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Checheniest Chechen of Them All

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I was walking down Massachusetts Avenue in 2002 when Dick Cheney’s motorcade of about 15 vehicles roared by, sirens wailing, toward the White House. I thought to myself, Wow, I don’t know … If I had to put the rest of the world to so much trouble every time I wanted to go to a Cabinet meeting to bully the President into invading Iraq, I’d probably just stay home and not bother.

But now I think: Cheney was a piker by Chechen standards … Via Iron Rails Iron Weights, here’s video of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov going for a drive. I count at least 82 government vehicles (followed by a couple of dozen scragglier cars that perhaps were driven by in-laws of Presidential dogwalkers and other lesser members of the Kadyrov entourage).

I hear more than a dozen bursts from automatic weapons being fired into the air from the Presidential motorcade.

Admit it: What else are sunroofs good for? You let that car salesman talk you into spending an extra $3400 on the LX package with the sunroof, but you’ve barely opened it since.

If you were a Chechen, however, you could shoot your AK-47 off through the sunroof while steering with your left elbow and swigging vodka from the bottle (or, if it were Ramadan, chewing some primo khat).

Also, in Chechnya an automatic weapon makes an excellent lane change signal in case the bulb in your tail light has burned out. Don’t you hate it when that happens?

A lot of things would be awesomer if you were a Chechen.

Have you ever noticed that chicks dig Chechens? I’m just sayin …

P.S., In my Comments, some spoil-sport good government weenie adds:

Here’s a higher quality video of a different Kadyrov motorcade. 

No automatic gunfire though.

Are you sure? It’s hard to tell, but what’s that stuttering sound at 3:39 to 3:41?

But this one has 6 minutes of cars going past.

Yeah, but they are mostly obeying the speed limit, so what’s the fun of that?

I can confirm that just when you think it’s over, those are the crappier cars and it’s still the motorcade. 

To Steve’s point – can you imagine being so self-important that you have 100 cars escort you? Can you imagine debasing yourself by being the driver of some psychopath’s 100th escort car?  

Is this a good time to be a manufacturer of siren units for cars?  

If we had Steve’s immigration safety board, would they notice any problems with immigrants from countries where the police fire their weapons out the window?

You got something against vibrancy?

P.S. In Tyler Cowen’s Beantopia, there will be a certain number of promising new jobs as the drivers of 200th-300th cars in motorcades. 

As Ramzan Kadyrov would say, Average Is Over!

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I clicked on the ESPN feature “Where is Olympic flame today?” and … yeah, I should have guessed:

Torch watch: Where is Olympic flame today? 

A leader of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, runs with an Olympic torch in Grozny, the regional capital of the southern Russian Caucasus province of Chechnya, during the Olympic torch relay.  

In other Chechen news, Larry David buys a detonator from Tibor the Chechen.

In future Chechen news:

Ex-Chechen Strongwoman Denounces Putin in Cannes
New York Times, May 14, 2015

Wearing a stunning floor-length Givenchy gown, former Chechen strongwoman Ramzana Kadyrova was the center of photographers’ attention once again as she walked the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival. Fired by Vladimir Putin after Chechen rebels dressed as biathletes shot up the grandstand at the Sochi Winter Olympics, Kadyrova was reduced to obscurity until she electrified the global media last fall by announcing that she had “always felt like a girl on the inside.” 

Since then, she has become the bearded, lantern-jawed face of the global struggle for transgender rights, as she passed up no photo opportunity to denounce the Russian president for his vicious transphobia. Her campaign climaxed last night with the debut at Cannes of the new movie she originally executive produced when still ruling Chechnya in 2013. The frontrunner for the Palme D’Or, this rapturously-received protest film entitled Fire Me? Putin, You Bastard, I Fire You! stars Steven Seagal, Gerard Depardieu, Jean-Claude van Damme, Hilary Swank, Mike Tyson, Elizabeth Hurley, and Diego Maradona as a crew of veteran mercenaries who fight transphobia wherever it raises its hateful head. A GCI version of the Russian president appears to have been added in post-production and much of the film consists of Putin being blown up in numerous fireballs, eaten by a tiger, and repeatedly run over by a monster truck. 

During the 15 minute standing ovation after the lights came up, Kadyrova took the stage with her stars and was initially ecstatically gratified. But as the applause went on and on, almost as if none of the assembled celebrities dared be the first to sit down, she seemed to grow bored and mischievous. Eventually, she pulled out a solid gold pistol and, winking broadly, goosed Ms. Hurley and Ms. Swank with it. Then Kadyrova hiked up her dress to ostentatiously scratch her testicles, and finally she urinated, quite accurately, on Michael J. Fox sitting in the third row.

