Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Report: Investigators Identify Estemirova's Killer

Investigators have identified the suspected killer of Chechen human rights activist Natalya Estemirova in July, a law enforcement official told Interfax on Thursday.

But Memorial, the rights group that Estemirova worked for, said it had been unable to confirm the development with investigators.

Estemirova was abducted from outside her home in the Chechen capital, Grozny, on July 15 and was found shot dead hours later on a roadside in neighboring Ingushetia.

The killing drew condemnation from Western governments, and President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered a quick investigation.

"Investigators know the name of the criminal," an unidentified law enforcement official in Chechnya told Interfax on Thursday.

The official said investigators were now looking for the suspected killer, while the identity of the mastermind remains unclear.

Estemirova's colleagues have linked Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov to her death, saying she had criticized his rule and he had threatened her over her reports on human rights abuses in Chechnya.

Kadyrov has denied involvement in the killing and at the same time said Estemirova lacked "honor, dignity or a conscience." Kadyrov said last month that he believed the murder had been organized by tycoon Boris Berezovsky, who lives in self-imposed exile in Britain.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more