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Fall into Fall with Former Warlords!

It's the season for decorative gourds. And frolicking with Chechen strongmen!

TSENTEROI, CHECHNYA, RUSSIA - NOVEMBER 2005:  Ramzan Kadyrov proudly displays his shooting skills at a firing range in his village of Tsentoroi in front of members of his private army. Officially his army are known as the anti-terrorism squad, but everyone refers to its soldiers as Kadyrovtsy - "Kadyrov's guys". Ramzan was born 5 October 1976 in Tsenteroi, Chechnya, and was made Prime Minister of Chechnya in the beginning of March 2006 and leader of a powerful Chechen militia known as kadyrovtsy. He is the son of former Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov, who was assassinated in May 2004. He has the backing of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and was awarded the Hero of Russia medal, the highest honorary title of the Russian Federation. As the head of the Chechen Presidential Security Service, Kadyrov has often been accused of being brutal, ruthless and antidemocratic; according to media and human rights groups, he was personally implicated in several instances of torture and murder. It is also rumoured that he owns a private prison in his stronghold village of Tsenteroi, where he uses inmates as a punching bags. Kadyrov is known for keeping a pet lion cub, given to him as a gift after the birth of his first son, as well as a tiger and a number of a fighting dogs, and also used to own a wolf and a bear. He has only a few classes of elementary education finished; despite his lack of education, Kadyrov is a honorary member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.  (Photo by Kadyrov Press Office/Getty Images)
TSENTEROI, CHECHNYA, RUSSIA - NOVEMBER 2005: Ramzan Kadyrov proudly displays his shooting skills at a firing range in his village of Tsentoroi in front of members of his private army. Officially his army are known as the anti-terrorism squad, but everyone refers to its soldiers as Kadyrovtsy - "Kadyrov's guys". Ramzan was born 5 October 1976 in Tsenteroi, Chechnya, and was made Prime Minister of Chechnya in the beginning of March 2006 and leader of a powerful Chechen militia known as kadyrovtsy. He is the son of former Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov, who was assassinated in May 2004. He has the backing of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and was awarded the Hero of Russia medal, the highest honorary title of the Russian Federation. As the head of the Chechen Presidential Security Service, Kadyrov has often been accused of being brutal, ruthless and antidemocratic; according to media and human rights groups, he was personally implicated in several instances of torture and murder. It is also rumoured that he owns a private prison in his stronghold village of Tsenteroi, where he uses inmates as a punching bags. Kadyrov is known for keeping a pet lion cub, given to him as a gift after the birth of his first son, as well as a tiger and a number of a fighting dogs, and also used to own a wolf and a bear. He has only a few classes of elementary education finished; despite his lack of education, Kadyrov is a honorary member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. (Photo by Kadyrov Press Office/Getty Images)

Fall is here! And you know that means: mulled apple cider, that nip in the air, and your favorite Chechen warlords frolicking in the autumnal foliage!

Yesterday, head of the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation and former warlord Ramzan Kadyrov posted this photo on his legendary Instagram account.

Дорогие друзья! Нас с вами миллионы. Вы уже знаете, что мне нравится осенняя пора. Хотел предложить вам эстафету, которая нас всех ещё раз объединит. Если вы тоже любите осень, если любите наслаждаться, собирая и подбрасывая в воздух красные, ярко-желтые листья, принимайте эстафету. Сфотографируйтесь, поместите у себя снимок, сопроводив хештегом #ЗолотаяОсень #AutumnColors . Таким образом мы продемонстрируем любовь к природе, ещё раз покажем своё единство в стремлении сохранить её для потомков. Итак, передаю эстафету всем до единого друзьям-подписчикам и персонально @aksenov.sv @tina_kandelaki @timatiofficial @delimkhanov95 @kantaibragimov . Надеюсь, каждый из вас передаст эстафету своим друзьям. В добрый путь! #Кадыров #Россия #Чечня #ЗолотаяОсень #AutumnColors——————————Dear friends! There are millions of us. You already know that I love autumn. I would like to suggest you something that will once again unite us all. If you also love fall time and enjoy scattering in the air bright red and yellow leaves, then I am passing on the baton to you. Take a picture and post it on your account along with the hashtag #ЗолотаяОсень #AutumnColors . Thus we shall show that we care about the nature and will demonstrate our desire to save it for the descendants. Now, I am passing this on to all my friends and followers and personally to @tina_kandelaki @timatiofficial @aksenov.sv @delimhanov95 @kantaibragimov . I hope, you all will pass this on to your own friends. Good luck! #Кадыров #Россия #Чечня #ЗолотаяОсень #AutumnColors

A post shared by Ramzan Kadyrov (@kadyrov_95) on

“Dear friends!” he wrote in the caption. “There are millions of us. You already know that I like the autumnal season. I wanted to pass you the baton that will unite all of us. If you too like fall, if you enjoy collecting and tossing red and bright yellow leaves into the air, take the baton. Take a photo, and post it with the hashtag #ЗолотаяОсень (“GoldenFall”) #AutumnColors.”

