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Navalny Accepts Putin Ex-Bodyguard’s Duel Challenge

Alexei Navalny / Youtube

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has accepted a duel challenge issued by the head of the National Guard troops days after his release from prison.

National Guard director Viktor Zolotov, a former presidential bodyguard, promised to pound Navalny into a “juicy steak” last month as punishment for the Kremlin critic’s videos exposing alleged corruption by Russia’s top government officials, including Zolotov himself. Navalny was serving a month-long sentence for violating protest rules at the time of the challenge and was only released Sunday after 20 more days in jail on new protest charges.

“I accept your challenge and, as is customary, choose the place and the weapon,” Navalny told Zolotov in a video address published on YouTube Thursday.

“Our duel will take place as a debate live on Channel One or [Rossia], or any other federal channel,” he said, offering his own YouTube channel with almost 2.3 million subscribers in the case if state television channels decline to stage the debate.

Navalny gave Zolotov a deadline of one week to accept or decline the terms of the offer.

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