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Kadyrov Spokesman Criticizes Russian Opposition Politician Over Report

Russian opposition figure Ilya Yashin

Alvi Karimov, spokesman for Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, has filed a request to open a criminal case against opposition leader Ilya Yashin over his damning report on the Russian republic of Chechnya, the Interfax news agency reported Monday.

The official request was filed with the Prosecutor General and the Russian Investigative Committee, the news agency reported.

Karimov said that the report by PARNAS opposition party deputy chairman Ilya Yashin was written in a “provocative and aggressive manner” and directed against Chechen leader Kadyrov and the people of Chechnya.

The report contains “slander, insults and baseless accusations of Kadyrov” and has signs of inciting national and religious hatred, Karimov said, Interfax reported.

Yashin, according to Kadyrov's spokesman, “aims to make the citizens of Russia think that Chechnya threatens Russian security and could declare jihad against Russia.” The main aim of the report, Karimov said, is to destabilize the situation in Russia via Chechnya,” Interfax reported.

Karimov stressed that he filed a request not as Kadyrov's spokesman but as an honorary citizen of the republic of Chechnya.

The opposition party report was published by Kadyrov himself on social networks hours before its official presentation by Yashin on Feb. 23. The Chechen leader said the report contained “nothing but chatter.”

In the report — titled “A Threat to National Security” — Yashin accused Kadyrov of the Islamization of the Chechen republic and the expansion of the army. The report accused Kadyrov of involvement in the murder of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov and the killing of Chechen rebels Ruslan and Salim Yamadayev and journalist Anna Politkovskaya.

Yashin says in the report that Chechnya has been receiving billions of rubles in subsidies from the federal budget and has been a source of fighters for Islamic State, a terrorist group banned in Russia.

Yashin, commenting on Karimov's response, said he expected such a reaction from the Chechen leader.

“It is not the first time he is trying to use law enforcement agencies as a lever to apply pressure on his opponents. The criminal case is an attempt to shut my mouth,” he wrote on his Facebook page on Monday, saying that such an attempt is doomed to failure. The main goal of the Chechen authorities is to stop the spread of the report, Yashin said.

Yashin has said that he is ready to defend in court the accuracy of the data included in his report and pointed out that the Chechen leader still has not responded to the serious allegations the report contains.

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