Thursday, August 25, 2016

Caucasus Report

Chechen Leadership In Exile Reaffirms Support For Anti-Umarov Resistance Faction

A YouTube screen grab of dissident Chechen commander Khusayn Gakayev
A YouTube screen grab of dissident Chechen commander Khusayn Gakayev
Meeting in Paris in mid-May, the government and parliament in exile of the Chechen Republic Ichkeria (ChRI), overthrown as a result of the Russian military intervention in the fall of 1999, formally reaffirmed their support for the Chechen resistance commanders who last summer rescinded their oath of allegiance to Caucasus Emirate head Doku Umarov.

Those dissident commanders subsequently criticized the way in which Umarov renounced the cause of an independent Chechnya in favor of a hypothetical Islamic state encompassing the entire North Caucasus.

That statement of support adopted in Paris was posted on the ChRI website on May 31, five days after the U.S. State Department designated the Caucasus Emirate "a terrorist organization" and announced a reward of $5 million for the capture of Umarov.

The State Department had designated Umarov a terrorist in June 2010, at the same time differentiating clearly between Umarov and the "radical jihadists," on the one hand, and what it termed the "national-separatist" wing of the Chechen insurgency on the other.

Gakayev Elected As New Military Commander

The ChRI government and parliament in exile had first expressed support for the breakaway faction in October. In a similar joint statement, they hailed the "good sense" of the Chechen commanders who had distanced themselves from Umarov and the "dead-end path" on which he had embarked. 

This statement further expressed support for the election by his fellow fighters of one of the dissident commanders, Khusein Gakayev, as military commander of the ChRI armed forces and head of the State Defense Committee, the body established in October 1999 by then-ChRI President Aslan Maskhadov to serve as the "supreme organ of state power of the ChRI in time of war."

In June 2002, that body was renamed by Maskhadov as the State Defense Committee -- Majlis ul-Shura.

The October statement also registered the suspension of its powers by the ChRI government in exile pending changes in the composition of the State Defense Committee -- Majlis ul-Shura and in the structure of the ChRI armed forces. (Maskhadov's original decree on the State Defense Committee does not stipulate who, in addition to the ChRI president as its chairman, is ex officio a member.)

The May statement implied that this process has been successfully completed. Gakayev has not, however, formally made public any details of those changes, presumably because security considerations strictly preclude any electronic communications with the outside world.

The statement adopted in Paris in May is much harsher than the earlier one in its condemnation of the "fratricidal policy" of the "ideologists of eternal war" (meaning Umarov and Caucasus Emirate ideologist Movladi Udugov) who "attempted to liquidate the legitimate organs of state power of the Chechen Republic Ichkeria."

No Military Solution

By the same token, it defines the most important objective of the ChRI  leadership in exile as "the unification of all forces for the liberation of our homeland and the restoration of the legitimate structures of state power on the entire territory of the Chechen Republic Ichkeria by means of the free expression of the people's will."

Noting that there can be no military solution to the ongoing Russian-Chechen war, the May statement acknowledges, and expresses unequivocal support for, the "leading role" played by the armed resistance, while simultaneously condemning "terrorism in all its manifestations."

The May statement is complemented by a video clip (the first of four) of the Paris meeting posted on the ChRI website that is clearly intended to underscore visually the message that Gakayev and his fellow commanders are the legitimate successors to the elected wartime leaders of the ChRI.

The clip opens with three minutes of archival TV footage, with the ChRI national anthem as musical backing, of the inauguration in November 1991 of Djokhar Dudayev as the first president of the ChRI.

That archival footage is cut and interspliced with shots of successive ChRI presidents and prominent military commanders, most of them now dead.

They are, in order of appearance, Dudayev's vice president, Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev; Maskhadov, in dress uniform; Abdul-Khalim Sadullayev, who succeeded Maskhadov as ChRI president in March 2005; renegade field commander Shamil Basayev, who served periodically as Maskhadov's prime minister; Hamzat Gelayev, nicknamed by the Russians "the Black Angel," whose military prowess during the first war and in 1999-2000 led some to regard him as the Islamic messiah or Mahdi; Arbi Yovmirzayev ("Mansur"), the brilliant Islamic scholar whom Umarov unsuccessfully sought to have assassinated for his criticism of the Caucasus Emirate, and who was killed by a land mine in February 2010; Aslanbek Vadalov, military strategist and commander of the Eastern Front, who like Gakayev broke with Umarov last summer; Gakayev; and "Makhran," who commanded the attack last August on pro-Moscow Chechen Republic head Ramzan Kadyrov's home village.
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Comment Sorting
by: mike from: new york city
June 14, 2011 21:45
Zakaev is a self-declared leader just like Umarov is a self-declared leader. Although Umarov has more legitimacy as he once was the president of the ChRI. Also, Gakaev is verbally supportive of the Emirate but he just does not support Umarov.
In Response

