Chechen President Creates New Government Ministry For Dedicated Instagram Follower

Business Insider

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov has given a man who follows him on Instagram a position in his government, Ria Novosti reports.

It's unclear exactly how the follower, Arbi Tamayev, impressed Kadyrov enough to get the position. His title will be "minister for cooperation between the republic’s government and civil society" and he will be a member of the Chechnya's cabinet.

Kadyrov wrote this on his Instagram account, “Arbi Tamayev actively reacted to my request to gather Instagram users, took initiative and was persistent.”

According to Ria Novosti, the ministry that Tamayev will lead was only created last week. The Chechen government states it will be tasked with "uncovering problems and informing other government structures about them".

Kadryov's account, @kadyrov_95, was widely publicized last month, though it has been active since November. He currently has over 74,000 followers. (Another account linked to Kadyrov now appears to be inactive).

The light-hearted photos Kadyrov posted to Instagram have surprised many Russia observers who remember Kadyrov's brutal reputation. He was described by the New York Times as a "unpredictable warlord" during the brutal war Chechen wars, and as president has faced accusations that his country is rife with human rights abuses and corruption.

His unexpected popularity on the photo-sharing service hasn't pleased him, however. He described Instagramming as "an additional burden" earlier this month.

Here are some highlights from his account:

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