Now let’s recall who Ramzan Kadyrov is. Kadyrov is the 39-year-old leader of Chechnya who fought alongside his father Akhmad, an imam, in the Chechen Wars until the Kadyrovs switched sides and pledged loyalty to the Kremlin and, specifically, to President Vladimir Putin. Since 2007, Ramzan Kadyrov has ruled Chechnya with an iron fist, tolerating no dissent and going a long way toward establishing Sharia law in the republic. He has been accused of personally torturing dissenters, who then wound up hunted down and killed even as they sought refuge in the West. Kadyrov is widely believed to be behind the 2006 murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya. Under his watch, human rights activists and journalists have found themselves under assault. In 2009, human rights activist Natalya Estemirova was found shot in the trunk of a car. More recently, the Grozny office of the NGO Committee Against Torture was torched and Kadyrov quipped that the organization’s employees did it themselves in order to secure more grants from their shadowy Western sponsors.

Kadyrov has also recruited and trained a deadly mini-army that has sworn personal allegiance to him and Putin. About a year ago, he filled a stadium with them for a menacing show of force.

Once he was asked if he would avenge his father’s 2004 assassination. “I already killed who I was supposed to kill,” he said a year later. “And the people who back them, I will kill them all till the last man, until I myself am killed or put in jail. I will kill while I’m alive.”

OK, but he also loves fall! And brightly colored leaves!

And now some of his most fearsome — and equally blood-soaked — lieutenants are participating in the fall flashmob.

Here’s Magomed Daudov, known as “Lord” and suspected of assassinating Kadyrov’s enemies, like the Yamadayev brothers, in foreign countries. Legend has it that he earned the nickname by emerging from a forest battle holding the head of his enemy. And he also loves fall!

And here’s Adam Delimkhanov. You may know him from getting in a tussle in the Russian parliament and accidentally dropping a gold gun, and also from leading some of the most feared Chechen battalions and assassinating one of Kadyrov’s enemies in the center of Moscow. Kadyrov has said that Delimkhanov is his most likely successor, which is good because look at how much he loves fall!

👍👍👍☝️

A post shared by АЛЛАХУ АКБАР!!! (@delimkhanov95) on

And here’s Turpal-Ali “Fast One” Ibragimov, one of the Kadyrov’s father’s bodyguards and combatants in the Second Chechen War. More recently, he has helped Kadyrov comb the mountains of the region for insurgents, probably especially in the fall, because look how much he likes it!

And here’s Abuzaid Vismuradov, head of Kadyrov’s squad bodyguard. He may be a fearsome warrior but look at how much he and his buddies love fall!

But no one, no one likes fall more than the great leader himself, and here’s the video to prove it.

#Repost @kadyrov_95 with @repostapp. ・・・ Дорогие друзья! Все времена года хороши. Честно говоря, мне больше всего нравится осень… Золотые листья шуршат под ногами, прохладные вечера, тёмные и длинные ночи, ещё тёплые, но не жаркие дни. Я попросил Медни Мусаевну не убирать в нашем саду опавшие листья. Некоторые говорят, что осень слишком грустная пора, якобы любят весну. Нет слов, я тоже люблю и весну. Но осень не просто пора прощание с летом, а время, когда природа готовится к зиме, чётко понимая, что вслед за зимними морозами наступит весна. Так устроена жизнь на земле Всевышним Аллахом. Сегодня после совещания я погулял по улицам и скверам Гудермеса и до глубины души насладился этой золотой красотой. Собирал в охапку листья, подбрасывал их в вверх, как делал это много лет назад в годы своего детства и юности. #Кадыров #Россия #Чечня #Гудермес #Осень

A post shared by M.Х.Даудов. "ЛОРД" (@lord_095) on

Top image credit: Kadyrov Press Office/Getty Images

About the Author

Julia Ioffe is a contributing writer to <i>Politico Magazine</i> and Huffington Post's Highline. She was a senior editor at the <i>New Republic</i> and was the Moscow correspondent for Foreign Policy and the <i>New Yorker</i> from 2009 to 2012.

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