May 23, 2013

Todashev buddy Ramzan Kadyrov is the Checheniest Chechen of them all


Reuters is reporting that the father of Chechen refugee Ibragim Todashev, slain by an FBI agent yesterday, is a high ranking government official in Chechnya and "is said to be on close terms with regional leader Ramzan Kadyrov."

So, to get a better sense of just how much huddled massesness it takes to be a refugee these days, I thought I'd read up on the Todashev family's friend, Ramzan Kadyrov.

Ray Sawhill of Uncouth Reflections has coined the phrase "Russia: Awesomest Country on Earth" (for things like this ultraviolent micro-action movie, NSFW). If so, then judging by the Wikipedia page and Instagram account of Chechnya's current leader, we can only conclude: "Chechnya: Awesomest Republic in Russia."

Here are excerpts from Kadyrov's Wikipedia page illustrated with additional photographs, many of them from Kadyrov's Instagram website and from the excellent blog F*** Yeah Ramzan Kadyrov.
Ramzan Kadyrov

RK and Mike Tyson
Ramzan is a son of former Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov, who was assassinated in May 2004. In February 2007, Kadyrov replaced Alu Alkhanov as President, shortly after he had turned 30, which is the minimum age for the post. He has the support of current Russian President Vladimir Putin and was awarded the Hero of Russia medal, the highest honorary title of Russia. 
Kadyrov was engaged in violent power struggles; with Chechen government warlords Sulim Yamadayev and Said-Magomed Kakiev for overall military authority, and with Alu Alkhanov for political authority.
RK and Diego Maradona
As Head of Chechnya, Kadyrov has been credited for bringing peace and stability to the region.[citation needed] On the other hand, he has come under heavy criticism from the international press and Russia, due to alleged corruption and human rights violations.
Kadyrov was born in Tsentoroi, RSFSR, USSR. A reckless and impetuous person at school, Ramzan Kadyrov strove to gain the respect of his father Akhmad Kadyrov, a Muslim imam. He claims that he always emulated his father. Ramzan enjoys boxing and once met with former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson.[3] In the early 1990s, as the Soviet Union splintered into fragments, the Chechens launched a bid for independence. The Kadyrovs joined the struggle against the federal forces, with Ramzan driving a car for his father Akhmad, who became the separatist mufti of Chechnya.[citation needed]
The Kadyrov clan defected to the Moscow side at the beginning of the Second Chechen War in 1999. Since then, Ramzan has led his militia with support from Russia's FSB state security service (including service ID cards) becoming the head of the Chechen Presidential Security Service. The militia later became known as the Kadyrovites. 
RK,  J.C. van Damme and Hilary Swank 
He was falsely rumoured to have died of a gunshot wound inflicted by his bodyguard on 28 April 2004.[4]

