RealNews

Russian MP says Kremlin sanctions Chechnya killings

A leading Russian MP and human rights activist has severely embarrassed the Kremlin by holding briefings for senior US officials in Washington in which he has accused Moscow of complicity in the murder of its opponents by “death squads” in Chechnya. Sergei Kovalyov, who spent 12 years in a Soviet labour camp after campaigning for political prisoners in 1975, has told US senators and influential policy bodies that civilian mass graves being found across Chechnya are the result of highly organised operations that the Kremlin is either sanctioning or ignoring. Mr Kovalyov’s near-legendary status as a human rights campaigner in Russia will make sure his accusations smart all the more inside the Kremlin walls, particularly with Washington days away from listing some Chechen separatists as terrorists, a propaganda victory for Moscow. “We are always finding, all across Chechnya, mass graves of civilians,” he told the American Foreign Policy Council, a US think tank, on Friday, referring to the work inside Chechnya of the human rights group Memorial. Full Story

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