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Published in Stream:
Russia Update: March 25, 2015
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Little Further Comes to Light Regarding Nemtsov Murder Investigation
7 years
Two Chechens Killed in Custody, Bodies Returned to Relatives; Others Missing After Dam Explosion
Malofeyev Reported to Settle Debt to VTB for $100 Million in Recognition of His Services to 'Novorossiya'

After publishing or broadcasting a flurry of divergent theories for the murder of Boris Nemtsov, the Russian media has quieted down this week and little news has been available. Five Chechen suspects remain in custody. The media has squared the circle of first claiming they were contract murderers for hire, then claiming they were Islamists angered by the Charlie Hebdo cartoons by saying that the direct perpetrators were indeed Islamists who were used by contractors at another level for mercenary aims. Yet the only figure for a payment -- 5 million rubles or $83,000 given to Dadayev  -- does not seem a very high payment for such a contract.

Lots of attention has been paid to Ramzan Kadyrov, head of the Chechen Republic, since two of the suspects were in his Interior Ministry troops, and in the first days after the murder he called them "brave warriors". There has been a great deal of speculation about whether the murder itself was caused by a struggle for power by various factions in the Kremlin, or whether the investigation has forced open existing rifts in the leadership.

Today Rosbalt reports that a source close to the investigation says Ruslan Geremeyev, an officer of the Sever [North] Batttalion is still located in Chechnya. He has been variously reported as being held under "heavy guard," but as a witness, not a suspect. A law-enforcer told that Ruslan "maybe" be located in the Chechen village of Dzhalka. Eye-witnesses who have gone to the location say that all entrances to his home are guarded by armed men. Dzhalka is the home town of Adam Delimkhanov and his brother Alimbek Delimkhanov, commander of the Sever Batallion. Adam is a cousin of Kadyrov's. Recently Adam's wife gave birth to a son and Kadyrov ordered all the babies born in the republic that day -- 34 -- to receive cash in honor of his relative's birth.

The key suspect, Zaur Dadayev, was said to come to Moscow with Ruslan Geremeyev and lived in the same apartment with him on Veyernaya Street where the other accomplices hid out with him after the murder. Dadayev was said to have been seen with Geremeyev in a bar and wsa believed to have spent some time with him.

All the suspects provided DNA samples to the investigation, which has said that these will link them to the crime.

Media Zone has a very thorough round-up of all the Russian media sources on the Nemtsov investigation.

Yesterday the independent web site reported that vandals had come to destroy the flowers and signs left in memory of Nemtsov on the Bolshoi Moskvoretsky Bridge near the Kremlin.

Translation: Monsters from the SERB movement who are part of Antimaidan have desecrated the place where Nemtsov was murdered.

The SERB calls itself the National Liberation Movement. It is not know if this relates to another group headed by Yevgeny Fyodorov with the name "National Liberation Movement" (NOD).

They even allowed themselves to be photographed. noted that this same group came to heckle picketers on the 9th day after Nemtsov's murder who had gathered according to Russian Orthodox tradition.

Last night, police patrolled the area. But the mayor's office said the site had no official memorial status and could not be maintained.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick