God knows that Katie Couric is trying to fight the good fight, but her recent sit-down with Maria Zakharova, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, for Yahoo! News clearly didn’t get anywhere. Asked about Russia’s response to Chechnya — a Russian republic where gay men are being rounded up, arrested and tortured — Zakharova grew incensed at the topic even being raised.
After discussing multiple other topics with Zakharova — including fake news, Trump’s Syrian airstrike and Russia’s influence on the recent French election — Couric turned to the internationally recognized reports coming out of Chechnya, where a pro-Kremlin leader, Ramzan A. Kadyrov, is targeting gay men for punishment. Immediately it became clear Zakharova had no interest in discussing that, not allowing Couric to even finish the question.
“This is not my issue. I am not a specialist in that,” she said before the question could be asked.
“But you can respond,” Couric replied. “Let me ask you the question.”
“This is not my fault,” the Russian spokesperson proclaimed at one point.
Asked what Russia is doing about it, Zakharova —visibly annoyed — responded, “Holding an investigation,” revealing little more.
Couric also quotes to Zakharova an op-ed that recently appeared in The New York Times:
This abominable crime by a Russian republic and its reprehensible cover-up warrant a strong response from Moscow and the international community. That would be a stretch for the Russian government, which is denying that there is evidence of any crimes and has sought to keep its own gay population invisible.
Zakharova refused to respond to the quote, insisting that the country’s “investigation” should suffice.
Watch footage of Katie Couric’s question about Russia and gays in Chechnya below:
Katie Couric asked a Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman about the torture and killing of gay men in Chechnya.
Her response is telling. pic.twitter.com/WOpZNCeDjJ
— Raymond Braun (@raymondbraun) April 28, 2017