Chechnya leader Ramzan Kadyrov fights erring minister in the ring

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 25 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 25 April, 2013, 3:59am


The muscle-bound leader of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, boasted that he had challenged a minister to a sparring session to punish him for errors, posting photographs of their punch-up on his Instagram page.

Kadyrov wrote in on Instagram that he held the sparring session as a "pep talk" with the regional minister of sports and physical culture, whom he accused of poorly maintaining his ministry's building.

"With a left and a right hook I explained to him ... that you need to use your head," he wrote.

With a left and a right hook I explained to him ... that you need to use your head

Russia's NTV on Tuesday aired footage of Kadyrov in the ring with the minister, Salambek Ismailov, who appeared to pull his punches, while Kadyrov aimed blows at his face and groin.

The match went to two rounds and included a referee, television reported.

Ismailov was allowed to wear a helmet, Kadyrov said, "because he has to go to work the next day".

In the gym watching the sparring was the Russian minister of labour and social protection, Maxim Topilin, who was shown smiling broadly on television.

Kadyrov argued on Instagram that it was "effective to punish in this way failings by officials" and that he was even doing the minister a favour.

"I think it's better for him to let out his negative energy in the ring towards me, than to take out his bad mood on the family members at home."

Kadyrov, a former rebel leader in the Russian republic of Chechnya who went over to supporting the Kremlin, has gained the "master of sports" level in amateur boxing.

He boosts his macho image by strolling with armed guards and posting pictures of his gym sessions, echoing the macho posing of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He is an avid user of social media sites.

Critics accuse Kadyrov of ruling the region with thuggish intimidation and lack of respect for human rights.

The boxing stunt came after it emerged that one of the brothers of Chechen origin who are suspected of carrying out the Boston bombings, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was a promising boxer.