Meanwhile in Russia: Lawmakers Ponder Allowing Citizens to Duel to the Death

The move comes shortly after a Putin ally threatened to “make a nice, juicy steak out of” an opposition leader.

Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)

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Russian legislators took a stab at regulating the act of dueling this week with the introduction of a 53-page bill, which would clarify when and how state and municipal employees could challenge citizens with dissenting viewpoints to a battle to death, according to MBH Media, a website run by Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky. 

The regulations, which were drafted by members of the ultranationalist Liberal Democratic Party and submitted to Russia’s lower house of parliament, categorizes “all possible cases and reasons” for conducting duels and specifies that they must only occur “between equals.” 

Earlier this week, the head of Russia’s internal security force challenged opposition leader Alexei Navalny to a duel in a video posted to the Russian National Guard’s YouTube page, according to the Guardian. “Nobody has ever given you the spanking you deserve, so hard that you felt it in your liver,” said Viktor Zolotov, who formerly served as President Vladimir Putin’s bodyguard. “I promise in several minutes to make a nice, juicy steak out of you.”

Dueling has a long, illustrious history in Russia. Legendary tsar Peter the Great reportedly threatened to hang any participants in duels “whether they’re dead or alive,” but the practice nonetheless grew in popularity over the next century. Russian poet Alexander Pushkin famously died in a duel with his brother-in-law, only a few decades after another notable Alexander lost his fatal duel with Vice President Aaron Burr. 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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