Chechen leader's Instagram plea to find missing cat takes hilarious turn thanks to John Oliver

Chechnya leader Ramzan Kadyrov has taken to Instagram to search for his missing cat. PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/ RAMZAN KADYROV

Mr Ramzan Kadyrov, the controversial leader of Kremlin-backed Chechnya, has been searching high and low for his missing cat. And the Internet has, hilariously, joined in the search.

Mr Kadyrov posted a photo on his Instagram account on May 16 saying his cat was nowhere to be found.

The photo, showing him cradling a toyger, which is a domestic cat that bears a resemblance to a miniature tiger, received more than 31,000 likes on his account, which has 1.8 million followers.

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Mr Kadyrov, 39, said in the caption that the feline had been missing since May 6 and "we have begun to seriously worry".

All this might sound really sweet, but not if you look at the iron-fisted leader's past record.

In 2007, he was appointed by Russian President Vladimir Putin to rule over the Chechen Republic, located in the south of Russia.

It has been reported that Mr Kadyrov has a private army of tens of thousands of men and has been behind several kidnappings and torture.

But this has not stopped comedian John Oliver from making fun of him and his missing kitty.

The host of the HBO show Last Week Tonight With John Oliver poked fun at Mr Kadyrov's cat search, dedicating five minutes of the episode on Sunday (May 22) to ridiculing the strongman's desperate Instagram plea.

During the segment, Oliver also highlighted Mr Kadyrov's unusual Instagram feed, which featured videos and photos of him working out, cradling lions and wearing a variety of T-shirts adorned with pictures of Mr Putin .

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Oliver, 39, also brought up an incident in 2014 when Mr Kadyrov reportedly lost his cellphone at a museum opening party and made the police interrogate more than 1,000 guests on whether they had spotted the missing device.

"Just think, if he is willing to do that for a cellphone, just imagine what he is willing to put the Chechen people through for a cat,"said Oliver.

He then asked viewers to help Mr Kadyrov find his beloved cat by saying either "I have seen your cat" or "I have not seen your cat" on the original photo, and tweeting photos of cats to the Chechen leader with the caption "Is this your cat?" under the hashtag #findkadyrovscat.

Netizens obliged and the hashtag has since been used more than 8,000 times, according to BBC Trending.

Mr Kadyrov's claws were out when he responded by posting an Instagram photo on Monday of Oliver wearing a T-shirt which had Mr Putin's face and the words "I'm tired of jokes. I want to care for cats in Chechnya. By the way, Putin is our leader!", The Washington Post reported.

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A bewildering caption also came with the photo, with Mr Kadyrov explaining that the cat had left the house to "meet with friends, mingle and share news" and maybe "start a family".

He ended the post with a firm declaration of praise for Mr Putin and the hashtag #IHAVESEENYOURCAT.

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