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We all recognize that there are eccentric and deranged people in all parts of the globe, engaged in questionable behavior which we'll never understand or condone. I once thought of visiting Grozny, so perhaps some of you would even place me in one, or both, of these categories. Remember a few years ago, I wrote this post, asking readers whether it's safe for an American woman to travel to Chechnya? Some of my friends in the Russian blogosphere have been there, and even personally met Kadyrov and told me it was safe. All of them - MEN. You can call me a naive or misinformed American, but I can't understand yesterday's events.

I read the scandalous news that Kadyrov granted special permission for an old Police Chief to marry a 17 year old bride! I will not place a photo of the sad, distraught young woman in my blog to further sensationalize her image. On her wedding day, her eyes completely devoid of joy, as if going to a funeral or gas chamber. You've already seen her expressions, her white dress, and the bejeweled head covering, all draped around the delicate frame of a young woman who likely had no say in the events of that day, or in picking her groom. What a sad existence, I'm sorry I can't imagine it, or respect any region where such actions are considered acceptable, and personally authorized by the leader!! I read a lot of stories and comments about this topic today, and I'm particularly disgusted by the post written by Ilya Varlamov, LJ's top Russian blogger, where he can't understand all the fuss or controversy over the wedding.  How can a modern, intelligent man like him not question this event, particularly when he has a young daughter of his own?

Here in the U.S., we have various religious sects engaged in polygamy, many marrying very young brides. The distinction is that our leaders don't advocate or approve of such behavior, nor does most of American society. On some other news sites, I read comments by a few Chechen females stating that the bride's facial expression was normal, that Muslim women don't show overt expression, even during a wedding. According to them, such action would be considered immodest in strict Muslim families.

What do you think of this scandal? Please help me understand "real" Chechen culture and mentality better, not what well-known bloggers show on their hand held tours, organized by Chechen officials. Yes, I know about the Chechen wars and that it's a Muslim region in the North Caucasus, yet it's still part of Russia. I'm especially interested to hear from any female readers I might have living in this area. Help me restore my faith in this region..

Comments

( 272 comments — Leave a comment )
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juan_gandhi
May. 17th, 2015 03:39 am (UTC)
This freedom of marriage is selective. The guys gets his permission from his boss. Nobody asks the bride, of course, but this happens everywhere. Except that in this case there's no way any law enforcement will enforce any law there, except sharia law or special exceptions for Kadyrov and his buddies.

I would not ascribe all this to the peculiarities of Chechen culture. Maybe it is there, maybe not. This case is not about Chechen culture. In Ukraine, for instance, a woman can marry at 16, with court permission.
peacetraveler22
May. 17th, 2015 04:05 am (UTC)
Even in the USA, teenagers can marry as young as 16 with permission from their parents. However, in this case, it's quite apparent that this is a forced marriage, nothing evolving out of romance or pure love. For this reason, it's disgusting and a form of sexual slavery.
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rankin_almst500
May. 17th, 2015 03:41 am (UTC)
))... I've tried to tell you - do not be a witless american... and don't ask witless russian women about her love for her counrty...)

it's a governmental rape of a school girl .... - you will never understand that...

that's how I lived in Russia for 31 years.... until I've left.... I don't know how else to explain it to you... well, I know, because I am 54 years old... but you will not listen...((

