Tumso Abdurakhmanov, a prominent Chechen blogger and Ramzan Kadyrov’s critic, has been assassinated in Sweden, says 1ADAT, a Telegram channel, citing “Chechen and European informers”. Radio Free Europe has also confirmed this, referring to undisclosed associates of the blogger.
“We have enough information to confirm Tumso’s death. His brother Muhammad has been put into hiding by special services for safety reasons. <…> We cannot go into any more detail for the safety of our informers and ourselves, too. Tumso was shot dead by a group of people during night time, the details of the assassination are now being clarified,” says the Telegram channel.
Tumso Abdurakhmanov was assassinated overnight into 2 December, Radio Free Europe says. Sweden’s special services have yet to comment on the matter.
It was revealed recently that the two Abdurakhmanov brothers went out of touch with their associates. There were rumours the blogger could have been killed, but there was no confirmation at that point.
Abdurakhmanov used to work as a top manager at a state enterprise in Russia’s republic of Chechnya, but left the republic in 2015 after illegal detention and a conflict with Islam Kadyrov, a relative of Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of Chechnya. In exile, he set up a YouTube channel where he criticised the leaders of the Chechen Republic. In particular, in March 2019, Abdurakhmanov posted a video in which he called the first president of Chechnya, Akhmat Kadyrov, a “traitor” to the Chechen people. Over time, his channel became the most popular in Chechnya.
An unknown individual broke into Abdurakhmanov’s Swedish apartment in February 2020 and hit him several times with a hammer in his sleep. The blogger managed to disarm the attacker and called the police. A Swedish court later found two Russian nationals guilty of attempted assassination and sentenced them to 8 and 12 years in prison.