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Kadyrov Foe Shot Dead on City Street(Anna Polikovskaya suspect)
The Moscow Times ^
| Carl Schreck
Posted on 11/20/2006 4:21:37 AM PST by GarySpFc
The former head of security for assassinated Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov was shot dead Saturday on Leninsky Prospekt during a police operation to arrest him for purported involvement in abductions and killings in Chechnya.
Movladi Baisarov, who fell out of favor with Kadyrov's son, Chechen Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov, was shot by a Chechen special forces officer after pulling a grenade on arresting officers, City Prosecutor's Office spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko said Sunday.
Baisarov was pulled over by a group of officers from the city police and the Chechen Interior Ministry at around 6 p.m. near 30 Leninsky Prospekt in southern Moscow, Petrenko said.
As he was getting out of the car, he tried to hurl the grenade at the arresting officers, and "one of the Chechen special forces officers was forced to shoot him," Petrenko said.
Prosecutors are investigating the shooting to determine whether police used an appropriate amount of force during the arrest, she said.
Television footage showed Baisarov's body sprawled out next to the car and clad in a dark leather jacket. His face was bloody, and his face and shoulders lay in a pool of blood.
Baisarov's death came just days after he accused Ramzan Kadyrov of ordering his murder under the pretext of arresting him for abductions and killings in Chechnya.
In an interview published Tuesday in Vremya Novostei, Baisarov said a group of "armed men" close to Kadyrov had arrived in Moscow "with grenade launchers and a full load of ammunition ... to detain me."
"I heard the group arrived with verbal orders," he said.
"If they detain me or if I'm handed over to federal agencies, they will have to destroy me, and make it look as if I had tried to flee or something like that."
Baisarov, a former Chechen rebel who switched sides, headed the Gorets armed detachment that carried out anti-terrorist operations under the Federal Security Service, or FSB, but was disbanded earlier this year.
Several members of the unit surrendered their arms last week, but many others have declined to comply, effectively making them an illegal armed formation.
Ramzan Kadyrov announced in September that Chechen prosecutors had issued a federal arrest warrant for Baisarov on suspicion of participating in the January 2004 disappearance of a family in Grozny. Chechen authorities said last month that a grave containing 10 corpses of members of the family, the Musayevs, had been discovered and that they had information that Baisarov had shot some of them himself.
Human rights groups and ordinary Chechens have accused of Kadyrov and his paramilitary security force of kidnapping, torturing and killing civilians as well.
Kadyrov has denied wrongdoing.
As Kadyrov increased the pressure, Baisarov began attacking Kadyrov in interviews in the Russian media.
Political commentator Yulia Latynina said on her weekly radio show on Ekho Moskvy last week that the spat between the two would only end in bloodshed.
"I can't imagine how the conflict between Baisarov and Ramzan Kadyrov could be settled other than with the death of one or the other," said Latynina, who also writes a column for The Moscow Times.
Baisarov had been under FSB protection in Moscow, according to a report in Moskovsky Komsomolets on Friday.
An FSB spokesman declined to comment Sunday.
Novaya Gazeta journalist Vyacheslav Izmailov said Sunday that his newspaper was preparing to publish information linking Baisarov's murder with that of investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya, who was shot dead by an unknown assailant in her apartment building on Oct. 7.
Izmailov, who worked closely with Politkovskaya on her stories about human rights abuses in Chechnya, said former Grozny Mayor Beslan Gantamirov had come to Novaya Gazeta's offices two weeks after Politkovskaya was murdered and said armed men close to Kadyrov had been sent to Moscow with orders to kill three people: Politkovskaya, Baisarov and Gantamirov himself.
Gantamirov, a Kremlin loyalist who was sidelined by Kadyrov's paramilitary force in 2002, could not be reached for comment Sunday.
Chechen Deputy Prime Minister Adam Demilkhanov denied that Baisarov had served as head of security for Akhmad Kadyrov. It was in fact Baisarov's brother, Sharani Baisarov, who had worked in the security detail and had been killed in the May 9, 2004, blast that killed the Chechen president, Demilkhanov said.
