MOSCOW, May 31 (Itar-Tass) - The TV footage showing two female residents of Grozny carrying leaves and mowing in a Russian flag is genuine and not choreographed, the director general of RBK-TV television channel, Alexander Lyubimov, told Tass on Friday.
On Friday, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said the footage from Chechnya had been choreographed. “I was not there, but as far as I understand this footage is a newsreel shooting,” Lyubimov said. “If it were choreographed, it would give close-ups, it would be expressive, but everything was filmed from a distance in this case,” he said. “I can understand Ramzan Kadyrov’s regrets and pain, but unfortunately this case, gravely violating the law, did take place. Unfortunately, local law enforcement agencies let this happen,” the director general said.
He also noted that this footage “is available for absolutely all”. In reply to the question whether law enforcement agencies of Chechnya had asked for the film, he said “So far there has been no request. But we are absolutely open, everybody can see the film, and if law enforcement agencies get interested in the people carrying leaves and grass in the flag, they can take it from the website of the TV channel,” he added. In reply to the question whether Ramzan Kadyrov had contacted him, Lyubimov said “No, he did not call me”.
The author of the footage, Andrei Reut, has also confirmed to Itar-Tass that it was not choreographed. “This is the scene that took place in central Grozny,” he said. “Ramzan Kadyrov can be understood, he ensures security not only in Chechnya but in the whole Caucasus,” he said. “But here I only have to regret that instead of punishing people, everything is presented so that the footage was allegedly choreographed. We have no point in inventing things,” he stressed.
“For all that, I can say that things that I saw in Grozny inspire wonder - it is safe there, there is order and Putin’s portrays can be seen everywhere,” he added. The Chechen leader said commenting on the footage “I was most of all chocked that the author of the footage, a Russian national, did not come up to the women and did not explain how the flag must be treated, did not take it away from the women if he witnessed that. He either does not consider himself a Russian national or he and his cameraman choreographed it,” he said.
Special attention is paid in Chechnya to the state symbols of Russia and the region. Kadyrov personally controls whether school students and teachers, state servants and government ministers know the national anthem.
“I know this did not happen and could not have happened in Chechnya. However, at every meeting today angry citizens of the republic ask, why there is no response to this choreographed footage,” he said. He also stressed that “the biggest in the world cloth of the Russian state flag” is waving at the entry to Tsentaroi on the range between the Kurchaloi and Gudermes regions, while Grozny “set the world record of synchronous singing of the national anthem,” when 100,000 people sang it standing hand in hand.
The Chechen leader also said that “hundreds of thousands of people died in the republic defending Russia against mercenaries and terrorists from several dozen countries”. And all of those who gave their lives in fight against terrorism were fighting “under Russian flags,” he said.