Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has lashed out at Germany for what he says is discrimination against his racehorses in a strongly worded manifesto titled "Horse Politics of Berlin!"
An outspoken supporter of President Vladimir Putin, Kadyrov has been sanctioned by the European Union over Russia's actions in Ukraine, barring European entities from doing business with him.
German authorities "spoiled the mood" of two of Kadyrov's horses, Zazou and Dashing Home, by refusing to award them prize money they won at recent competitions in Germany, Kadyrov wrote on Instagram late Sunday.
Zazou won his first prize, 5,000 euros, on Aug. 30 when he took first place at a racing contest in Baden-Baden. He then won another 2,000 euros at a race on Oct. 5 in Dusseldorf.
The 7-year-old Zazou has won over $1.3 million dollars during his career, and since July both Zazou and the 2-year-old Dashing Home have competed in several German competitions and raked in tens of thousands of euros in winnings, according to The Wall Street Journal.
But blacklisting Kadyrov has now caught up with the Chechen leader's horses, as German event organizers have refused to hand over the prize money for fear of violating EU sanctions.
Now, Kadyrov writes, Zazou, having "won the hearts of millions of viewers" all over the world, will be "forced to sadly watch his peers lark about in the courtyard" while he loses his skills due to a lack of practice.
"As it turns out, Zazou is to blame for everything that is happening in this world," Kadyrov wrote.
"After long debates in the government and Bundestag and consultations between the president and the federal chancellor, they deprived Zazou of the prizes he earned with his honest labor and quick hooves, and they also restricted his movements. In Berlin, they are saying that a horse, as a friend of a person on the sanctions list, falls under the same sanctions imposed on his owner, and that he should answer for it like a human," Kadyrov wrote on Instagram.
German media reported that Zazou would be deprived of his prizes in mid-September. At that time, it was reported that not only would Kadyrov's horses not receive their prizes, they would also be prohibited from taking part in competitions.
German resident Waldemar Hickst, the trainer of Zazou and Dashing Home, has also been forced to cover expenses to feed, train and house the horses because the sanctions prevent Kadyrov from doing so, The Wall Street Journal reported last week.
Hickst was also cited as saying that a lawsuit had been filed over the sanctions impact on the horses, though Kadyrov made no mention of this in his Instagram tirade.
But he did make his outrage over the sanctions quite clear.
Demanding an apology for his horses from Germany authorities, Kadyrov said that if the situation with Zazou and Dashing Home did not change, "this will go down as one of the most shameful pages in Germany's history."
"[Zazou] is the one who made the decision to start a war in Iraq, in Syria, Libya and Afghanistan and to bomb Belgrade. For that, the German politicians have imposed their shameful experiences of the past century on an animal. Zazou just wants to live peacefully, eat oats, hop about and bring joy to people," Kadyrov wrote.