Russian media bosses unimpressed with Chechen leaders’ anti-opposition rhetoric

Ramzan Kadyrov file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, January 18, 2016)

Editor-in-Chief of Ekho Moskvy radio station Aleksey Venediktov has said that Chechen parliament speaker Magomed Daudov’s statements against opposition journalists were an inappropriate reaction to uncomfortable questions in the media about the investigation into the murder of politician Boris Nemtsov.

“I consider his words to be a reaction to our questions about the investigation into Boris Nemtsov’s murder. I think it is clearly an inappropriate reaction; clearly we have struck a nerve,” Venediktov told Interfax on Monday [18 January].

He added that these [Daudov’s] words did not correspond to reality. “We are not ‘Satans’, we are a radio station to which the top figures of our state, including the Russian president, grant interviews,” Venediktov said.

“We will continue to ask uncomfortable questions about Nemtsov’s murder, addressing both the investigators and the Chechen authorities,” the editor-in-chief of the radio station noted.

Meanwhile Pavel Gusev, the head of the Moscow Union of Journalists, expressed the opinion that Russia’s leaders should weigh in and put a stop to attacks on opposition journalists by Chechen politicians.

“Such statements aimed against our media can and should be stopped by the country’s president personally, or through his press secretary. The Prosecutor-General’s Office and the Investigations Committee should also give this the necessary attention,” Gusev told Interfax.

According to him, as the ruling party One Russia could also express its position.

“I think what is happening now is a hysterical and unjustifiably clever polemic from Chechen politicians in their attempts to defend their leader, who previously made an unfortunate statement about the opposition. And the fact that his supporters have begun to threaten media outlets and journalists sounds more than dangerous, taking into account the peculiarities of the Caucasian mentality,” the head of the Moscow Union of Journalists said.

Earlier Daudov posted on social media platforms a series of harsh statements regarding opposition politicians, civic activists and a number of mass media outlets, including Ekho Moskvy radio station.

[featured image is file photo]