Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Transmission

Happy Birthday, Ramzan!

Chechen leader and horse-racing enthusiast Ramzan Kadyrov enjoys a September 25 horse race in Gudermes.
Chechen leader and horse-racing enthusiast Ramzan Kadyrov enjoys a September 25 horse race in Gudermes.
Be sure to wish Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov a happy birthday today. But be careful about your gift-giving -- this birthday boy is a fickle one.

Young Ramzan, who turns 35, has publicly threatened to punish any overt displays of celebration for his big day. "Anybody who approaches the Chechen leader and even tries to give him a gift will be fired," Kadyrov's office said in a statement last week.

Perhaps it's a bizarre brand of false modesty. It could also just be that Ramzan is in a bad mood. His birthday celebration -- rebranded as Grozny "City Day" to commemorate the opening of a new real estate development in the capital's downtown -- was originally meant to include celebrity appearances from Shakira, Eva Mendes, Hilary Swank, violinist Vanessa Mae, and Kevin Costner.

But it took a turn for the more mundane last week after Shakira disavowed any intent to perform for the Chechen leader. Kadyrov castigated the Colombian star for turning down the invite, and said that she had violated Chechens' "human right" to be entertained. No official word yet from the other putative visitors, though it's believed that most of them also declined Kadyrov's invitation.

Shakira (right) won't be serenading Ramzan.
On October 4, Kadyrov met with local police and instructed them to be on their toes for the City Day festivities. But he also had some words of advice about the erstwhile celebrity invitees: don't talk about them. Kadyrov chalked up Shakira's no-show act to capriciousness, noting that celebrities' calendars are always subject to modification.

Her "change of schedule" must have been a hard one for the president to swallow. Rumors swirling around Chechnya have it that officials carefully prepared luxury apartments to house the would-be visiting stars and their retinues.

So, please, the president's office wants you to have a great time. Enjoy the fireworks, mingle with the crowd, thank your lucky stars you live in Grozny under the benevolent leadership of Ramzan Kadyrov. Just don't give the guy any presents, and don't mention Shakira. Capiche?

-- Charlie Dameron, with reporting from RFE/RL's North Caucasus Service

Tags: Chechnya,Ramzan Kadyrov,Shakira

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by: Joseph Kobzon from: Kremlin
October 05, 2011 19:19
Dearest ramazan,please forget about bloody Shakira ,she`s a liar -her hips are fake -she`s just a GMO and paddings and all. We can send you our real Alla Budalla Pogatcheva for almost free and I can tell you from personal experience she`s worth every ounce of her 69 pounds.And I`m sure that if you show her in Grozny central square in her underwear all bloody chechen terrorists will run away to Alaska.

by: Fact from: Grozny
October 05, 2011 22:14
I have nothing to say. Pretended to be an innocent lamb. Made October 5th day city, and actually celebrate his birthday. Hypocrisy. Says will not accept gifts. A friend sent me a photo, a gift to Ramzan, the new rolls royce ghost. Here is the truth. Spent on the event huge sums of money. It is better to open a factory job would be to people. Forced to stand in the rain teachers, pupils and students. When everyone was afraid to go somewhere because of the danger of explosions. Russian media never tells the truth.

by: American Troll
October 06, 2011 01:05
Impudent girl. No one else gets to violate Chechens' human rights.

by: John Doe from: Wouldn't say (afraid)
October 06, 2011 09:13
Dearest ramazan, I hope you do not plan to kill her ;)

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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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