Chechen PM in sauna sex scandal
Monday 03 April 2006
His public image as a devout Muslim warrior who frets about the morals of Chechnya's peoplehas been carefully constructed by spin doctors. But Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechnya's pro-Moscow Prime Minister, has become ensnared in an embarrassing sex scandal that has made his loud moral preaching appear rather hollow.
The scandalis potentially embarrassing for President Vladimir Putin since the Kremlin has chosen Mr Kadyrov as its point man in the strife-torn republic. Mr Kadyrov's aides have laughed off the grainy video of a man identical in appearance and voice to him in a sauna with two prostitutes, as a "provocation".
True or not, the footage is damaging for the 29-year-old Prime Minister, since he is married with children and has made a name for himself by criticising the media for broadcasting "immoral programmes" and by urging Chechen women to wear headscarves. In recent months he has outlawed gambling, clamped down on alcohol sales and partially introduced Shariah law. He was also recently reported to have issued an order for women's mobile phones to be monitored to ensure that wives are not in contact with ex-boyfriends.
The sauna footage was shot on a mobile phone and first appeared on a Chechen rebel website. The rebels regard Mr Kadyrov as a "phoney Muslim" who is trying to hijack Islam to quell separatist sentiment.
Anna Politkovskaya, a Russian reporter who specialises in Chechnya, has added credibility to the clip's authenticity by claiming that she too has been sent footage of a man identical in appearance to Ramzan.
Her claims go beyond debauched infidelity. She told a website: "On them [the clips] were the murders of federal servicemen by Kadyrovtsy [his private army], and also kidnappings directed by Kadyrov ... On the basis of them, a criminal case and investigation should follow."
But Mr Kadyrov has become too powerful for the Kremlin to remove easily and is expected in time to become the republic's President, a job his father did before he was assassinated. Yesterday he was back on state television - ironically he was talking about a beauty contest he is organising for Chechen girls.
- 1 Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
Yemen crisis: Meet the child soldiers who have forsaken books for Kalashnikovs
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...