Showing posts with label Putin-Nolike-Udead. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Putin-Nolike-Udead. Show all posts

April 14, 2020

Putin has Sown Wide Confusion,Hurt Major Institutions, Encouraged Spread of Deadly Illnesses




 The U.S. President buddy (Putin)thinks his nation (US)manufactured Ebola, the thing is his nation had the same capability of manufacturing it if not more experience (Assad of Syria will agree to this if we were his friend and asked). Interesting when you can cook a sausages for friends but you neighbor who works for sausage making outfit and overtimes for a rat poison company say you poisoned his wife with a poison hot dog(sausage).


A decade of health disinformation promoted by President Vladimir Putin of Russia has sown wide confusion, hurt major institutions and encouraged the spread of deadly illnesses.


President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia leading a coronavirus meeting by videoconference at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow on Tuesday.
President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia leading a coronavirus meeting by videoconference at the Novo-

On Feb. 3, soon after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus to be a global health emergency, an obscure Twitter account in Moscow began retweeting an American blog. It said the pathogen was a germ weapon designed to incapacitate and kill. The headline called the evidence “irrefutable” even though top scientists had already debunked that claim and declared the novel virus to be natural.

As the pandemic has swept the globe, it has been accompanied by a dangerous surge of false information — an “infodemic,” according to the World Health Organization. Analysts say that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia has played a principal role in the spread of false information as part of his wider effort to discredit the West and destroy his enemies from within.

The House, the Senate and the nation’s intelligence agencies have typically focused on election meddling in their examinations of Mr. Putin’s long campaign. But the repercussions are wider. An investigation by The New York Times — involving scores of interviews as well as a review of scholarly papers, news reports, and Russian documents, tweets and TV shows — found that Mr. Putin has spread misinformation on issues of personal health for more than a decade.

His agents have repeatedly planted and spread the idea that viral epidemics — including flu outbreaks, Ebola and now the coronavirus — were sown by American scientists. The disinformers have also sought to undermine faith in the safety of vaccines, a triumph of public health that Mr. Putin himself promotes at home.

Moscow’s aim, experts say, is to portray American officials as downplaying the health alarms and thus posing serious threats to public safety.

“It’s all about seeding lack of trust in government institutions,” Peter Pomerantsev, author of “Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible,” a 2014 book on Kremlin disinformation, said in an interview.

The Russian president has waged his long campaign by means of open media, secretive trolls and shadowy blogs that regularly cast American health officials as patronizing frauds. Of late, new stealth and sophistication have made his handiwork harder to see, track and fight.

Even so, the State Department recently accused Russia of using thousands of social media accounts to spread coronavirus misinformation — including a conspiracy theory that the United States engineered the deadly pandemic. 

The Kremlin’s audience for open disinformation is surprisingly large. The YouTube videos of RT, Russia’s global television network, average one million views per day, “the highest among news outlets,” according to a U.S. intelligence report. Since the founding of the Russian network in 2005, its videos have received more than four billion views, analysts recently concluded.
ImageAn electronic billboard in St. Petersburg in March advised passers-by to avoid crowded places.
An electronic billboard in St. Petersburg in March advised passers-by to avoid crowded places.Credit...Dmitri Lovetsky/Associated Press 

Because public interest in wellness and longevity runs high, health disinformation can have a disproportionally large social impact. Experts fear that it will foster public cynicism that erodes Washington’s influence as well as the core democratic value of relying on demonstrable facts as a basis for decision-making.

“The accumulation of these operations over a long period of time will result in a major political impact,” Ladislav Bittman, a former Soviet bloc disinformation officer, said in explaining the Kremlin’s long-game rationale.

Sandra C. Quinn, a professor of public health at the University of Maryland who has followed Mr. Putin’s vaccine scares for more than a half-decade, said the Russian president was drawing on an old playbook. “The difference now is the speed with which it spreads, and the denigration of the institutions that we rely on to understand the truth,” she said in an interview. “I think we’re in dangerous territory.” 