Observers were unanimous in their condemnation of Putin, who is currently digging in at Volgograd for what promises to be his last stand against NATO’s tanks. “Along the banks of the quietly flowing Volga, Operation Engendering Freedom shall leave no stone atop another stone,” promised Vice President Josephina Biden, whose campaign to become the first female Democratic presidential nominee has soared since the invasion of Russia began. Ms. Biden trumped Hilary Clinton’s effort to become the first woman President by declaring herself not just a woman but a pre-op transgender lesbian and marrying Miley Cyrus. Polls predict Ms. Biden will meet the Republican frontrunner, former California governor Arlene Schwarzenegger, in the White House’s first all-woman race.


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Ramzan Kadyrov is the hereditary warlord appointed puppet ruler of Chechnya by Vladimir Putin. 
He has a famous Instagram account where he posts pictures of himself punching out failing ministers, inspecting monster trucks with Gerard Depardieu, showing off his golden gun, sending his body double to work in his place, and the like. 

He’s living the dream of eight-year-old Chechen boys everywhere. He’s the Checheniest Chechen of them all.

Kadyrov was in the news recently asserting that his crack security forces had disposed of some top terrorist bandit threatening the Sochi Olympics.

But with the Olympics coming to the Caucasus, Kadyrov appears to have been put on his best behavior, Instagram-wise. 
Now it’s mostly Ramzan as an ecumenical Father Christmas, or piously making another pilgrimage to Mecca. Apparently, they didn’t let him sweep out the Kabaa like last time.

We get an occasional picture of the old Ramzan, but mostly he seems to be trying to maintain a low Instagram profile until this Olympic thing is over. It must be killing him to know that all the cameras in the world are going to be only 400 miles away and they won’t be pointing at him.
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When I was young, one of the most popular predictions was that the Saud ruling family of Saudi Arabia was on its last legs and would topple any day now. After all, Saudi Arabia is the greatest prize in human history, as the secret American geological mission during WWII wrote back to FDR. 

And the Saudis don’t impress that many visitors. But, generation after generation, they seem to be able to scrape together enough brains to figure things out and bet accordingly. 

So, there they are. The Shah is gone, the Soviets are gone, Saddam is gone, Qadaffy is gone, the Assad family is bad shape, Morsi is out of power, and so forth, while the Sauds are still there. In fact, they seem to be in a lot of places these days, although the recent American opening toward Iran has to count as a setback. The Israelis are still there, of course, but Israel and Saudi Arabia never got along all that badly and seem to be pretty buddy-buddy these days.

The War Nerd writes:

Let’s try a different theory: that the Saudis know exactly what they’re doing. That they are, in fact, geniuses at exporting trouble while keeping the homeland quiet. What other Middle Eastern faction has held power as long as the House of Saud? They’re coming up on a century in control of the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and in that century they’ve buried a lot of groups that looked a lot shinier and more modern, starting with the Al Rashidi, who were more cosmopolitan, tolerant, and adaptable than the Sauds. The Sauds crushed them anyway.

Same with the Hashemites, although they’ve hung on to little Jordan.

Then there was the rise of the Communists. Nobody even remembers that 50 years ago the Middle East was crowded with clever, university-educated Marxist Arabs who were going to sweep the bad old monarchies away. Now, the last Marxists in Syria are a very small, weird militia fighting with Assad against a tidal wave of Sunni jihadism. 

The Ba’ath, who were going to secularize and modernize the Arab world, have seen their ideology vanish completely, so that even the guys fighting for so-called Ba’athists like Assad are openly fighting for their sect, not pan-Arab socialism. 

The Middle East has been Saudi-ized while we looked on and laughed at those goofy Saudis who didn’t understand progress. No wonder they’re content to play dumb. If we took a serious look at them, they’d be terrifying. 

And of all their many skills, the one the Saudis have mastered most thoroughly is disruption. Not the cute tech-geek kind of disruption, but the real, ugly thing-in-itself. They don’t just “turn a blind eye” to young Saudi men going off to do jihad—they cheer them on. It’s a brilliant strategy that kills two very dangerous birds with one plane ticket. By exporting their dangerous young men, the Saudis rid themselves of a potential troublemaker while creating a huge amount of pain for the people who live wherever those men end up. 

Saudis have shipped money, sermons, and volunteers to Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Russia’s North Caucasus just as they’re doing now in Syria. It’s a package deal—to get the money, you have to accept the Wahhabism and the volunteers. And it works. The Saudi package is usually resented at first, like it was by the Afghans who were outraged to be told they were “bad Muslims” by Saudi volunteers. 

But Afghan Islam has been Wahhabized over time. The same thing happened much more dramatically in Chechnya, where Saudi volunteers showed they were serious about war and religion, a nice change from the coopted quasi-Soviet imams the Chechens had known before. Saudis like Ibn al-Khattab, Abu al-Walid, and Muhannad (all noms de guerre) provided the only real jobs a young man could get in Chechnya, and in the process did a great job of miring the Chechens in an endless war that has killed something like 160,000 people while forcing Chechen women into Saudi-style isolation, eventually leaving Chechnya under the control of Ramzan Kadyrov, a second-generation death-squad commander who does most of the Kremlin’s killing for them. This is a typical Saudi aid result: A disaster for the recipients, the Chechens, and their enemies, the Russians, but a huge win for Saudi. Same thing is going on in the rest of Russia’s North Caucasus, especially in Dagestan, where the Boston Marathon bombers’ parents live. 

