Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to deny that gay men are facing persecution in Chechnya despite multiple media reports contradicting his claims. Russian media outlets have reported that at least 100 men have been detained and put in concentration camps and at least three have been killed.
Putin chatted in a televised appearance with Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, where the leader told Putin he "should not believe the 'provocative' reports," according to the Associated Press.
President Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that there has been no evidence presented that proves gay men in the region are being rounded up and detained in concentration camps. CNN recently interviewed gay men who survived the camps, who detailed the abuse and torture they faced.
Peskov said that Kadyrov reassured the president during their meeting that the alleged abuse was "slanderous" and it has left many Chechens angry. Of course, Chechen officials didn't allay fears when Kadyrov's spokesman told reporters that there were no gay people in the region and, if there were, their families would kill them.
Last week Putin's spokesman told the media, "We do not have any reliable information about any problems in this area."
Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, has issued a statement condemning the horrific acts against gay men in Chechnya. Former Vice President Joe Biden wrote a statement calling on President Trump to do something about the human rights violations. Trump has yet to make a statement on the issue, though the State Department did release a statement against the alleged violence.