As a young man, Mr. Putin served in the K.G.B., the Soviet Union’s main intelligence agency, from 1975 to 1991. He worked in foreign intelligence, which required its officers to spend a quarter of their time conceiving and implementing plans for sowing disinformation. What Mr. Putin accomplished is unclear. But public accounts show that he rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel, and that his 16-year tenure coincided with a major K.G.B. operation to deflect attention from Moscow’s secret arsenal of biological weapons, which it built in contravention of a treaty signed with the United States in 1972.

The K.G.B. campaign — which cast the deadly virus that causes AIDS as a racial weapon developed by the American military to kill black citizens — was wildly successful. By 1987, fake news stories had run in 25 languages and 80 countries, undermining American diplomacy, especially in Africa. After the Cold War, in 1992, the Russians admitted that the alarms were fraudulent.

As Russia’s president and prime minister, Mr. Putin has embraced and expanded the playbook, linking any natural outbreak to American duplicity. Attacking the American health system, and faith in it, became a hallmark of his rule.



 At first, his main disseminator of fake news was Russia Today, which he founded in 2005 in Moscow; in 2008 it was renamed RT, obscuring its Russian origins.

Early in 2009, a particularly virulent flu, named H1N1, swept the globe, and thousands of people died. That year, the network featured the conspiratorial views of Wayne Madsen, a regular contributor in Washington whom it described as an investigative journalist. In at least nine shows and text bulletins, Mr. Madsen characterized the deadly germ as bioengineered. “The world is actually fighting a man-made tragedy,” one bulletin declared.

That June, Mr. Madsen told RT viewers that the virus makers had worked at a shadowy mix of laboratories, including the Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, in Frederick, Md. The institute’s official job is to help defend the United States against the kinds of pathogens that Mr. Madsen accused it of creating.

In a follow-up show, Mr. Madsen said the virus had been spliced together from other flu strains, including the virus responsible for the 1918 pandemic, and likened its creators to the mad scientists of “Jurassic Park,” the hit movie about resurrected dinosaurs. RT’s chyron for the show characterized the result as “Germ Warfare.”

In 2010, the network founded a new arm, RT America, a few blocks from the White House. Mr. Madsen became a regular on-camera guest.

In 2012 Mr. Putin added the military to his informational arsenal. His newly appointed head of the Russian Army, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, laid out a new doctrine of war that stressed public messaging as a means of stirring foreign dissent. That same year, a shadowy group of trolls in St. Petersburg began using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to fire salvos of junk information at millions of Americans. The goals were to boost social polarization and damage the reputation of federal agencies.

A rich opportunity arose in 2014 when Ebola swept West Africa. It was the worst-ever outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever, eventually claiming more than 10,000 lives.

RT’s gallery of alleged criminals once again included the U.S. Army. The network profiled an accusation by Cyril Broderick, a former plant pathologist, who claimed in a Liberian newspaper article that the outbreak was an American plot to turn Africans into bioweapon guinea pigs, and cited the AIDS accusation as supporting evidence.

The RT presenter noted that the United States was spending hundreds of millions of dollars to aid Ebola victims in Africa but added: “It can’t buy back the world’s trust.”

The trolls in St. Petersburg amplified the claim on Twitter. The deadly virus “is government made,” one tweet declared. Another series of tweets called the microorganism “just a regular bio weapon.” The idea found an audience. The hip-hop artist Chris Brown echoed it in 2014, telling his 13 million Twitter followers, “I think this Ebola epidemic is a form of population control.”

C.D.C. in the cross hairs

Mr. Putin’s campaign of health misinformation was now a global enterprise, with the creative energy of a fun house and the ability to strike anywhere.

The next target was the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States’ flagship public health agency. In late 2014, a rash of fake news reports falsely claimed that an Ebola victim in Liberia had been flown to Atlanta, starting a local outbreak. A YouTube video showed what it described as C.D.C. personnel, in hazmat suits, receiving and moving the patient in secret. The deceptive video included a truck bearing the logo of the Atlanta airport. 

