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Chechen Leader Kadyrov Shoots His Mouth (And Then His Gun) Off

When Ramzan Kadyrov posted an Instagram message hailing the chief suspect in the assassination of Boris Nemtsov as a "Russian patriot," some wondered if perhaps the Chechen leader himself had organized the killing.

Zaur Dadayev, the accused killer, had close ties with Kadyrov and had served in a Russian Interior Ministry battalion charged with fighting Islamic insurgents in the Caucasus.

In his March 8 supportive message, Kadyrov also said the motive for the February 27 killing of Nemtsov could have been related to a Charlie Hebdo cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

Kadyrov hasn't said anything further about the murder.

But the following day, after Russian President Vladimir Putin awarded him the Order of Honor, he still appeared to have gunfire on his mind.

"Dear Friends! Today I had a very rare day off," he wrote on Instagram. "I went with friends to the virtual shooting range.

"We were all unanimous in the opinion that it is periodically necessary to take a peek at the shooting range," he added.

The video shows Kadyrov and associates shooting people leaning out of cars, behind desks, and off of building ledges.

All virtual, of course.

It's not the first video that shows Kadyrov seeming to glorify gang warfare.

Take this one, posted on the Russian rapper Timati's official Instagram account less than a week after Nemtsov was killed.

It shows Kadyrov, in mock admonishment, wagging a finger at the camera.

"You've become brazen recently," he says, riffing off the catchphrase of a new Timati song, before the video cuts to a bound man being shut into the trunk of a Mercedes.

"Now you've done it! )))" Timati writes.

-- Glenn Kates

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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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