Snap-pagandaDictators Who Love Instagram: Bashar al-Assad & More (Photos)Nina Strochlic08.02.13Snap-pagandaDictators Who Love Instagram: Bashar al-Assad & More (Photos)It’s not just the Syrian tyrant who’s sharing a distorted view on social media. Nina Strochlic looks at strongmen’s shots, from Damascus to Chechnya and even in Iran.Nina Strochlic08.02.13 8:45 AM ETVia InstagramIs Instagram the 21st-century propaganda machine of choice among the world's despots? On July 24, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad opened “the official Instagram account for the presidency of the Syrian Arab republic.” Posting pictures of himself and his wife, the leader of a country in the midst of a devastating war has drawn criticism for his out-of-touch faux pas. Assad isn't the only tyrant painting the app with cheery colors. Here are some other strongmen who use the social-media site for their own good. Via InstagramSyriaAs the death toll in Syria's civil war hit 100,000 and the refugee count neared 2 million, President Bashar al-Assad found it to be the opportune time to open an Instagram account. Here he confers with a Syrian Army leader. Via InstagramSyriaAssad shakes hands with a Syrian Army unit in a tank. Via InstagramSyriaA concerned-looking Assad grips the hand of a wounded victim of war. Via InstagramSyriaFirst Lady Asma al-Assad embraces a Syrian woman. ChechnyaChechnyan President Ramzan Kadyrov uses his Instagram account to post official statements. After the Boston Marathon bombings, he wrote: "Any attempts to link Chechnya and the Tsarnaevs, if indeed they are guilty, are futile," with the hashtags "#terroristact #Boston #consequence." Via InstagramChechnyaKadyrov, who is accused of a string of human rights abuses, often posts photos of his family to his 173,146 followers. “It’s actually a very useful thing,” he once said of Instagram. “I now have the opportunity to monitor public opinion in real time.” Via InstagramChechnyaThe sun sets on Chechnya, as captured by the country's president. Via InstagramChechnyaThirty-six-year-old Kadyrov was once a rebel fighter. Via InstagramIranWhen Iran's Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei joined Instagram, Gawker proclaimed it "no longer cool." IranWho's that over your shoulder, Khamenei? The country's religious leader has been in power since 1989. IranThe Supreme Leader is also big on Twitter, with more then 13,000 followers. Via InstagramIranA year ago, Vice did a spot-on fake hack of the ayatollah's account to make it more Instagram appropriate.