A rush of tweets turned up the volume. “Panic here in ATL!!” one stated. Another exclaimed, “OMG! Ebola is everywhere!”

As the Kremlin grew more confident, it began to simply recycle old narratives rather than wait for new epidemics to emerge. In 2017, Russian trolls used Twitter to give the AIDS falsehood new life. This time the claimed perpetrator was Dr. Robert Gallo, a scientist who in 1984 had actually helped discover the virus that causes AIDS. The tweets quoted him, falsely, as saying he had designed the pathogen to depopulate humanity. The trolls cited a website, World Truth. Its video attacking Dr. Gallo registered nearly four million views.

Six researchers centered at the University of California, Los Angeles, found that, over decades, the false narratives around AIDS had fostered a “lack of trust” among African-Americans that kept many from seeking medical care. Their 2018 study, of hundreds of black men in Los Angeles who have sex with men, reported that nearly half the interviewees thought the virus responsible for AIDS had been manufactured. And more than one-fifth viewed people who take new protective drugs as “human guinea pigs for the government.”

Beleaguered defenders

Within Russia, Mr. Putin has been a staunch proponent of vaccines.

“I make sure I get my vaccinations in time, before the flu season starts,” he told listeners to a 2016 call-in show. At a televised meeting with doctors in St. Petersburg, in 2018, he scolded Russian parents who refuse to vaccinate their kids: “They endanger the lives of their own children.”

Calling the issue “very important,” he warned of possible administrative steps to speed the pace of childhood immunizations. Last fall, Russia’s health authorities laid out expanded rules that require strict new adherence to protocols for childhood vaccination.

At the same time, Mr. Putin has worked hard to encourage Americans to see vaccinations as dangerous and federal health officials as malevolent. The threat of autism is a regular theme of this anti-vaccine campaign. The C.D.C. has repeatedly ruled out the possibility that vaccinations lead to autism, as have many scientists and top journals. Nonetheless the false narrative has proliferated, spread by Russian trolls and media.

Moreover, the disinformation has sought to implicate the C.D.C. in a cover-up. For years, tweets originating in St. Petersburg have claimed that the health agency muzzled a whistle-blower to hide evidence that vaccines cause autism, especially in male African-American infants. Medical experts have dismissed the allegation, but it reverberated. 

An RT studio in Moscow in December. Its American arm, founded in 2010, is located in the center of Washington, D.C., just blocks from the White House. 

An RT studio in Moscow in December. Its American arm, founded in 2010, is located in the center of Washington, D.C., just blocks from the White House.Credit...Misha Friedman/Getty Images
In a series of 2015 tweets, Russian trolls promoted a video of a black minister in Los Angeles addressing a rally. “They’re not just shooting us with guns,” he told the audience. “They’re killing us with needles.” The minister and accompanying text in the video claimed that childhood immunizations had caused autism in 200,000 black children.

RT America echoed the charge. It focused on “Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe,” a 2016 film by Andrew Wakefield, a discredited anti-vaccine activist. When the film was pulled from the Tribeca Film Festival after a public outcry, the network aired an interview with its creators. “Can we trust the C.D.C. on vaccines?” a plug for the show asked.

Russian trolls fired off tweets containing links to the film and a fund-raising site for its promotion. One claimed that autism rates were about to skyrocket to “1 in 2” vaccinated children.

Mr. Putin’s disinformation blitz has coincided with a drop in vaccination rates among children in the United States and a rise in measles, a disease once considered vanquished. The virus, especially in infants and young children, can cause fevers and brain damage. Last year, according to the C.D.C., the United States had 1,282 new cases, a record in recent decades; of these, 128 involved hospitalizations and 61 resulted in major complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis.

The new threat

The Moscow site that retweeted the coronavirus blog in February belongs to a Russian news outlet called The Russophile. It is tauntingly bold. The author portrait on its Twitter page shows an unidentifiable soldier in green fatigues holding an orange tabby cat. The background image is a colorized Kremlin mosaic. The site calls itself a “news feed from free (= not owned by the globalist elite) media.”

