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Kadyrov says video of Russian politician Kasyanov in crosshairs of a rifle was a joke

April 14, 2016, 19:37 UTC+3 GROZNY GROZNY April, 14. /TASS

"As for the image of Kasyanov, it was a joke, a figure of speech. By all means it did not contain or could contain any direct threats addressed to somebody," Kadyrov has written in his Instagram

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Ramzan Kadyrov

Ramzan Kadyrov

© Yelena Afonina/TASS Archive

GROZNY, April 14. /TASS/. Chechnya’s acting head Ramzan Kadyrov has explained he just made a joke when he posted a video on his Instagram page of Mikhail Kasyanov, the leader of the political party Parnas, in the cross-hairs of a sniper’s rifle.

"I received my diplomatic education in daily struggle against the arch foes of Russia, in which I lost the closest and dearest people, friends and associates. This explains why my way of expression may be too emotional, but it is invariably sincere, coming from the depth of my heart. As for the image of Kasyanov, it was a joke, a figure of speech. By all means it did not contain or could contain any direct threats addressed to somebody," Kadyrov has written in his Instagram, adding that "Sergey Dorenko is a journalist with a long record in his profession and also a man of great political experience, who he surely knows this very well."

"However, President Vladimir Putin’s remark has the power of the law for me. I obey instantly! Let me say once again that the national interests for the team of Akhmat-Khadji Kadyrov [Ramzan Kadyrov’s father - TASS] are sacred," Kadyrov said.

"I’m grateful for the comments President Putin made on my past and present. I can say once again, and I really mean it, that under no circumstance I would’ve ever taken any step running counter to the interest of Russia and the people of our great country," Kadyrov’s post says.

In Thursday’s question-and-answer phone-in session, officially called Direct Line with Vladimir Putin, journalist Sergey Dorenko, present among the invited guests in the studio, asked the president to call to order the heads of some regions who were looking for "enemies of the people" among oppositional politicians. His statement was a clear hint at the recent harsh statements by Chechnya’s head Ramzan Kadyrov. Putin offered an excuse explaining the Chechen politician’s behavior. In part, he said that once a member of the separatist insurgency in his republic himself, Ramzan Kadyrov eventually made his choice in Russia’s favor.

"It was a very dramatic internal transformation," Putin said. He voiced the hope that the heads of Russian regions, including Chechnya, would eventually develop the awareness that expressing their attitude to representative of oppositional political forces in extreme ways destabilized the political situation in the country and there would be no more such statements in the future.

At the end of January Kadyrov posted a video clip in Instagram showing Kasyanov and Kara-Murza Jr. in the cross chairs of a sniper’s rifle. The subtitle read: "Kasyanov went to Strasburg for money for the Russian opposition. Whoever does not understand, he will understand!" The video was eventually deleted as an abuse of Instagram rules.

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