Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov's three sons, the oldest of whom is just 10 years old, have taken part in a mixed martial arts (MMA) tournament held in the Chechen capital Grozny, the Meduza news site reported.
Kadyrov's three sons: 10-year-old Ahmad, 9-year-old Zelimkhan, and 8-year-old Adam took part in the televised event which was hosted on the eve of Kadyrov's birthday on Oct. 4. The children all emerged from their fights victorious and were handed awards by the speaker of the Chechen parliament.
Fedor Emelianenko, president of Russia's MMA Union, strongly criticized the fights, calling them a violation of all the rules of mixed martial arts. According to Emelianenko, children under 12 are forbidden from fighting, and athletes under the age of 21 are required to wear a helmet and pads.
In a video posted on Instagram, the children can clearly be seen without protection, dealing blows to the heads and legs of other fighters.
“What happened yesterday at the tournament in Grozny is unacceptable,” Emelianenko told Meduza, emphasizing that he resented the fact that the children's fights took place in front of Kadyrov, and that they were broadcast on television. Neither the head of Chechnya, nor Match-TV has responded to Emelianenko's rebuke.
Presidential spokesperson Dmitri Peskov later confirmed that the televised event would be investigated by the "relevant authorities" after one of the fights ended in a technical knockout.
"If it was on television, and it is true that a child was knocked out, it is most definitely of interest to the relevant supervisory authorities," he told reporters.