Russian Masculinity: The glory of wrestling and religion

Jon Jones

In the final episode of our Russian Masculinity series, The Telegraph speaks to Ahmed Iliev, a 20-year old wrestler from Moscow.

Ahmed has been wrestling since a young age, and feels a keen sense of pride for lessons he's learnt from both the sport and his father. Holding traits of honour and dignity in high esteem, Ahmed feels it's a man's place to protect these ideals.

"If these concepts go extinct, men will go extinct."

Ahmed's passion for wrestling dominates his life, he dreams of competing at the Olympics, joking that he now feels unable to go without training at all.

"I always have this urge to wrestle someone."

Like many Russians, religion is a key part of Ahmed's life, but being of Ingush descent, Ahmed's family is Muslim. Acknowledging that he has encountered prejudices from some other Russians, he still beams when talking about his faith.  "Religion takes the first place in my life...to be Muslim is wonderful."

For more on Russian Masculinity, watch the previous episodes of the series.