When the journalist was gathering information on Boris Berezovsky (an oligarch put on an international warrant list by Russian prosecutors who now lives in exile in Britain), he met a number of influential Chechens, the source told the newspaper. They agreed to introduce Klebnikov to Nukhayev, who had allegedly helped Berezovsky to settle problems with the criminal world. The meeting was held in Baku and at that time the journalist did not publish anything.
In 2003, Valery Streletsky, owner of the Detektiv Press publishing house and former employee of the presidential security service, commissioned Klebnikov to write a book on Nukhayev. The book, Conversations with a Barbarian, included Nukhayev's descriptions about when one can and must kill a person, radical Islamic opinions, etc. Nukhayev did not like this free handling of his monologue and demanded an explanation from the people who had brought Klebnikov to him. According to the newspaper's sources, the mediators could find no better explanation than murdering the journalist.