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Chechen dissident in Poland fights off man with hammer, latest attack



  • Tumso Abdurakhmanov, a Chechen activist, posted a video after an apparent attack on him in Poland.
  • He said a person with a hammer had been sent to kill him, in an Instagram Live video which also seemed to show the assailant.
  • Abdurakhmanov is seeking asylum in Poland having left Chechnya, which is under the harsh rule of Ramzan Kadyrov, a close ally of Vladimir Putin.
  • The apparent attack follows two killings — one in Germany and one in France — of other dissident Chechens.
  • Visit Business Insider’s home page for more stories.

A dissident blogger living in Poland was attacked by a man with a hammer, and livestreamed the aftermath, in what appears to be the latest in a series of similar attacks.

Tumso Abdurakhmanov, a Chechen activist, posted a video of himself in the aftermath of the attack Wednesday night.

Breathless and bloody, he stands over the body of his unidentified assailant and demands to know who sent him.

The man, who appeared hurt but was conscious, said he had been sent by “Moscow,” in a video Abdurakhmanov put on Instagram Live.

Tumso Abdurakhmanov Chechen Chechnya blogger dissidient

Tumso Abdurakhmanov in a photograph taken during an Associated Press interview in 2018.

Francesca Ebel/AP

It is not clear where in Poland the incident took place.

Journalist Neil Hauer posted video of Abdurakhmanov’s message to Twitter (content warning: the video is graphic).

The apparent attack follows two killings in Europe of Chechen political activists, which have been linked either to the central Russian government in Moscow or to Chechnya’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

In August, a Russian man with links to Russian intelligence services was caught after shooting a Chechen activist and asylum seeker in Berlin park.

Moscow has refused German police requests for cooperation, but a consortium of investigative journalists was able to link the suspect directly to the Russian government via phone records and other open-source documents.

Last month another Chechen blogger living under police protection in Belgium was killed in a hotel room in Lille, France.

He had not long arrived via train, in the company of a man whom French police say they have linked to Kadyrov’s regime in Chechnya.

Abdurakhmanov, the man in Poland, fled Chechnya in 2014 after running publicly criticizing Kadyrov and the speaker of Chechnya’s parliament.

The Kadyrov regime is well known for brutal repression of domestic political dissent and a willingness to assassinate its enemies.

After fleeing Chechnya, Abdurakhmanov made an asylum claim in Georgia but was rejected.

He then moved to Poland, where his case is moving through the legal system.

His lawyers have told Polish courts that any return to Chechnya would effectively be a death sentence.

His initial application was rejected by a Polish court in 2018 and is currently under appeal. 

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