Thursday, November 27, 2014


Caucasus Report

North Caucasus Insurgency Leader Predicts 'Results' From Spring Offensive

A screen grab of Chechen insurgent Doku Umarov in a recent interview posted on YouTube
A screen grab of Chechen insurgent Doku Umarov in a recent interview posted on YouTube
A new 20-minute video clip has been posted on YouTube in which self-styled Caucasus Emirate head Doku Umarov answered questions about the current state of the North Caucasus insurgency.

The footage, posted on April 11 and dated last month, was apparently shot indoors with the usual Caucasus Emirate banner as a backdrop.

Umarov was not, for once, wearing combat fatigues and he looked remarkably well and relaxed: not like a man of nearly 50 who has spent the past 10 winters in a dugout in the forest.

The first request addressed to Umarov concerned the split in the insurgency ranks in August 2010 and the reconciliation 10 months later. Umarov admitted that the "fitna"  had been "quite painful for the Muslims of the Caucasus," and expressed relief that it was resolved without bloodshed or losses.

Second, Umarov was asked to list by name the various emirs who had repledged their loyalty to him, which he did not do. Instead, he stressed that all amirs have done so, and that no importance should be attached to the absence of some amirs from the shura in the summer of 2011 at which the reconciliation took place.

Notable Absentee

RFE/RL’s North Caucasus Service noted at the time that there was no sign of Tarkhan Gaziyev at that session, at which his fellow emirs -- Khusein Gakayev and Aslambek Vadalov -- were both shown swearing baiat, or allegiance, to Umarov.

The most logical explanation for Gaziyev’s absence was that his fighters staged 14 or 15 attacks in the uplands southwest of Grozny between mid-April and late June last year.

The third question was about the hypothesis -- espoused by Akhmed Zakayev, the leader in exile of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria -- that Russia's Federal Security Service provided $500 million to fund the so-called Caucasus Emirate.

Predictably, Umarov denied this. Without mentioning Zakayev by name, Umarov also denied that Movladi Udugov played any role in the proclamation of the North Caucasus Emirate. 

Zakayev had identified Udugov as the ideologist behind the idea of proclaiming a pan-Caucasus Islamic state. Umarov said it was he who proclaimed the Caucasus Emirate, with the backing of Anzor Astemirov (a.k.a. Seyfullakh), who headed the Kabardino-Balkaria insurgency wing.

In a statement last year, however, Umarov gave a far more detailed and rather different account of the sequence of events that led to this proclamation of the Caucasus Emirate in late 2007.

He disclosed that the debate among senior fighters about whether to proclaim an Islamic state dated back to 2002. He also said that after the death in 2006 of radical field commander Shamil Basayev, Astemirov threatened to proclaim the Caucasus Emirate himself if Umarov continued to hesitate.

Umarov said he went ahead and did so to avoid a split within the insurgency ranks, given that the fighters in Daghestan and Ingushetia would have sided with Astemirov.

'Increasing Cost' Of Jihad

The fourth question was about the military situation elsewhere in the North Caucasus. Umarov said the cost of waging jihad was increasing, and there were no Islamic states in the vicinity ready to provide help.

At the same time, he said "we are always ready to welcome mujahedin who are ready to embark on jihad." Six years ago, in the spring of 2006, Umarov told RFE/RL's North Caucasus Service in an exclusive interview that because of financial problems he could not accept all the volunteers who wanted to join the ranks of the resistance.

Umarov admitted that there is currently a lull in fighting as "we are tired and we have sustained heavy losses." But he said the upcoming spring campaign "will bring results."

The final question touched on the U.S. State Department’s inclusion of Umarov in May 2010 on its list of wanted terrorists and the offer of a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture.

Here either Umarov’s memory is faulty or he deliberately misconstrues the sequence of events. He claimed the announcement was meant as an incentive to those emirs who had split with him and the objective was to undermine unity within the ranks of the insurgency. But the fitna occurred only in August -- months after the State Department announcement.

In conclusion, Umarov stressed that jihad is obligatory for all Muslims. He acknowledged that the insurgency has lost many fighters "to whom we were close" over the past year, and affirmed that the survivors pray they will die an equally glorious death.

