Recent events surrounding the execution style killing of prominent Chechen human rights abuses reporter Natalya Estemirova, and the alleged involvement of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, the Kremlin appointed leader of the restive republic have raised serious questions. The public at large needs to bring Russia’s top executives and lawmakers to account, to clarify their own statements regarding her murder. In particular, what lies behind public statements made by Kadyrov that he does not kill women, and by Dimitry Medvedev that Ramzan Kadyrov can not be a suspect in the case.
In the past years, in response to questions fielded by journalists regarding the murder at her home in Moscow of investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya, Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, (for many the mastermind of the killing), stated “I do not kill women”. His position on that execution is again newsworthy following the murder in recent weeks, of a colleague and fellow journalist of Politkovskaya whose death also seems to be connected to her professional activities reporting on human rights abuses by the authorities in Chechnya. In particular, the public is beginning to understand Kadyrov’s implication in the killing of Estemirova, a fierce critic and enemy of Kadyrov, and to ask him to clarify his past statements about not killing women. Why, following Politkovskayas death did he need to imply that he killed men? Was it just to support his childish tough guy image? Or is there a darker truth behind his words? And now that another of his enemies has met a similar, brutal end, paying the ultimate price for the accuracy and professionalism of their work, the public in Chechnya begins to whisper demands for the truth to be known. Was she silenced because she was a danger to the authorities? Was she telling the truth, which hurt the feelings of the spoilt little boy who heads the presidential administration? The truth hurts, but only those too weak to change, to see its positive effect. Estermirova in death had more courage than that of the middle man who pulled the trigger, and definitely more than he who ordered it. And who can be sure it was Kadyrov who instigated the killing? Probably the head of the organization, Memorial, for whom she worked knows something concrete when he proclaims that he knows the author of the action, a man who, during their last meeting, told Estemirova that he “had blood from his hands to his elbows”. Furthermore, how can it be that such a man was recently openly protected in statements from the head of the Russian state?
This leads to some original questions. Shouldn’t the whole world, but especially Russians be alarmed when one of the presidents of their country, a man directly appointed by the Kremlin, makes a statement which directly implies that he is a killer? And why their own elected president openly supports such a man in categoric statements?