Politician retracts criticism of Putin ally after threats

Russian politician who referred to Putin ally as "Russia's disgrace" retracts criticism after threatened by Kremlin-backed Chechen leader Kadyrov

Photo by: AFP (Archive)
Photo by: AFP (Archive)

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov (right), pictured in 2011 with Russian President Vladimir Putin

A politician who described an ally of President Vladimir Putin as being "Russia's disgrace", surprisingly made a public apology on Friday, after expressing that he had fears of being killed by Putin-backed Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

Konstantin Senchenko, a local politician in the Siberian Krasnoyarsk region, said on Thursday that Kadyrov had discredited Moscow by characterising oppositions of Putin as "enemies of the people."

Kadyrov indicated that the liberal opposition should stand trial for sabotage, provocating and threatening Putin opponents.

After such threats, Senchenko on Friday appeared on Kremlin-friendly news sites and said, "I apologise. I was wrong. I acted hastily and emotionally. I am really sorry," in a U-turn move just a day after publishing his criticism.

He also added that he had come to realise the error of his ways after speaking to "representatives of the Chechen people."

Meanwhile, Kadyrov on Friday posted Senchenko's apology message to him on social media and responded with several smiley emoticons, indicating that he forgave him. 

During an interview with a Russian radio station, Senchenko also stated that strong and clear hints had been made that indicated that he could possibly share the same fate as late opposition leader Boris Nemtsov.

Russia's opposition supporters carry portraits of Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov during a march in central Moscow on March 1, 2015. (AFP Archive)

Nemtsov was shot and killed while walking across a bridge near Moscow's Red Square on Feb. 27 after giving an interview in which he called for an anti-war protest. Former deputy prime minister Nemtsov was considered as one of the strongest critics of Putin.

"In the course of these conversations various hints were made and certain things became obvious," said Senchenko. "For example, I was asked whether I liked to walk across Red Square."

The main suspect in Nemtsov’s investigation is the deputy head of an elite police unit, Zaur Dadayev, and the main suspect over the assassination is Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

TRTWorld and agencies