Europe's Border Crisis

Chechen Leader Ramzan Kadyrov Buys Posh Lunch for 900 Refugees

MOSCOW — Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov said Friday he had bought lunch for 900 refugees from Syria and Iraq in honor of the major Muslim holiday of Eid.

The Kremlin-backed Chechen leader posted footage of the meal on his Instagram feed of the lunch in the German city of Kiel and said another 1,000 refugees and migrants would get free food later at "one of the best restaurants in the city."

“People fatigued from living in camps were reeling from all the attention,” Kadyrov said of the event which was bankrolled by a charity headed by his mother Aimani.

Kadyrov has often demonstrated his piety, from completing a Hajj to reportedly getting a blood transfusion from a direct descendant of Prophet Muhammad earlier this month.

In addition to the free food, he said the charity headed by his mother will set up a sports playground at the Kiel refugee camp and provide furniture for a school attended by the refugees, he added.

A one-time rebel who switched his allegiance to the Kremlin, Kadyrov was installed as leader of Chechnya by Moscow in 2007 and has imposed several religiously-themed mandates including the compulsory wearing of headscarves by women.

He has faced numerous allegations of brutality, human-rights violations and questionable use of money from Moscow.

Kadyrov has dismissed all allegations of wrongdoing and embezzlement, but never denied leading a posh lifestyle — including keeping a stable of race horses.

An incessant Instagrammer with 1.2 million followers, he routinely posts pictures of himself visiting youth athletic teams and cradling exotic pets from his sprawling zoo. His family life is chronicled online too on the site where he has more than 265,000 followers.