In a sumptuous white gown, Kheda Goilabiyeva, 17, wept at one point during her wedding ceremony.
They weren’t tears of joy but of profound sadness.
The teenage bride was forced to marry an ally of Chechen warlord Ramzan Kadyrov after reportedly being threatened with being kidnapped if she refused.
She was asked three times whether she wanted to marry police chief Nazhud Guchigov, 47 – who already has another wife – before finally and reluctantly responding yes, Mail Online reported.
The marriage has provoked outrage in Russia.
Russia’s child rights commissioner, Pavel Astakhov, defended the wedding by saying Caucasian women “are all shrivelled with wrinkles by the age of 27″, a comment for which he later apologised.
Not before young women started posting selfies on Instagram with the hashtag #WrinkledWoman in which they scrunch up their faces to simulate the appearance of wrinkles.
Many of the posts include sarcastic greetings to Astakhov.
Kadyrov, who has ruled Chechnya with an iron fist since being installed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2007, was said to have given his personal blessing for the marriage — although polygamy is illegal in Russia.
Astakhov said the wedding did not violate laws on the minimum age for marriage, but he has not responded to questions regarding polygamy.
Guchigov reportedly threatened to kidnap the teen and warned of “unpleasant consequences” if she or her parents did not consent to the marriage, Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported.
– Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org