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Anti-Kadyrov Chechen YouTuber Reappears After ‘Assassination’ Claims

Tumso Abdurakhmanov, a YouTuber based in Sweden, disappeared in late November as the Chechen opposition claimed he had been shot dead. youtube.com/@AbuSaddamShishani

A dissident blogger who is a vocal critic of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov turned up alive Tuesday after going missing for more than two months.

Tumso Abdurakhmanov, a YouTuber based in Sweden, disappeared in late November as the Chechen opposition claimed he had been shot dead amid a string of politically motivated murders of ethnic Chechens outside Russia.

The Swedish authorities had not commented on the reports of Abdurakhmanov’s death, but days later a German court official said he was alive and the Chechen opposition said he was under the protection of Swedish police. 

Early on Tuesday, Abdurakhmanov appeared in a video titled “The Return” on his YouTube channel after a three-month absence from the platform.

“I’m alive and in good health,” he said without addressing the reasons for his abrupt disappearance.

The Chechen human rights group Vayfond said it had been contacted by Abdurakhmanov hours earlier but was unaware of other details, including where he is currently based.

“We assume he himself can’t comment on anything due to secrecy,” a Vayfond representative told the Novaya Gazeta Europe news site.

Swedish media had said Abdurakhmanov was a witness in a criminal case into the attempted murder of his younger brother in Germany.

Abdurakhmanov previously survived a hammer attack in Sweden in 2020. A Swedish court sentenced a male suspect in that attack to 10 years in prison and a female suspect to eight years.

Abdurakhmanov had lived in exile since 2015 to escape what he had described as threats to his life in Chechnya, a southern Russian region ruled by Kremlin loyalist Kadyrov.

Kadyrov’s close ally Magomed Daudov had declared a so-called “blood feud” against Abdurakhmanov in March 2019 for calling his father and former Chechen leader Akhmat Kadyrov a “traitor.”

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