The speaker of the rubber-stamp legislature of Russia's North Caucasus region of Chechnya has issued a harsh statement accusing opposition figures and media of being "traitors" under the control of Western security agencies.
Magomed Daudov on January 16 issued the statement naming the liberal Ekho Moskvy radio station and the Dozhd Internet television channel as "headquarters of the fifth column" and attacking "bought figures of contemporary culture, politics, and journalism" as cynical enemies of Russia.
That statement asks "when will the logical end be brought to the activity of these informational-psychological saboteurs."
Daudov's statement comes days after Chechen Republic head Ramzan Kadyrov attracted national attention by calling anyone opposed to Russian President Vladimir Putin an "enemy of the people" and a "traitor."
Kadyrov's statement prompted independent Krasnoyarsk lawmaker Konstantin Senchenko to write on Facebook that Kadyrov is a "disgrace" to Russia. Although Senchenko later apologized for his remarks after a suspicious conversation with an unnamed representative of the Chechen people.
However, his criticism of Kadyrov prompted a national outpouring of criticism of the Chechen leader, who has been widely accused of human-rights abuses and is believed by many to have overseen the assassinations of political opponents both in Russia and abroad.