For Chechen Dictator, Keeping Up With Instagram Is Quite a ‘Burden’

March 5, 2013 | Eugene Reznik

When he’s not leading the arrest of teenage “laser hooligans,” or dismissing frequent accusations of “rampant human rights abuses and runaway corruption,” Ramzan Kadyrov, hard-partying leader of the war-torn Chechen republic, can be found snapping selfies. The 36-year-old dictator has recently amassed over 50,000 followers on Instagram and posts several photos a day. It’s not all fun and games, though. “If, for people, Instagram is just entertainment,” Kadyrov said on Monday in the Chechen capital, Grozny, “for me it’s an additional burden.”

The visual diary, though uninspiring, is somewhat insightful. Kadyrov, for instance, appears to be a fan of #nofilter. He also loves posing with chickens, tigers, former French actor/newly Russian Girard Depardieu and other zoo animals. “He often cradles them,” Miriam Elder writes for the Guardian, “lovingly.”