What the Hollywood left will do for money

How about attending the birthday bash of a Chechen warlord and praising a man who applauded his security forces for attacking Muslim women who didn't wear a head covering??

Ramzan Kadyrov, the self-styled warrior king of Chechnya, has enjoyed multimillion-pound birthday celebrations complete with Hollywood actors and superstar musicians.

The lavish party also marked 193 years since the founding of the Russian republic's capital, Grozny, which was ravaged by two wars with Russia.

Mr Kadyrov, a devout Muslim, counts former boxing champion Mike Tyson and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as friends and is an admirer of sports cars and gold-plated weapons.

No expense was spared as he relished the opportunity to show the world how far his republic has come since its war-torn days or, more pertinently, since he took charge.

A bizarre mix of Hollywood stars added glitz to the ritzy celebrations.

After strutting his stuff on stage, actor Jean-Claude Van Damme made his feelings for the Chechen warlord clear: "I love you Mr Kadyrov, I love you all in my heart."

Oscar-winner Hilary Swank gushed further tributes: "This is my first time in Grozny. I love to travel, I love to see the world, I love to see different cultures, so really, truly from me, this is a great honour to learn more about you and your country and what you're building. And happy birthday Mr President."

Violinist Vanessa Mae reportedly received £320,000 for her performance at the event.

Chechnya is not exactly a model of economic growth and opportunity. So where did the money come from?

Mr Kadyrov said the money to stage such an event comes from Allah - in reality it comes from the Kremlin.

The cash is clearly abundant enough for Hollywood endorsements, which many feel are the last things this still troubled region needs.

Anything for a buck - or few a few hundred thousand of them.



How about attending the birthday bash of a Chechen warlord and praising a man who applauded his security forces for attacking Muslim women who didn't wear a head covering??

Ramzan Kadyrov, the self-styled warrior king of Chechnya, has enjoyed multimillion-pound birthday celebrations complete with Hollywood actors and superstar musicians.

The lavish party also marked 193 years since the founding of the Russian republic's capital, Grozny, which was ravaged by two wars with Russia.

Mr Kadyrov, a devout Muslim, counts former boxing champion Mike Tyson and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as friends and is an admirer of sports cars and gold-plated weapons.

No expense was spared as he relished the opportunity to show the world how far his republic has come since its war-torn days or, more pertinently, since he took charge.

A bizarre mix of Hollywood stars added glitz to the ritzy celebrations.

After strutting his stuff on stage, actor Jean-Claude Van Damme made his feelings for the Chechen warlord clear: "I love you Mr Kadyrov, I love you all in my heart."

Oscar-winner Hilary Swank gushed further tributes: "This is my first time in Grozny. I love to travel, I love to see the world, I love to see different cultures, so really, truly from me, this is a great honour to learn more about you and your country and what you're building. And happy birthday Mr President."

Violinist Vanessa Mae reportedly received £320,000 for her performance at the event.

Chechnya is not exactly a model of economic growth and opportunity. So where did the money come from?

Mr Kadyrov said the money to stage such an event comes from Allah - in reality it comes from the Kremlin.

The cash is clearly abundant enough for Hollywood endorsements, which many feel are the last things this still troubled region needs.

Anything for a buck - or few a few hundred thousand of them.



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