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Chechnya's Kadyrov Expands His Equine Empire


Ramzan Kadyrov attends the first Horse Riding Festival in Grozny on September 28, 2011.

Ramzan Kadyrov attends the first Horse Riding Festival in Grozny on September 28, 2011.

Chechnya’s strongman leader is accustomed to a certain luxurious lifestyle. If hosting birthday bashes and making his soccer dreams come true is not sufficient indication of his wealth, then having a stable of horses worth 2 million euros ($2.6 million) certainly drives the point home.

A longtime horse-racing enthusiast, Kadyrov has now expanded his equine empire to the Czech Republic.

In 2010, a Kadyrov-owned horse named Khorezm won the 2,400-meter President of the Russian Federation Prize horse race.

As the well-known Czech investigative reporter Petra Prochazkova reports for the Czech daily "Lidove noviny," Kadyrov has registered eight racehorses in Mimon, in northern Bohemia, with the Czech Republic’s Jockey Club.

Kadyrov may be privileged, but he is no horse whisperer, because his horse, Mikhail Glinka, is trained by Arslangirey Shavuyev, a man who says he has never met Kadyrov personally and has only dealt with his manager.

As Prochazkova reports, Glinka cost Kadyrov 2 million euros. That is one expensive hobby, but Kadyrov is apparently clueless as to the source of his money.

“Allah gives. I do not know myself how is it possible, where the money comes from,” Prochazkova quotes Kadyrov as saying.

The horses of the former Chechen rebel, accused of presiding over mass corruption and human rights violations in Russia’s Republic of Chechnya, are not welcome everywhere.

Kadyrov, on his way to celebrate Chechen Language Day in Grozny on April 25, 2010.

Kadyrov, on his way to celebrate Chechen Language Day in Grozny on April 25, 2010.

His horses are banned from racing in the United States and in 2009 provoked outrage from human rights advocates in Australia.

While Kadyrov has already registered his horses in Britain and Germany, the Czech Republic now hosts the largest stable registered under his name.

No one had even heard of Kadyrov’s stable until Glinka won a prestigious award at the Baden Baden horse races in Germany. Kadyrov’s prized possession ran under the Czech flag and to the music of the Czech national anthem.

-- Deana Kjuka

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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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