Led out by a beaming Adam Kadyrov, the son of the Chechen leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, a group of muscular men sporting black beards strode on to the brightly illuminated stage in Dubai last week to receive gold medals and a $5,000 (£3,960) cheque.
The men were members of the notorious Chechen Akhmat Kadyrov special police regiment, a group that Ukrainian officials have said was responsible for some of the worst atrocities in the war with Russia. The unit had just won one of the contests at the international Swat Challenge games, which are held each year in the United Arab Emirates.
The invasion of Ukraine has made Russia a pariah state in the west, with many Russian sports teams and cultural figures banned from participation in global competitions. But in Dubai last week, Chechen forces were competing against elite police squads from the US and Canada, raising questions among security experts and human rights observers about why western security groups were taking part in a contest alongside a unit accused of war crimes in Ukraine.
Read more: theguardian.com