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Chechen Leader Makes Instagram Vow To Travel By Horse

The Kremlin-backed strongman of Chechnya pretends to give up cars after he was caught speeding.

Posted on August 28, 2013, at 2:56 p.m. ET

Kadyrov thunders through the Chechen countryside on a mighty stallion.

He joked that he had asked breeders to "create a horse with a car's speed, endurance, and ability to go without food for days."

Kadyrov was responding to a request by The Blue Buckets, a group that protests against officials' bad driving, to strip him of his license after he posted another video of himself driving at 150mph.

President Vladimir Putin has given Kadyrov lavish funding and carte blanche to rule Chechnya, ravaged by two separatist wars, as a personal fiefdom. Rights groups accuse him of kidnappings, torture, and murder.

Kadyrov denies the accusations. And has taken to Instagram in a bid to soften his image. By posting pictures like this.

But his stock in trade is this. And yes, that's Steven Seagal next to him.

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    Max Seddon is a correspondent for BuzzFeed World based in Berlin. He has reported from Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and across the ex-Soviet Union and Europe. His secure PGP fingerprint is 6642 80FB 4059 E3F7 BEBE 94A5 242A E424 92E0 7B71

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A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.