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Moscow Court Rejects Russian National Guard Chief's Libel Lawsuit Against Navalny

The head of Russia’s National Guard, Viktor Zolotov (file photo)

A court in Moscow has rejected a libel lawsuit filed by the head of Russia's National Guard, Viktor Zolotov, against opposition politician and anticorruption activist Aleksei Navalny.

The Lyublino District Court ruled on December 17 that the lawsuit filed by Zolotov, who is demanding 1 million rubles ($15,000) from Navalny in compensation for damaging his honor and dignity, has discrepancies contradicting Russia's Civic Procedural Code.

The court obliged Zolotov to refile the lawsuit in a proper form, with modified text and content by January 9.

Earlier on December 11, Zolotov’s lawyer, Shota Gorgadze, said his client wanted a court to rule that Navalny's allegations about Zolotov being corrupt are not true.

Navalny then described the lawsuit against him as "very funny," citing Russian media reports that said the Federal Antimonopoly Service had received a request from the FSB security service to investigate possible violations in the National Guard's food purchasing program.

In August, Navalny issued a video showing images of luxurious properties that he claimed were bought by Zolotov and members of his family with "stolen money."

Zolotov, a former steelworker and longtime security chief for President Vladimir Putin, released a video in September in which he appeared in full dress uniform and challenged Navalny to a duel in the fighting form of his choice, vowing to "make mincemeat" of his opponent.

Navalny in October announced that he accepted Zolotov's challenge and proposed televised debates in a TV studio as his weapon of choice.

However, Zolotov rejected Navalny's offer.

With reporting by Dozhd and Meduza
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