Possible victims in GAZelle in Magnitogorsk identified by reporters
According to the police, what caused the fire in the routed taxicab was the breakdown of the gas kit. Several security, defense and law enforcement chiefs arrived at the scene, however the Investigative Committee and Federal Security Service denied to comment upon the matter.
Chelyabinsk web site 74.ru has published its investigation, speculating about identities of victims who burned to death in the routed taxicab in Magnitogorsk on the night of January 2. Investigative authorities have not provided official comments upon the incident.
The eyewitnesses say there was a body of the driver near GAZelle and two other dead bodies inside the vehicle. Magnitogorsk Department of the Russian Ministry of Interior sent out the messages about the incident to the media, stating there was a car backfiring allegedly caused by the breakdown of the gas kit. All residents in the neighbourhood denied to talk to the reporters; one woman confessed they had been told to keep silent. It is known that several security, defense and law enforcement chiefs arrived at the scene, however the Investigative Committee and Federal Security Service denied to comment upon the matter. With that, the gas cylinder in good condition is easy to see in the photo taken when it was being transported across the city. No bullet holes can be seen, as well.
Reporters found relatives and acquaintances of 3 men who had presumably died in the incident.
One of them - Makhmud Jumaev - was an owner of GAZelle that operated 35th route in Magnitogorsk; he was a native of Uzbekistan, born in 1975. On December 25, he resigned from his job with a transportation provider Strelets he had been working for a few years. He did not report about the reasons for leaving. He had a Russian wife and 2 children. According to his neighbours, Jumaev got into religion recently. He frequently had a quarrel with his wife, and they broke up. Later, llegal literature was found in his apartment during the searches. His wife stated she had never seen it before and suggested it had been left by Jumaev.
A few citizens of Magnitogorsk stated they had often seen the burnt out GAZelle in the backyard of a home in another district in the city. The locals of that district told a man who can also be one of the victims of the incident had lived there. His name is Almir Abitov. He is a native of a small settlement of Kirs located 10 km away from Magnitogorsk. His stepbrother and mother-in-law told that Abitov had a Russian wife and 4 children, as well. He often had arguments with his family because of money. The man did odd jobs. A few years ago, Almir Abitov met a man at the auto shop. After that, he converted to Muslimism; he convinced his wife into converting, as well. The family started praying and got married according to the Muslim customs and habits. The husband quit drinking and smoking. The children were taken from school and switched to home schooling. In the past six months, he started being out somewhere for a long time, didn’t bring money home and didn’t pay attention to the children. Almir Abitov was seen on December 30 for the last time. His mother-in-law says despite the fact that the family lived in Magnitogorsk, she was visited by law-enforcement authorities: once before the New Year’s, and another time - after the explosion of the routed taxicab. His relatives don’t know if Abitov died in the explosion. The examination results were not shown to them.
Almir Abitov met the owner of the routed taxicab Makhmud Jumaev at the same auto shop. The man from the auto shop who influenced Abitov, according to the reporters, turned out to be a certain Vadim who converted to Islam, took the name of Askhab and left the company. Vadim/Askhab was presumably the third person who burned in the explosion of the routed taxicab.
One theory is that the explosion of GAZelle is somehow linked to the explosion of the apartment building in Magnitogorsk on December 31, 2018: Znak.com sources stated the suspects involved in the explosion had been eliminated from GAZelle. Law-enforcement authorities allegedly showed their pictures to citizens in the neighbourhood, requesting to identify them.
The Investigative Committee of Russia and Federal Security Service have not commented upon the link between the explosion of the routed taxicab and the apartment building in Magnitogorsk.