And one aspect of that victory is the elimination of potentially troublesome young males who might have made trouble inside Saudi. 

Are there more general lessons that can be learned from the success of the Sauds? Maybe they are the wave of the future?

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The Boston Globe finally gets around to asking the question that has been ignored for months: Why in the world were these crazy Chechen dudes legally in the U.S.? 

A few politicians such as Rand Paul had raised the issue, but Sen. Paul’s impertinent skepticism was slapped down by New York Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal, who explained, showing his deep knowledge of the technicalities of the Constitution and of immigration law:

The ethnically Chechen Tsarnaevs came here from neighboring Dagestan. And when did the United States start excluding immigrants from dangerous places? Seems to me that they fall into the categories of “huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” not to mention “wretched refuse” of teeming shores and the “homeless, tempest-tossed.” 

As we all know, those famous phrases are in the Zeroth Amendment, which supersedes all the rest of the Constitution.

Anyway, the Boston Globe looks into the various Chechens’ grants of asylum:

After FBI probes, questions on granting of asylum 

By Maria Sacchetti |  GLOBE STAFF     JULY 05, 2013 

Ibragim Todashev told federal immigration officials he feared persecution in his native Russia and needed safe harbor in the United States. He won asylum in 2008, then a green card. Then, relatives said, Todashev made plans to return to the country he’d fled. 

Before he could follow through on those plans, the 27-year-old was shot and killed in Orlando on May 22 by an FBI agent investigating the Boston Marathon bombings.

Are we ever going to be allowed to hear more about that?

But Todashev’s willingness to return to a place he said he feared is raising new questions about his asylum claim, and focusing new attention on the asylum case of his friend, suspected Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev. 

“I haven’t seen any justification for the granting of asylum to any of them, to be honest,” said Mark Kramer, director of the Cold War Studies program at Harvard, who is not involved in either case. “I am baffled because I’ve known of others who applied and been turned down in cases that seemed to me far more deserving than these.” 

Federal immigration officials say they cannot discuss the cases because asylum claims are generally confidential to protect applicants, who might be victims of war, rape, or other atrocities. But critics say the law also protects people who concoct stories to win asylum and eventually, US citizenship.

Thousands of foreigners seek asylum every year in the United States. According to federal law, to be granted asylum, they must fear persecution in their homeland based on their political opinion, race, religion, nationality,or membership in a particular social group, such as people who are gay or lesbian. 

Federal officials can revoke asylum for reasons that include if immigrants voluntarily return to the homeland they feared, but revocations are rare. Since 1994, immigration officials have rescinded 1,582 asylum grants, less than 1 percent of roughly 300,000 granted during that time. …

Todashev and the Tsarnaevs were ethnic Chechens, and in the past, the US government has granted asylum to Chechens who fled two brutal civil wars that started in 1994, when Russian troops clamped down on an uprising of Islamic separatists in Chechnya, a semiautonomous region in southern Russia. 

But Todashev’s father, Abdulbaki, has told the Globe that his son had no reason to fear persecution in Chechnya. He said his family fled the fighting in Chechnya but returned home five or six years ago. Now he is a department head in the local government.

Ramzan Kadyrov & friends

So, the elder Todashev reports to the mayor of Grozny, who reports to Ramzan Kadyrov, who reports to Vladimir Putin. That’s kind of like the son of Rahm Emanuel’s Commissioner of Streets and Sanitation in Chicago applying for asylum in Switzerland because he wants to work on his slalom skills and is afraid that if Rahm ever loses re-election, his dad’s career will be at risk.

The Todashevs and Tsarnaevs were on the winning side in the Chechen troubles.

“He was too young to fight in the war, and he has nothing to fear here now,” Todashev said. “He would have faced no oppression here.” 

His father said Ibragim left for America in 2008 on an exchange visa to study English. Abdulbaki Todashev also obtained a visa in 2006 but never used it, a federal official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. 

On May 22, a Boston FBI agent shot and killed Ibragim Todashev, who had two prior arrests for violent attacks, after he allegedly initiated a violent confrontation during an interrogation. His family and friends dispute that account and called for an independent investigation. 

Todashev’s father said his son, who recently received a green card, was planning to come home to visit his family. He was the oldest of 12 children.

By his polygamous father’s two wives.

The case of the Tsarnaev family is more complex. Friends and relatives say Anzor Tsarnaev, the father of the suspected Marathon bombers, suffered effects from persecution, though it remains unclear what those effects are. 

His son Tamerlan, 26, died after a shoot-out with police in Watertown, and his other son Dzhokhar, 19, remains in federal custody. 

Relatives said Anzor Tsarnaev came to America in April 2002 and won political asylum, which also likely covered his wife and children. The country he feared persecution in is Kyrgyzstan, the former Soviet republic where he was born, according to a federal official who spoke on condition of anonymity. 

