Staunton, May 20 – The investigation of the murder of Boris Nemtsov shows that the first-ever “killer agency” capable of handling the entire course of a killing, from the selection of a victim to the disposition of the case in such a way that those behind it will not be held responsible, has been organized in Russia, according to Igor Eidman.
And that means, the Moscow commentator says, that “as long as the Putin-Kadyrov killer agency continues to exist” – something that tensions between Moscow and Grozny may ultimately destroy – “new murders of those it finds unsuitable can take place at any time.”
According to Eidman, “certain senior bureaucrats and leaders of the law enforcement organs in Moscow and in Grozny participate in the work of this agency to one degree or another.” They tend to choose Chechens of low rank and importance as the executors because public opinion can be whipped up against them and those who order the killings protected.
But what makes the Putin-Kadyrov murder agency especially effective is its ability to assign as investigator of any particular murder “its own man” who will make sure that the investigation goes so far and no further and imposes punishment only on low level lackeys who can be sacrificed to protect those above them.
Moreover, this “killer agency” involves “a limited circle of people,” and consequently, “all its murders are similar to one another, suspicions fall on one and the same people, and one and the same ‘law enforcers’ conduct the investigation,” Eidman points out; and for those paying attention, that gives the game away.
“The similarity between the murders of Boris Nemtsov and Ruslan Yamadayev are obvious,” he notes. In both cases, they took place in especially well-guarded places with observation cameras in operation. In both, suspicion immediately fell on the Chechens, and in both, those who ordered the crimes have not been identified.
Sometimes this model reaches a kind of absurdity: in these two murders, for example, even the name of the suspects – Dadayev – was the same, reflecting the assumption of those who planned the murder that blaming a Chechen will always be sufficient to end any serious public pressure to track down the real killers.
According to Eidman, Vladislav Surkov is a key member of this “agency.” Nemtsov was his “personal enemy” because the murdered Russian politician had worked to have Surkov declared persona non grata in the West, and in fact “Surkov (Dudayev) is the only person equally closely connected with Putin and Kadyrov.”
Surkov thus may be “the coordinator of the Kremlin and Kadyrov parts of the killer agency, including its role in the Nemtsov case.” Sometimes this agency targets those like Yamadayev who threaten Kadyrov, and sometimes it targets those like Nemtsov who threaten Putin.
In the latter case, Eidman says, Putin is the one who wanted Nemtsov dead and “Kadyrov is simply the executor,” while in the former, Yamadayev was a personal problem for Kadaryov. For Kadyrov was concerned, “Nemtsov was only a Moscow babbler opposition figure,” but for Putin, “Nemtsov like Litvinenko was a national traitor” who had to be destroyed.
The murders of Litvinenko and Nemtsov were such high profile actions that they “could not be carried out without the evil will of the Russian president. The difference between them is only that in Litvinenko’s case, the Russian special services didn’t make use of the Kadyrov smoke screen.”
Now, however, Eidman concludes, “the Putin killer agency works more cleverly.” It always has Chechens who can be named as the executors, and consequently, this criminal agency of a criminal state is likely to target and kill even more of its opponents in the future – and get away with it if Russians and others do not hold it to account.