On Sunday, May 22, the comedian and television host John Oliver mocked Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov on his late night news satire program, “Last Week Tonight,” for asking his social media audience to make a group effort to find a missing pet cat. Oliver encouraged viewers to use various hashtags to communicate to Kadyrov the status of their individual searches, after Kadyrov wrote on Instagram last week about a beloved local cat “having vanished.”
Kadyrov has since responded, posting on Instagram a photo-edited picture of Oliver featuring the comedian wearing a sleeveless pro-Putin t-shirt, along with the awkwardly worded inscription, “I’m tired of jokes. I want to care for cats in Chechnya. By the way, Putin is our leader!” The peculiarities of the response can be attributed to the specific criticisms that Oliver made on the show, including comments about Kadyrov’s apparent obsession with garments bearing Putin’s face.
According to Kadyrov, he's received photographs of cats from countries all around the world, from Japan to Iceland. One photograph was even sent from the Oval Office, he claims.
Kadyrov did not respond to Oliver’s commentary about the leader’s alleged human rights violations and use of torture.