Sulim Yamadayev, a former rebel chief who had challenged Moscow-backed President Ramzan Kadyrov for control of Chechen security forces until last year, was found dead in an underground garage in Dubai at the weekend.
Reuters - A Chechen man assassinated in
The dead man was named as Sulim Yamadayev, an ex-rebel chief who became a decorated Russian officer. Yamadayev had challenged Moscow-backed Kadyrov for control of Chechen security forces until last year, when he was dismissed from commanding an elite battalion and forced to flee.
“I just received confirmation from the
Kadyrov’s spokesman said there was “absolutely no basis to include the president of
Last September, Sulim’s brother Ruslan—a former military commander in
Chechen exiles say three Chechens have been assassinated in the last six months in
Moscow-based political analyst Stanislav Belkovsky said “one could hardly ignore the fact that over the last two years, practically all those who could have challenged Kadyrov’s grip on power have departed this life”.
Commenting on the
In Yamadayev’s home town of Gudermes, about 40 km (25 miles) from the Chechen capital
Gudermes was the scene of a shoot-out in April 2008 when Kadyrov’s and Yamadayev’s bodyguards opened fire on each other after their convoys met on a road and neither would give way.
Yamadayev fought against
But like some other leading rebels, including Kadyrov, he switched to the Russian side after Vladimir Putin, then prime minister, sent troops in 1999 to retake
Yamadayev became the commander of the Vostok battalion, a unit of battle-hardened former rebels which played a key role in subduing large-scale separatist resistance. In 2005 he was named a Hero of Russia, the top national honour.
Kadyrov took over as Chechen leader from his father Akhmad who was assassinated in 2004 and has tried to concentrate power in his hands and enforce strict Islamic values. He has drawn fire from human rights groups alarmed at numerous alleged abuses in the province.
Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya was shot dead in 2006 after writing numerous denunciations of rights violations in
Date created : 2009-03-30