Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has danced on a specially constructed stage to celebrate the City Day of Grozny which conveniently has been moved to coincide with the leader’s own 35th birthday.
Kadyrov has led the volatile region for over four years. He was previously head of security and has amassed his own personal militia which numbers in the thousands.
Rights groups and locals claim they ruthlessly execute his decrees and permeate society with fear.
But Wednesday’s lavish spectacle of music, acrobats and fireworks was attended by political dignitaries along with Hollywood stars.
The lighting and effects were certainly breathtaking and the atmosphere celebratory. Grozny is sporting a new cutting edge reconstruction project emerging out of the ruins of the recent devastating war.
But once the bangs and the bling have gone the same rights groups are asking how this impoverish Russian republic managed to raise the money for such an event.