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The Dacha With The Iron Cage In The Basement

Magomed Yevloyev was killed last month

Magomed Yevloyev was killed last month

Early on September 17, a police patrol in Moscow's exclusive Silver Pine Forest suburb found a half-naked, handcuffed man who had been beaten and tortured.

The story he told reads like something out of a John le Carre novel. Magomed Khamkhoyev, 35, is an Ingush, and a close associate of Federal Security Service (FSB) Colonel Alikhan Kalimatov, who was investigating a series of abductions of young Ingush men when he was gunned down a year ago outside a roadside cafe in Ingushetia.

The Russian daily "Kommersant" on September 18 quoted Khamkhoyev as telling police he was forcibly snatched from his car in Moscow on September 14, beaten up, and taken to a luxurious dacha where he was shown a corpse and warned that he too would be killed "in revenge for Beslan."

That threat suggests that his abductors, like the victims of the Beslan hostage taking, were Ossetians. Khamkhoyev managed to break a window in the dacha and escape, whereupon his captors abandoned the building after disabling the surveillance cameras and deleting all the surveillance footage.

On September 19, "Kommersant" quoted Khamkhoyev as saying his captors also questioned him about his relations with Kalimatov and what he knew about the latter's investigation into the unsolved abductions of young Ingush men, which many Ingush believe are the work of special forces from neighboring North Ossetia.

Members of the Ingush community in Moscow were present when police searched the villa (see the video here), which reportedly belongs to the Russian Defense Ministry. A large iron cage was found in the basement.

At least nine Ingush have disappeared in Moscow since September 1, the day after Magomed Yevloyev, owner of the independent website, was fatally shot in the head after being taken into custody by police on his arrival at Ingushetia's Magas Airport. As I noted here, that killing could compound instability in Ingushetia.

-- Liz Fuller

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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