Russian War Criminal Eliminated in Moscow
Russian media sources have reported that Yuri Budanov, a former Russian army colonel and well known war criminal, was assasinated in central Moscow.
Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said that on June 9, at about 12:10pm Moscow time, as Yuri Budanov left a notary’s office in central Moscow, unknown people fired several bullets to Budanov from a pistol with a silencer next to house number 38 on Komsomolsk Avenue. Four of the bullets hit him in the head and the war criminal died on the spot.
Russian police said there were at least two people involved in the killing, and they fled the scene in a Mitsubishi Lancer. The getaway car and weapons were found less than a kilometer away from the shooting.
“I can not exclude such a possibility that this murder is associated with the crimes committed by Budanov, in the territory of Chechnya,” said Oleg Orlov, head of Russian human rights organization “Memorial”. He recalled that the unit commanded by Yuri Budanov abducted seven people from among the civilian population and four bodies were eventually found with traces of terrible torture. However, the charges against him were lifted.
Russian authorities believe there is a Chechen hand in the assasination of Budanov. However, Minkail Ezhiev who represents the interests of the family of murdered Chechen girl Elza Kungayeva stated that the Kungayev family isn’t associated with the murder. “I am convinced that this murder is not associated with the Kungayev family, who live in Norway now,” said Ezhiev.
Yuri Budanov was the commander of a tank regiment in the beginning of the second Russian-Chechen war. He had been sentenced to 10 years prison in 2003 for kidnapping, raping and murdering 18 year old Chechen, Elza Kungayeva, but he was released on parole in January 2009, 15 months early. The lawyer for the Kungaev family, Stanislav Markelov who had attempted a last-minute appeal against Budanov’s release, was shot dead in Moscow on January 19, 2009, along with Anastasia Baburova, a 25-year-old journalist for Novaya Gazeta.
Recall that Elza (Kheda) Kungayeva was an 18 year old Chechen girl who was abducted, beaten, raped and murdered by Yuri Budanov in 2000. On the night of March 26–27 at about 1 a.m., the commander of division 13206, Colonel Yuri D. Budanov arrived in the village of Tangi-Chu in the Urus-Martan district of the Chechen Republic in armored personnel carrier (APC) no. 391 together with servicemen Sergeant Grigoriev, Sergeant Li-En-Shou, and Private Yegorov. On the orders of Col. Budanov, his subordinates forcibly took citizen Elza Kungayeva from house no.7 on Zarechni Lane and drove her to the division’s encampment in the APC. Around 3 a.m. Budanov strangled Kungaeva in trailer 131 [reportedly Budanov’s quarters]. On the orders of Col. Budanov, Pvt. Yegorov, Sgt. Li-En-Shou and Sgt. Grigoriev took the body of Kungaeva and buried her in a forested area near the encampment. Around 10 a.m. on March 28, 2000, Kungaeva’s body was exhumed. A forensic medical report, a copy of which was obtained by Human Rights Watch (HRW), cited a military prosecutor’s report about the brutal behaviour of Yuri Budanov.
Viskhan Kungaev, Elza Kungayeva’s father, said that between midnight and 1 a.m. on March 27, 2000, a loud noise woke the Kungaev family. An armored personnel carrier (APC) drove up to their house on the outskirts of the village of Tangi-Chu, carrying three Russian soldiers, and their commander, Colonel Budanov. Kungayev warned his five children and went to his brother’s nearby home to seek help. According to the Kungayev family, armed soldiers entered the Kungayev house. Budanov stood in the corridor while two soldiers entered the bedroom and others guarded the house. First they brought Kungayev’s younger daughter, Khava, out of the room, but when she screamed, Budanov reportedly said, “Let her go, take that one.” The soldiers then brought out the eldest daughter, Elza, took her outside, and drove her away in the APC. Viskhan Kungayev then returned to his house, only to be told by his children that Elza Kungayeva had been taken by the soldiers.
*Text was written by Waynakh Online and edited by Michael Capobianco