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Investigation says ‘Spetznaz’ soldier ordered the killing of politician Nemtsov

Investigators believe that Ruslan Muhudinov, a soldier from the North (Sever) Battalion, a special forces or “Spetznaz” unit loyal to Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, ordered the murder of opposition leader and former deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov.

Muhudinov had already been arrested in absentia by Russian law enforcement under suspicion of participation in the killing. The confirmation of Muhudinov's role in ordering of Nemtsov's murder comes from the Russian Investigative Committee's website.

The murder investigation had earlier named Muhudinov as organizer of the assassination. However, there is no evidence to serve as Muhudinov's motive. The Investigative Committee has noted that Muhudinov's case will be separated from those of the other defendants. The main case concerning the other suspects will be investigated separately.

Five other individuals, arrested shortly after Nemtsov's March 2015 assassination and believed to be involved in his murder, have been formally identified and charged. The suspects charged are Zaur Dadayev, Shadid Gubashev, Khamzat Bakhaev, and Tamerlane Eskerhanov. The fifth and final charge is for Anzor Gubashev, and will be officially announced when his lawyer returns from a business trip. 

The involvement of all those currently accused was confirmed against the evidence brought before the court, which included more than 70 forensic examinations, eye witness testimonies and identifications of the suspects, inspections of items and documents seized from searches at the residences of the accused, and multiple security camera recordings that documented the arrival to and departure from the scene of the crime.

Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation

Boris Nemtsov was shot dead in central Moscow on February 27, 2015. Five Chechen nationals have been detained under suspicion of Nemtsov murder, including alleged perpetrator Zaur Dadayev, a former a special forces soldier from "Sever" battalion, which was controlled by Russian military intelligence.

Russian media has repeatedly reported on the possible involvement of Sever battalion deputy commander Ruslan Geremeyev and his colleague Ruslan Muhudinov in the murder of the politician.

There are no formal charges against Geremeyev, but his current whereabouts are unknown.

On November 9, the Investigative Committee charged Ruslan Muhudinov in absentia for the murder of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov.