Support The Moscow Times!

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.

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.

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.