Staunton, July 12 – There are approximately 200,000 Chechens living in Europe at the present time. Activists among them are increasingly at risk of physical violence or even death at the hands of agents dispatched by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov who work with the Russian intelligence services, activists close to the situation say.
In recent months, these agents have focused on Chechen bloggers critical of Kadyrov and his regime. Several of the attacks have led to deaths or injuries but others have been exposed by the security police in Western countries (kavkazr.com/a/strahi-despoticheskogo-rezhima-chto-grozit-kritikam-kadyrova-v-evrope/31349784.html).
Aslan Murtazaliyev, head of the Assembly of Chechens of Europe, says that “the Russian special services cooperate with a definite circle of persons who achieve their goals regarding the Chechens. By murdering bloggers, they are trying to frighten critics and, in this way ,show their fear of the truth and unwillingness to listen to the voice of reason.”
Whenever one blogger is killed, others come to replace him, the Chechen activist says.
Adam Osmayev, another Chechen activist, says that the regimes in Moscow and Grozny “are not limited in their powers or their actions by international law.” Earlier, they took such actions closer to home, “but today they do so throughout the entire world. What is surprising is that Western leaders are permitting the dictators to do this.”
Kavkazr.com provides a list of Chechen opposition figures who have been killed by Kadyrov’s agents over the past dozen years abroad.