Chechen Leader Kadyrov in Cat Fight With Socialite

MOSCOW, May 24 (RIA Novosti) – Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov entered into a bizarre public row with a Russian socialite on Friday over whose cat was the “most beautiful.”

“Dear friends! Me and Tina Kandelaki are having an argument over whose cat is more beautiful. I think it’s mine. What do you think?” tweeted Kadyrov, a former militant fighter who has frequently denied human rights abuses in his republic.

Kadyrov also posted a photo of his white cat, Zazulya, on Instagram.

“Tina Kandelaki is a friend, but the truth is more important,” he said. “My cat is 100 times more beautiful.”

Kandelaki, a TV celebrity, responded by asking her followers to vote on Instagram for her cat – Brazil.

Kadyrov, 36, has de facto led the Chechen republic since the death of the previous ruler, his father Akhmad, in a bomb attack in the republic’s capital of Grozny in 2004. He has often received high-profile celebrities on visits to Chechnya, including boxer Mike Tyson, actress Hillary Swank, martial arts actors Jean-Claude Van Damme and Steven Seagal and most recently, French-turned Russian actor Gerard Depardieu.

The Chechen leader, who once publicly denied allegations he was behind the murder in Austria of a former bodyguard with the words “If I’d wanted him dead, I could have killed him in Chechnya,” has posted a series of snaps of himself posing with animals on Instagram in recent months.

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