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In a bizarre interview with a Russian state newspaper, Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov praised Putin as the savior of Chechnya and called him "the most holy man."

He also encouraged Chechen men to take multiple wives even though that contradicts Russian law.

"I'm convinced, we need polygamy here," the Kremlin-backed Chechen leader said. "There's no law allowing that, but I tell everyone: if you have the desire and the means, take second wives."

It's a riddle why Kadyrov makes such statements. He doesn't need to flatter Putin, as the Russian prime minister probably needs him more than the other way around.

Kadyrov, however, is distrusted by many in Moscow.

As I noted before, Russia may be maintaining its significant military presence in Chechnya not just to manage the insurgency but to keep an eye on Kadyrov and his thousands of henchmen.

-- Aslan Doukaev

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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