Maret Tsarnaeva, Anzor Tsarnaev’s sister, told the Wall Street Journal that Tsarnaev was fired from his job in the prosecutor’s office in Kyrgyzstan after the second war erupted in Chechnya. She said he suffered persecution in Kyrgyzstan because he was Chechen, and that she helped write his application for asylum. 

“We were lucky to take him out of Kyrgyzstan alive,” Tsarnaeva, who lives in Canada, said in an interview broadcast online after the bombings. She did not elaborate and did not respond to messages left on her cellphone. 

Representatives at the Kyrgyz Embassy in Washington declined to comment but said they would look into reports that Anzor Tsarnaev suffered persecution there. 

About a year ago, according to media reports, Tsarnaev moved to Dagestan, the southern Russia home of his former wife, though researchers say the fighting is now more intense than when he came to America. His former wife, Zubiedat, also returned home, and their son Tamerlan, visited last year. 

Former neighbors in Kyrgyzstan told reporters that Anzor Tsarnaev also visited his hometown of Tokmok in the past year, a decade after he sought asylum.
Anzor Tsarnaev had suffered health problems and divorced in 2011. But one former neighbor said Tsarnaev seemed content. 

“He was very happy and proud of his sons’ success in the US,” Badrudi Tsokoev, a former neighbor told the Associated Press, describing Tsarnaev’s visit. “We also were happy for him.” 

David Filipov contributed to this story. Maria Sacchetti can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @mariasacchetti.

But this ignores Uncle Ruslan’s role in his nephews coming to the U.S. From a June 6th article by Philip Martin of WGBH summarizing a two hour interview with Uncle Ruslan Tsarni, the D.C. area lawyer and international energy industry wheeler-dealer:

At the end of World War II, the Tsarnaevs were forcibly relocated from Chechnya to the Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan. 

As a trained lawyer, Ruslan moved to the U.S. in 1995, living in Washington state. By the end of the ’90s, he moved back to Kyrgyzstan. 

Meanwhile, his brother and sister-in-law, Anzor Tsarnaev and Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, were living hours away with their four children, including Tamerlan and Dzhokhar. 

When Anzor and his wife fled to the U.S. in 2002, they brought with them just one child, young Dzhokhar. Once here, they applied for political asylum. Tamerlan stayed behind with his uncle Ruslan, who told me Tamerlan was a “wonderful 14-year-old.” 

In 2003, Ruslan helped arrange for passports for Tamerlan and his two sisters to rejoin their family who, by then, were living in Cambridge. 

Unmentioned is that Uncle Ruslan used to be married to former CIA insider Graham Fuller’s daughter. The possibility that Uncle Ruslan pulled some deep state strings to get his brother’s family asylum seems worth investigating, but, you know, that stuff’s secret so we’re not supposed to learn about it.

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From the Washington Post:

Russian forces arrest mayor of Dagestan city where Tsarnaev lived
By Kathy Lally, Saturday, June 1, 11:34 AM E-mail the writer 

MOSCOW — The mayor of Dagestan’s largest city, who has survived 15 assassination attempts and employs a large security force to protect him, was arrested on murder charges Saturday by heavily armed forces in armored personnel carriers and helicopters, Russian officials said. 

Said Amirov, the 59-year-old mayor of Makhachkala, has been in a wheelchair since 1993, when one attempt on his life severed his spine. His southern Russian city is known for frequent bombings and shootouts among police, criminal gangs and Islamic fighters. For six months last year it was home to Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the accused Boston Marathon bombers. His parents live there now.

Amirov was seized by troops wearing camouflage, helmets and bulletproof vests and armed with automatic rifles. They surrounded his palatial house on the Caspian Sea, according to a video shown on LifeNews, a Web site that has close connections to the security services. … 

In Russia, one question nearly always arises when an arrest is made: Why now?

In other words, everybody is guilty, so who arrests whom is mostly a question of timing.

The answer was unclear Saturday. President Vladimir Putin, however, recently appointed a new acting president of the Dagestan region, Ramazan Abdulatipov,

Putin really likes that name, doesn’t he? For those of you keeping score at home:

Ramzan – Chechnya
Ramazan – Dagestan

Maybe RamZPaul could get a gig doing stand-up before Bolshoi Ballet performances?

amid speculation that the usual corruption has gone too far or that officials want order to be imposed on the North Caucasus before the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

From the NYT:

Mr. Amirov in many ways embodied the rough-and-tumble North Caucasus city he led, a place where brawls and gunfights are so standard that restaurant menus occasionally list the price of replacing damaged tables and chairs.

America needs more immigrants from the Caucasus to bring the blessings of vibrant diversity to our boring white-bread country.

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From the Washington Post:

Ibragim Todashev was the eldest of 12 children. His father said the family fled Chechnya after the wars of secession erupted there in the 1990s, eventually finding a haven in the Volga River city of Saratov. Abdulbaki Todashev had once studied to be a veterinarian there, in the Soviet era.

