Video alleges Moscow policy of assassinating Chechen expats



Just days after the latest mysterious assassination of a former Chechen commander in Turkey, a video has surfaced on YouTube in which a Chechen man reveals how he was tasked by pro-Moscow authorities in Chechnya with killing a pro-independence Chechen leader in Norway. The two-minute video features Ruslan Khalidov, who claims he is a nephew of Shaa Turlayev, a prominent former bodyguard of the late Chechen separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov. Maskhadov was assassinated by Russian FSB agents in 2005. Khalidov states that he was repeatedly tortured by Chechen authorities operating under the instructions of pro-Moscow Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov. He was then blackmailed into agreeing to perform a series of covert tasks in Norway, including providing Norwegian authorities with disinformation on Chechen expats in Norway, and assassinating Magomed Ocherhadji, a vocal pro-independence Chechen community leader based in the Scandinavian country. Khalidov then says he abandoned his mission and is now hiding in fear of his life. Khalidov’s video confession has surfaced during what appears to be an unprecedented intensification of assassinations of pro-independence Chechen former commanders in Turkey and Austria. Three prominent Chechens have been assassinated in Turkey since November of 2008, while Umar Israilov, who received political asylum protection by the Austrian government in 2006, was shot dead in broad daylight in Vienna on January 13, 2009.  Four days earlier, Israilov, who was once a bodyguard of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, had alleged that Kadyrov had “personally participated in the torture of detainees”. The New York Times is one of a handful of Western news outlets that have reported on the assassinations of Chechens in Europe. The paper has published a lengthy account of Israilov’s activities and assassination, available here.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

3 Responses to Video alleges Moscow policy of assassinating Chechen expats

  1. Allan Green says:

    What further proof do we need that the assassination of Chechens abroad is being carried out with the connivance of Berezovsky?

    He’s notorious for having helped stage the Chechen resurgence in 1999 which got Putin the premiership and then the Presidential. When Putin turned against him – like one should against such a dirty dog – Berezovsky had the gall to concoct a video about Putin’s involvement with the resurgence.

    This Youtube clip has all the trademarks of Berezovsky and an UIO’s (unidentified intell-organization) tradecraft.

    The Russian’s don’t need to torture anyone, to get them to kill a terrorist in Norway.

  2. Rory says:

    Actually, torture and/or blackmail is often used (not necessarily effectively but used nonetheless) to persuade former insiders,like mr Khalidov to perform covert ops for the other side. None of this points to anything other than the Putin-controlled Chechen leadership and the FSB in particular

  3. AllanGreen says:

    Torture can be used to “turn” insiders – but not to get them to kill. Can you give one example where this was not the case?

    It’s easy to blame everything on Putin. But 1) provide the motive. 2) consider some alternative scenarios. 3) Then proceed to argue why it would be Putin.

    I’d venture that plenty of folks are stuck in a Cold War mentality, and its not just the other side of the Pacific/Atlantic.

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