On the site’s About page, under the heading “Some more reasons for our existence,” is a quote attributed to President Abraham Lincoln: “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.” 

The website lists its owner’s name as OOOKremlinTrolls and its street address as an imposing building next door to the offices of Lukoil, a Russian oil giant tied to Cambridge Analytica’s digital campaigns to sway American voters. “It’s a nice part of town,” Darren L. Linvill, a Clemson University expert who uncovered the retweets, said of the Russophile address.

The site epitomizes the complicated nature of the new threat, parts of which have evolved to become more open, while others have grown stealthier. “It’s a cloud of Russian influencers,” said Dr. Linvill, a professor of communications who has studied millions of troll postings. The players, he said, probably include state actors, intelligence operatives, former RT staff members and the digital teams of Yevgeny Prigozhin, a secretive oligarch and confident of Mr. Putin’s who financed the St. Petersburg troll farm.

Mr. Putin and other officials on a visit to a coronavirus emergency call center in Moscow last month.Credit...Pool photo by Mikhail Klimentyev 

The new brand of disinformation is subtler than the old. Dr. Linvill and his colleague Patrick L. Warren have argued that Mr. Putin’s new methodology seeks less to create than to curate — to retweet and amplify the existing American cacophony, raising the level of confusion and partisan discord.

Much of the disinformation, like the Russophile site, lies hidden in plain sight. But other elements embody a new sophistication that makes it increasingly hard for tech companies to ferret out the interference of Russia, or any other country. Experts say that Russian trolls may even be paying Americans to post disinformation on their behalf, to better hide their digital fingerprints.

On March 5, Lea Gabrielle, head of the State Department’s Global Engagement Center, which seeks to identify and fight disinformation, told a Senate hearing that Moscow had pounced on the coronavirus outbreak as a new opportunity to sow chaos and division — to “take advantage of a health crisis where people are terrified.”

“The entire ecosystem of Russian disinformation has been engaged,” she reported. Her center’s analysts and partners, Ms. Gabrielle added, have found “Russian state proxy websites, official state media, as well as swarms of online false personas pushing out false narratives.” 

RT America dismissed the department’s charges, which were first made in February, as “loosely detailed.” In her March testimony, Ms. Gabrielle said that her center had intentionally made public few details and examples of the disinformation, so that adversaries could not decipher “our tradecraft,” presumably in an effort to foil countermeasures.

Tass, the Russian news agency, reported that the Foreign Ministry firmly rejected the State Department’s charge. That response echoes an iron rule of disinformation. As Oleg Kalugin, a former K.G.B. general, put it in a video interview with The Times: “Deny, deny, deny — even if the truth is obvious.”

Beijing now appears to be borrowing from Mr. Putin’s playbook, at least the early drafts. It recently declared that the coronavirus was devised by Washington as a designer weapon meant to cripple China.

Mr. Putin has disseminated false and alarming health narratives not only about pathogens and vaccines but also about radio waves, bioengineered genes, industrial chemicals and other intangibles of modern life. The knotty topics often defy public understanding, making them ideal candidates for sowing confusion over what’s safe and dangerous.

Analysts see an effort not only to undermine American officials but also to accomplish something more basic: to damage American science, a foundation of national prosperity. American researchers have won more than 100 Nobel Prizes since 2000, and Russians five. Geographically, Russia is the world’s largest country, but its economy is smaller than Italy’s.

As Dr. Quinn of the University of Maryland put it, Mr. Putin’s salvos are targeting “the institutions that we rely on to understand the truth.”

February 15, 2020

Russian Comedian Who Joked About Putin Had to Very Soberly and Without Humor Run Out of Russia


WHY?