I.e., the Todashevs were on the side of Russia, the eventual victor, not on the side of the Chechen separatists, who lost when Putin came to power.

Ibragim Todashev studied English for three years in Saratov and then, in 2008, returned with his family to by-then more stable Chechnya

I.e., Russian-ruled Chechnya.

and completed his fourth year of higher education at Grozny University, his father said. The elder Todashev got a job with the city. Today, he heads the administrative unit of the Grozny mayor’s office.

Grozny is the capital of Chechnya and is the focus of vast rebuilding efforts by Moscow. So, the elder Todashev appears to report directly to the mayor of Grozny as head of the “administrative unit.” (Other news accounts describe him as the head of “municipal services” in the mayor’s office. It sounds like a big job with lots of patronage possibilities, at least as big as, say, heading Streets and Sanitation in Chicago, maybe bigger.)

Is the mayor of Grozny, Todashev’s boss, a political wild card, totally divorced from the larger power in that part of the world? I don’t think so. I found this news report:

The City Council of Grozny has elected Muslim Khuchiyev as mayor of the Chechen capital today, the press service of the Chechen Republic’s administration reports. The meeting of the City Council was attended by the head of the republic, Ramzan Kadyrov. He congratulated Khuchiyev on his victory.

I’ve looked at hundreds of pictures of Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov, but I’ve never seen one in which he is looking the least bit displeased about the turns of events. My impression is that Ramzan is not a good sport about political reverses: if he is not happy, nobody with a government job in Chechnya is happy until Ramzan is happy again. Therefore, I have to assume that the election of Mr. Khuchiyev did not come as an unpleasant surprise to Ramzan.

(Update: Here’s a July 3, 2007 Pravda story about Ramzan firing the mayor of Grozny and naming Khuchiyev mayor.)

In turn, Ramzan reports directly to Vladimir Putin in Moscow — he flies in so often to see Putin that he has a private army of bodyguards permanently stationed at the hotel of the Interior Ministry in Moscow maintained by the Office of the President.

So, to the best of my knowledge, here would be what one part of the org chart of the Russian state looks like:

Vladimir Putin 


Ramzan Kadyrov 


Muslim Khuchiyev 


Abdulbaki Todashev (father of “refugee” Ibragim Todashev)

Your dad lives in Russia and is three steps down the organization chart from the de facto czar of Russia. That qualifies you for refugee status?

Back to the Washington Post:

As soon as he left the university, Ibragim Todashev went to the United States on a program that enabled him to perfect his English, his father said. Three or four months later, when it was time to return, Todashev called his father and said he wanted to stay on a while. 

“I wasn’t against it,” the father said. Chechnya was still struggling, and life in the United States had to be more secure. Ibragim was living in Boston and got to know Tsarnaev because they belonged to the same gym, his father said. They had each other’s phone numbers, he said, “but they were never close friends.” 

Ibragim Todashev applied for a green card, which meant he had to stay in the United States. He stayed active in mixed martial arts, but a knee injury and surgery on his meniscus put an end to those dreams.

Thank God we have immigrants to do all the dreaming for us.

Two months ago, his father said, he received the green card, and that’s when he started making plans to come back to Grozny for a visit, knowing he would be able to reenter the United States.

A few questions … Did young Todashev have a legitimate job? His neighbors mostly recall him spending long hours detailing his Mercedes. Is that a job Americans just won’t do?

Todashev still sponged off his separated wife in Atlanta, that Armenian girl who converted to Islam to marry him, and perhaps off his cute girlfriend, too, a Russian illegal immigrant in Orlando. What else, if anything, did he do for money? Deal drugs?

(“By the way, the death certificate of 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev lists his occupation as “never worked.””)

Todashev got his green card in 2013 despite twice being arrested in this decade for violent incidents, a road rage incident in Boston and a parking lot punchout in Orlando.

He got the green card for being a “refugee” in need of “asylum,” but his response was to immediately book a flight back to Russia, the country he ostensibly needed asylum from,  where his dad is three steps down the power structure from Putin.

Tony Montana in Scarface (video) had a more plausible claim to refugee status and a green card than did this mook.

Is anybody else besides me and Refugee Resettlement Watch interested in these questions?

I’m fascinated by how little attention is paid to the obvious policy questions raised by this lurid incident. The only people who want to do the minimal amount of digging necessary to learn anything about Todashev’s background are conspiracy theorists with their amazing knack for getting things wrong, while respectable types just find it all baffling and confusing so they don’t want to think about it.

So, the Todashev and Tsarnaev refugee awards are evidence either that our refugee system is broken or that it’s being finagled by as part of a dangerous game being played in the Caucasus by … the CIA? The State Department? Who knows?

We need a National Immigration Safety Board to investigate these particularly egregious incidents.

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That Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov is having more expensive fun than a politician really should has only recently come to my attention, but taxpayers in Russia have been wondering for years about how much Kadyrov’s monster trucks and movies with the washed up heroes and starlets of his youth are costing them.

