The Kremlin-backed strongman leader of Chechnya says he will seek another term in office.

Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechnya's president since 2007, had said earlier this year that he considered his mission to be complete. His term was to expire in April, but Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed him interim leader until a September election.

Russian news agencies cited Kadyrov as saying Saturday he has filed to run in the election.

Putin has relied on Kadyrov to stabilize Chechnya after two separatist wars, effectively allowing him to rule the region like a personal fiefdom. Critics allege human rights violations have been widespread under Kadyrov.

The suspected triggerman in the 2015 killing of prominent Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov was an officer in Kadyrov's security force.