Fall into Fall with Former Warlords!
It's the season for decorative gourds. And frolicking with Chechen strongmen!
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!
“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!
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.
Top image credit: Kadyrov Press Office/Getty Images