On 8 August 2017, Chechen singer Zelimkhan Bakaev (who performs under the name Zelim Bakaev) disappeared in the republic’s capital of Grozny while he was there from Moscow to attend his sister’s wedding. On 18 August, Dzhambulat Umarov, the republic’s press and information minister, said the singer was safe and would “appear soon”, but did not give any further information, reported Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty and other sources.
According to the singer’s friends, Bakaev was detained by people in military uniform, reported Crime Russia. However, Uramov called such allegations “absurd”. An Instagram account with the singer’s name shared a photo of him eating sushi in a Grozny restaurant on 15 August, though friends believe the post was not from him as his real account was closed soon after the disappearance and the photo was from the year before.