As a commenter explained, Kadyrov is to Vladimir Putin as, in the New Testament, King Herod was to the Emperor Augustus: a local proxy ruler. But, thinking about Rome suggests a second, more sinister possibility that Muscovites discuss amongst themselves: perhaps the Chechen goon squad based in Moscow, nominally to protect Kadyrov on his visits to his master, is also the germ of a Chechen Praetorian Guard to keep Putin in power in case the Russian masses start getting uppity.

Mass armies drawn from the ranks of the people have always been a concern for rulers because they might prove too merciful in a crisis. For example, in 2011 Mubarak’s conscript army appeared unwilling to slaughter civilian protestors Tianamen Square-style. Indeed in 1989, the Chinese Communist state’s first attempt to crush the protestors failed because the local soldiers sympathized with the students. The government had to find a distant army comprised of peasants who despised the urban rich kids to do their dirty work.

Here are some excerpts from a reader’s email:

I’ve spent a lot of time in Russia and can tell you the Chechens are the one locals tell you not to make eye contact with.  It’s interesting that post-communist Russian nationalism looks a bit different these days than in the 90′s and early 2000s–a significant portion of younger patriots want no part of empire, resent the Kremlin’s subsidies to the North Caucasus (their slogan “Stop feeding the Caucasus!”), and hope for separation. Solzhenitsyn hoped for union among the Slavs in the old USSR, but not with the Moslems. 

“Victory” in the Chechen war is one of the pillars of the Putin myth, so he can’t cut off Ramzan.  A lot of Russians, including a  lot of the “Siloviky,” the “power” guys from the “special services” and military, hate Kadyrov and have questioned whether Russia really won the war  Some of the “new nationalists” even call Putin “the president of Chechnya.”  

… Chechens act pretty Checheny in Moscow and the residents aren’t happy about it:  Some FSB officers have had enough–I haven’t seen anything on what happened to the striking officers, though: … 

“A group of Federal Security Service officers has gone on strike to protest the release of Chechen policemen who had been arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and torturing a Moscow resident, opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported Monday….  But policemen working for Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov often have special permissions that allow them to travel around Russia with weapons and without many restrictions on their actions, said Andrei Soldatov, a well-known authority on Russia’s security forces.”

“The Chechen men implicated in the case are members of a bodyguard regiment for Kadyrov that is permanently stationed at the President Hotel in Moscow and protects the leader on trips to the capital, according to the Novaya Gazeta report. The hotel is located in front of the Interior Ministry building and is managed by the Office for Presidential Affairs.” 

It seems to this observer as though a post in the “Kadyrov guard” is a cushy job—Kadyrov may use the posts as a rewards for his people, who get to move to Moscow with official papers, work for the boss when he is in town, then make money off of extortion schemes when he is not). … 

This may be the origin of the stories we have seen since the wave of protests began on a contingent of Chechen gunmen being stationed in Moscow in case the Kremlin needed them to put down a rebellion—the thought being that local officers might balk at the task, something that did happen in the Russian Far East when higher tariffs for imported cars sparked protests.   

But we had been hearing that Putin might use the Chechens in such a capacity for years before that.  Recall that the anti-Putin “new nationalists” call VVP “the president of Chechnya”—resentments run deep concerning the costs of the war in Chechnya and the privileges the Kadyrov regime enjoys.  … 

My vague hunch is that Chechens could come in pretty handy for starting a fight. But for ending a war, I wouldn’t bet against the Russian people.

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Ramzan Kadyrov and Stephen Seagal last week
From Radio Free Europe yesterday:

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has accused the FBI of “killing without justification” a young ethnic Chechen thought to have ties to one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.  

Kadyrov said that Ibragim Todashev was a “good boy” and his father, who works in the administration of the Chechen capital, Grozny, is a “decent man.”

There are all sorts of interesting theories one could make up about this, but the one obvious conclusion is that there’s something wrong with our refugee system. Ibragim Todashev was granted refuge in the U.S. even though his family is part of the deep state of Russian-ruled Chechnya, part of the Putin-backed dictator’s mafia. Young Todashev wasn’t a loser in Chechnya’s civil wars, he was a winner. He wasn’t coming here to flee violence at home. Instead, he was coming here to practice his violence in our gleaming gyms.

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From the Boston Globe:

In 2008, the US government granted Todashev asylum, a protection granted to foreigners with a credible fear for their safety in their homelands ­because of religious, political, or other specific forms of persecution. 

But Reuters reports that Todashev’s father is a government official in Grozny whose father is in tight with the All-Time Champ Chechen Ramzan Kadryov.

Todashev then obtained a green card in February 2013, making him a legal permanent resident and clearing the way for him to apply for US citizenship in a few years if he ­remained in good standing, said law enforcement officials with direct knowledge of the ­information. 

Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested ­Todashev’s girlfriend, Tatiana Gruzdeva, May 16 on immigration violations, said a law enforce­ment official. An ICE spokesman confirmed that she is in custody.

Self-Portrait by Tatiana Gruzdeva
Facebook lists one Tatiana Gruzdeva in Orlando, complete with lots of pictures. My apologies if this is the wrong Tatiana Gruzdeva. I don’t want to post a picture of Ms. Gruzdeva’s face if she’s the wrong Tatiana Gruzdeva, so I’ll just share with you a self-portrait she posted on Facebook. I don’t spend a lot of time on Facebook, but my impression is that this picture probably isn’t all that unique and thus won’t give away her identity.

Continuing with the Chicks Dig Chechens theme, there’s also the Widow Todahsev.

Here’s the late Ibragim Todashev and his 24-year-old widow from the Wall Street Journal:

Ms. Manukyan, an Armenian who converted to Islam before marrying Mr. Todashev, says she met her late husband in 2010 through a mutual friend in Boston. She says she separated from Mr. Todashev in November but was still in regular contact with him and was partly supporting him through their joint bank account.

We hear a lot these days about immigrants’ “American Dream,” but the Chechen Dream appears to be to have some babe support you. Do you think these guys were big hip-hop fans back in the old country?

If you were a nice-looking young Armenian girl in the United States, would you convert to Islam to marry some lay-about Chechen cage fighter? I guess we know in the case of Mrs. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, whose doctor father is a Yale and Phillips Exeter man (same as his father), who converted to Islam to marry Bomb Brother #1.

From the Boston Herald:

At the time of yesterday’s shooting, Todashev was free on a $3,500 bond, according to Florida court ?records, after being arrested May 4 by sheriff’s deputies at gunpoint at the Premium Outlet Mall in Orlando on a charge of felony aggravated battery after a mall ?security guard reported a fight in a parking lot that left a man battered and bleeding. 

In 2010, a Boston police report stated Todashev was involved in a violent road rage incident in Downtown Crossing 

The BPD report states officers “witnessed several people struggling to restrain a white male, later determined to be the subject, Ibragim Todashev. Officers heard Todashev yell, ‘You say something about my mother, I will kill you!’ Officers struggled to physically ?restrain and handcuff Todashev. …” His case was continued without a finding.

The Los Angeles Times interviews the bereaved father:

According to the father, Ibragim Todashev was studying English at Grozny University when he got a chance to go to the United States in an exchange program in 2008. 

“He loved it there from Day One,” the father said. “He would call me and tell me how everybody was into sports, what great sports gyms they had and what wonderful possibilities he had for the mixed fighting and boxing he loved so much. 

“Then when he told me that he loved it in America and wanted to stay,” the father said, “I didn’t mind.” 

I mind. Why is it okay for various violent Chechens to just up and move to my country because they think it’s a better place to practice hurting people?

He said his son hit it off with Tsarnaev because of their common Chechen heritage. Although Tsarnaev never lived in the restive Russian republic, his family’s roots were there and there are indications that Tsarnaev felt a kinship with the Muslim separatists who want the region to break free from Russia. 

“We are a small people who endured so many hardships to survive in our difficult history that it is only natural for us to stick together, especially abroad,” said Todashev, 53, who is head of the municipal services department in Grozny.

So that job puts the elder Todashev, who is polygamously married to two women and has twelve children, what, about two steps down the org chart from Ramzan the Great and thus three steps down from Vladimir Putin? How exactly does that qualify you for refugee status?

Ramzan Kadryov and Gerard Depardieu discuss motoring

Americans have this image of the refugee program existing for the likes of Einstein, Toscanini, and Solzhenitsyn. But, in reality, these days it tends to be a vehicle for immigration fraud by well-connected individuals who can plausibly purport that their relatives back home have made a lot of their neighbors extremely mad at them.

Like, for example, the late Brendan Mess’s girlfriend Hibatalla Eltilib of the Sudan, who seems to have encouraged Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s Muslim extremism.

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Chechnya strongman Ramzan Kadyrov, Elizabeth Hurley, and fluffy kitten
From Hollywood Reporter:

Depardieu Defends Chechnya, Says Boston Bombers Were ‘Raised American’ 

8:37 AM PDT 5/22/2013 by Nick Holdsworth 

MOSCOW — Gallic actor Gerard Depardieu’s PR-heavy return to Russia – where he is due to shoot a revenge thriller Turquoise set in Chechnya — has continued on a controversial tone when he spoke out about the Boston bombers.

Depardieu, who arrived in Chechen capital Grozny with co-star British actress Elizabeth Hurley, said the ethnic-Chechen Tsarnaev brothers … had been raised American and the outrage could not be blamed on Chechnya. 

The actor, who earlier this year took Russian citizenship to avoid planned wealth taxes of 75 percent in France – and is now reported to have signed up for a special 6 percent flat tax rate designed for entrepreneurs, said: “… You Chechens don’t carry any responsibility at all.” 

