A close crony of Ramzan Kadyrov has vanished and is feared dead amid claims he was poisoning the Chechen warlord, according to reports from Russia.
Elkhan Suleymanov, 49, a medic who served as health minister and deputy premier of Chechnya stopped posting to his 55,000 Instagram followers a year ago and has not been seen or heard from since.
Meanwhile, the health of 46-year-old Kadyrov – who has sent tens of thousands of his soldiers to fight in Putin’s war in Ukraine – has been the subject of deep speculation in Russia amid claims he is terminally ill.
Now, a Telegram channel known to have links to law enforcement has made the extraordinary claim that Kadyrov blamed his former ally for his poor health and accused Suleymanov of poisoning him. Some suspect he had him buried alive.
Suleymanov once acted as personal doctor to Kadyrov and his family, while photos posted online suggest the pair shared a close relationship.
Elkhan Suleymanov, 49, a medic who served as health minister and deputy premier of Chechnya stopped posting to his 55,000 Instagram followers a year ago and has not been seen or heard from since. It is claimed Chechen warlord Ramzan Kadyrov (left) had him killed after blaming Suleymanov for his ill health
Kadyrov – often seen as bloated in pictured – became convinced he was poisoned after receiving unknown injections from Suleymanov, it is claimed
The health of 46-year-old Kadyrov (pictured) has been the subject of deep speculation in Russia amid claims he is terminally ill
Past photographs often showed them in the countryside together or during official engagements, arms around each other’s shoulders and clasping each other’s arms.
However, Suleymanov – who at one point would post almost daily to his Instagram – has not shared an update with his followers since October 2022.
If tyrannical leader Kadyrov – a leading Putin ally with a reputation for brutality – did suspect the doctor of poisoning him, then it is unlikely he would have shown mercy.
Telegram channel VChK-OGPU, with links to law enforcement, said the warlord ‘blamed the sharp deterioration in his health’ on Suleymanov.
‘No-one there has seen Suleymanov since October 2022, and there is talk that he was brutally killed and buried alive in the ground,’ stated the channel.
‘Absolutely everyone says that he is no longer alive and that he died a painful death.’
Other claims are that he has returned to Baku in Azerbaijan – his birthplace – or is working quietly in Moscow, yet he has not been seen publicly.
Further claims suggest he moved to the Middle East.
Kadyrov – often seen as bloated in pictured – became convinced he was poisoned after receiving unknown injections from Suleymanov, it is claimed.
‘He was removed from the post of Deputy Prime Minister overnight in October 2022 and has not been seen since,’ said the channel citing its anonymous sources.
Another source said: ‘If Kadyrov really suspected Suleymanov of poisoning, then we are unlikely to see him alive. If we are talking about something else, then he may be in captivity and they will show him on camera.’
Elkhan Suleymanov (right), 49, a medic who served as health minister and deputy premier of Chechnya stopped posting to Instagram a year ago and has not been seen or heard from since
Past photographs often showed Suleymanov (left) and Kadyrov in the countryside together or during official engagements, arms around each other’s shoulders
Suleymanov was unusual in the warlord’s hierarchy. While not an ethnic Chechen, he seen as exceptionally close to Kadyrov who believed he had saved his mother.
Suleymanov had worked in the West and was a professor and specialist in cancer.
Similar claims were made earlier by another Telegram channel 1ADAD, which claimed he was beaten when he was dismissed.
It claimed in July that he now worked in Moscow at the National Medical Research Centre for Radiology – yet there seems little evidence he is here.
Nor is there hard evidence of his death.
Kadyrov’s foes accuse him of carrying out extra judicial killings.
Multiple pictures show Kadyrov and Suleymanov together.
In early July amid a swirl of health rumours, Kadyrov in a rambling post said he had recorded a film to prove he – the Chechen leader – was ‘still alive’ .
‘We are still alive somehow,’ he said at the time. ‘Anyway, we don’t want to live long.
‘We will live a short but decent life.’
Exiled Chechen opposition politician Tumso Abdurakhmanov said at the time: ‘Information is coming in that Kadyrov is near death and no longer speaks.
‘His kidneys have completely failed, and dialysis does not help.
‘It is possible that these are his last days.’
However, since then he has been seen, apparently looking better.
A friend of the missing medic told VChK-OGPU channel today: ‘Elkhan Suleymanov is a very professional person with high personal standards.
‘He is soft, sociable, and non-conflicting, a classic intellectual….
Suleymanov was unusual in the warlord’s hierarchy. While not an ethnic Chechen, he seen as exceptionally close to Kadyrov who believed he had saved his mother
‘Just a couple of days before his unexpected dismissal, he discussed tests and the causes of Kadyrov’s strange illness with doctors from Moscow until late at night.
‘I called a friend in Germany about this.
‘Then he simply disappeared. Later, information about his resignation appeared.
‘All this time, friends are being told that he left with his family for Baku, is engaged in science, does not want any publicity and will not communicate.’