Russian opposition leader and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny has been once again imprisoned due to calls for demonstrations against pension reform, which is hugely unpopular in Russia. He has also accused the head of Putin’s national guard, Rosgvardia Director Viktor Zolotov, of corruption declaring upwards of $30 million has disappeared from national guard contracts.
The head of Russia’s National Guard has challenged Aleksei Navalny to pick up a sword and duel it out with him in classic 19th-century fashion, after the opposition politician accused the organization of billions of rubles in corruption.
In a seven-minute YouTube clip in which he appears in full dress uniform, cap, and epaulets, Rosgvardia Director Viktor Zolotov vows to “make mincemeat” of Navalny, who is currently behind bars serving the latest of his sentences for his political activities.
“I simply challenge you to a duel, in the ring, on the judo mat, anywhere, and I promise to make mincemeat of you,” Zolotov, a former steelworker and longtime security chief for President Vladimir Putin, says after accusing Navalny of “offensive, slanderous remarks,” wrote RFERL.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov seemed to normalize the remarks saying he could “can well understand” his motivations.
“You know, sometimes any possible methods should be employed in opposing shameless libel,” Peskov said in comments quoted by Interfax. “When there is really shameless libel, which is nothing but a violation of the law, surely, such libel had better be nipped in the bud.”