Ramzan Kadyrov finally released a statement on the Chechen connection to the Nemtsov murder. It is carefully worded, and in my opinion it was not written by Kadyrov, but probably penned by somebody else. Nevertheless, it was the statement that was released.
The Interpreter has a translation of the text below:
Several things stand out in the text.
Kadyrov calls the main suspect, Zaur Dadayev, “a real patriot”, saying:
I am firmly convinced that he is sincerely devoted to Russia, and was prepared to give his life for the Motherland.
He underscores this claim near the end of the statement:
But I want to note that he [Dadayev] could not make a step against Russia, for whose sake he risked his own life for many years.
At the same time, Kadyrov disassociates himself with Dadayev by saying that the latter had left his post at the Interior Ministry, though the circumstances behind his departure are opaque, and Kadyrov claims he doesn’t know them.
He makes a similar throwaway comment about the loyalty and patriotism of the man killed in Grozny on Saturday night (who Kadyrov identifies as Beslan Shavanov), calling him “a brave warrior”.
Kadyrov also managed to sneak in a reference to Charlie Hebdo as the motive for why the alleged suspect killed Boris Nemtsov. However, this motive seems highly unlikely as The Interpreter explains:
Whatever the truth is behind Nemtsov’s murder, I don’t expect it to be discovered while the Putin regime remains. And his statement only confirms my previously stated belief that this does not signal the end of Kadyrov.
EDIT: After a wrote this, the following announcement was made: