Anyone who has taken a curious glance at Ramzan Kadyrov’s timeline is aware of the Chechen strongman’s bizarre eccentricity. So when he decided to celebrate his landslide reelection victory in full medieval armour, it simply seemed fitting.
Kadyrov, who claimed 98% of the vote in his reelection campaign as leader of the Chechen Republic, arrived at a reception for the Day of Chechen Women clad in armour and equipped with a helmet, sword and spear. He greeted the crowd as a lord would his subjects and took a tour before settling at the head table.
As expected, Kadyrov’s bizarre display of chain mail chivalry inspired equally baffling artwork.
Kadyrov, who took over as head of the Chechen Republic in 2007, is a combat sports fan who regularly uses his Instagram account to display his fandom. It is his preferred social media tool of communication with his people and has built a cult of personality surrounding his Purim-inspired displays of masculinity — a clear attempt to present a favourable image of a strong leader to the Chechen people.
Kadyrov also finds various combat sports promotions under the Akhmat banner, including mixed martial arts, boxing, and kickboxing. According to his IG account, he has indoctrinated 450,000 Chechen youngsters into sports. He also used his MMA promotion to fund trips form former UFC champions to visit his palace.