Friday, August 26, 2016

Caucasus Report

Insurgency Commanders Divulge Details Of Umarov’s Death

Doku UmarovDoku Umarov
Doku Umarov
Doku Umarov

An 11-minute video clip was posted on YouTube last week showing the burial of self-proclaimed Caucasus Emirate head Doku Umarov. Two senior Chechen insurgency commanders, Khamzat (Aslan Byutukayev) and  Makhran (Saidov), describe (in Chechen) how Umarov was poisoned in early August 2013 when sharing food with younger fighters, and died one month later. A Russian translation of their statements was posted 24 hours later on the insurgency website Chechen Republic head Ramzan Kadyrov promptly posted a screen grab from the footage on his Instagram account as definitive proof that Umarov is dead.

Byutukayev explained that Umarov consumed a small amount of food that younger fighters had obtained from an Ingush on the highway leading to Djeyrakh (in southern Ingushetia, bordering on the south-westernmost part of Chechnya. Four other fighters died of poisoning; Umarov survived for a month before succumbing, at dawn on September 7.

Makhran dismissed the possibility that the poisoning was the result of a deliberate attempt by either Russian President Vladimir Putin or Chechen Republic head Ramzan Kadyrov to kill Umarov. He said that, on the contrary, Umarov’s death was purely fortuitous. Makhran disclosed that Umarov had summoned his senior commanders, and Makhran himself had arrived the evening before Umarov’s death.

The video clip shows six fighters helping to place Umarov’s body in the grave prepared for him and cover it over. The two other most senior commanders, Aslambek Vadalov and Tarkhan Gaziyev, are apparently not present. It was in the summer of 2013 that Gaziyev appealed to the Chechen Republic Ichkeria Shari'a Court in exile to rule on whether Umarov's proclamation in late 2007 of the Caucasus Emirate was justified under Shari'a law.

The first, unsubstantiated reports of Umarov’s death had surfaced  in January when an audio tape was posted on YouTube in which a speaker tentatively identified as Caucasus Emirate qadi (supreme religious authority) Abu Mukhammad (Aliaskhab Kebekov) related how he had learned of Umarov’s death and that he had been proposed as his successor. The audio tape did not give any details of when or how Umarov died.

Kebekov formally confirmed in mid-March that Umarov was dead and he had been chosen to succeed him. But he did not divulge the date or circumstances of Umarov’s death.

The revelation that Umarov died in early September means that his last video address, which was superscribed Autumn 2013, must have been filmed in August or the first few days of September. In that clip, Umarov, apparently in good health, pays homage to the Gakayev brothers, who were killed in January 2013, and to Jamaleyl Mutaliyev (aka Amir Adam), a commander of the Ingushetia insurgency wing who was killed in May 2013.  The clip was uploaded to the web on December 19, just hours after Kadyrov announced (not for the first time) that Umarov had been killed in a counter-terror operation, but his body had not been recovered.

The reason for the delay between Kebekov’s confirmation in mid-March that Umarov was indeed dead and the posting of the video clip showing his burial can only be guessed at. 

-- Liz Fuller

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Jack from: US
July 24, 2014 23:57
The main Chechen freedom fighter has been dispatched to Allah? Hillary Clinton is crying her eyes out for her best Muslim friend
In Response

by: Sag from: Va So
July 31, 2014 11:44
Come on American, you are not bright just like majority of Americans or Russians. Hillary Clinton was the one who was involved in the joint Russian-American statement on Umarov.
Hillary Rodham Clinton, in office:
January 21, 2009 – February 1, 2013

26 May 2011 "The United States is announcing today that it has included Doku Umarov in its Rewards for Justice program, offering a reward of up to $5 million for information that leads to the location of this key terrorist leader," a joint statement of the presidents of the United States and Russia on cooperation in counterterrorism said."

Now the question is are you Americans going to pay $5 million to the "Ingush" who killed Umarov? And if you cannot find the anonymous "hero" are you going to transfer $5 million to Ingushetia?


by: Sag from: Va so
July 31, 2014 11:17
"younger fighters had obtained from an Ingush"
I understand that Russian is not your native language but the website doesn't say the guy was an Ingush. Moreover the web site says that resistance suspects the man who gave them food had a fake first and last name.

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.