Ramzan Kadyrov is some guy. The Chechen leader is close pals with Putin, has been accused of torture, kidnappings and assassinations around Chechnya, and loves to flex on Instagram! Standout posts include the dead body of an Islamic militant with the caption “Dogs will die like dogs,” and a photo of Chechen-American Dzhokhar Tsarnaev with a caption implying that the American government was involved in the Boston bombing attacks.
Recently, after a highly controversial forced wedding took place between 17-year-old Kheda Goylabiyeva and the republic’s police chief, Nazhud Guchigov (who is at least 30 years older than his bride, and is reportedly still married to his first wife), Kadyrov reacted strongly to public criticism against the wedding, which he wholeheartedly supported (and attended) and compared to the “wedding of the century” between Prince William and Kate Middleton. Business Insider reports that Guchigov “reportedly threatened her parents, demanding that he marry her on the day of her 17th birthday, May 1, and even warned that he would kidnap Goylabiyeva if she attempted to leave her house.”
According to the New York Times, Kadyrov refuted claims that the marriage was forced:
Two days after the report was published, the Chechen leader endorsed the marriage publicly, telling Novaya Gazeta: “I personally sent people to find out if she agrees to this or not! And her mother said that the girl agrees! And the grandfather on the father’s side has given his permission! And the issue has been resolved!”
On Monday, Kadyrov released a broadcast on state television advising Chechen men to block their wives from using the WhatsApp messaging service. Further, he added: “Lock them in, do not let them go out, then they will not post anything.” According to the Times:
Varvara Pakhomenko of the International Crisis Group told The Telegraph’s Moscow correspondent Tom Parfitt: “This has become a common sight on Chechen television: Ramzan Kadyrov, in the presence of officials, reprimands residents of the republic — it could be bureaucrats, it could be women who wear skirts that are too short or women who went to a cafe without their husbands, people who were detained for taking drugs.”
She added, “It’s shown in public on television in order that people understand there can be no dissenting opinions about Kadyrov’s decision to support the wedding.”
Upsetting on multiple levels.
Tradition requires demure bride at Chechen wedding but this 17-yr-old marrying 47-yr-old man looks simply devastated. pic.twitter.com/BcrSkSQzMF
May 16, 2015
Chechen wedding scandal, leader's defiance put Putin in bind t.co/dBWgP18z85 pic.twitter.com/Xg4LyPWTMu
May 20, 2015
A photo from yesterday's big Chechen wedding. The 17-year-old bride and her police-captain husband's other wife. pic.twitter.com/SGfy16OZHY
May 17, 2015
Image via Associated Press.
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