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Website Posts Photo Of Supposedly Dead Chechen Commander

Was Sulim Yamadayev killed in Dubai?
Was Sulim Yamadayev killed in Dubai?
The Chechen resistance website posted on May 21 a photograph it said it received earlier that day of Sulim Yamadayev, ex-commander of the Russian Defense Ministry's notorious Vostok Battalion. The photo shows Yamadayev dressed in black pajamas, propped up on pillows in a hospital bed, looking at the camera, and holding a mobile phone.

Sulim Yamadayev left Russia last fall after falling foul of Chechen Republic head Ramzan Kadyrov. Dubai police and the pro-Moscow Chechen authorities have repeatedly said that Yamadayev was killed when a gunman opened fire on him outside his Dubai apartment on March 28.

His younger brother Isa, however, has told Russian media that Sulim was badly wounded, but is recovering. Specifically, Isa Yamadayev was quoted by kavkazcenter on May 4 as saying that Sulim will have to undergo surgery "in the nearest future" in light of complications from a bullet wound in his neck that damaged a nerve. In the photo, however, his neck does not appear to be bandaged.

On May 22, the head of the Investigation Commission of the Russian Prosecutor-General's Office, Anatoly Bagmet, announced that the assassination in Moscow last September of a third Yamadayev brother, Ruslan, is "practically" solved. Isa Yamadayev has said he believes Kadyrov was behind both the assassination of Ruslan and the purportedly botched attempt to kill Sulim.

At the request of the Dubai police, Interpol has issued an international arrest for Kadyrov's cousin, Adam Delimkhanov, whom the Dubai authorities believe masterminded the attempt to kill Sulim Yamadayev. Three Chechens -- Elim-Pasha Khatsuyev, Aslambek Dadayev, and Timur Isayev -- were arrested in April in Moscow as suspects in Ruslan Yamadaev's murder.

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.


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