Chechen leader Kadyrov to choose assistant on reality TV show

  01 July 2016    Read: 1220
Chechen leader Kadyrov to choose assistant on reality TV show
The Chechen leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, has announced that he will use an Apprentice-style reality television show to choose a new assistant.
Russian media said the show, to be titled Komanda (Team), would judge contestants not only on ideas for improving the republic but also on their ability to “be on time, accurately perform assigned tasks and be ready to work 24 hours a day”.

The state-owned Rossiya 1 television channel, which will air the show, said prospective participants should apply by 22 July.

A trailer for the show depicts Kadyrov boxing with a TV presenter and putting him through a military obstacle course, declaring that only the “best of the best would become an aide to the head of the republic”.

The show’s “trials” will take place among Chechnya’s famous mountains, lakes and resorts and will highlight local hospitality and even a traditional wedding.

“You will see how Chechen women lay out a table and how they observe traditions here,” the blurb says. “Contestants will have to prove every day and every hour that they can fulfil assigned tasks on time and accurately, be ready to work 24 hours a day, overcome any obstacles and bring to life the most interesting projects along with the team of the head of the republic.”

Vladimir Putin appointed Kadyrov president of Chechnya in 2007. The former rebel leader has brought stability to the republic, which has endured two separatist wars with Russia over the past 20 years, but has been accused of authoritarianism and state-organised disappearances and torture.

A Russian human rights council delegation canceled a trip to Chechnya this month because Kadyrov refused to guarantee the security of Committee Against Torture NGO head Igor Kalyapin, who has been repeatedly attacked in Grozny. The naming of a bridge in St Petersburg after Kadyrov’s late father last month has sparked protests over the family’s human rights violations.

Kadyrov has also encouraged attacks on the Russian opposition on his popular Instagram account. An officer from Kadyrov’s security forces has been charged with murdering opposition politician Boris Nemtsov in an investigation that concluded this week.

The reality show will not be Kadyrov’s first foray in front of the camera. Last year, footage from an action film named after one of his favourite phrases, He Who Didn’t Understand Will Get It, showed him dispatching enemies with a shepherd’s staff. The film has yet to be released.

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