Former Chechen rebel boss assassinated in Dubai
Monday 30 March 2009
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.
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
- 1 Scottish independence results live: Reunited kingdom - Scotland gives a clear 'No' in historic referendum
- 2 iOS 8 is full of shiny new features - but it's terrible news for app developers
- 3 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Scottish independence results live: Reunited kingdom - Scotland gives a clear 'No' in historic referendum
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish independence: YouGov final prediction puts No campaign 8 points ahead - but Yes team remains optimistic
Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Nursery assistants re...
£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you a qualified teache...
£50 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you an SEN Teacher or L...
£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: English & Media Teacher - ...