Most everybody seems to have bought the narrative that the Nemtsov murder was a consequence of some battle between the opposing forces of the Federal Security Service (FSB) and Chechnya’s Ramzan Kadyrov.
Now there is also a narrative being told that Putin did not order the hit (and that it was done without his knowledge). How relevant that is depends on how you think the Russian system works. But the implication that Putin no longer controls the situation or his underlings is at least meant to scare people.
Vladimir Milov continues to make the most sense on the Nemtsov murder affair.
“The investigation into the murder of Nemtsov shows quite convincingly that the authorities want to put the brakes on the affair.”
“What do we know about the investigation?” he asks.
- Instead of considering and testing a whole range of possible versions (Nemtsov’s business affairs, his politics, his personal life, etc.), the authorities automatically arrived at only one version – the Chechens did it.
- Within just 2 weeks of the murder, “the charge was rapidly reclassified to “murder motivated by ideological or religious hatred”
- The Chechen version is awfully convenient — society quickly “swallowed” it because of the reputation of Chechens, and as a result all other versions were simply discarded. However, to drop all other versions in this complicated case is at the very least unprofessional.
However, a problem was quickly discovered with the Chechen version:
- The declared motive — killing for religious reasons (Charlie Hebdo) is absolutely untenable;
- The investigation was clearly confused — there was the motive of religious hatred and “insulting the Prophet” and there was the more banal 5 million rubles. Well, you see, this fundamentally changes the whole picture — either you are a religious fanatic and ready to kill for the Prophet, or the question was about 5 million rubles. And if it was about 5 million rubles, then why rapidly reclassify the motive to religious hatred???
- Lawyers for 2 of the suspects — Dadaev and Eskerkhanova — say that both men have an alibi for the time of the murder.
- The suspects deny their guilt, which is very atypical and generally revolutionary for those wishing to “avenge the Prophet” — usually they never hide or deny their involvement, but on the contrary, say they are doing their job, it can be said, with their heads held high. And it turns out, this “revenge, but it wasn’t me”…. this is completely unprecedented.
Bottom line: this line of investigation is completely falling apart, Milov says.
He then goes on and tears apart the religious motivation, saying that the families are not religious, that Chechens don’t kill for purely religious reasons, no public declarations have been made by the alleged killers, and Nemtsov never insulted Muslims (as has been documented elsewhere).
Milov then shoots down the version that Adam Osmaev (a Chechen man who was accused of plotting to kill Putin & Kadyrov 3 years ago, who is now fighting for Ukraine) was involved. “…for the Osmaev & “Ukrainian trace” version we need some really good reasons to start discussing it, in addition to the idiotic trail of our propaganda, which, by definition, is to “blame the Ukrainians”.
In Milov’s opinion, Kadyrov is still too loyal to the Kremlin and would not have challenged the powers that be in this way.
As for the theory that these people acted independently of Kadyrov, Milov makes a few of points:
- Why would they kill Nemtsov if they were also against Kadyrov?
- Why would they do so as everybody knows Kadyrov takes revenge on entire families [as we saw in Chechnya this past December when entire families were forced out of their homes on suspicion of being connected to Chechen rebels]?
- Again, we need proof that there was a religious motive for the murder.
Milov then offers his own version:
“What happened was not a “conflict between Kadyrov and the federal intelligence agencies”. The incident was most likely done in tandem — and Kadyrov was assigned the role of cover.”
“The Chechen version was chosen as a cover from the beginning because it was easy for society to believe it. Even members of the democratic opposition strongly believe in it — because people refuse to believe that in the leadership of the country and in the security services work murderers…”
If there was a conflict between Kadyrov & the FSB, Milov argues, it came after the fact, and was about the narrative being told in the press. Putin disappeared because he wanted to be seen as being above the fray. And while he was away, a compromise was reached on the narrative.
“Yes, there were demons, but they self-destructed.” They were Chechens, but they worked for Osmaev and Ukraine. And now everybody is happy.
Of course, Milov says, this is just his personal opinion, but the “official version is simply untenable, and the actions of the investigators are just frankly aimed at “selling” society a cover operation and not a real investigation.”