Radio Free Europe reports:
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman sought to downplay evidence of a campaign of abuse targeting gay men in Chechnya, saying the Kremlin has “heard no confirmation” of reports that have prompted outrage in the West. Speaking to journalists on April 20, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin has no reason to doubt regional leader Ramzan Kadyrov’s assurances that there is no persecution of gays in Chechnya.
HIs remarks came a day after Kadyrov met with Putin in the Kremlin and dismissed what he called “provocative articles” about gay men being rounded up by the authorities in Chechnya and families who are encouraged to perform honor killings. Putin made no comment on the issue in the public portion of the meeting, according to a transcript posted on the Kremlin website late on April 19.