'We Will Put the Whole World on Its Knees and Screw It From Behind' Says Chechen Strongman Kadyrov
Dozens of gay men are being kidnapped, held prisoner, tortured, and even murdered in concentration camps in the Russian Republic of Chechnya, according to several media reports and confirmed by at least one international human rights organization. The head of Chechnya,Â Ramzan Kadyrov, is a strong and close ally of President Vladimir Putin. Both have denied or ignored the accusations, further enabling the anti-gay violence.
In an exclusive interview with HBO's "Real Sports" producer David Scott,Â Kadyrov delivered a stunning attack on gay people and the United States of America. Outsports' Cyd Zeigler broke the story Friday afternoon.
In a promotional video,Â Kadyrov is asked about the extrajudicial torture and killings.Â
"This is nonsense," he tells HBO.
Outsports published an excerpt of the transcript. In it,Â Kadyrov, a military dictator and strongman, says gays "are not people" and "are devils" who "are for sale."Â
2. Kadyrov says if there are any gay people in Chechnya they should be removed in order to purify the blood of the Chechen people. pic.twitter.com/oTshkbFGLOâ€” Yashar Ali (@yashar) July 14, 2017
He also says there are no gays in Chechnya. But if there are, "take them to Canada," he says. "Praise be to God. Take them far from us so we donâ€™t have them at home. To purify our blood, if there are any here, take them."
Reminder: Putin handpicked Kadyrov to succeed his father. He worships Putin and Putin needs him to survive. This is why Russia is our foe. https://t.co/oNc354JnXhâ€” Yashar Ali (@yashar) July 14, 2017
Asked if the U.S. is Russia's enemy,Â Kadyrov said America is not strong enough to be regarded as an enemy of Russia.
â€œWe have a strong government and are a nuclear state. Even if our government was completely destroyed, our nuclear missiles would be automatically deployed. We will put the whole world on its knees and screw it from behind.â€
Outsports notesÂ KadyrovÂ runs a mixed martial arts program and has begun to promote it outside of Chechnya.
The Head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, posts workout videos while gay men are tortured and imprisoned in Chechnya. pic.twitter.com/KbgnYbNlfDâ€” Yashar Ali (@yashar) July 10, 2017
But what's not in the story is thatÂ Kadyrov supportsÂ mixed martial arts programs for childrenÂ â€“ even his own young sons.
"The sons â€” Akhmad, 10, Eli, 9, and Adam, 8 â€” were among the fighters in aÂ mixed martial artsÂ tournament broadcast Tuesday on Russian television from Grozny, the Chechen capital," The New York Times reportedÂ in early October of last year. "The child fighters, shirtless and wearing no protection, punched and kicked their young opponents in the head during the spectacle. All three Kadyrov sons won their bouts and received gold belts at the end of the tournament."
HBO's interview withÂ Kadyrov airs July 18.Â
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Image viaÂ The Kremlin