Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 6 Issue: 5

“A striking picture: a black Hummer stops on dirty vacant lot. First, a fighter with a weapon climbs out of it, then Hero of Russia Ramzan Kadyrov with a weapon, then another fighter with a weapon, then suddenly Ksenia Sobchak wearing something airy. Kadyrov is smiling widely; the girl also tries to smile, but doesn’t quite pull it off. She nervously looks about. The voice of the correspondent off camera pronounces: ‘They say that Chechen First Vice Premier Ramzan Kadyrov has nine such Hammers.’ Meanwhile, on the TV screen, Sobchak and Kadyrov take spades in hand and begin to dig a hole. A chill runs up the spine, the thought flashes: now they’re going to start taking bodies out of the trunk. In fact, the lady of the Moscow demi-monde and the main Chechen silovik bury a time capsule with a message for future generations on the spot where Canadians have been contracted to build a water-park in the near future. All of this would have looked rather funny if you didn’t know it was happening in Gudermes, Chechnya’s second capital. Off camera, there is a thick cordon (at which the airy beauty was probably casting her nervous glances).”—Alexander Rylkin in Yezhenedelny zhurnal on January 28 describing the foundation-laying ceremony for a planned water-park in Gudermes, Chechnya, that took place three days earlier.