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Chechen Leader Kadyrov Becomes Russia's Newest Film Star

Kadyrov also featured Monday in a short documentary financed by former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has scored starring roles in two films: an epic shoot 'em up action film featuring a camouflage-clad Kadyrov firing a machine gun into the sky while surrounded by military vehicles, and a somber documentary depicting him as a cruel dictator.

The upcoming feature film, which Kadyrov announced Monday via a trailer on his personal Instagram page, is to be called "Whoever Doesn't Understand Will Get It," and will see Kadyrov himself take the lead role.

"It's a hard-hitting piece in which, after lengthy negotiations, I have agreed to play the role of the main hero. … The director is the author of famous Hollywood films," Kadyrov wrote on Instagram, albeit declining to identify the Hollywood big shot by name. The trailer announces that the movie will be shown in cinemas across Russia.

A series of scandals in recent months have propelled Kadyrov to the forefront of Russian politics. The Chechen strongman appears to answer only to President Vladimir Putin, to whom he frequently and publicly expresses his adoration.

Kadyrov also featured Monday in a short documentary financed by former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, which alleged widespread human rights violations in Chechnya and accused Kadyrov of having a personal army of up to 80,000 fighters and skimming off huge quantities of federal funds.

The film, which Khodorkovsky said was the reason behind police raids on the offices of his Open Russia Foundation last month, catalogued abuses in Chechnya and featured interviews with prominent Russian journalists, NGO workers and political analysts.

"This is a person that has made Chechnya into his own feudal domain," Khodorkovsky said in the film entitled "Family." The 26-minute documentary also catalogued beatings and murders reportedly linked to Chechen security forces and alleged that every Chechen is forced to make a contribution to a personal fund from which Kadyrov buys expensive presents and pays foreign celebrity visitors.

The movie shows old television interviews where Putin describes Kadyrov as a "son" and Kadyrov, with tears in his eyes, pledges his allegiance to Putin.

Contact the author at h.amos@imedia.ru

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