One of the world’s most controversial leaders, Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, is featured on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel tonight — in an interview where he brands gay people “subhuman”.
Real Sports reporter David Scott traveled to Grozny in the Chechen Republic to interview the dictator about his human rights record and his use of sports in rebuilding Chechnya in his own image.
Kadyrov also addressed the allegations of an anti-LGBTQ purge in the republic, which is part of Russia.
Officially the Head of the Chechen Republic, Kadyrov is a former member of the Chechen independence movement and son of assassinated Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov.
He has been enmeshed in violent power struggles with Chechen government warlords Sulim Yamadayev and Said-Magomed Kakiev for overall military authority.
Bizarrely, he also founded an MMA league which he calls the MMA Fight Club, and has an enormous social media following.
However, it is his odious human rights stance against the LGBTQ community that has recently been making headlines and spurred a contentious interview with HBO.
Kadyrov has actively condoned violence against homosexual people by family members.
In the clip below, men hiding their identity detail the horrors of Kadyrov’s regime. Reporter David Scott asked Kadyrov about these abuses and other matters.
To a seemingly bemused Kadyrov, Scott says: “I want to ask you about the alleged round-up, abduction, and torture of gay men in the republic. Um, what, Mr. President, do you want to say about that?”
This question elicits a snort of laughter and head shaking to someone off camera by Kadyrov.
Dismissive and feigning insult, Kadyrov says: “Now we know why he came here…and that’s what he is getting at with these questions.
“This is nonsense. We don’t have any gays. We don’t have such people here. If there are any, take them to Canada. To purify our blood, take them.”
Despite his unbelievable answers, Scott holds steady and asks Kadyrov: “But do you not get concerned when you read these accounts of young men who say they’ve been tortured for days and delivered to their families in sacks?
“Does it concern you as a matter of law and order in the republic when you hear these stories?”
Looking positively unhinged at times, Kadyrov lets loose and, referring to the gay men reportedly subject to torture, says: “They made it up. They are devils. They are for sale. They are subhuman. God damn them for slandering us. They will have to answer to the almighty for this.”
Other clips show Kadyrov discussing his professional MMA fight club, which is expanding both his security forces and his notoriety.
Kadyrov is one of Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s most powerful allies. Here is his take on geo-politics:
Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel airs tonight, Tuesday, July 18 at 10pm ET on HBO.More: HBO