To highlight Russia’s heightened security measures put in place to keep Sochi safe beyond the so-called “ring of steel,” NBC News filed a report from the North Caucasus on Ramzan Kadyrov, the notorious, social media-savvy ruler of the Chechen Republic.
Despite his macho image, he’s also a devout Muslim who wasn’t afraid to cry when an alleged lock of the prophet Mohammad’s hair was put on display in the massively extravagant mosque in Grozny (named after Kadyrov’s dad and the biggest in Russia and its republics).
Kadyrov is not a man of simple pleasures. According to NBC, he “gets billions from Putin” and “lives like a king” in a “palace.” Giddy journalist Richard Engel toured his nicely outfitted gym, complete with a boxing ring. The segment also shouts out Kadyrov’s private zoo where he reportedly likes to watch terrified birds scream from the threat of a stalking tiger and shows an image of him riding a wave runner.
Though the exclusive U.S. broadcaster of the Olympics glosses over the Putin-favorite’s litany of human rights abuses and sociopathic tendencies, they make sure to really articulate this man’s gilded lifestyle. Specifically, NBC shows shocking footage of Kadyrov partaking in a pastime so exclusive, that only the richest of richest Russians (or Chechens) can partake — flying a cheapy remote-controlled helicopter, just like the ones they sell on Amazon for $19.22.
Groundbreaking stuff, Richard.