I doubt the teenage boy thought of Donald Trump as he fell to the ground after being thrown from a balcony by his own uncle. It is unlikely the men being tortured in prison camps are crying out for acknowledgement from Donald Trump as their bodies sing in agony. I cannot imagine any of the men being brutalised and cast from their homes and communities have given very much thought to Donald Trump as they try to find safety beyond their country's borders. But Donald Trump should think of them.

In fact, it is perfectly possible he doesn't even know about the systematic attacks on gay men in Chechnya. And if he does know, he certainly doesn't seem to care a great deal.

When asked by the Washington Blade whether The president had been briefed on the issue even in general, White House Spokesperson, Sarah Huckerbee Sanders said: ''I am not one hundred per cent sure.''

Why is that so stark? Because the White House's puzzled shrug and ''pfffft'' follows yesterday's meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Is it really possible that President Trump met with the Russian Foreign Minister and didn't even mention the seeming extermination of gay people in the Russian-controlled Chechen Republic? Yes. Yes it is. An emailed update from Michael Anton, a White House National Security Council spokesperson, said the issue of anti-gay abuses in Chechnya "did not come up in the meetings" with Lavrov.

chechnya
An activist stands naked, wrapped in a rainbow flag, in a mock cage in front of the Chancellery in Berlin on April 30, 2017, during a demonstration calling on Russian President to put an end to the persecution of gay men in Chechnya Getty Images

"Did not come up"? Of course, Syria requires attention, as does North Korea's development of a nuclear bomb. So too must Donald Trump address his own impending political mushroom cloud; namely the suspected collusion between his camp and the Russians during his election campaign. But, as I have written previously, the free world – regardless of who it finds sexually attractive – ignores the animalisation of minorities at its peril.

These reported exterminations and the accompanying campaign encouraging families to ''clean their honour with blood'' are a low drum beat in an increasingly bellicose region, ruled over by foul and pathetic Islamic fanatics.

Russia is yet to investigate the situation. Trump did not take an opportunity to interrogate Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Perhaps Sergey did not give Donald permission.

Chechnya
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) shakes hands with Chechnya's head Ramzan Kadyrov during their meeting in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, on April 7, 2014 Getty Images

Trump's ignorance is hardly shocking. The ''leader of the free world'' is weak, petulant and unashamedly ill-informed. Why should he take any interest in the safety of people who insist on being simultaneously foreign, poor, Muslim and gay?

The White House is now peppered with men and women who show a flagrant disregard for LGBTQ rights and the 45th POTUS is enthusiastically isolationist and transparently anti-Islam.

Perhaps it's a good thing that the pouting idiot trumpet hasn't tried to express any public opinion on these frightening developments. Spare us a repeat of his attempt at hard words on uranium. And doubtless his solution to the imprisonment of gay men in reported concentration camps would be to bomb them.

Ramzan Kadyrov
Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov (C) greets Arab children following prayers the dedication ceremony of a new mosque in the Arab Israeli town of Abu Ghosh, west of Jerusalem on March 23 2014 Getty Images

Yet, for the office he holds to have become so mean and feeble in the face of such horror; for the beacon of worldwide liberty to have been dimmed so; for the world's weak and oppressed to be abandoned and overlooked is not simply further cause to wring our hands and tut at the paralysed honour of the United States; it is a genuine reason for all of us to fear for the future.

There is a darkness growing in various parts of the world. In the shadows, very bad things are happening. Donald is aiming his torch at himself, making funny faces...and it is not funny. We need to cast a light on Russia and the caucuses, and quickly.

Edmund Burke said: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." In Donald Trump we do not have a good man and not only is he doing nothing, he is hearing nothing, saying nothing and knowing nothing.

It is even more important then, for other countries to step up. The free world no longer has a leader, but our own politicians must continue to pressure Russia and to try and help gay men in Chechnya flee to safety.


Andy West is a TV, radio, print and online journalist and children's author. Follow : @andywesttv