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Kadyrov Unveils His Cat

Chanel the cat.

First it was President Vladimir Putin's black labrador Koni stealing the world's heart in endearing photos, and then Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's cat Dorofei was introduced to the world. Now the Internet can add another first pet to the list: Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov's cat Chanel.

Kadyrov debuted the British shorthair on the photo sharing site Instagram on Friday, with the very simple caption "our beloved cat Chanel."

The accompanying photo shows a sleepy looking cat in a leather carrier.

Accused of presiding over a repressive Chechen regime guilty of widespread human rights violations — an accusation which he denies — Kadyrov opened an account on Instagram, a photo-sharing social network site, late last year.

He has since posted a series of pictures that feature his family, official meetings and shots of him feeding rare white tigers, working out and standing atop mountains.

But he also uses the photo sharing site to connect with the Chechen people and announce meetings with government officials and occasionally celebrities, like Gerard Depardieu, who features prominently on Kadyrov's Instagram page.

Kadyrov has also set up a committee to resolve issues raised by Instagram users, who can send messages to a special cell phone number.

The photo sharing site may be fun, but it has also increased his work load, he said.

"If for most people Instagram is just entertainment, then for me it's an additional burden," he told reporters in Grozny in early March.

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