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Chechnya's Ramzan Kadyrov is the meddling type of strongman and there is nothing he won't speak out about. In the past he's taken firm stands on the state of the Russian republic's roads and amount of litter on the ground.

Now he's taking an interest in the state of people's cars.

At a recent meeting with Chechen traffic police, Kadyrov said that all drivers should wash their cars regularly to ensure that vehicles entering Grozny are aesthetically pleasing to look at.

That requirement is likely to create problems for residents of rural areas where roads turn to rivers of mud in the spring.

Kadyrov, who seems to believe in the virtues of micromanagement, also threatened to hold traffic police responsible for car thefts, the incidences of which he said must be reduced to zero.

-- 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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