Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Caucasus Report

Caucasus Emirate Leader Calls On Insurgents To Thwart Sochi Winter Olympics

A screen grab taken from an undated video posted on July 3 that shows a man identified as Russia's top Islamist leader Doku Umarov (center) recording his appeal at an undisclosed location.
A screen grab taken from an undated video posted on July 3 that shows a man identified as Russia's top Islamist leader Doku Umarov (center) recording his appeal at an undisclosed location.
Self-styled Caucasus Emirate leader Doku Umarov has called on members of the North Caucasus insurgency to prevent the holding of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi in February 2014.

In a brief video clip posted on YouTube late on July 2 but removed just hours later, Umarov also announced the end of the moratorium he proclaimed in January 2012 on terrorist attacks on civilian targets elsewhere in Russia.

The four-minute video is dated the Muslim month of Sha'ban, which began on June 10. It was apparently filmed at the same time as a clip posted last week in which Umarov expresses condolences to the families of insurgents killed in combat. Both were filmed in the forest, with birdsong audible in the background, and in both Umarov is shown seated, flanked by his deputy Aslan Byutukayev (Emir Khamzat) and another, younger fighter.

Umarov begins his address to fighters in the Caucasus and elsewhere in Russia by noting that the ongoing jihad is inexorably gathering momentum. He recalls that in "recent statements...we demonstrated charity [milost] and goodwill" by imposing a moratorium on attacks on civilians elsewhere in Russia. But the unbelievers, Umarov continues, construed that demonstration of goodwill as weakness, and launched bloody reprisals against the peaceful population of the Caucasus. It is incumbent on us, he argues, to demonstrate to the inhabitants of the Kremlin that our charity is not weakness, and to respond in kind to their bloody attacks.

Umarov notes Moscow's plans to stage the Winter Olympic Games "on the bones of many, many Muslims killed...and buried on our lands extending to the Black Sea." He affirms that the insurgency has an obligation to try to prevent the holding of the Olympics using all the means that Allah permits. He calls on all Islamic insurgents in Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, and the Caucasus take part in that effort.

Russian security services have for years warned that the insurgency Umarov heads poses a threat to the peaceful conduct of the Sochi Winter Olympics and adduced that threat to justify indiscriminate violence against anyone suspected to belonging to or abetting the insurgency.

The phrasing of Umarov's address, in particular his appeal to fighters elsewhere in the Caucasus, implies, however, that the insurgency does not have a carefully coordinated battle plan for Sochi in which individual insurgency wings (Chechnya, Daghestan, but above all Kabardino-Balkaria) would attack previously agreed targets. Granted, the current video clip may have been intended to create precisely that impression. But it is an open question whether, since the death seven years ago of Chechen field commander Shamil Basayev, any of the surviving veteran fighters has the strategic vision to conceive such a plan.

Even assuming a carefully coordinated battle-plan does exist, it would have been strategically more advantageous for Umarov to maintain silence concerning his plans and thus prolong the uncertainty over whether he is still alive and whether the insurgency is numerically strong and organized enough to create chaos and mayhem in Sochi -- or possibly elsewhere in Russia -- in February.

Tags: umarov,Sochi Olympics

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by: Alex from: LA
July 03, 2013 22:25
I don't get how RFE/RL still calls these people insurgents? They are simply terrorist, why don't you call them what they are? Be fair and honest. They call others terrorist Free Syria Army, thats composed of terrorist and mujaheddin (who in my eyes are also terrorist). It's not a close ally of ours under attack, so we call them insurgents. Do you want innocent athletes to lose their lives to these dogs of terrorism? CALL THEM WHAT THEY ARE TERRORISTS...
In Response

by: KC from: WB
July 08, 2013 14:44
I agree. these are satans to put this planet to grave danger!!

by: Bill Webb from: Phoenix Arizona USA
July 03, 2013 23:56
They've been saving up their bombs and bullets. Now it's open season on civilians again. Umarov and his cohorts look like they're not eating very well out there in the woods. They need to get jobs!

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
July 04, 2013 23:37
1.
By calling Umarov the top Islamist leader, one might presume that he is ideological and religious Moslem Leader in the whole Caucasus.
In reality, the real religious leaders that trying to find an ideological platform for the whole Iberian-Caucasian world be free and live in dignity are assassinated or silenced by both sides - "oboroten's-insurgents" and Russian occupying forces.
2.
What is an ideological platform for attacking only "Russian Olympics" in Sochi?
Russia's "Shtaby" devil is in detail.
Where is the just reason and explanation for detail?
3.
Is it to expand legitimate complaints and public protests against Russian invaders and occupiers, going even further than Hitler that invaded-annexed Check Republic with symbol as Munich Olympics?
Is it protests of all Iberian-Caucasian world and International Community against Russia and new "Hitler-funkels"?
4.
Russia annexed North Caucasus and Georgian lands, including Sochi by Lenin, than next to it Georgian Abkhazia since 1992-93.
Is the very Sochi Olympics now symbol of expanding Russia?
Is it few would be explosions in Sochi another excuse for Russia to invade and annex further into Caucasus and CIS?
5.
It could be a time when traditional "axes" of resistance might be called for.
But where is the moral and just platform that must preside it?
Where are millions of people in Caucasus and CIS with their demands - killed or silenced by both, Russian force and their "oboroten's"?
Where are the billions of people in all the World with their protests - silenced by infiltration by Russia's "aparatchiks", media and press in the West and covering-up for them since 1954-56 imperial resurrect by British and Germany-Austria nationals, with old habits of old Eastern block countries dying heard?
Like Gorbachev used nerve gas in Georgia, than advised the same to China - only China "proudly" changed it to more Chinese stile weapons - explosive ammunition...

by: arab the arab from: arab fuhrer's camp- egypt
July 05, 2013 05:20
what makes him a "terror leader" ? being-non-christian ? what makes putin a "president" ? being-christian ?

by: Umarov from: Dagestan
July 05, 2013 15:21
"Even assuming a carefully coordinated battle-plan does exist, it would have been strategically more advantageous for Umarov to maintain silence concerning his plans and thus prolong the uncertainty over whether he is still alive and whether the insurgency is numerically strong and organized enough to create chaos and mayhem in Sochi -- or possibly elsewhere in Russia -- in February. " Thanks for the advice, I bet there will be more to come this way... from the burning torch.

by: eric d from: IF ID USA
July 06, 2013 22:39
There's no doubt that the Chechen people have suffered horribly from"Great Russian" oppression & attempts at genocide & that Chechen resistance to Russian military occupation is valid. But I can think of nothing more likely to discredit the Chechen resistance & bring down not only Russian but international military repression on the Chechen People than Umarov's bogus call to jihad. Umarov's call for attacks against the Olympics only reinforces my suspicion (& that of ChechenPress) that Umarov is in leagues with the FSB to create a terrorist threat that justifies Russian/FSB counter-insurgency. But of course the whole international counter-terrorist/terrorist racket is so full of double agents & provacateurs (on both sides!) that neither the false claims of terrorists! nor the propaganda of official counter-terrorism can be believed. Whether the FSB & other official agencies are behind attacks like the Boston Marathon Bombing or Moscow Subway Bombing is never susceptible to proof. But that doesn't mean the official accounts are true. Who can you believe? Who do you trust? Sadly, nobody. But the Chechen People's struggle for self-determination & independence will go on. Despite both Umarov & Putin. Becuase it has to. Because the Chechen People don't really have a choice. Except to accept Russian attempts at conquest & genocide. Which is a non-option...

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.