After his father, then President, was assassinated on 9 May 2004, Ramzan was appointed Deputy Prime Minister of the Chechen Republic.
When his sister was detained by the Dagestan police in January 2005, Ramzan and some 150 armed men drove to the Khasavyurt City Police (GOVD) building. According to the city mayor, Kadyrov's men surrounded the GOVD, forcing its duty officers against the wall and assaulted them, after which they left the building with Zulai Kadyrova, "victoriously shooting in the air."[5] 
RK and pet
In August 2005, Ramzan declared that "Europe's largest mosque" would be built in place of the demolished ruins of Grozny's shattered downtown.[6] He also claimed that Chechnya is the "most peaceful place in Russia" and in a few years it would also be "the wealthiest and the most peaceful" place in the world. He said that the war was already over with only 150 "bandits" remaining (as opposed to the official figures of 700 to 2,000 rebel fighters), and that thanks to his father, 7,000 separatists had already defected to the Russian side since 1999. 
When responding to a question on how he is going to "avenge the murder of his father", Ramzan said: 
Kadyrov escorting the Prophet's
Golden Bowl to Grozny mosque
I've already killed him, whom I ought to kill. And those, who stay behind him, I will be killing them, to the very last of them, until I am myself killed or jailed. I will be killing [them] for as long as I live... Putin is gorgeous. He thinks more about Chechnya than about any other republic [of the Russian Federation]. When my father was murdered, he [Putin] came and went to the cemetery in person. Putin has stopped the war. Putin should be made president for life. Strong rule is needed. Democracy is all but an American fabrication... Russians never obey their laws. Everyone was stealing, and only Khodorkovsky is in jail.[7][8][9] 
Following a car accident in December 2005, in which Chechnya's prime minister Sergey Abramov was injured, Ramzan functioned as the caretaker prime minister. He immediately proceeded to implement elements of Sharia law, such as declaring a ban on gambling and alcohol production.[10]
RK and Gerard Depardieu
In February 2006, responding to the publication of the Mohammed cartoons, he accused the Danes of "spying" and being "pro-terrorist". He also banned Danish citizens from entering Chechnya, effectively banning activity of the Danish Refugee Council, the largest NGO working in the region. Kadyrov is quoted as saying, "That cartoonist needs to be buried alive." He was eventually pressed to overturn this decision by Moscow, a rare example of federal intervention in Kadyrov's rule in the republic.[11] 
RK and Gerard Depardieu inspect monster truck on Tuesday
On 1 March 2006, Sergey Abramov resigned from the position of prime minister and told Itar-Tass news agency that he did so "on the condition that Ramzan Kadyrov lead the Chechen government." This was followed by a decree of Kadyrov forcing women to wear headscarves; he also rejected a federal appropriation of the republic's budget, demanding more money, and called for all federal forces but the border guards to be withdrawn.
Shortly after taking office, Kadyrov approved a project to erect a presidential palace on a 30-acre (120,000 m2) plot by the Sunzha River in ruined downtown Grozny. The project, which will also include a five-star hotel and recreational facilities, is estimated to cost around 1.5 billion rubles ($54 million USD) to build. ... Reuters quoted him as saying that "liquidating the refugee camps will allow us to uncover spies who are working for foreign intelligence services".[12] 
... In 2006, leaked cables from an American diplomat recounted a lavish wedding attended by Kadyrov in Russia's Caucasus region in which guests threw $100 bills at child dancers, and which had nighttime "water-scooter jaunts on the Caspian Sea", and a report that Ramzan Kadyrov gave the newly married couple a "five-kilo lump of gold".[16] 
... On 15 February 2007, Putin signed a decree removing Alkhanov and installing Kadyrov as Chechen's acting president.[17] ... Critics allege that Ramzan Kadyrov is actively building his own "vertical of power" in the republic, and encouraging nepotism by placing men of the Beno clan in all the leading and important positions.
After the car-bomb attack on Yunus-bek Yevkurov, president of the neighboring Republic of Ingushetia on 22 June 2009, Kadyrov claimed that the Kremlin had ordered him to fight insurgents there, and during his subsequent visit to the republic on 24 June pledged ruthless vengeance.[21]
In late December 2009, Kadyrov claimed that remaining rebels were getting financed by "The West"; "I officially declare this: those who destroyed the Soviet Union, those who want to destroy the Russian Federation, they stand behind them". He also suggested he did not seek another term as President and that Russia should attack Georgia and Ukraine "It's Russia's private affliction; why should we always suffer if we can eradicate this for good?".[22] 
As reported by the Caucasian Knot, an independent human rights resource, on 5 February 2009, "in the course of his meeting in Grozny with Ramzan Ampukaev, representative of the Chechen Diaspora in Europe, Ramzan Kadyrov invited former militants, now living in Europe, to come back home":
Mr. Kadyrov and I are in complete agreement on the desirability of Chechens returning to Chechnya.
... An assassination attempt on Kadyrov and a parliament member Adam Delimkhanov was averted on 23 October 2009, by the police. Chechen Deputy interior minister Roman Edilov said the police shot dead the driver of a speeding car filled with a 200-litre tanker after firing warning shots shortly before Kadyrov was to arrive at a construction site. The driver of the car was later identified as a militant leader (so-called Urus-Martan emir Beslan Bashtayev).[27][28] Said-Emi Khizriev, who played a role in organizing the attack, was killed by Russian police who tried to arrest him in the Michurin village in Grozny.[29]