by: Ingush
June 20, 2011 17:07
“like Umarov is a self-declared leader”
Actually Abu Usman (his actual name) was elected. He didn’t want the position. He was both elected and appointed. Several times he wanted to resign but he was put back in charge by the North Caucasian Resistance. Read the news sometimes.
In Response

by: Mike
June 21, 2011 02:33
Umarov declared the Caucasus Emirate in 2007, therefore dissolving the movement that he had responsibility to previously, which was the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. He should have resigned, as promised in August of 2010. He retracted this resignation, creating a rift inside of the resistance that exists to this day. Gakayev made it clear that he supports the fighters who have pledged allegiance to Umarov but he does not support Umarov himself. I do not like Zakaev myself but I cannot agree with Umarov's tactics. Thanks for trying to insult me at the end there by the way ;-)
In Response

by: Ingush
June 21, 2011 11:03
good! You found one example. Keep googling.
In Response

by: Crazy Ivan
June 20, 2011 17:35
1. Zakaev himself said that he keeps in contact with the Russian FSB. It’s normal. The French command which escaped to Britain during WWII kept the contact with Gestapo … NOT.
2. Zakaev goes to countries where Russia issues and sends the warrant for his arrest and "free" Europe which is sitting on the Russian natural gas/oil needle cannot send him back to Russia.
3. The whole Russian-British “extradition of Zakaev case” looked like a badly written spy novel. The documents Russia provided in the British court were blackened out by a pen to look like they wanted to hide something, and the evidence was not presented. No one really believed that they wanted Zakaev back.
4. Russians executed Litvinenko in London, Yandarbiev in Doha, and yet strangely they cannot kill the invincible "head of ChRI in excile" Zakaev.
5. During the pre-war times Zakaev was a performer and he stayed that way. He is just playing his role.
6. "Zakhaev is a new hero of Russia" (c)
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
June 27, 2011 09:42
Ivan doesn't look to me too Crazy - just a regular "Rashka",
Playing "Ivan the fool" - and at the end he said his "dumka",
That they aren't "Heroes of Russia". Should they be "shnyr'ka",
Heroes of your expanding and annexing Russia, "Ivan, Dushka"?

My point is - forever "legitimate" game Russia plays in the World,
They should't rise their swords at the freedom and dignity of all
That live arround Russian borders and elsewhere. So called
Resistance must not be controlled by secret services of hell.

Rather legally negotiate limmited independence or extended
Authonomy, according Peter the I and Georgian's agreement.
Many tried and Russia murdered them - even as negotiated -
Dudaev, Mashadov and with plossible deny-abillity Kadyrov...

by: Mansour Amagov from: Paris, France
June 15, 2011 09:05
The government of ChRI and the parliament in exile? Are you kidding? Which kind of article is it?

Chechenpress is the personel website of Akhmed Zakayev. He is neither a MP of the ChRI Parliament nor he has a position at ChRI government; because he had been resigned from his post "Foreigner Minister" in 2007. He has never elected as a MP by Chechen people or he lost the Presidental Elections of ChRI in 1997. He could able to gain less than 1% of total votes, even the financial support of Russian criminal Boris Berezovsky.

By the way, can Zakayev explain that why did he declare his support to Gakayev and dissolved his self-declared government and why did he cancel his statement and once again declare that his circle will continue their theatre show?

I am also declaring that I have created my own ChRI government in exile and since now, I am the Prime Minister, because I could gather more that 50 people for our regular meeting in last time, thus it gives me a right to declare some titles in the name of ChRI.

Mansour Amagov

by: eric d from: IF Idaho USA
June 16, 2011 00:30
Just a stupid question. I'd still like to know whether the Chechen militants have been so completely infiltrated by the Russian FSB that it's impossible to distinguish Chechen "terror attacks" from FSB actions; and whether Chechen militants like Doku Umarov are really double agents who survive by the FSB's sufferance & perform services for the FSB, on FSB commands. After all, Ramzan Kadyrov was himself son of a Chechen "liberation fighter" & is now Putin's Man in Grozny & FSB Agent #1 in Chechnya; & The Moscow Apartment Bombings, The Moscow Theater Hostage Crisis, The Moscow Subway Bombings (claimed by Umarov!) & Beslan have given ample evidence of FSB complicity in supposed "Chechen terrorist attacks." Maybe I've just read too many of Anna Politkovskaya's exposes... But I wonder if the Chechen War is really only a Russian ruse to perpetually destabilize the North Caucasus & ensure FSB job security; & whether the Chechen War only goes on & on simply because the FSB wants it to... Like other international "war(s) on terror"?
In Response

by: Ingush
June 21, 2011 12:24
"The Moscow Subway Bombings (claimed by Umarov!) & Beslan"
Beslan occured only because Russians used HEAT shells fired from a tank and flamethrowers to "liberate” the kids. Also read sometimes and educate yourself about Beslan school. In 1992 hundreds of Muslim hostages were held in Beslan school. They were executed, tortured, and starved in exactly the same place. At the bottom of the message there are some testimonies of the Muslims which are not published by any European "human rights" groups. They were published only by Ingushetia's opposition website by the journalist/lawyer Magomed Yevloyev (received the “award” in France – posthumously) who was “accidently” killed by the Russian government forces as well as his comrade in arms Maksharip Aushev (who received the “award” from Mrs. Hillary Clinton herself - posthumously). Anyway, you can use web translators to read about Beslan school. Here are the links (and, if cannot open those because of the massive FSB DDOS attacks you can try the other two):
or here is reprinted version in
In Response

by: Ingush
June 21, 2011 12:31
"Russian ruse to perpetually destabilize the North Caucasus & ensure FSB job security; & whether the Chechen War only goes on & on simply because the FSB wants it to... Like other international "war(s) on terror"

