Former Chechen rebel boss assassinated in Dubai

An opponent of Chechnya’s Moscow-backed president, Ramzan Kadyrov, has been shot dead in Dubai. The murder of Sulim Yamadayev is the latest in a line of killings of Chechens who opposed the rule of Mr Kadyrov and again raises questions about the nature of his rule.

Mr Yamadayev, like Mr Kadyrov, was a former rebel who fought against Russia during the 1990s and then switched sides. He had been awarded Russia’s top military medal, and until recently was the commander of Vostok, a federal army battalion made up of Chechens that had a fearsome reputation. He led Vostok into South Ossetia during last summer’s war, and the battalion played a major part in the Russian invasion of Georgia.

But despite this success, relations with Mr Kadyrov had already soured. The Yamadayev brothers – Sulim, Ruslan and Badrudi – headed a powerful clan that had a long-running feud with Mr Kadyrov, exacerbated when a convoy led by Badrudi Yamadayev refused to make way for Mr Kadyrov’s cortege in Chechnya last April, leading to a shootout.

In September, Ruslan Yamadayev was assassinated in central Moscow. Many pointed the finger at Chechnya’s President, though Sulim Yamadayev at the time said he did not want to believe that Mr Kadyrov was behind the killing. He then disappeared from public view; according to reports in the Russian press, he had been living in an upmarket area of Dubai for the past four months.

He was reported to have been fatally wounded while getting into his car in an underground car park on Saturday afternoon. There were unconfirmed reports that a Russian citizen had been apprehended as a suspect.

In 2004, two Russian intelligence agents were convicted of assassinating a former Chechen separatist president,

Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, in Qatar. Recently, a new spate of murders has started, with the Yamadayev brothers just two of several Chechens to meet sticky ends far from the Caucasus Mountains.

Chechen exile groups claim that three Chechens have been murdered in Istanbul in recent months, while in January Umar Israilov was murdered in Vienna. Mr Israilov, a former bodyguard of Mr Kadyrov, had claimed to have witnessed acts of torture carried out by the Chechen President himself.

Mr Kadyrov, who has also been mentioned as a possible suspect in the murder of the investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya, rejected those accusations with the unsettling defence that he did not kill women.

Chechen officials denied that Mr Yamadayev’s killing was related to Mr Kadyrov and suggested that it was a provocation designed to implicate the Chechen President falsely, and cause friction ahead of a visit of the Dubai ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, to Moscow.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
businessUber, Snapchat and Facebook founders among those on the 2015 Forbes Billionaire List
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
News
Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
News
Homer’s equation, in an episode in 1998, comes close to the truth, as revealed 14 years later
science
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - Covent Garden, central London - £45k - £55k

£45000 - £55000 per annum + 30 days holiday: Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - ...

Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator - Lancashire - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: 3rd Line Support Engineer / Network ...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Web Developer

£26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Web Developer is required to ...

Ashdown Group: PeopleSoft Developer - London - £45k

£45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: PeopleSoft Application Support & Development ...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003