Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of Chechnya, gave a rare interview to a US outlet that aired Tuesday. In speaking to HBO’s “Real Sports,” he denied that gay people are humans, that they exist in his region, and that his government regularly detains or tortures them, despite ample reports to the contrary.

He also made a troubling comment about his country’s nuclear arsenal.

Kadyrov, known for his forceful style of speaking, said: “America is not really a strong enough state for us to regard it as an enemy of Russia. We have a strong government and are a nuclear state.