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Putin's Ex-Bodyguard Challenges Navalny to a ‘Duel’

Viktor Zolotov (Russia’s National Guard / Youtube)

The head of Russia’s National Guard has challenged opposition leader Alexei Navalny to a duel and promised to pound him into a ‘juicy steak’ as punishment for Navalny's series of videos exposing alleged corruption by Russia’s top government officials.

In an Aug. 23 video investigation, Navalny alleged that leadership in the Russian National Guard had diverted millions of rubles from procurement contracts earmarked for food for soldiers. Viktor Zolotov, President Vladimir Putin’s former bodyguard, heads the National Guard. Navalny, meanwhile, is serving a 30-day sentence behind bars for a protest-related infraction.

In a rare video address published on the National Guard’s YouTube page, Zolotov said Navalny had slandered the National Guard, and it wouldn’t be forgotten. 

“The officer corps aren’t allowed to let these things go,” said Zolotov. “For centuries, people slapped people in the face and challenged them to a duel.”

“I’m simply challenging you to combat,” Zolotov said in the video message. “I promise to turn you into a juicy pounded steak in a few minutes.”

Zolotov likened Navalny to opposition figures like the deceased oligarch Boris Berezovsky and former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, calling them all “rotten, rusty and decaying.”

“You are all running around the Baltics, meeting in secret to discuss how to rip our state into pieces,” he said.

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