Chechnya’s authoritarian leader, and loyalist to Vladimir Putin, has taken to Instagram to endorse a 46-year-old police officer’s polygamy with a 17 year-old-girl.
Although polygamy is banned under Russian law, Ramzan Kadyrov, who has President Vladimir Putin's support, came out in favour of the marriage which occurred on Saturday 16 May.
Kadyrov claimed "the girl's parents gave their blessing to this marriage," arguing that reports the girl was been forced to become the local police head’s second wife were lies.
The marriage made the 17-year-old Kheda Goylabiyeva the second bride of Nazhud Guchigov, a police chief in Chechnya's southeastern Nozhai-Yurt district.
His claims that the marriage was voluntary appear inconsistent with the claims of a prominent investigative journalist Elena Milashina, who reported in the Novaya Gazeta in late April that villagers had approached her with concerns for Ms Goylabiyeva.
Ms Milashina reported that the 46-year-old police commander in Nozhay-Yurt prevented Ms Goylabiyeva, from leaving her home.
The Novaya Gazeta now say that Ms Milashina has fled the country amid fears for her safety after her reports on the marriage.
Ms Milashina was reportedly warned by police officers from Siberia of a potential threat to her safety from Chechen police.
Kadyrov set up his instagram account in early 2013 in a reported attempt to win support with youth in Chechnya.