His comments came just hours before the FBI shot and killed a Chechen man who was being questioned in connection with the Boston bombings. …

Depardieu’s remarks Tuesday, at a press conference where he was seen socializing with Kadyrov, came just days after his arrival in Russia when he had compared Russian president Vladimir Putin to staunch anti-Communist Pope Jean Paul II, seemed designed to draw more attention to his movie projects in Russia. 

Turqoise is a French production directed by Philippe Martinez and produced by Arnaud Frilley, which started shooting in Grozny Saturday. 

Depardieu plays an ex-gangster whose son is killed and comes to Russia to avenge him, where he meets up with an old girlfriend, played by Hurley and a Chechen friend. …

The French actors friendship with Kadyrov – who has been accused of widespread human rights abuses and murder, made for an uncomfortable exchange with members of the international press who flew to Grozny to meet Depardieu. 

Martinez flew into a rage when asked to comment on parallels between the film’s revenge theme and alleged revenge killings of Kadyrov’s enemies. 

“I am ashamed you are asking that question,” Martinez said according the British newspaper The Independent – which is owned by former Russian KGB officer Alexander Lebedev. “Gerard Depardieu and Elizabeth Hurley are making a movie in Chechnya! And you’re asking questions of a political nature! I don’t event want to answer.”

When the Bomb Brothers were revealed to be Chechens, I pointed out that Chechens fascinated the great Russian writers Pushkin, Lermontov, Tolstoy, and Solzhenitsyn. But, I was widely informed, that’s stereotyping.

Here’s the thing, though: Chechens love acting stereotypically Checheny.

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So, Chechen immigrant Ibragim Todashev was just about to sign his confession when he suddenly attacked three FBI agents with some kind of object and was shot dead? But doesn’t this sound like a story you’d hear from the Russian government about what happened to somebody they didn’t like in Chechnya? You know, one of those stories that they don’t even try very hard to make persuasive because they kind of want you to know they did it and they can get away with it?

(Realistically, it’s not uncommon for cops to shoot people for reasons that don’t sound very plausible afterwards, like in the killing a few years ago of an 18-year-old violist by plainclothes cops “debriefing” in a parking lot in my neighborhood. Usually, I surmise, the conspiracies come not before the shooting, but afterwards as the cops try to put together a story that will semi-cohere.)

From Reuters:

(Reuters) – The father of a Chechen immigrant killed during questioning over his links with one of the Boston Marathon bombings suspects said on Thursday he plans to travel to the United States where he thinks his son was tortured and killed. …

“I suspect that they tortured my son and that he suffered a painful death,” said Abdulbaki Todashev, wiping away tears at the home he shares with one of his wives in the mostly Muslim region of Chechnya in Russia’s North Caucasus.

Did I ever mention that chicks dig Chechens?

“I will try to go to (the United States) and get to the truth,” he said as he received neighbours and acquaintances paying their respects to the dead man, the oldest of 12 children between his father’s two wives. 

Todashev had met the Tsarnaevs when he travelled to the United States to improve his English, said his father, who works in the mayor’s office in Chechnya’s main city of Grozny and is said to be on close terms with regional leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

Clearly, anybody who’s tight with Ramzan Kadyrov is completely trustworthy. (For more on the inimitable Ramzan Kadyrov, see my next post.)

Ramzan Kadyrov

He said he gave his permission when his son asked to stay in the United States because he said it was safer than Chechnya,

Did anybody in the U.S. government give permission? Does anybody care? I’ve often said before that just as the government has the independent National Transportation Safety Board to not whitewash airliner crashes, we need an independent National Immigration Safety Board to review cases of “Why was this guy in our country?”

where separatists waged two wars with Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union and militants still fight for an Islamic state.

To the extent that we can trust anything Mr. Todashev says, he is implying that the Todashev family was threatened by Islamic rebels who objected to his being pals with the Putin-appointed Kadyrov.

Todashev travelled to the United States in 2008 on a Russian passport, a federal law enforcement source said, and lived in Boston before moving to Florida, where he was killed. His father said he had a plane ticket to return to Russia on Friday. 

“He shouldn’t have left. He lived comfortably and his mother was very worried about him because he was the oldest in the family and she was used to him being a model for the others,” said a neighbour, Malika, who refused to give her last name.

So, he lived comfortably in Chechnya and his mother was more worried about him being in America? I thought he was some kind of refugee? What was young Todashev doing in our country, again?

The FBI agent who shot Todashev, who practised mixed martial arts, has not been publicly identified but is from the agency’s Boston division, the Orlando Sentinel reported. …

Surely, one of the three FBI agents was recording the conversation on his smartphone, so the FBI will be releasing the audio tape momentarily, right?

“Chechens have a power in their unity and interest in what happens in their homeland. It unites them. That’s the reason my son became an acquaintance of the Tsarnaevs,” said Todashev, speaking in the courtyard of his older wife’s house.


But … hey, what about the Magic of Assimilation?

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Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and his two best friends: his gold pistol and V. Putin
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:

Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.

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