Sounds a little like the FBI shooting of young Todashev in Florida?
RK's Instagram caption: "Dear friends, I will reveal a secret to you, but please don't tell anybody. I have sent my double to work instead of me today. Let's see how he manages!"
Kadyrov has been personally implicated in several instances of torture and murder. A number of Chechens opposed to Kadyrov have been assassinated abroad, and several witnesses (including Artur Kurmakaev and Ruslan Khalidov) report the existence of a 300-name "Murder List".[30] 
... A mutinied commander, Movladi Baisarov, said that Kadyrov "acts like a medieval tyrant. If someone tells the truth about what is going on, it's like signing one's own death warrant. Ramzan is a law unto himself. He can do anything he likes. He can take any woman and do whatever he pleases with her. (...) Ramzan acts with total impunity. I know of many people executed on his express orders and I know exactly where they were buried".[31] On 18 November 2006, Baisarov was killed in an ambush by members of Kadyrov's police on Moscow's Leninsky Prospekt, only a few hundred meters from the Kremlin. 
... On 23 October 2006, a criminal case was registered on the basis of the video tape frames published by the Novaya Gazeta newspaper in Anna Politkovskaya's article. Sergey Sokolov, deputy editor-in-chief of the paper, told the Echo Moskvy Radio that it can be clearly seen in the video as to how "Kadyrov's military forces are beating federal soldiers" with participation of "a man looking like Ramzan Kadyrov".[35] On 7 October 2006, Politkovskaya was found shot dead in an elevator in her apartment in Moscow. 
... The Memorial group investigator stated in its report: "Considering the evidence we have gathered, we have no doubt that most of the crimes which are being committed now in Chechnya are the work of Kadyrov’s men. There is also no doubt in our minds that Kadyrov has personally taken part in beating and torturing people. What they are doing is pure lawlessness. To make matters worse, they also go after people who are innocent, whose names were given by someone being tortured to death. He and his henchmen spread fear and terror in Chechnya. (...) They travel by night as death squads, kidnapping civilians, who are then locked in a torture chamber, raped and murdered".[37]
I don't know what this is
... Ramzan is rumoured to own a private prison in his stronghold of Tsentoroi, his home village south-east of Grozny. Fields around Tsentoroi are allegedly mined and all access routes are blocked by checkpoints. ...
A video leaked out in which armed men, loyal to Kadyrov, displayed the severed head of a Chechen guerrilla (who was killed in July 2006) for public display in the village of Kurchaloi, marking the brutality of his forces. They mounted the head on a pipe, together with blood-stained trousers and put a cigarette on him.  
On 15 July 2009, Natalia Estemirova, a member of Memorial society, who investigated the alleged abuses by government-backed militias in Chechnya, was abducted and shot to death.[48] Memorial's chairman Oleg Orlov accused Kadyrov of being behind the murder,[49] and claimed that Kadyrov had openly threatened her by saying: "Yes, my arms are up to the elbows in blood. And I am not ashamed of that. I have killed and will kill bad people".[50] Kadyrov denied any involvement in the killing and promised to investigate the killing personally. He condemned the killers, and in response to Orlov's accusations, said: "You are not a prosecutor or a judge therefore your claims about my guilt are not ethical, to put it mildly, and are insulting to me. I am sure that you have to think about my rights before declaring for everyone to hear that I am guilty of Estemirova's death."[51] It was later reported that Kadyrov would be suing Memorial for defamation and slander, targeting Orlov personally with his complaint.[51][52]

On 12 March 2006, a Chechen separatist website posted a short video shot on a mobile phone of a party in a sauna involving two alleged prostitutes and several men, including one who looks and sounds exactly like Ramzan Kadyrov, seen dancing with a young, half-naked woman and trying to rip her bra off. ... Andrew Osborn, Moscow reporter for the Independent, reports that "Mr Kadyrov's aides have laughed off the grainy video ... as a 'provocation'.".[53][54] However, one of people close to Kadyrov confirmed that such orgies are conducted on a regular basis[55]

