The YouTuber who mocked Putin and Kadyrov – and disappeared

Cast: Tumso Abdurachmanov, in an interview with Konflikt from 2021, “Mary”Chechen in , founder of the human rights organization “Vayfond”, “Idris”the Chechen in Sweden who was hired by the Kadyrov regime to carry out murders in , who has now had his asylum application rejected in Sweden, Sabbathregime-critical Chechen who today fights against in , Grigory Shvedoveditor-in-chief of the online magazine “Caucasian Knot”, Alexander Cherkasovat the Russian human rights organization Memorial, Gabriel Wernstedtpress spokesperson at Säpo, Tomas Fridhlawyer who represented Chechens in Sweden for 15 years, etc

Regime-critical blogger Tumso Abdurachmanov has disappeared
In the Russian sub-republic of Chechnya, leader Ramzan Kadyrov rules with an iron fist. Tumso Abdurachmanov is usually called Kadyrov’s enemy number 1, after he railed against the Kadyrov regime since he left Chechnya in 2015. Tumso Abdurachmanov is immensely popular in Chechnya and his channel has around half a million followers. In 2020, he was subjected to an attempted murder in his home in Gävle. He managed to overpower the attacker, who was sentenced in the Court of Appeal to 12 years in prison. After that, Tumso continued his criticism of the Kadyrov regime, until November last year when he disappeared without a trace. Neither Säpo nor his lawyer says anything.

Europe’s terrified Chechens
Conflict seeks answers to what might have happened to Tumso Abdurachmanov from people who knew him well and finds more like him, terrified Chechens living under death threats. “Maria”, who helped set up the human rights organization “Vayfond”, knew Tumsu Abdurachmanov well. She didn’t notice anything strange about the blogger in the days before he disappeared. Neither did “Idris”, who often met the well-known blogger in Gävle, where they both lived.

Regime-critical Chechens fight in Ukraine
What makes a person who has received asylum and protection in a European EU country go to the war in Ukraine? Conflict takes hold of Sabbah, a regime-critical Chechen who chose to go to Ukraine back in 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea. , on Conflict reaches Sabbah today leads a subgroup of the Chechen-dominated volunteer battalion Sheikh Mansur. He is driven above all by revenge against . Several Chechens from Sweden are fighting in the same battalion, Sabbah confirms, and also more in the battalion and people in Sweden, but no one wants to appear for an interview as they are afraid of being classified as a security threat by the Swedish Security Police.

The number of people classified as security by Säpo is increasing
According to Säpo, the number of people classified as a security threat has increased in Sweden, as deportation orders cannot always be enforced, due to the threat situation in the home country. Lawyer Tomas Fridh in talks about one of his clients, classified as a security threat with a deportation order, who was arrested at a planned meeting by Säpo agents dressed as construction workers in May 2022. The agents tried to persuade him to go to the war in Ukraine to fight against Russia – a way to “get rid of him”, believes Tomas Fridh. Säpo neither wants to confirm nor deny the incident.

Host: Lotten Collin
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Reporter: Johanna Melén

Technicians: Heinz Wennin and Lisa Abrahamsson

Producer: Anja Sahlberg
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