Chechnya's contentious consent A photo series from the scandalous wedding in Grozny
Last Saturday in Chechnya, a police captain named Nazhud Guchigov married 17-year-old Luiza Goilabieva. The wedding would likely have gone unnoticed, were it not for an article last month by Novaya Gazeta reporter Elena Milashina, claiming that Guchigov—already a married man—was wedding the girl by force, effectively making her his concubine. According to the Novaya Gazeta story, Guchigov first denied even knowing Goilabieva, saying he was happily married and didn’t need a second wife. Following the intervention of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, however, it turned out that Guchigov was indeed bent on marrying the teenager, and the girl, moreover, had consented. Mocking the media storm that surrounded the nuptials, Kadyrov called it the “wedding of the century,” and had his chief of staff personally escort Goilabieva to the ceremony in Grozny, which photographer Sergey Ponomarev attended on May 16.