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Kadyrov says opponents of new Moscow mosque should ‘go to the trenches with machine guns’ if they really care about ‘protecting Russian land’

In a Telegram post on Tuesday, Chechnya Governor Ramzan Kadyrov referred to ongoing protests against the construction of a new mosque in Moscow as a “provocation.”

The demonstration’s organizers, according to Kadyrov, are “acting in the service of Western interests” and are trying to “drive a wedge between citizens of the same country.”

“If all of these rally participants came out […] with the idea of protecting Russian land, then [they should] go ahead to the trenches with machine guns!” wrote the Chechen leader. “Show your patriotism, walk the walk, don’t just talk the talk, engaging in provocations to show how much you love your Motherland.”

Since early February, residents of Moscow’s Kosino-Ukhtomsky District have been going on what they describe as “strolls” to express their opposition to the construction of a new mosque in their area. According to the protesters, they fear the new mosque will cause traffic jams, an influx of migrants, and a rise in crime.  

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