By Paul Goble
Novaya gazeta has made continuing contributions to exposing the vicious violence of Ramzan Kadyrov’s regime against its opponents, including gays and anyone whom the Chechen leader views as getting in his way. Its latest expose of mass murder there in January is only the latest.
In an article today, the paper’s Elena Milashina documents the way in which Kadyrov’s people murdered in extra-judicial fashion between 27 and 56 people on a single night last January (novayagazeta.ru/articles/2017/07/09/73065-eto-byla-kazn-v-noch-na-26-yanvarya-v-groznom-rasstrelyany-desyatki-lyudey?utm_source=push).
Her article makes for chilling reading, fully justifying her conclusion that the terrorist regime that Kadyrov is operating means that “in Chechnya, only the dead no longer have anything to fear.” But there is an aspect of her report that may be neglected when, as expected, this story goes viral in the next few days.
And that is this: in various ways, officials in Moscow have refused to investigate fully reports of such crimes and thus behaved in this case as in others involving the Chechen strongman as authors of a cover up that makes them culpable of Kadyrov’s continuing criminal behavior.
Sometimes Russian officials started to investigate only to call it off, Milashina says; and sometimes they simply ended their exploration of what is going on by suggesting that since “the victims of crimes themselves have not made declarations, then there wasn’t any crime” to be investigated, a most Orwellian view.
Given the remarkable dossier that Novaya gazeta has assembled, this position will be increasingly difficult to maintain even among a cynical Russian population and will spark more questions about the Nemtsov murder and others that Moscow has blamed on individual Chechens but not on the Chechen regime.