozny, Russia. Ramzan Kadyrov’s comments on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 send a worrying sign about a potential rift between him and the Kremlin. The head of Chechnya has allowed local security forces to open fire on federal troops if they operate in the region without his approval. (AP Photo/Musa Sadulayev, File)

FILE - In this Oct. 5, 2014 file photo Chechen regional leader Ramzan Kadyrov talks with the press in the Chechen regional capital, Grozny, Russia. Ramzan Kadyrov’s comments on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 send a worrying sign about a potential rift between him and the Kremlin. The head of Chechnya has allowed local security forces to open fire on federal troops if they operate in the region without his approval. (AP Photo/Musa Sadulayev, File)  (The Associated Press)

The head of Chechnya has allowed local security forces to open fire on Russian federal troops if they operate in the region without his approval.

Ramzan Kadyrov's Wednesday comments send a worrying sign about a potential rift between him and the Kremlin.

Following the killing of a Chechen man this week at the hands of security forces from a neighboring region, Kadyrov on Wednesday told his forces they can open fire on troops from other regions if they operate without his approval.

In exchange for generous Kremlin funding and the relative calm he has installed in Chechnya, Kadyrov has been allowed to build a security force of his own which has ruled the land for more than a decade. Moscow has largely ignored rampant abuses including torture and extrajudicial killings.