Russian President Vladimir Putin’s former bodyguard, Viktor Zolotov, challenged opposition leader Alexei Navalny to a duel.
“I’m simply challenging you to a fight: to a ring, to a tatami, anywhere where I promise I will make a good juicy beef steak of you,” Zolotov, the chief of the National Guard, said in an emotional video posted on YouTube on Tuesday.
Navalny, a long-time Putin critic, is investigating alleged large-scale corruption at the National Guard.
Zolotov said he feels “insulted” by the probe. He admitted there are “shortcomings in terms of corruption” at the agency, but denied any personal wrongdoing.
Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, on Tuesday told reporters that Zolotov’s outburst had nothing to do with the president and the Kremlin did not consider it a physical threat to Navalny. He further said that the Kremlin had not been informed ahead of the video’s publication, Bloomberg reported.
Navalny is currently in prison, serving a 30-day sentence for organizing an unsanctioned public protest.