... In 2009, Kadyrov stated his approval of honor killings, based on the belief that women are the property of their husbands.[57]

Since 1996 Kadyrov is married to Medni Musaevna Kadyrova (born 7 September 1978) and they have eight children: ...
Kadyrov is a noted collector of sports cars. He owns a Lamborghini Reventón, one of only 20 made.[59][60] He is also known for his extensive collection of Chechen daggers.[61][62] On 5 October 2011, he celebrated his 35th birthday in a lavish fashion in the presence of several Hollywood stars, including the actor Jean-Claude Van Damme and the actress Hilary Swank as well as British violinist Vanessa-Mae, singer Seal and many others.[63] When asked where the money for the live-televised celebration were coming from, he reportedly laughed and said "Allah gives it to us", before adding: "I don't know, it comes from somewhere".[64]

Sorry if most of the text is kind of a bummer, what with all the death squads and what not, but I needed something to space out the pictures. I'll leave you with this one:

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

In one of those pictures, where he's holding a broom, he's coming out of the Kaaba, Islam's holiest site.

Based on his hair coloring one would suspect Russian admixture, but his facial features aren't Slavic at all.

Anonymous said...

Ramzan Kadyrov doesn't always drink bear, but when he does he drinks Dos Equis.

Luke Lea said...

I didn't realize Sawhill was blogging again. Thanks for the heads up.

sunbeam said...

Except for the fact he is Muslim I'd say he was an Avatar of everything Russian.

They might not be as good at it, and there are a lot more aspects of that culture than this particular one.

But I'd wager that a lot of Russians have a Ramzan inside them just waiting for the money and thug army to come out.

I've been reading your recent Chechen posts off an on. It kind of strikes me that they are not really devout about alcohol, though that might just be a mistaken impression.

Another impression is that Islam doesn't seem to really be the driving force in that culture to me. I'd imagine they would be very similar if they were Russian Orthodox, or still worshiping Pagan Gods. Just seems like what this particular part of the world produces.

HAR said...

Vice had dinner with this lunatic and it was as crazy as you would think

http://tinyurl.com/c28359g

While we can laugh at this, remember that a million people live under the heel of this psycho. I've always found it strange how it's not nice to make jokes about past atrocities (Holocaust, Stalin, etc.), but no one bats an eye when we laugh at Kadyrov or North Korea, which involves modern suffering on a large scale.

HAR said...

"Another impression is that Islam doesn't seem to really be the driving force in that culture to me. I'd imagine they would be very similar if they were Russian Orthodox, or still worshiping Pagan Gods. Just seems like what this particular part of the world produces."

I think that being Muslim adds an extra dynamic to their insanity. LIke it motivates 5% of the population to be crazy and fanatical, and other secular guys are forced to keep up to be as masculine. Same with the Pashtos.

Notice how there are no Christian Chechens or Pashtos. WIthout the militant faith, the population mellows out.

Christians in Lebanon fought in the civil war, but over the decades they left the country to the Muslims who could maintain a high level of aggression long term.

Dave Pinsen said...

William Monahan needs to write a screenplay about Chechens and get it in Martin Scorsese's hands ASAP.

Anonymous said...

"Except for the fact he is Muslim I'd say he was an Avatar of everything Russian."

Sunbeam, Russians are macho, but in a very different way. Russian machismo is a bit like Texan machismo. Caucasus machismo is like Sicilian machismo squared. There are huge differences between those.

Anonymous said...

"I don't know what this is"

Steve, I think he's walking out of the Kaaba. The Kaaba is sometimes ceremonially cleaned by foreign dignitaries. That's why he's holding a broom. It's supposed to be a great honor.

Gnosis Sisong said...

Mike Tyson is a good judge of people so that's good enough for me.

Steve Sailer said...

"Russians are macho, but in a very different way."

Awhile ago I looked up the alleged "Putin Palace" on the Black Sea expecting it to be really over the top, but it was actually fairly tasteful in an 18th Century Enlightened Despot sort of way. Frederick the Great would have been okay with it.

