Chechen strongman launches reality show

MOSCOW (AFP) - The strongman leader of Russia's Chechnya region will recruit a new aide through an Apprentice-style reality TV show, it was announced on Thursday (June 30).

Major state-run channel Rossiya said it was looking for candidates to take part in the show called The Team.

Contestants will face challenges such as climbing mountains as well as "experiencing Chechen hospitality and traditions to the full degree", the channel said in a statement.

Ramzan Kadyrov will hand the winning candidate a job as head of the Strategic Development Agency.

"Who is the best? The head of the republic Ramzan Kadyrov will decide that himself. He will judge all the trials with the help of a special jury," it added.

Kadyrov is accused by rights activists and the opposition of running Chechnya - where Russian troops fought two brutal separatist conflicts - as his personal fiefdom, with wide use of kidnapping and torture and little oversight from Moscow.