Global Voices Online
Saturday, April 12, 2008
The YouTube video below, of what is described to be a motorcade of Chechnya's president Ramzan Kadyrov, has been viewed over 100,000 times (plus, this clip has been re-posted by a number of other YouTube and RuTube users):
LJ user navalny - Aleksei Navalny, former deputy head of the Moscow branch of Yabloko party, "a democrat who's not too excited about liberals" - has tried to classify (RUS) the cars seen in the video. According to him, there are at least nine Porsche Cayenne vehicles, two BMW 5 Series, two Mercedes S-Class, and eight Lexus GX 470 (or Toyota 100 Land Cruiser). Additionally, there's this:
[...] Thirty more cars, half of which half are [Lada 110], and the other half is [a mix] of BMW 5 Series, [Mercedes G-Class], a few [Volga] cars, etc. [...]
Having sorted out Kadyrov's cars, LJ user navalny continues:
[...] It's hard to calculate the motorcade's cost. Especially considering that Cayenne, for example, is the most frequently stolen expensive cars. As we know, they are mainly taken to the Caucasus. Very likely, some are taken there for the needs of the Hero of Russia [Ramzan Kadyrov].
But here's what's really interesting. Ninety-eight percent of the Chechen Republic's budget is made up of the federal budget funds.
This miraculous motorcade has been acquired and is maintained on our money.
Let's be realistic. A president of the Federation's subject cannot drive [Zhiguli], and yes, Kadyrov does need guards. Yes, he needs an expensive car, or else he won't be respected by the locals [...].
But still, a motorcade consisting of more than 50 cars, of which ten are Cayennes - it's too much.
Helping observe the Chechen native traditions and customs is turning out to be a bit too expensive for other citizens of the Russian Federation.
LJ user sdobnoff posted a sarcastic comment:
The motorcade's cost is minimal!
In the past few weeks alone, 16 Porsche Cayenne cars have been stolen in Moscow.
LJ user bolshakov added one more item to LJ user navalny's list:
Right. When I was hospitalized this past summer, Kadyrov came to visit his nephew, I guess, at the Sklifosovsky Institute - there are also [Bentley]'s in the motorcade.
Back in July 2007, Timur Aliev - LJ user timur_aliev, a journalist and Ramzan Kadyrov's aide - wrote (RUS) about what had allegedly happened to the Chechen president's nephew:
The big celebration of Kadyrov's 100 days [as president], which was to take place tomorrow, has been canceled. They say it's because Ramzan's 12-year-old nephew is in an intensive care unit now - a dew days ago, he was in a car accident. He took [a Zhiguli car] from the adults and crashed in it. [...]
Commenting on LJ user navalny's post now, Timur Aliev wrote:
What you see is most likely a collective motorcade of the cars belonging to the [presidential administration] and the government. The president usually rides in a 10-car motorcade, which includes the guards' cars.