The head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, called Novaya Gazeta journalist Elena Milashina and Igor Kalyapin, chairman of the Committee Against Torture, “terrorists.” In his Telegram channel, he urged “destroy the terrorists”.
“Terrorists for me are also Kalyapin and Milashina, who make money on the topic of the Chechen Republic and the Chechens, developing scripts and whispering texts and behavior into the ears of their characters. If there is a law and law enforcement agencies in Russia, then I appeal to them: detain these accomplices of terrorists. The evidence base is in the materials of journalistic investigations on independent channels,” Kadyrov said.
This is not the first time Kadyrov has attacked Milashina. After publishing in Novaya Gazeta about the situation with the coronavirus in Chechnya, he turned to the FSB, which, according to him, oversees Novaya Gazeta and Gazprom, which, according to Kadyrov, finances the publication:
“Stop these non-humans who write, provoke my people. Hey, Gazprom… Don’t pay money to the enemies of the people. In the end, I got tired. If you want us to commit a crime and become criminals, then say so. One will take on this burden of responsibility and will be punished according to the law. He will go to jail and get out,” he said.
He published a similar statement on his Telegram channel: “Why is the mighty citadel of our sovereignty – the FSB – actually condoning the activities of foreign agents, which, under the guise of supposedly “freedom of speech”, is trying with its false myths to label my people again as hardened criminals, medieval ignoramuses and stranglers of freedom?
Kadyrov also questioned the fact of the attack on Milashina in February 2020 in Grozny. “They do not hesitate to say that a Novaya Gazeta journalist was beaten up in the Chechen Republic. Where is the witness? I repeat once again, find evidence, evidence, find out who beat Milashina, if she was beaten. I don’t believe it,” he said.