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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.