Anonymous said...

If only USA could Lend Lease this guy, our problems would be squared away pronto. I want to see the photo of him riding a girls bike, not with tigers, or AK's.
Although there is that Dukakis moment. Still & all...

Steve Sailer said...

"but no one bats an eye when we laugh at Kadyrov or North Korea, which involves modern suffering on a large scale."

The text of my posting is depressing, so I worked a lot harder on the pictures.

Anonymous said...

OK, some the differences between the Russian and Caucasus types of machismo:

The peoples of the Caucasus are extended-family oriented in the usual Middle Eastern/Mediterranean way. Blood feuds, extreme jealousy, very controlling behavior with women.

Blood feuds are unheard of among Russians and the ethnic Russian attitude to women is similar to Western attitudes before the spread of feminism in the late 1960s. It's not particularly controlling.

There is a specific type of tackiness that is common to Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and South Asian cultures. Russians find it ridiculous, alien, self-evidently comical. When tackiness is found among Russians, it's more of the country bumpkin variety, not of the gypsy kings/Arabian Nights variety. The peoples of the Caucasus go in for Arabian Nights tackiness.

Russians aren't as egalitarian as Scandinavians or Germans, but they're far more egalitarian than Caucasus natives. The who-does-he-think-he-is instinct does exist among them. Stalin wanted to be worshiped, but that was because he was a Caucasus native. Khruschov, Brezhnev, Gorbachov, Yeltsin were not worshiped, and neither is Putin. Russians find that sort of worship distasteful.

Anonymous said...

Wow. A party hearty Muslim.
Actually looks like kind of a fun guy. Except,... you know,... the murders and stuff.

Eric said...

Awhile ago I looked up the alleged "Putin Palace" on the Black Sea expecting it to be really over the top, but it was actually fairly tasteful in an 18th Century Enlightened Despot sort of way. Frederick the Great would have been okay with it.

For all that he's a ruthless bastard, Putin is pretty sophisticated, culturally. He's a thug, but he's not just a thug like Kadyrov.

Harry Baldwin said...

When his sister was detained by the Dagestan police in January 2005, Ramzan and some 150 armed men drove to the Khasavyurt City Police (GOVD) building. According to the city mayor, Kadyrov's men surrounded the GOVD, forcing its duty officers against the wall and assaulted them, after which they left the building with Zulai Kadyrova, "victoriously shooting in the air."

Just once in my life I've got to do something like this.

as said...

Great photos.

Dave Pinsen said...

RK is like The Hangover movie series personified.

Whiskey said...

Funny, the guy looks like WWE Wrestler Daniel Bryan. Really.

rob said...

HAR said...
I've always found it strange how it's not nice to make jokes about past atrocities (Holocaust, Stalin, etc.), but no one bats an eye when we laugh at Kadyrov or North Korea, which involves modern suffering on a large scale.


It's easy to imagine that the past could have been different. The Nazis were a thin layer of crazy over a civilized people. Most modern atrocities are savages being themselves. Anyone running a region full of Chechens who wasn't a Kadyrov clone wouldn't be in power long before a Kadyrov killed him and started being more Checheny. Problem with Chechnya is that it's full of Chechens.

It's not a problem for the Chechens though. Sexual selection gives women the sort of men they want after a few generations. Chechen women might be the happiest on earth. The Chechen men probably aren't as happy and wish they had easier victims than other Chechens.

hbd chick said...

ramzan kadyrov - the man putin's always wanted to be. (~_^)

Ray Sawhill said...

Great posting. (And many thanks for the mention.)

Steve Johnson said...

Whiskey said...

"Funny, the guy looks like WWE Wrestler Daniel Bryan. Really."

How does a man who knows so much about comic books and professional wrestling manage to know as much as you've been shown to know about world affairs and history?

Not much of a mystery actually.

Anonymous said...

