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Chechen Leader 'Pauses' Workout to Respond to US Sanctions

Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of the Chechen Republic, has released a video in which he appears to take a break from lifting weights to respond to sanctions placed upon him by the US Treasury under the Magnitsky human rights law.

The sanctions stem from alleged human rights abuses, including a “purge” targeted gay and bisexual men, RFE said.

Kadyrov said that the US Treasury had nothing better to do than sanction him and said that he would, according to an RFE translation, “not have gone to the USA if all the foreign currency reserves of the country were promised to me as a prize.”

The US Treasury has accused Kadyrov of torture and extrajudicial killings. Another Chechen security official was also accused of involvement in the “purge”.

Kadyrov begins this video in a position to bench press a barbell loaded with 240 kg of weights, before sitting up and talking to the camera.

While Kadyrov regularly posts footage of him working out, these videos show him lifting significantly lighter weights. Credit: Instagram/Ramzan Kadyro via Storyful