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Old Man Tells Putin To Stop Gov’t Corruption, House Burns Down

REUTERS/Noah Berger

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent

A Chechen man had his house burned down after asking Russian President Vladimir Putin for help against corrupt officials.

Ramazan Dzhalaldinov published a video April 14 in which he asked Putin to personally intervene against local government officials extorting bribes from residents in the village of Kenkhi.

In another video May 13, Dzhalaldinov describes how masked arsonists torched his house for reaching out to the president.

Dzhalaldinov said a group of men broke into his house and carried out his family before setting the house on fire. They later offered to rebuild the house if Dzhalaldinov promised to apologize to Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

“They offered me to make peace with Kadyrov,” Dzhalaldinov said in the video. “[Only] then would I be free to come back home and my house would be rebuilt.”

Another condition from the arsonists was that Dzhalaldinov stops talking to the media. After Dzhalaldinov spoke out about the house burning incident, armed police forces went on a house-to-house search to track him down.

Dzhalaldinov is now hiding in neighboring Russian region of Daghestan.

A spokesman for Kadyrov denies that any of the events took place, calling the claims of a manhunt to find Dzhalaldinov “a complete lie.”

“No one has implemented any kind of restriction on entering or exiting the village, and not a single person has been asked when Mr Dzhelaldinov is,” Kadyrov’s spokesman Alvi Karimov told Russian newspaper Kommersant, according to The Telegraph.

Chechnya enjoyed de-facto independence from Russia between 1991 and 2000. It is located at the southern edge of Russia and is considered federal republic with its own government.

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