MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin's former bodyguard has rejected an opposition leader's invitation for a television debate after challenging him to a duel.
Gen. Viktor Zolotov, chief of Russia's National Guard and Putin's long-time bodyguard, recorded a rare video address to opposition leader Alexei Navalny last month, challenging him to a duel over his investigation into corruption at the National Guard.
Navalny, who was released Sunday after spending 50 days in jail for an unsanctioned protest, put out a video Thursday, reiterating his claims and inviting Zolotov to a TV debate.
Zolotov told Russian news agencies on Friday that he had challenged Navalny to an actual duel and that he does not want a public discussion with him.
Navalny's video got over 2.6 million views in less than a day.
The Associated Press