A Russian MMA fighter who appealed to Ramzan Kadyrov last year to help find his missing aunt in Chechnya has been found dead on a train.
Georgiy Gagloev, 25, was reportedly found dead on board a train traveling from Moscow to Vladikavkaz. His body was discovered during a stop in Rostov-on-Don.
A source who spoke on the condition of anonymity suggested to Russian state-affiliated outlet tass.ru that the death may have been “violent.”
A native of North Ossetia, a republic in the North Caucasus, Gagloev was a local champion in hand-to-hand combat and freestyle wrestling. He later took up MMA and compiled a 1-3 professional record. His last fight took place ‘The Old Guard Fight Club’ event in Russia in March 2021.
On Feb. 6, 2022, Gagloev’s aunt, Rimma, went missing after arriving in Grozny, Chechnya. According to reports, Rimma hired a taxi to drive her from the Grozny airport to her home in North Ossetia but the car was later discovered abandoned near the border.
Gagloev believed that his aunt may have been kidnapped because of her controversial career as a fortune teller, which is prohibited in Islam and is therefore banned throughout the Muslim-dominant North Caucasus, including in Chechnya, where Rimma was last seen.
Shortly following his aunt’s disappearance, Gagloev published a video on YouTube appealing to Kadyrov, who rules Chechnya with an iron fist, to help find her. Though the Chechen warlord did not respond, the video went viral across the Russian Federation and was referenced by the head of North Ossetia.
“My aunt was engaged in fortune-telling, and she was able to remove the evil eye effect from a child. Yes, I know that it is forbidden in the Muslim religion, but she did it in Ossetia, and we will figure it out ourselves,” Giorgi Gagloev said in his plea to Kadyrov. “If this interferes with the law, let her be punished according to the laws of the Russian Federation.”
It should be noted that Kadyrov has led a decade-long campaign to persecute fortune-tellers, psychics, and others who are believed to be practicing magic or the occult. Dozens were detained and forcibly disappeared.
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