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Published in Stream:
Russia Update: March 16, 2015
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Pro-Kiev Chechen Commander Denies Allegations of Involvement in Nemtsov Murder Plot
7 years
Russia Holds Yet Another Surprise Military Drill -- Why Now?
Latest Developments in the Nemtsov Murder Investigation - Change to 'Hate Crime'

On March 13, Komsomolskaya Pravda (KP) published an interview with an anonymous FSB officer, spinning a theory of the murder of Boris Nemtsov that involved a Chechen volunteer for the Ukrainian army, Adam Osmayev.

Osmayev has now denied the allegations, reported, citing TV Rain.

The Interpreter has a translation:

"I consider this total delirium which is not even worth commenting on. I don't have anything to do with this, of course. I am not acquainted with Zaur Dadayev and never spoke to him on the phone; there is nothing to talk about at all with this category of people. In principle, they don't particularly know how to talk, they know a few words -- 'Stechkin,' and so on. They are traitors to their own people, and traitors are dealt with in the same way everywhere."

A "Stechkin" is a type of Russian automatic pistol.

Osmayev said he was very "pained" by the news of Nemtsov's murder.

Osmayev is a pro-Kiev and anti-Moscow Chechen who now heads the Dzhokhar Dudayev Battalion, after its previous leader, Isa Munayev, was killed in battle near Debaltsevo.  He was arrested in 2012 and accused of plotting to assassinate President Vladimir Putin, but was ultimately cleared of these charges even under the regime of Viktor Yanukovych. He was sentenced for possession of explosives to time served and released last year.

KP's source claimed that Osmayev gave the order to kill Nemtsov -- although even he could not supply any plausible motive.

A version of this story was floated right after the murder that tried to tie the US government and Right Sector's leader Dmitry Yarosh to a plot to "destabilize Russia" and discredit Putin in this way. Nemtsov's colleagues discounted it, saying it was a distraction from finding the real culprits.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick