HBO reporter David Scott interviewed Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov and asked about reports of anti-gay violence in the Russian federal subject.
Kadyrov’s initial response is to laugh. “Why did he come here?” he asks, referring to Scott. “What’s the point of these questions?”
“This is nonsense,” Kadyrov continues. “We don’t have those kinds of people here. We don’t have any gays. If there are any, take them to Canada. Praise be to god. Take them far from us so we don’t have them at home. To purify our blood, if there are any here, take them.”
In April, the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported that around 100 gay and bisexual men were being held in secret detention sites. A spokeperson for Kadyrov initially commented that there are no gay men in the country and encouraged Chechens to kill LGBT family members.
With this interview, we now know that Kadyrov himself believes that there is nothing wrong with killing gay people.
Still, he had some choice words for reporters who are discussing the matter at all. “They are devils. They are for sale. They are not people,” Kadyrov says, referring to reporters. “God damn them for what they are accusing us of. They will have to answer to the almighty for this.”
Kadyrov’s regime has been accused on multiple occasions of assassinating journalists and whistleblowers.
To summarize: 1) killing gay people is a laughing matter, 2) there are no gay people in Chechnya so there can’t be anti-gay detention sites, 3) Chechnya would be purified if they could get rid of gay people, and 4) journalists who accuse Chechnya of running anti-gay detention sites are terrible liars who will be punished.
The full interview will air on Tuesday.