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Ramzan Kadyrov says he was merely articulating Chechen ethics when he advocated the murder of ‘Internet gossips’ earlier this month

Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of Russia’s Chechen Republic, has offered a public explanation of a speech he made earlier this month, where he advocated the murder, imprisonment, and harassment of people who “spread rumors” online. While visiting a construction site in Grozny, Kadyrov spoke in Chechen in an interview aired on local state television. The website Caucasian Knot later published a translation into Russian.

The translation reads: “When you say something, they get angry and try to distort it. According to our ethics, it came out according to adat: ‘I will beat you, I will kill you, I will tear you apart’... When you say they’re doing a direct translation… ‘You see, Kadyrov [said] this and that’... I talk to my own children [like this]... It’s a part of our vocabulary. It’s always been this way: to intimidate and chastise.”

Kadyrov also argued that blood feuds do not imply murder, arguing that they emerged “to stop the killing.” “Everything is to establish harmony between people,” he explained.

Ramzan Kadyrov’s official spokesman, Alvi Karimov, previously criticized Russian journalists for publishing translations of the Chechen leader’s angry remarks to members of his cabinet. The Kremlin has refused to review or even comment on Kadyrov’s advocacy for the murder of “Internet gossips.”