Czech police say a horse reportedly belonging to Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has been stolen from a stud farm near Prague, online media Idnes reported on Tuesday.
The 16-year-old English thoroughbred ‘Zazou’ disappeared in the early hours of Saturday. He’s worth some 20,000 USD.
The statement said a chain securing the sliding doors to the stable had been removed and the horse led away, presumably under cover of darkness.
“Litoměřice police received a report about the theft of a horse from a stable in Krabčice. The theft probably took place on the night of March 3-4,” local police spokesman Pavel Kofrov said.
The stallion is part of the property that was sanctioned by the European Union nine years ago. The horse has a characteristic white mark on its forehead in the shape of a star.
In March 2022, the local media reported another attempt to take Zazou from the stable, together with a second Kadyrov-owned horse. About a month before Russia invaded Ukraine, two Russian-speaking men came to the barn claiming they had to move the horses to Poland. After the barn owner refused to cooperate, they spent five days camping in their trailer not far from the barn.
The horse, purchased by the Putin ally in 2012, was reportedly part of Kadyrov’s assets that were frozen following Russia’s full-scale of invasion of Ukraine last year.
Under European Union sanctions, any prize money from races was to go towards the horses’ upkeep, but the rest has been frozen – a move that has enraged Mr. Kadyrov.
“What can we say about human rights in the West, if they crudely violate the rights of horses, the most peaceful, kind and gentle animals in the world?” Mr. Kadyrov asked on his Facebook page, in comments reported by the Moscow Times.
The investigation is underway, the police’s representative told the media.