Kadyrov Holds Forth on Wedding Attire, Celebratory Gunfire and Hitler

Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 8 Issue: 45

Newsru.com on November 16 reported that Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov touched on a variety of issues during a press conference, including the issue of Chechen weddings – at which, he said, it is necessary to wear national costumes and limit celebratory gunfire. “Today I am very troubled by the clothes of our girls,” Kadyrov said. “Our brides at times appear before their mothers-in-law, the relatives of their fiancées, excuse me, practically naked and bare-headed. On the streets they appear in mini-skirts with loose hair. The mentality of our people does not permit this. I would very much like our Chechen girl to look like a true Muslim woman, observing the customs and traditions of our people. … We have already given instructions that national female attire be available at all of our wedding salons. The committee for youth affairs plans to invite well-known couturiers to tailor a common uniform for youth education institutions. Our youth, our girls are the prettiest and I would very much like this beauty to be in everything, including clothes.”

On November 14, Kadyrov told a government meeting that wedding salons in Chechnya must no longer sell or rent European-style wedding dresses and switch to selling “national wedding attire.” He also called on Chechnya’s culture minister to ensure that national dance and musical groups and other artists dress modestly (Chechnya Weekly, November 15).

During his press conference, Kadyrov said he had also given orders to limit celebratory gunfire at weddings. “In these cases weapons will be taken away and (their owners) will be fired from their jobs if they are employees of power departments,” he said. “But it would be incorrect for me to forbid shooting at weddings completely. I am not against our traditions, but it is necessary to limit the shooting. Two or three shots are enough, and not from large-caliber machine-guns.”

Kadyrov also addressed the problem of unemployment in Chechnya during his press conference, calling it a serious problem but insisting there have been improvements. “The level of unemployment at the start of the year was on the order of 70 percent,” he said. “During the year we were able to lower the figure by 20 percent.” Still, Kadyrov conceded that the problem of unemployment is extremely relevant and noted that the Chechen government has developed a program to “stabilize” the employment situation. The rebuilding and launch of the Chiri-Yurt cement factory, which according to Kadyrov can create roughly 10,000 jobs, and the construction of a factory for the Avtovaz automaker are “aimed at the creation of jobs and the development of the republic’s economy and industry,” he said. Kadyrov also emphasized that the republic’s leadership is paying special attention to developing the agricultural industry, which will also create jobs.

Kadyrov also touched on the issue of bringing ethnic Russians who left Chechnya back to the republic. He said that people had been forced to leave their homes because of the activities of such people as Boris Berezovsky and Shamil Basaev. “The people are not to blame for the events that took place in the Chechen Republic, and I understand people who want to return to their own homes,” Kadyrov said. “Believe me: I will personally make every effort so that any inhabitant who was forced to leave the republic because of the events that are well known to everyone can return if they want to.”

Speaking about the issue of security, Kadyrov said that that thanks to the “selfless work of the employees and leadership of the republic’s law-enforcement bodies,” Chechnya has been able to “resist the threat of international terrorism” and move further down the path of revival and economic development.

Speaking on Chechnya’s wealth, Kadyrov “unexpectedly recalled” Adolf Hitler, Newsru.com reported. “Our republic was always oil-producing and oil-refining, providing the whole country—not only Russia, but the Soviet Union—with high-quality fuel,” he said. “As everybody knows, Hitler set his Wehrmacht two strategic objectives: a political one—Moscow; and an economic one—Baku and Grozny. There were apparently not idiots on his general staff.”

Kadyrov also once again heaped praise on President Vladimir Putin. “Attitudes towards this or that politician is the personal affair of each citizen,” he said. “I am not the only one who likes Vladimir Vladimirovich—just watch television … read the newspapers. Yes, I hold Putin in esteem. And what if I am his person? Then I’m delighted, even! But seriously speaking, this person is a gift to Russia for its many years of suffering. He is a person of the world.”

Kadyrov also denied rumors that a military firing range is being built near Lake Kezenoi-Am on Chechnya’s border with Dagestan. “There will be no firing range there,” he said. “An Olympic center will be reconstructed there, one that will be much better than the previous one. Our athletes will train there, reveling in the beauty of that heavenly corner.”