But isn't that what comedians do?? Make comedy, jokes. This guy was a professional comedian, not a school kid out to offend and have a good time being an idiot. 
When You deal with people such as Putin, Trump, Saudi Royals and many homemade kings in Africa, They think they are too important to be joked about. This is people missing something up on the frontal lobe in the brain that lies to them telling them they are better than all their people. My real question is that these people are not there because god brought them down on a space ship but they usually come from not much, so why the people let them get away believing and acting like indeed they are better than the Russian people or with Trump the Republican party people. Why are they better than the average man? woman? 
Adam
Comedian Aleksandr Dolgopolov, 25, performing stand-upImage copyrightsand-UP CLUB #1/YOUTUBE
Image captionAleksandr Dolgopolov's lawyer confirmed the comedian had left Russia
BBC
A Russian comedian who made jokes about President Vladimir Putin and Christianity says he has fled the country over fears for his safety.
Aleksandr Dolgopolov, 25, said he became concerned after learning that police were investigating footage from his stand-up performances.
Authorities said they had received a complaint that Dolgopolov had been "insulting the feelings of believers".
The interior ministry in Moscow confirmed police were investigating.
"Police officers are conducting an audit, the results of which will be decided in accordance with the law," the ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
On Thursday, Dolgopolov posted a photo on Instagram along with the caption: "We arrived! We are safe, bye. Thanks for the support!" 
Presentational white space
As part of a stand-up performance at a small bar in St Petersburg last February, Dolgopolov made a joke about Mr. Putin and his supporters. 
"Our population has split into two camps," he said, adding: "On one hand there are those who support Putin; on the other, there are those who can read, write, and reach logical conclusions."
In footage of that performance, which was uploaded to YouTube, he also joked about Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary. 
Under President Putin, Russia has implemented strict anti-blasphemy laws to protect religious beliefs and the Russian Orthodox Church. 
Dolgopolov later shared an image on social of what he said was a formal letter sent from Russia's interior ministry to the HopHead bar in St Petersburg, asking event organizers to confirm his February performance. 
He told Russian broadcaster Current Time that he was recently forced to cancel a performance in Moscow moments before taking to the stage after learning that someone had entered the venue and was questioning members of staff about him.
"I didn't plan to be persecuted simply for joking," he said.

'I'm just a kid'

Speaking to the BBC's Sarah Rainsford in Moscow, Dolgopolov said he feared being jailed over his material.
"I'm just a kid, I tell jokes, read comic books and play video games... how can it be that I'll be in jail!? It's totally insane and I'm scared to death," he said.
"I can't share where I am right now because I'm afraid it can make things worse for me in some way. I will come back only if there will be a guarantee that I won't be imprisoned because of my beliefs. 
"I totally didn't see this coming, because it's told by the government that we in Russia have freedom of speech," he added. "I just want to do the only thing I can, and that's to make people laugh." 
The comedian's lawyer, Leonid Solovyov, confirmed that his client had left the country, but did not give further details. 
line

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Media caption"Boris Johnson compared you to Dobby"

 

August 5, 2019

What a Coincidence All of Putin's Contenders Get Poisoned, Alexei Poisoned in Jail



He was the mayor of Moscow and started telling the truths no one dared. When he decided he wanted to run in the one man elections against the one man(Putin), He was jailed, poisoned, beaten, shot outside the Kremlin, now jailed again and while the food there might not be Beluga caviar and the Czars' champagne, people don't die from it. Unless Putin does not like you.
Alexei Navalny

