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Putin’s man in Chechnya embraces the new chivalry

21 September 2016

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.

The age of chivalry seems to be making a comeback in 2016. First, English Heritage began a campaign to make jousting an Olympic sport, and now the second-generation Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov has marked Chechen Women’s Day in typically flamboyant fashion. Buoyed by gaining a remarkable 98 per cent of the votes in the recent presidential election, to this eye – unschooled in the armour of the region (and eager for more instruction) – Kadyrov appeared at the reception in Grozny’s Safia Palace dressed like an extra from Eisenstein’s Alexander Nevsky, complete with sword and spear.

A photo posted by Ramzan Kadyrov (@kadyrov_95) on

A photo posted by Ramzan Kadyrov (@kadyrov_95) on

Still from Sergei Eisenstein's Alexander Nevsky.

Still from Sergei Eisenstein’s Alexander Nevsky. Www.filmlinc.com

But why should the modern politician confine themselves to the Middle Ages. Earlier this week, Nicholas Sarkozy declared that, ‘Once you become French, your ancestors are the Gauls.’ The possibilities for campaigning in fancy-dress seem endless.

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