Putin uses Kadyrov to Muzzle Journalists
While Putin often uses his own goons to carry out assassinations of oppositionists, he employs Kadyrov specifically to execute journalists who have angered him.
Natalia Estemirova was a prominent human rights defender and journalist in the troubled Russian republic of Chechnya. On 15 July 2009, Natalia was abducted from her home in Grozny. A few hours later her body was found in neighbouring Ingushetia.
Anna Stepanovna Politkovskaya was a Russian journalist, writer, and human rights activist who reported on political events in Russia, in particular, the Second Chechen War. On 7 October 2006, she was murdered in the elevator of her block of flats.
An outspoken blogger from Chechnya who had criticised the country’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov has been found brutally murdered in France in January of 2020. He was stabbed repeatedly in his neck and left for dead.
Chechen Youtube and blogger, Musa Lomaev, recently survived an assassination attempt in Finland, where he had sought asylum. A suspect was arrested with ties to Kadyrov, stating he had been paid $500,000 to kill the oppositionist blogger. This has been the fourth attack targeting Chechen bloggers, all criticizing Vladimir Putin’s ally Kadyrov online, in Europe since year-start.