 A doctor for Russia's most prominent opposition figure, Alexei Navalny, says she believes he may have been deliberately poisoned after being jailed for organizing pro-democracy demonstrations.
Navalny, a 43-year anti-corruption campaigner and arch-critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was taken from his jail cell to hospital Sunday after suffering what initial reports suggested was a severe allergic reaction. But his personal doctor, Anastasia Vassilieva, said she believed he had been exposed to a chemical agent.  n
“We cannot rule out that toxic damage to the skin and mucous membranes by an unknown chemical substance was inflicted with the help of a 'third party,'” she wrote on Facebook.
On Monday, Navalny was discharged from hospital to be returned to jail, where he was serving a 30-day sentence for his role in organizing a major pro-democracy demonstration that was held on Saturday. Vassilieva said that she opposed his discharge, as he required medical supervision, and the results of samples of his hair and clothing she had sent for independent testing had not been returned yet.
Navalny, who led the country's biggest street protests against Putin in 2011, was behind bars Saturday as thousands of young Russians — as many as 15,000, according to liberal Russian media outlets — protested in the streets of central Moscow to demand that independent candidates be allowed to run for city council in September elections. 
Nearly 1,400 protesters were detained by baton-wielding police in riot gear, in one of the largest police crackdowns in Russia in a decade, according to the monitoring group OVD-Info. While many were released without charge, monitors said about 150 of the protesters — who chanted slogans such as “Russia without Putin!” — were held overnight Sunday and may face charges this week.
The heavy-handed police response drew swift condemnation from the United States, the European Union, and rights groups. EU spokeswoman Maja Kojiancic said that “the disproportionate use of force,” along with recent detentions of opposition figures, “once again seriously undermine the fundamental freedoms of expression, association and assembly.”
The protests were the latest in a movement that began two weeks ago, after the local election board refused to register several candidates, claiming that they had not gathered enough signatures to qualify, and that some used in support of their applications were forged. Last week, more than 22,000 people rallied in Moscow over the issue, prompting the shocked authorities to take a hardline response by banning Saturday’s rally and arresting Navalny. 
Navalny is not believed to be in life-threatening danger. But his mysterious illness has created shockwaves in a country where opposition figures often meet violence: opposition politician Boris Nemtsov was shot dead outside the Kremlin in 2015, and Navalny himself was temporarily blinded in one eye when pro-Kremlin activists attacked him with a chemical dye in 2017.
Navalny’s spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh, broke the news of the campaigner’s condition Sunday morning, saying he had suffered a “severe allergic reaction,” involving major swelling of the face and skin redness, despite never having had an allergic reaction before.
But Vassilieva later wrote on Facebook after visiting Navalny in his hospital bed that she believed he had been exposed to a toxic substance. “Some toxic agent may be the reason for Alexei Navalny's 'illness',” she wrote. She accused the doctors treating him of not wanting to investigate the source of the illness, which had left him with a rash on his upper body, skin lesions, and discharge from his eye.
“They say he simply has hives. But why are you lying?" she wrote. 
At least 10 of Navalny’s supporters who had gathered outside the hospital were detained Sunday night, and in recent days police have also detained a number of other leaders of the protest movement, including Ilya Yashin, Lyubov Sobol, and Dmitry Gudkov.
Andrea Kalan, spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, tweeted that the Russian authorities, in their mass detention of protesters and disproportionate use of force, were undermining “rights of citizens to participate in the democratic process.”
Natalia Zviagina, Amnesty International’s Russia director, condemned the Russian government’s response to the protest, saying her staff had witnessed several instances of police brutality against the “overwhelmingly peaceful” demonstrators.
“Russian authorities today hit a new low by imposing military law-like security measures on the unsanctioned rally, blocking access to major Moscow streets and shutting down businesses in advance of the demonstration, despite the absence of credible reports of potential violence,” she said.
Despite the harsh crackdown, opposition leaders have vowed to regroup and hold another protest this coming Saturday, in a bid to capitalize on the seething public anger over the brutal police tactics and force the authorities to back down before September’s vote. More than 21,000 people have signed a petition calling on Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin to resign.
"Sergei Sobyanin is no longer the mayor of Moscow," Russian political commentator Konstantin Sonin said in the Vedomosti daily.

January 15, 2019

The Arrests (40) and Deaths Commencing Again in Chechnya Which is Putin’s Sandbox to Practice Invasion



                       