"We all knew Sharani Baisarov as a loyal, upstanding and brave soldier," Demilkhanov told Interfax. "We respected him and his family. His brother Movladi Baisarov, however, took the criminal path."
Movladi Baisarov has been identified as the head of Kadyrov's security in numerous media reports published over the past half decade. Reports around the time of Kadyrov's death identified Sharani Baisarov as a member of the security force who died in the blast.
TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Russia
KEYWORDS: annapolikovskaya; chechnya; polikovskaya; russia
posted on 11/20/2006 4:21:40 AM PST
From Diplomatic Traffic:
Said Magomed Kakiev: Chechnya's Strongman in Waiting? Kevin Daniel Leahy
Writing in the August 15 issue of Novaya gazeta, the veteran Russian journalist, Anna Politkovskaya, suggested that a number of influential pro-Moscow figures in Chechnya are becoming increasingly exasperated with the antics of the republics incumbent premier, Ramzan Kadyrov. Indeed, the journalist went so far as to claim that a mutiny, purportedly led by local pro-Moscow warlords, Said Magomed Kakiev and Movladi Baisarov, was already underway against Kadyrov. Observers have identified various tensions within the current pro-Moscow regime almost since its inception. However, it would seem that these nascent tensions are now coalescing into something resembling a loyal opposition to Kadyrov.
BACKGROUND: The first overt indication of tension within the pro-Moscow ranks came at the end of April, when troops loyal to Kadyrov and those of his nominal superior, President Alu Alkhanov, exchanged gun-fire in downtown Grozny. Then, in late May, reports surfaced about a confrontation that had taken place between Kadyrovs forces and those of another pro-Moscow stalwart, Movladi Baisarov, when the latters guard deigned to detain a young relative of Ramzans as he was leaving Grozny. The sour state of relations between these respective parties had previously been remarked upon. However, the novelty of these incidents lies in the way in which they were resolved; or rather, who resolved them. The April shoot-out ceased only when Said Magomed Kakievs Zapad (West) battalion intervened in the fracas, thereby physically separating the protagonists. Also, the incident involving Kadyrov and Baisarov at the height of which Kadyrovs militiamen actually laid siege to the latters compound was resolved thanks in large part to Kakievs timely intervention. In both of these episodes, therefore, Kakiev emerged as a capable counter-weight to Kadyrovs characteristic impetuosity. In essence, his battalion functioned as a peace-keeping force during these incidents. However, if Politkovskayas aforementioned account is true, Kakiev might soon decide to confront, rather than simply restrain, the controversial pro-Moscow prime minister. Accordingly, Kadyrov is presently facing a mutiny of sizable proportions, with members of the republics so-called oil regiment, elements within the local Emergency Situations Ministry, members of the republics OMON unit, as well as considerable numbers of servicemen in all four GRU-affiliated ethno-battalions now refusing to recognize his authority. In addition, Kakiev and Baisarov have reportedly been joined by another prominent dissident, the leader of the recently created Yug (South) battalion, Muslim Ilyasov. Kakievs profile has been bolstered somewhat by the incidents referred to above, but he nevertheless remains something of an enigma. His past, although less checkered than some of his pro-Moscow colleagues, is certainly no less remarkable. Unlike many other contemporary pro-Moscow luminaries like Kadyrov and Sulim Yamadaev, Kakiev has never been associated with Chechen separatism. Indeed, he has remained an unflinching advocate of Russo-Chechen unity throughout his career, describing himself as a proud Russian army officer. In this respect, the contrast between Kakiev and Kadyrov could hardly be any starker. The latter is openly contemptuous of the Russian military, and is said to be privately disdainful of Russia (and Russians) in general. With this in mind, and given the considerable domestic trials he is reportedly now facing, Kadyrov is fast coming to be regarded as an increasingly isolated figure within Chechnyas pro-Moscow political arena. While it would be quite premature to state categorically that President Putin has decided to dispense with Kadyrov as his point-man in the republic, it is safe to say that Ramzans position is now considerably more ambiguous than it was six months ago.