Among the insurgent fronts that have suffered the most serious losses in recent months is Daghestan. Umarov has not yet named a successor to Ibragimkhalil Daudov (Emir Solikh), who was killed in February.

Nonetheless Daudov’s first deputy, Abu Mukhammed, has assumed the role of acting commander of the rebel Daghestan front.

In recent video footage posted on the website Vdagestan, Mukhammed is shown with 11 fellow fighters reaffirming his sworn allegiance to Umarov.

Tags: umarov

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Bill Webb from: Phoenix Arizona USA
April 23, 2012 11:28
Maybe Umarov is finally realizing that this emirate crap isn't all it's trumpted up to be, living out in the woods, in the snow, and nothing to show for all your efforts but a bunch of dead people.

by: Jack from: US
April 23, 2012 12:50
Umarov just promises "results" to his financiers from Saudi Arabia and CIA. He needs money, that's all that is about.
In Response

by: zman from: USA
April 23, 2012 13:06
You're right jack

This umarov is obviusly a US/Saudi/British agent.. The goal is carve the caucsus away from Russia the the US and Britain can control the caspian sea and run the oil pipelines withouth Russia's hand all over it.. Lol ahahah I live the "war on terror" propagnada.
In Response

by: Mike from: US
April 26, 2012 22:23
If that were true then why would US help the Russians kill dudaiev?

He was obviously an anti Russian that could have been used by the US.
In Response

by: Ilya
April 27, 2012 05:38
It would be great if you guys could actually present some proof of the CIA supporting Umarov. Given the available information, it's pretty clear that the Americans are against him. Of course I'll gladly change my mind if you offer some PROOF.

by: 2smart4u from: USA
April 24, 2012 02:03
"The first request addressed to Umarov concerned the split in the insurgency ranks in August 2010"

"The final question touched on the U.S. State Department’s inclusion of Umarov in May 2010 on its list of wanted terrorists and the offer of a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture.
Here either Umarov’s memory is faulty or he deliberately misconstrues the sequence of events. He claimed the announcement was meant as an incentive to those amirs who had split with him and the objective was to undermine unity within the ranks of the insurgency. But the fitna occurred only in August -- months after the State Department announcement."

The author of the yellow journalism misconstrues the sequence of events. May 2010, June 2010, July 2010, August 2010.
In Response

by: M from: Ingushetia
April 26, 2012 17:47
According to Liz Fuller Caucasus warriors have 24/7 internet access and they receive the news immediately.

by: Anonymous
April 26, 2012 05:21
When we Caucasians, wrote here defending sentences. RFERL comment checkhers mark our comments "cacuasian terrorist propogand..." Yes, it can be, its propoganda but Caucasus is ours, and we do not want any Russians in our country. Hey Russo ! get out ! he did not. So Russo forced me to kick him. When i kicked him, he shot me with his gun. So i found a gun too, i shot him, so the war started.

Russians and Georgians and Armenians are Christian brothers, they united against North Caucasus. Because we are Muslim. RFERL is a Christian Evangelistic American Agent. America says you are terrorists, why ? i am defending my forefathers land ! You America, you are liar.
In Response

by: Jack from: US
April 27, 2012 02:14
dear prospective "shahid". Really, you have no reason to b$tch against AmeriKa, even more so against US government. After all, US government and its NATO minions supported your likes everywhere: in Bosnia, in Kosovo, in Chechnya, in Lybia, in Syria, in Afghanistan (during 80-ies, and even now). Without US government Russians would have buried your likes in their caves long time ago, and none of your famous feasts would have happened, there would have been no 9/11, no Iraq or Afghanistan wars, thousands of US soldiers would not have died needlessly. So you "brother" should be thankful to US government
In Response

by: Anonymous
April 27, 2012 07:27
holy rattletrap Soviet regime's "brain washed Nashi" was talk :)))

You Russian, what are you talking about ? Since 1642 , approximately 400 years ! we Muslim North Caucasians have been fighting with Christian invaders. 400 years ago there was no America - there was no "Russians", only peasant moujiks of Russian Orthodox Chiristians were, sent by their "owner" Tsar to die over Caucasus mountains. How an ignorant propogand you are making ? İf a honest Russian, (sample = author Lermontov ) come to North Caucasus, he will see that we are the grandchildren of free people. Russians will get out, we will get ours.

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.