After the head of Putin’s national guard challenged imprisoned anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny to a sword fight, a Russian lawmaker has submitted a bill to regulate duels in the Russian Federation.
The so-called “Code on Dueling” limits handgun, sword and epee combat strictly to state officials. “An inferior person can only violate [the official’s] right but not offend him,” the draft bill reads. “Thus, a duel as revenge for an insult is possible and permissible only between those of equal seniority.”
If a woman insults a subject, the draft bill says an offended person can challenge her “natural protector” to combat.
“An insult directed at a woman doesn’t concern her, but falls directly on her natural protector, who becomes the offended person,” the draft bill reads.
An explanatory note to the draft bill acknowledges that libel laws govern personal smears. “Nonetheless, there’s been a trend among state and municipal officials to challenge citizens who express views that differ from official points of view to duels,” it says, reports The Moscow Times.
Navalny has exposed corruption throughout the Russian government, including famously posting a video with drone shots of alleged mansions owned by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, including footage of the PM dancing the night away. The Kremlin prevented Navalny from running in the last election against Russian President Vladimir Putin.