I forgot to add. You are wrong because the war was never over it lasts for over 300 years at least. Generations of the North Caucasians were fightning Russians. The whole Caucasian culture is built on the doctrine of resistance to opressors in this case Russians.
In Response

by: eric d from: IF Idaho USA
June 21, 2011 23:08
@Ingush: Thanks for the reply. I just wish the North Caucasus situation was as simple as: "Russians bad!" "Ingush good!" But Muslim terrorists who pump young girls full of heroin & strap suicide belts on them & detonate them by remote control (like Doku Umarov?) aren't "good guys," even if they claim to be "Chechen liberation fighters" or "Muslim holy warriors." I suspect in at least some cases, though, they are supported & funded by Moscow, as I said, "to destabilize the North Caucasus & ensure FSB job security." And I wager at least some "Muslim jihadis" & "Chechen freedom fighters" are (and have been) working for the FSB (the KGB; the Czarist Cheka etc.), which is why these horrible tragedies like Beslan keep happening & accomplish nothing. And maybe while we're thinking about it, we might ask whether a Chechen or Ingush war that goes on for 300 years & costs thousands, millions of lives, is really a good thing, or whether it's not a stupid, futile tragedy on both sides that should be ended as soon as possible with full justice & equality for the Chechens & Ingush. But ended, ASAP. Especially since the Chechen War really serves Moscow's purposes & the FSB's agenda as much (or more) as those of the Chechen "black widows" & the Ingush people. Of course, the Chechen War & the Ingush struggle won't be ended that way, because Moscow & the FSB won't agree to cut their funding & release their strangle-hold on the North Caucasus. But certainly the Chechen government in exile & anybody seriously interested in the well-being & freedom of the Chechen & Ingush people should be trying to stop the war, not perpetuate it. Don't you agree?
In Response

by: Ingush
June 22, 2011 10:53
Did you interpret and read the websites in English about the Ingush hostages in Beslan school? Or are you going to continue your propaganda?
We live in the world of cause and effect. From nothing comes nothing.
At least read this one:
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
June 27, 2011 10:31
I didn't read about Ingush hostages in Beslan school.
But we all must understand that Russia "oboroten's"
Attacking any progress in the World, even energy fall
Is damaging USA and West, Russia in vindictivly joy.

Oboroten's invaded Ingushetia after published news
That hydroelectric plants to be built by Ingush nation.
Oboroten's invaded Beslan on published information
That small bottling plant made money repare school.

"Cause and effect" maybe minimal necessary defence
If immediate - but "nothing comes" from predictability,
As Russia made contingency expand - since 1954-56,
With oboroten's destracting Legal Freedom" by feudity.
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
June 27, 2011 09:55
Distabilize the all CIS, specially North Caucasus - to prevent
Peter the I and Georgian King threaty to mantain national stand
Of North Caucasian nations. By virtual SS "oboroten's terror",
Foolled World opinion, Russia invade as cleanse-annexer.
Planed since 1954-56.

by: eric d from: IF Idaho USA
June 28, 2011 23:25

One last jibe. Seems to me "Crazy Ivan" has it right when he points out connections between the FSB & Chechen militants. Hardly propaganda. Rather saying the Chechen War & North Caucasus situation goes on & on & on partly because the Russians want it to, & Ingush & Chechens shouldn't play Russia's game ("Our Game"?) & fall into the trap. Okay, so my russky est ploko. But I read one article from the Ingushetsia archives. I'm familiar with the tortures perpetrated on Beslan captives & the murderous strateguies used by the Russians to "liberate" them. But I guess not only do the Russkies infiltrate the Chechens & Ingush militants. They also play the Ossetes & Abkaz off against the Chechens & ingush, as at Beslan the Ossetes worked for the Ruskkies against the ingush. It's the same old game since the Roman empire. Divide & Rule. Play the "minorities" off against each other. And infiltrate both sides to get them doing your work for you. The more they kill each other & themselves, the less work for you. Martyrdom, anyone?

About This Blog

This blog presents analyst Liz Fuller's personal take on events in the region, following on from her work in the "RFE/RL Caucasus Report." It also aims, to borrow a metaphor from Tom de Waal, to act as a smoke detector, focusing attention on potential conflict situations and crises throughout the region. The views are the author's own and do not represent those of RFE/RL.