An Anti-Putin blogger has been murdered amid fears a Russian hit squad is running amok in Europe.
Imran Aliev was found with his throat slit in a hotel room in Lille, France, last week.
French police believe that his murder was ‘politically motivated’.
Anti-Putin blogger Imran Aliev (pictured) was found with his throat slit in a hotel room in Lille, France, last week
Mr Aliev had been travelling with a 35-year-old companion who disappeared shortly after the murder.
The pair had travelled from Mr Aliev’s home in Belgium to northern France via train on January 29 where they booked into the hotel.
The manager went to check on the guests the following day and discovered Mr Aliev’s body.
It is thought that a knife was also found at the scene which has since been sent to a forensic laboratory for analysis.
‘[Aliev] left Belgium Wednesday where he was under police protection because of threats out of Russia and Chechnya over his opposition blogging,’ said the senior French police official.
The 44-year-old had vocally opposed both Vladimir Putin and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov (pictured together)
Mr Aliev was originally from Chechnya, a southeastern Russian region, that has seen two brutal wars for independence in recent decades.
The region is currently controlled by Mr Kadyrov with approval from Moscow.
Mr Aliev, who was a father-of-four, often published YouTube videos critical of the Chechen government under pseudonyms of Mansur Stariy or Old Mansur.