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Chechnya leader bans 'fantasy' American superheroes from children's playgrounds

Kadyrov encountered Superman, Captain America, and others painted on the walls of a children's center in Kurchaloy.

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Ramzan Kadyrov
Ramzan Kadyrov
(Kremlin.ru)
Updated: November 27, 2020 - 11:00pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Superman, Iron Man, and their American superhero pals have been banished from children's playgrounds in Chechnya, as per decree from the region's leader, Ramzan Kadyrov. 

Kadyrov last week encountered the superheroes, who also include Captain America and Thor, painted on the walls of a children's center in Kurchaloy, a developing city. Kadyrov was touring the building in order to promote progress.

After spotting the murals, Kadyrov wrote on VKontakte — Russia's answer to Facebook — that the heroes should be vanquished from the playground.

"Pictures of these made-up characters should be removed; these are fantasies," Kadyrov said of the murals in a video accompanying his VKontakte post. "We have plenty of real heroes in the history of our nation and religion, which can and should serve as an example. Otherwise, they think that only these heroes exist." 

The authoritarian Kadyrov, whose official title is Head of the Chechen Republic, on Friday reportedly banned images of the popular American comic book heroes from playgrounds throughout the region.

The decree brought protests on VKontakte.

"What for?" one woman wrote. "What's wrong with cartoon heroes? More than one generation of children has grown up on them."

Another asked if fairy tales also will be banned.

"'Cat-in-boots' is a representative of a NATO country!" the woman wrote. "Why deprive children of their childhood?"

The American superheroes will be replaced by images of Kadyrov's late father, the former Chechen leader Akhmad Kadyrov, and by likenesses of Chechen heroes from history.

The U.S. State Department in July sanctioned Ramzan Kadyrov, along with his wife and two daughters, for "involvement in gross violations of human rights in the Chechen Republic."