Anti-Putin blogger has his throat slit in a hotel room after vocally opposing the Russian President

A PUTIN critic has been found with his throat slit in what police are calling a "politically motivated" assassination in a French hotel.
Imran Aliev, 44, was found lying on the ground with "multiple wounds" in his chest and his throat slit with a bloodied knife next to it.
 Imran Aliev was found with his throat slit in a Lille hotel
Imran Aliev was found with his throat slit in a Lille hotelCredit: Wikipedia
Aliev has been a strong critic of Vladimir Putin and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov on his popular blog and youtube accounts for years, working under the pseudonyms of Mansur Stariy or Old Mansur.
His is the latest death to spark concerns of a Russian political hit squad running amok in Europe to hunt down any anti-establishment voices in hiding.
Aliev's 35-year-old Chechen travelling companion disappeared shortly after the shocking murder that was discovered by the hotel manager on January 30 after they failed to check out.
The pair had travelled from Mr Aliev's home in Belgium where he was under police protection, to Lille, France, via train on January 29 where they booked into the Coq Hardi Hotel.
The day before his death, he told his wife and four children that he was leaving for a day in France "on business" after an unknown man showed up from Chechnya on the eve of the incident.
 Vladimir Putin and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov are known to be strong allies
Vladimir Putin and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov are known to be strong alliesCredit: AFP - Getty
Officers are now hoping to track down Aliev's mysterious companion who is still missing over a week after the killing according to Business Insider.
A senior French police official said: "[Aliev] left Belgium Wednesday (Jan 29) where he was under police protection because of threats out of Russia and Chechnya over his opposition blogging.
"He was accompanied by another Chechen, who we have tentatively identified based on his travel documents.
"Obviously, considering Aliev's history and previous threats, we need to strongly examine the possibility of a state intelligence service in this murder.
"We are collecting and analyzing evidence from travel patterns, electronic intercepts, and other investigative tools at our disposal."
According to Le Monde, this is the second attempt on his Aliev's life since the summer.
France has not yet contacted Russia for assistance in the case.
Chechnya, a southeastern Russian region, has seen two brutal wars for independence in recent decades.
The region has been controlled by strongman Kadyrov since 2007 with approval from Moscow.
NewsRU reports that there has been a string of 13 other critics being assassinated both at home and abroad dating back to January 13 2009 when 26-year-old Umar Israilov was gunned down in broad daylight in Vienna.
Fears of a Russian hit squad have become more acute since the attempted assassination of Sergei and Yulia Skripal with a nerve agent in Salisbury, England, in 2018.
Former Chechen rebel commander Zelimkhan Khangoshvili was shot dead in 2019 in a crowded park in Berlin resulting in the expulsion of two Russian diplomats.
Moscow has consistently denied any role in any of the murders.
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