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Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, not generally know for his rationality, has recently displayed increasingly erratic behavior, reportedly shipping 100 dump trucks of snow to Grozny for children to play in on New Year's Eve.

The snow, unfortunately, began to melt immediately after being scattered around the "holiday tree," and could not be blown out of the snow cannon because the temperature was above freezing -- 7 degrees Celsius, or about 45 degrees Fahrenheit. It was imported from the Kabardino-Balkaria Republic at a cost of $640,000, according to reports from Grozny's mayor's office, after Kadyrov declared "it wouldn't be New Year's without snow."

Shortly before the end of December he also decried the lip-synching of Chechen pop singers, calling it "deception." He added that singing about romance and relationships instead of love of one's country -- or animals -- went against "the bounds of decency."

One might argue that a 2006 wedding Kadyrov attended in Daghestan, a diplomat's synopsis of which was recently made public by WikiLeaks, was slightly more "indecent" than Chechen pop songs.

Although Kadyrov only made a guest appearance at the outrageous wedding, in which the son of Daghestan Oil Company chief Gadzhi Makhachev was married, he certainly made an impression on the American diplomat in attendance.

"At 8:00 p.m. the compound was invaded by dozens of heavily armed mujahedin for the grand entrance of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, dressed in jeans and a T-shirt, looking shorter and less muscular than in his photos, and with a somewhat cock-eyed expression on his face," the dispatch read.

A fireworks display to honor Kadyrov's late father ensued, followed by five children dancing the traditional "lezginka." Kadyrov joined the children, dancing "clumsily" and "with his gold-plated automatic stuck down the back of his jeans."

"Both Gadzhi and Ramzan showered the dancing children with hundred dollar bills; the dancers probably picked upwards of USD 5000 off the cobblestones," the dispatch said.

Kadyrov left shortly afterward -- missing out on the "disjointed fragments of the carcass" of sheep and cows the diplomat surmised were being boiled day and night somewhere in the mansion, as well as the rest of the "stupendous" alcohol consumption at the Muslim wedding.

"We asked why Ramzan did not spend the night in Makhachkala, and were told, 'Ramzan never spends the night anywhere,'" the dispatch states.

-- Courtney Rose Brooks

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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

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