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Russian National Guard Chief Rejects Navalny's Call For TV Debate


Viktor Zolotov (left), the head of Russia’s National Guard, and opposition leader Aleksei Navalny

The head of Russia's National Guard, Viktor Zolotov, has rejected opposition politician Aleksei Navalny's call for a televised debate made in response to Zolotov's challenge to a "duel."

Zolotov told reporters in Moscow on October 19 that he did not challenge Navalny to televised debates but to "something else," and therefore "our approaches differ."

Navalny, in a ironical but defiant video published on October 18, announced that he accepted Zolotov's challenge to a "duel" and proposed televised debates in a TV studio as his weapon of choice.

Navalny's reaction came weeks after Zolotov, a former steelworker and longtime security chief for President Vladimir Putin, released a video in which he appeared in uniform and challenged Navalny to "a duel," telling him to choose whatever type of confrontation and vowing to "make mincemeat" of his opponent.

Zolotov said on October 19 that he had invited Navalny to "a sporting event, nothing more," adding that he will respond to Navalny's call for televised debates "later."

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax
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