Chechnya's kremlin-backed President, Ramzan Kadyrov, has endorsed the growing practice of shooting at women in the street with paintball guns if they are not wearing traditional Muslim clothing.
Over the past month, human rights activists have reported paintball guns being fired from inside cars with tinted windows that have been driving around the region's capital, Grozny.
A video posted on YouTube, shot from inside one car, appears to show the paintball teams in action, with men shouting abuse at confused and shocked women after they have been hit.
Rumours circulated in the republic that the cars were in fact being driven by policemen, under orders from the government, which in recent years has promoted Islamic values. When asked in a television interview whether he was responsible for the attacks, Mr Kadyrov said that he didn't know who had carried them out. "But when I find them, I will express my gratitude," said the former rebel leader, who now enjoys the support of the Kremlin.