Magomed Daudov, aide to Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and a speaker in the republic's parliament, used Kadyrov's dog to threaten Russian opposition activists, Russian media reported Monday.
In a series of posts on Instagram, Daudov accused the Russian opposition of trying to start a bloody war in the country, and of being "paid-for puppets" of the exiled former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
He also called the opposition-leaning Ekho Moskvy radio station and the Dozhd TV channel "headquarters of the fifth columnists" that are carrying out "atrocious experiments" on Russian citizens.
On Sunday, Daudov posted a picture of Kadyrov with his sheepdog Tarzan. In the caption he hinted at comparing several opposition figures — presumably Ilya Yashin, the ally of the slain politician Boris Nemtsov, editor in chief of Ekho Moskvy Alexei Venediktov, civil rights advocate Lev Ponomaryov and Igor Kalyapin, former head of the Anti-Torture Committee — to different dogs, and said that Tarzan's "teeth were itching" to tackle them.
The controversial statement came on the heels of an exchange of allegations between Kadyrov and Konstantin Senchenko, a Krasnoyarsk deputy.
Last week the Chechen leader branded the Russian opposition "enemies of the people," after which Senchenko wrote a Facebook post calling Kadyrov "a disgrace to Russia."
It was reported that Senchenko later apologized for his remarks, but he denied this. Kadyrov's statements were condemned by the members of the presidential Human Rights Council and Russia's human rights ombudsman Ella Pamfilova.
On Monday Sergei Naryshkin, speaker of the State Duma, called the conflict "unpleasant" and expressed hope for an open and respectful dialogue between "the ruling and the opposition parties," the Interfax news agency reported.
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