Hollywood star Steven Seagal visits Chechnya

Moscow: Hollywood star Steven Seagal spent some time with Ramzan Kadyrov, the former militant fighter who now heads Chechnya, in the latest in a series of visits by Western celebrities to the volatile Russian republic.

"The famous American actor, film producer, writer, director and martial arts expert (seventh dan aikido) Steven Seagal visited our republic today (Wednesday)," Kadyrov wrote on Instagram.

"I invited him to my residence. We had a talk."

"I told him that I watch his films, and I like them a lot," said Kadyrov.

"Nobility. Willpower. Honor. Qualities characteristic of Chechens. So we can say he is almost a Chechen!"

Seagal, star of movies like "Above the Law", "Under Siege", "Fire Down Below", made headlines in March when he joined Russian President Vladimir Putin at the opening of a martial arts centre in Moscow.

On Tuesday, Kadyrov met French actor Gerard Depardieu and British actress Elizabeth Hurley.

The two actors are set to star in a crime thriller currently being filmed in Moscow and Chechen capital Grozny.

Depardieu, who was recently given a Russian passport and an apartment in Grozny after publicly criticising the tax regime in his native France, will play a man whose son is killed and who comes to Russia to avenge him, meeting up with an old flame (played by Hurley) in Moscow and a Chechen friend along the way.

Reports also said Depardieu is set to star in a film about Kadyrov`s father, Akhmad Kadyrov, the first president of Chechnya, who was killed in a bomb attack in Grozny in 2004.

Two years ago, Kadyrov`s birthday party was attended by Hollywood stars Jean-Claude Van Damme and Hilary Swank.