During vacations, the rest of us europeans bump into the upwardly mobile russians in the resorts. Quite entertaining; loudmouthed, assertive, prolish yet somewhat traditional. Free buffet? They'll eat it all. The women? Look hot, nothing else matters to them. In a way, i like russians, but from a distance.

It's whites jim, but not as we know it.

Anonymous said...

I think this is Steve's best post ever. The pictures are brilliant.

Anonymous said...

Steve, I think you've found your subject. Or maybe the other way around. I'd recommend you turn this into a graphic novel -- sort of a Saileresque Waugh in Abyssinia set in the Caucuses -- except that might be dangerous, given how other writers covering Kadyrov have fared.

What I want to know is this: given how small and Checheny Chechnya is, why hasn't he found Doku Umarov, Russia's Bin Laden? Or maybe he's in Abbottabod, too.

Steve Sailer said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dokka_Umarov

Maybe Ramzan's been too busy with monster trucks and Instagram to catch him?

TontoBubbaGoldstein said...

"I don't know what this is"

*With apologies to The Talking Heads and/or Weird Al....*



You may ask yourself...
Why the blue suit?

You may ask yourself...
WTF's up with the broom?

You may find yourself...
On the steps
Of a shrine
With a meteorite
In a small desert town
In the middle of Arabia.....

............................

Hajj or pilgrimage....
Once in a lifetime...

Anonymous said...

Steve, take care - don't piss this guy off. Drawing the ire of bookish Jews is one thing (in 2013), drawing the ire of crazy, journalist-killing tinpot dictators is another. Leave that to your anonymous commentators.

In some respects, one wonders if a place like Chechnya can be ruled by anyone other than someone like RK with his death squads. And if not, should we care? A more strait laced Georgian type like Stalin would not host the crass orgies that RK appears to indulge in, but the execution of anyone who could possibly pose a threat to his regime is a common thread of the few leaders I know from around those parts.

The overriding point is - why invite crazies into your country? What do we owe them?

DPG said...

Word has it that they were going to cast Ramzan as the next Bond villain, but test audiences found him "too unbelievable."

Said one viewer: "the guy waves around a golden gun, hangs a picture of Vladimir Putin proudly, and forces women to wear Burkas. I mean, come on, nobody like that exists."

Mr. Anon said...

What were Jean-Claude van Damme and Hillary Swank doing at the tyrants Birthday party? Why is Elizabeth Hurley petting kittens with him? These idiots should be as ashamed of themselves as all the liberal dictator jock sniffers (Sean Penn, Oliver Stone, Steven Spielberg, etc.) who pay homage to Castro.

Gnosis Sisong said...

Steve: Are we all going to ignore the elephant in the room or are we going to deal with the fact that Kadyrov knows MISTER STEVEN SEAGAL!!!!!!

sunbeam said...

Mr. Anon said:

"What were Jean-Claude van Damme and Hillary Swank doing at the tyrants Birthday party? Why is Elizabeth Hurley petting kittens with him? These idiots should be as ashamed of themselves as all the liberal dictator jock sniffers (Sean Penn, Oliver Stone, Steven Spielberg, etc.) who pay homage to Castro."

Usually it is because they get paid to.

There is another reason I think, publicity. No publicity is bad publicity.

Look, I'm not a muslim, not making apologies for these guys, and it is not an impression of America unique to these two brothers, or the Sudanese girl.

The true religious faith of America is money. Consumerism is the religion. In Mammon We Trust.

These guys will get some green to show up at his birthday parties. Or they will get rewarded with a juicy photo that will run in the tabloids. If they play their cards right they will get face time on tv, talking about their "controversial trip to {insert someplace here}."

Kind of like all those starlets who were forgetting to wear underwear in public for a while, till that fad ran it's course. I kind of expect ol' Lindsay to roll out the muff shot any day now, her career (and boobs) are getting kinda long in the tooth.

Get your name going enough, and you will make it to heaven. Famous for being famous. Know what's better than being a patriotic nobody no one is hiring for roles? An edgy iconoclast who travels in interesting circles.

Put me in Iron Man, baby.

See it's all a gag. And it works because we are not a serious people, and we go along with the gag.