Support The Moscow Times!

United Russia Deputy Apologizes Again

United Russia Deputy Ilya Kostunov said in an interview that "the dumbest [State Duma] deputy is smarter than the average citizen." He later apologized on Twitter, though.

In the interview with Public Post published on Tuesday, Kostunov, a first-term deputy and a former commissar with the pro-Kremlin youth movement Nashi, explained why being a deputy appealed to him.

"It's not that I think it's the creme de la creme here, but there are really smart people here, from whom one can learn," he said, referring to his Duma colleagues.

In a Twitter message, he apologized for earlier comments in the interview.

"I apologize for the phrase about 'the average citizen' and deputies. I will be more careful from now on," he said Tuesday.

Kostunov later added that his words had been deliberately taken out of context in a long informal interview, as revenge for his complaint against prominent journalist Vladimir Pozner.

In October, Kostunov sent a written complaint to Channel One's head, Konstantin Ernst, asking him to fire Pozner for saying there was no rule of law in Russia. Kostunov later apologized for that as well.

Related articles:

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

As we approach the holiday season, please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world’s largest country.