Forty men and women have been detained and at least two have died in an anti-gay purge in Russia's Chechnya republic that is even more brutal than a 2017 crackdown, according to activists.
After the administrator of an LGBT social media group was detained in December, Chechen law enforcement began rounding up suspected homosexuals, LGBT Network said on Monday. It is holding people without charge in an infamous prison where gay men have previously said they were tortured, local residents told activists. 
One of the captives died after officials repeatedly cut him with a knife during an interrogation, Igor Kochetkov of LGBT Network told The Telegraph.  
“We can already say that the torture being suffered by those detained is savage, much worse than for those detained in 2017,” he said. “We know of two dead, but probably more have been killed.”
For the first time, women are also being systematically detained for presumed homosexuality, he added.
A gay man named Alexander who escaped Chechnya for France told the Russian news site Meduza that 10 people had actually been killed in the latest wave of the anti-LGBT “genocide,” and a friend who was imprisoned had seen bodies being carried away.
A post in a local LGBT social media group last week told gay people to “run from the republic as soon as possible”.
More than 100 were rounded up and at least six died in a crackdown on gay men in the predominantly Muslim republic in 2017. Some were handed over to relatives with the expectation they would be finished off in an “honor killing,” while others had to sign blank criminal charges for possible future use. 
LGBT Network has helped 150 people flee since 2017. 

Ramzan Kadyrov

Ramzan Kadyrov, head of Russia's Chechen Republic GETTY
Ramzan Kadyrov became the leader of Chechnya, a war-torn republic of 1.4 million people in the Caucasus mountains, in 2007, taking over after his father was assassinated in a bomb blast. The two Kadyrovs had fought against Russian forces for Chechnya's independence in the 1990s but defected to Moscow's side during the second Chechen War.
Accused of kidnappings and extrajudicial executions, Ramzan has stamped out dissent and a simmering Islamist insurgency with often brutal methods. At the same time, he has turned Chechnya into an increasingly conservative Muslim society.
He is seen to have carte blanche from the Kremlin, receiving generous federal funding and a free hand within Chechnya in exchange for keeping the insurgency at bay. Kadyrov's ostentatious displays of loyalty to Vladimir Putin included having thousands of his security forces pledge themselves as “foot soldiers” of the president.
One of Kadyrov's security officers gunned down opposition politician Boris Nemtsov outside the Kremlin in 2015.
 The press secretary of Chechnya's strongman ruler Ramzan Kadyrov, who was appointed by Vladimir Putin in 2007, called the latest accusations “lies and disinformation”.
Kadyrov has previously claimed there are no gay men in Chechnya and told the BBC during the World Cup that the reports of the purge were “all made up”. 
“The reason this is being repeated is impunity,” Mr Kochetkov said. “The Russian authorities didn't open a criminal case, and Kadyrov felt this impunity.”
The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe in December called on Russia to open an inquiry “in view of the clear evidence of successive purges against LGBTI persons” in Chechnya. 
It also called for a criminal investigation into the case of Maxim Lapunov, a gay man who told The Telegraph and others that he was held for 12 days in Chechnya and tortured in 2017. 
Police beat him until he couldn't stand, demanding the names of other gay men, he said. Others were tortured with electric shocks.
Mr. Lapunov, an ethnic Russian, was released when relatives from another region came looking for him, but police threatened him to keep quiet.
Russian authorities have repeatedly refused to investigate his complaints. Mr. Putin's human rights ombudswoman said last month a criminal case had not been opened because Mr. Lapunov had left Russia for Estonia. He fled there fearing for his safety.
Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah poses with Kadyrov at a stadium during the World Cup, when the Egyptian team trained in Chechnya
Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah poses with Kadyrov at a stadium during the World Cup, when the Egyptian team trained in Chechnya  CREDIT: KARIM JAAFAR/AFP
Police have now been hunting down contacts from the phones of the administrator of the LGBT social media group and subsequent people they detained, according to Mr Kochetkov.
Some have been released, but in a new development, their passports were ripped up to keep them from leaving Chechnya, he said.
“If we don't stop this now it could develop further, so it's very important to spread this information and put pressure on Moscow,” he said.
Human rights groups and the British government have also called on Moscow to take action against the repressions in Chechnya, where Mr. Kadyrov wields absolute power over a fearful populace.  
Last year, police began detaining teenagers en masse after five boys pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and were killed in attacks on police, The Telegraph reported. Other young people have been imprisoned on extremely flimsy terrorism accusations, and 27 were killed without trial in a mass execution in January 2017, according to an investigation by Novaya Gazeta newspaper. 

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