peacetraveler22
May. 17th, 2015 04:08 am (UTC)
I think there are a lot of "witless Russians" also, because they can't understand this situation either, based on comments in many blogs. The best post and reasoning about this is here http://politichanka.livejournal.com/346551.html. I don't always agree with her political point of views, but on this subject I subscribe to every word she wrote in that post. Can you imagine Obama granting special permission for some Senator to marry a girl who just turned 17? It would never happen in this country. Thank God women have achieved a higher level of respect and value in our society.
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genka8
May. 17th, 2015 04:03 am (UTC)
Without addressing you question, I'd like to mention that Varlamov's "not understanding" is a flamebait in a bid to get more comments. As a top blogger you should know this trick :)
peacetraveler22
May. 17th, 2015 04:10 am (UTC)
I'm not a "top blogger", and never will be! To reach the top now on LJ, you must be involved in yellow journalism, scandals, and politics. I will not sink that low for the sake of fame. :))
leo_sosnine
May. 17th, 2015 04:05 am (UTC)
No surprise here. Varlamov is paid by Kremlin.
peacetraveler22
May. 17th, 2015 04:14 am (UTC)
I doubt the Kremlin agrees with Kadyrov's decision to grant permission for this marriage. Based on some of Varlamov's other posts about women and their roles in relationships/society, I question whether he views females as anything other than sexual objects, or maids to cook dinner each night, pop out babies and clean the house...
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Stan Podolski
May. 17th, 2015 04:07 am (UTC)
Друзьям - все, врагам - закон, хехе
peacetraveler22
May. 17th, 2015 04:20 am (UTC)
This story made me very sad today. :( Do you have a teenage daughter? Wish to hand her off to a grandpa for sexual satisfaction?
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tyrrel_hanna
May. 17th, 2015 04:34 am (UTC)
Spousal rape is not a crime in Russia. This is all you have to know about this black hole.
peacetraveler22
May. 17th, 2015 04:39 am (UTC)
Seriously? :( I had no idea. This is shameful.
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Just open penal code :) - xpo_xpo_xpo - May. 18th, 2015 03:00 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Just open penal code :) - peacetraveler22 - May. 18th, 2015 02:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
There are different situations. - xpo_xpo_xpo - May. 19th, 2015 12:39 am (UTC) - Expand
Yes, rape is possible. - xpo_xpo_xpo - May. 18th, 2015 02:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - don_oles - May. 17th, 2015 04:58 am (UTC) - Expand
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mila_xm
May. 17th, 2015 04:35 am (UTC)
Varlamov understands everything. But why he chose to write about it from position of innocent baby, who knows nothing about the world, it is another question. As for faith into this religion, it is enough to see photos of women, disfigured by acid and fire, without noses, read about 6 y.o. girls who die in their 1st wedding nights from blood loss, while mullahs approve it or even take part in these crimes, what can be said? Only thanks, that we were not born in certain regions of the planet.
peacetraveler22
May. 17th, 2015 04:54 am (UTC)
Exactly, why does he take this odd position? He's already a wealthy person. Maybe he's such a fame and money whore that he's willing to spit on female rights for the sake of popularity and wealth? If so, this is sick behavior. And, yes, I've said it many times in this blog - I'm very grateful that I wasn't born in a country where women are treated like dirt, with no identity or value in society other than to be a slave and baby factory for a man. I once represented a young female like this, who escaped horrid conditions in Afghanistan, and helped her gain citizenship in the USA through asylum.
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fedli
May. 17th, 2015 04:41 am (UTC)
Каждому свое...Вы едите собачий язык,мы -щи,чечены-шашлык...И живём мы далеко друг от друга...
peacetraveler22
May. 17th, 2015 04:46 am (UTC)
Yes, "to each his own", but forced marriage should not be considered acceptable in any society. It's a form of sex slavery, esp. when children are involved. If you have a daughter, I doubt you would be pleased to hand her off to an old man to live in subservience for eternity.
(no subject) - fedli - May. 17th, 2015 05:00 am (UTC) - Expand
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))) - fedli - May. 17th, 2015 09:20 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: ))) - andrey_kaminsky - May. 17th, 2015 11:14 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 17th, 2015 03:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
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But what is forced? - xpo_xpo_xpo - May. 18th, 2015 03:03 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: But what is forced? - peacetraveler22 - May. 18th, 2015 02:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
Surely you may force adult girl. - xpo_xpo_xpo - May. 18th, 2015 02:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Surely you may force adult girl. - peacetraveler22 - May. 18th, 2015 03:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
don_oles
May. 17th, 2015 04:54 am (UTC)
She was born in hell anyway, what choice she has in her life in that chechnya? Only to merry, copulate, spawn some other zergs to continue the hell cycle and die (if she's lucky - peacefully). Education? Decent work? That's laughable.
peacetraveler22
May. 17th, 2015 04:22 pm (UTC)
I didn't think conditions are so bad for Chechen women. So, once again, I'm probably just naive about the reality of the situation there.
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Anna Tairova
May. 17th, 2015 05:08 am (UTC)
It made me sad too. Thanks God I live in St Petersburg nor Grozny.
As I reckon parents of this girl attends to media in need to prevent this slavery "marriage". But they was forced to say yes lately. And this groom is no Senator its like head of Mafia. Policemans in Chechnya is a real army-like force helping Kadyrov to grow his power. Our lawsmen is closing their eyes to many of the Kadyrov's crimes and Shariat things.
Russia is the very shovinist country. But in Chechnya we see total Muslim country like Iran. Its a cloak that can blow up, so Putin tries to balance moral and law to keep Kadyrov calm.
Chechens does a terror in Boston, kills Nemtsov, kidnap a grown-up chechen women from Armenia (to prevent her marriage with the Armenian) and so on...
To understand the Chechnya I recommmend you to read Latynina blog on "Эхо Москвы". And there is a women who travelled to Chechnya several times and wrote several articles about it and did the interview with the Kadyrov. Its Ksenia Sobchak. I cannot put there links from my smartphone but you can google it. Or use Yandex its better in Russian language search.