IMPLICATIONS: Assuming that Kadyrov is becoming a spent force in Chechnya, would Kakievs credentials suggest him as Moscows strongman in waiting? First and foremost, his impeccable record as an opponent of separatism, coupled with his self-styled image as a Russian patriot would obviously endear him to Putin and his inner circle. Similarly, with respect to the Russian military, these qualities would certainly assure him the somewhat qualified status of being, in their view, the least untrustworthy loyal Chechen field commander. Also, Kakievs tendency to eschew the political limelight might work in his favour. In recent months, a series of political demarches from Kadyrov have caused some embarrassment for his handlers in Moscow. The young prime minister is floundering in his attempts to kindle his fledgling political career while simultaneously striving to retain his status as local strongman. In fact, his recent travails suggest that it may be impossible to reconcile these two roles. This realization would hardly perturb Kakiev, who seems content to project himself as a bluff military man, quite unconcerned with the inanities of political office. Should he at some point assume the role of Chechnyas gendarme, therefore, Kakiev would presumably be content to leave the political side of affairs to Alkhanov something Kadyrov has resolutely refused to do. Indeed, if certain reports are to be believed, an Alkhanov-Kakiev axis (also including Sulim Yamadaev and the former mayor of Grozny, Bislan Gantemirov) is already in the process of being formed. An alliance between Alkhanov and Kakiev would seem eminently logical given their shared history as career opponents of separatism. Unlike the other three ethno-battalions, Zapad contains no known amnestied separatists. In fact, Kakiev is an avowed opponent of the amnesty process in general, asking: How can those who have been fighting us be utterly forgiven? In this respect, he is certainly more inflexible than Kadyrov who readily accepted former separatists into his security structures. Kakiev apparently shares the zero-sum mentality of the Russian Generals with respect to the war against the separatists. Indeed, his hatred for the separatist president, Doku Umarov, is visceral, and personal: Kakiev blames Umarov and the late Ruslan Hamzat Gelaev for perpetrating the so-called Dagestanskaya Street massacre during the rebel occupation of Grozny in August 1996, in which thirty Kakievsty were allegedly murdered despite a promise of safe passage from the rebels. Kakiev, it should be said, is himself accused of egregious human rights violations.
The prospect of negotiating with the separatist leadership is nevertheless as much an anathema to him as it is to Putin and the military. However, Kakiev does have some drawbacks as a potential strongman. For one thing, he does not possess the same clan-connections enjoyed by Kadyrov connections which have underpinned the Russian strategy of Chechenization over the past several years. Furthermore, should Kakiev at some point receive the Kremlins blessing as its Chechen enforcer-in-chief (either explicitly or implicitly), one might well expect certain other pro-Moscow field commanders to react with jealousy and suspicion.
CONCLUSIONS: While it would be fanciful to sound Kadyrovs political death knell just yet, his long-term viability depends almost solely on how quickly he learns to temper his evolving political persona. His carefully crafted relationship with Putin will doubtless buy him some time in this regard, but the indications from Chechnya itself are that Ramzan may well be ousted from below, as it were, before he is from above. The successive incidents catalogued at the outset show that there is, in fact, a loyal opposition to Kadyrov within Chechnya; and, perhaps more importantly, that there are others as capable of maintaining order as he. Mr. Kadyrov should perhaps hope that these apparent conclusions have escaped the notice of President Putin and his confidantes. Else, his political star could fall as spectacularly as it rose.
Kevin Daniel Leahy holds a postgraduate degree in International Relations from University College Cork, Ireland.
posted on 11/20/2006 4:45:42 AM PST
(Jesus on Immigration, John 10:1)
posted on 11/20/2006 6:15:04 AM PST
That is an excellent map of Chechnya.
Russian newspapers and television leave little to the imgaination. Here is a picture of Baisrov.
posted on 11/20/2006 6:28:26 AM PST
(Jesus on Immigration, John 10:1)
Very sinister. This appears to be part of a planned series of assassinations - probably linked to the London poisoning as well.
Questioning Russia's Chechin campaign is very risky.
posted on 11/20/2006 3:30:23 PM PST
The Chechen war has been over for over a year, and there are only a very few isolated incidents.
posted on 11/20/2006 3:59:48 PM PST
(Jesus on Immigration, John 10:1)
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