In late 2014, Boris Nemtsov, a Russian opposition leader, wondered aloud about the consequences of allowing the Head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, to amass his own armed forces. “The contract between Kadyrov and Putin—money in exchange for loyalty—is ending. Where will Mr Kadyrov’s 20,000 men go?” he wrote. “When will they come to Moscow?” Just a few months later, Nemtsov was gunned down while walking with his girlfriend across a bridge in the shadow of the Kremlin. The killing rattled the Russian political world and horrified the liberal...
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