Edited at 2015-05-17 05:15 am (UTC)
peacetraveler22
May. 17th, 2015 04:25 pm (UTC)
I saw the TV interview with the young woman as well. There, she appeared so awkward, as though the answers were forced or stage, to provide the appearance that she's in love with the man and consents to the marriage. Thanks for the reference to the other articles. I'll try to find them and read.
(no subject) - seadevil001 - May. 18th, 2015 02:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
kolldun
May. 17th, 2015 05:09 am (UTC)
Take Chechnya as a reservation (like for native Americans in the usa)

They have their laws and traditions. They are supported everywhere by the government for being a minority.

And they practice their traditions however disgusting they are. And sometimes not only in their reservation but everywhere. Tsarnaev took their national pasion for blowing bombs even to Boston.
peacetraveler22
May. 17th, 2015 06:03 am (UTC)
Yep, and now Tsarnaev officially sits on death row until his appeals in U.S. courts are exhausted. Hopefully, they'll find a way to expedite the appeals process so he can be sent to the table for execution sooner, rather than later. I have no desire to have my tax dollars support a worthless, non-remorseful human being like that for decades in jail. In a case like this, I fully support the death penalty.
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Alex Winter
May. 17th, 2015 05:10 am (UTC)
Тут короче возможно два варианта.
Первый: те правозащитники, к которым обращалась семья девушки, врут, чтоб очернить Кадырова.
Второй: Всё правда, девушка против, а Кадыров просто не может потерпеть, чтоб верно служащих ему людей отвергали женщины, то есть люди второго сорта по нормам исламской морали. Путин и его приближённые не хотят лишней напряжённости в Чечне, поэтому смотрят на творящееся там средневековье сквозь пальцы. Никто ничего не может с этим поделать, потому что власти у народа нет и обращаться куда-то для расследования этого дела или с жалобами бесполезно.
peacetraveler22
May. 17th, 2015 04:27 pm (UTC)
"Putin doesn't want excess intensity in Chechnya, and therefore makes light of the Middle Ages which is created there..it's the only plausible explanation as to why he's silent on the situation and public outcry.
Alex Winter
May. 17th, 2015 05:18 am (UTC)
Не удивлюсь, если через некоторое время девушку заставят выступить для журналистов с заявлениями, что она очень-очень любит своего мужа и просит не вмешиваться в их личную жизнь.
fedli
May. 17th, 2015 05:26 am (UTC)
А куда деваться,если поднялся такой вой среди "свободно -демократических педерастов".
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dorli87
May. 17th, 2015 05:34 am (UTC)
It is absolutely awful. Poor girl. It looks like an ancient sacrifice.
peacetraveler22
May. 17th, 2015 04:30 pm (UTC)
That's right..sacrifice. It's the proper word.
justadreamer
May. 17th, 2015 05:42 am (UTC)
Старик из богатого и сильного клана захотел молоденькую. Невеста из нищего клана, который за счёт этого брака поднимется вверх по иерархической лестнице. Мнение девушки, понятно, никто не спрашивал. Мусульмане...

Общественность попыталась вмешаться, но пока суть да дело, девушке там родственники, похоже, всё популярно объяснили и она стала со всем согласная и безумно влюблённая в старика.

Ну а в стране, сейчас, с вашими санкциями проблем выше крыши, чтобы ещё на Кавказе разборки устраивать. Поэтому всё и спустили на тормозах.
a_nimaida
May. 17th, 2015 07:28 am (UTC)
Вы правы.
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