A Russian Telegram channel has published an investigation alleging that Chechnya’s former health minister, Elkhan Suleymanov, had ‘disappeared’ after giving medical injections to Chechnya Head Ramzan Kadyrov.
Suleymanov had formerly served as the republic’s deputy prime minister prior to his alleged disappearance in October 2022.
VChK-OGPU, a Telegram channel that claims to conduct political investigations in Russia, on Sunday and Wednesday published reports on Suleymanov’s ‘disappearance’, claiming to also explain changes in Kadyrov’s appearance that have prompted rumours of his illness and even imminent death.
The channel stated that several sources ‘familiar with the situation’ suggested that the disappearance of Suleymanov in October 2022 was connected to a rapid deterioration in Kadyrov’s health, which is reported to have begun around the same time.
‘When Kadyrov’s health began to deteriorate sharply and unexpectedly, those around the head of Chechnya began to assure him that he had become a victim of poisoning. Kadyrov subscribed to the same theory and brought his anger down on Suleymanov’, the channel claims.
According to the Telegram channel’s sources, Suleymanov had administered ‘some injections’ to Kadyrov, leading to suspicion falling on him.
In October 2022, official reports stated that Suleymanov had resigned from the position of Deputy Prime Minister, but the Telegram channel states that the official was removed from his position.
It also asserts that Suleymanov has not been seen by any of his close friends or colleagues, ‘with whom Suleymanov was previously in constant contact’, since October 2022. It adds that there have been no posts on Suleymanov’s Instagram account since October 2022, despite it having previously been relatively active.
According to the Telegram channel, there are rumours that Suleymanov was killed, and potentially even buried alive.
‘If Kadyrov suspected Suleymanov of poisoning, we are unlikely to see him alive [again]. If we are talking about something else, he may be in captivity, and they will show him on camera’, the Telegram channel quotes its source as stating.
Elkhan Suleymanov, a medical professional specialising in surgery and oncology, had reportedly been the Kadyrov family’s personal doctor since 2014.
Some, including Chechnya’s exiled former Deputy Prime Minister Akhmad Zakayev, have claimed that Kadyrov is experiencing kidney failure as a result of drug abuse, with others suggesting that the Head of Chechnya was poisoned.
Rumours intensified after Kadyrov, usually a fixture at Russian state events, failed to attend Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Federal Address in Moscow on 21 February. On 3 March, Putin met with Kadyrov’s eldest son, 17-year-old Akhmat Kadyrov, who was accompanied by the Russian president’s adviser on climate issues, Ruslan Edelgeriyev, and not the Chechen head himself.