A police chief in Grozny, Chechnya, has taken a wife who’s just 17 years old and, by nearly all accounts, did not want to enter into the marriage. We use the word “taken” literally in this case because the bride had little choice but to don a beautiful white gown and say “I do.” The alternative was kidnapping followed by “unpleasant consequences,” Chechen police chief Nazhud Guchigov warned the teen, Kheda Goilabiyeva, and her parents if they did not consent to the union. The marriage has triggered outrage in Russia. Guchigov, in addition to being 30 years older than his new bride (some reports say he’s actually 57), already has a wife and is the lackey of Ramzan Kadyrov — a Vladimir Putin appointee. Photos and video taken at the wedding show Goilabiyeva weeping at the nuptials, but it’s quite apparent that she is not crying tears of joy. She reluctantly agreed to the marriage after being asked three times as onlookers snapped photos with cameras and smartphones. Russia’s child rights commissioner, Pavel Astakhov, caused more of an uproar by defending the wedding and justifying it. Caucasian women “are all shriveled with wrinkles by the age of 27,” he reportedly reasoned. He later apologized for the remark, but not before women on Instagram began posting photos of themselves scrunching their faces to make them “wrinkled” along with the hashtag #WrinkledWoman and tagging Astakhov. Kremlin human rights commissioner Ella Pamfilova blasted the wedding as “medieval.” The story reportedly came to light when villagers reached out to award-winning investigative journalist Yelena Milashina and told her that a teenager had been married off against her will.
Read the full story at The Daily Mail.