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Gakayev, The Enemy Kadyrov Needs

Submitted by on Friday, 31 August 2012.    2,233 views 9 Comments
Gakayev, The Enemy Kadyrov Needs

Over the years, almost all historical leaders of the Chechen independence movement have been killed. In the movement there are no more figures known to the general public, but attacks continue. For the pro-Russian Chechen leadership, however, it is important that enemies have a name. Today, the enemy’s name is Gakayev!

Bombings in Grozny, special operations in the mountains, leaders of the national independence movement killed in Chechnya’s neighboring republics… News from the North Caucasus show a reality that the pro-Russian Chechen authorities have often said to be long gone. The hot summer of 2012, however, tells a different story.

New Suicide Attacks

When questioned about the number of rebels in the country, Kremlin backed Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov always answers with the same figures: “70-80 people”. Every time, he adds that the destruction of these few “demons”, as he defines his opponents, is a matter of few months, maybe even weeks. But years pass, and the number of Chechen liberation front members in the Russian occupied Chechen Republic of Ichkeria does not decrease. On the contrary, the feeling is that, while the pro-Russian Chechen leadership basks in an almost unlimited power, its armed opponents are not losing time. They move confidently throughout the occupied country, dodging Kadyrov’s many special corps. They move easily between the various territories of the North Caucasus. They are able to design and implement attacks in the capital, right under the noses of thousands of Kadyrov’s and Russian soldiers stationed in Chechnya, as happened a few weeks ago in Grozny, when two suicide bombers blew themselves up near a military base, causing the deaths of four Russian soldiers and several wounded.

A Blow to Kadyrov’s Peacemaker Image

The attack, with the deaths and injuries in the Russian military, was a blow to Kadyrov’s image. Above all, it put the leader in an awkward position with respect to Russia. In fact, the young pro-Moscow leader has often presented as his main merit the fact that in recent years, thanks to him, the coffins of Russian soldiers killed in Chechnya have ceased to arrive in Russia.

On this, Kadyrov speaks the truth. Until the middle 2000s, dozens of Russian soldiers in Chechnya were killed and injured every week, while the number of victims has drastically decreased in recent years. This is, however, not because the conflict has stopped. Simply, those who die are now soldiers and agents of Kadyrov’s special forces or the local Interior Ministry.

And now, suddenly, four Russian soldiers are dead. Understandably, therefore, the attack has caused particular concern among the pro-Russian Chechen authorities, who immediately started looking for the culprits. To explain the magnitude of the event to the public, but also – and foremost – to the Kremlin, Kadyrov has brought back old ghosts. Soon after the attack, he said he suspected the Gakayev brothers, well-known leaders of Chechen liberation movement– a detail that would give the attack a totally different meaning.

The Last of the Gakayevs

The Gakayev brothers, Khuseyn and Muslim, are well-known throughout Chechnya. They are the last survivors of a once large family: four older brothers died fighting the Russian and the pro-Russian Chechen troops, two sisters died under the bombs – more than sufficient a reason for the hatred and the thirst for revenge of the Gakayev survivors, who are actually considered to be among the moderates of the Chechen resistance. Unlike many young rebels, they do not fight under the banner of the global jihad, but for the independence of Chechnya.

A couple of years ago, a group of Chechen commanders put an ultimatum to Dokka Umarov, former president of the independent Chechen Republic of Ichkeria and self-proclaimed leader of the Caucasus Emirate that would unite the Mujaheddin of the region. They blamed Umarov for replacing the idea of the independence of Chechnya with religious slogans on the global jihad, and insisted that the resistance had to fight to liberate the occupied homeland, rather than chasing an elusive Emirate. In addition, commanders did not approve of the choice of targets for Chechen attacks – Kadyrov’s men, rather than strategic objectives like Russian bases and checkpoints. The initiator of this ultimatum and leader of the “dissidents” was the elder brother, Khuseyn Gakayev, commander of one of the strongest and largest Chechen liberation movement unit. As if to prove that the attack on the strategic structures above are entirely within the reach of the rebels, Khuseyn Gakayev and his men carried out two sensational actions.

The Legendary Gakayev Brothers

In August 2010, Gakayev’s men attacked Tsentoroi, the birthplace of Ramzan Kadyrov, which resembles more to a medieval fortress than to a common village. According to Russia’s official data, during the attack six policemen guarding Kadyrov’s residence were killed and 18 seriously injured. Soon after, Gakayev’s men attacked the self-declared pro-Russian Chechen parliament, located in the center of Grozny. Three militants entered the building on the day of the visit by Rashid Nurgaliyev, then Russian Minister of the Interior, which amplified the audacity of the whole operation, during which three policemen died.

The pro-Russian Grozny authorities, used to tell of their victories over the rebels, reacted with shock and anger. But for the population, the Gakayevs have become legendary. And a year later, when elder Gakayev and the rebels returned to Umarov’s fold, Khuseyn started to be considered the dolphin of the Caucasus Emir. He won the rebels’ consent by assuring that, once got the power, he will immediately begin to focus on the struggle for Chechen independence, abandoning the pan-Islamic aspirations.

And now, the sensational attack that Kadyrov was quick to attribute to the Gakayevs forced everyone, once again, to talk about them.

Looking for Foes

In recent years, the Russian army and pro-Russian Chechen troops have eliminated dozens of famous Chechen liberation movement commanders, including three presidents of the republic of Ichkeria, a president of the Parliament, and many parliamentarians. In the ranks of the resistance there are no charismatic figures left, people whose name is known to any child in Chechnya. On the one hand, it is a great success for the Kremlin and Kadyrov. On the other hand, the lack of a well-known opponent leaves no one to ascribe their mistakes and failures to. Therefore, figures such as Gakayev are necessary for the pro-Russian Chechen government. As long as the Chechen resistance features a charismatic figure, whose exploits are legendary among the people, there is someone to blame for the occasional defaillance of the great leader who claims to have turned Chechnya into an oasis of peace and prosperity.

Mainat Kurbanova
30.08.2012 – The Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso

*Mainat Kurbanova (Abdulaeva) worked as a correspondent for Novaya Gazeta from Grozny from the start of the second Russian-Chechen war until 2004. In her reports, published on European newspapers also, she has told the life, sorrow and the daily reality of those who have continued to live in the capital of Chechnya even under the bombings. Forced into exile, she has been living and working in Germany since 2004.

9 Comments »

  • Caucasus Emirate said:

    Assalam Alaikum. I hope that the website members are all fine and in good health by the grace of Allah. Today I am happy that the Emir of Caucasus Emirate Usman Dokku Umarov has declared the Goals of this Emirate and its objectives.
    I feel elated when I come at this point that Allah wished for a better plan, i.e. to establish an emirate in which the Word of Allah is elevated. I love my brother Usman for taking a right decision not only for chechens but for Muslims fighting in the north caucasus against Russian and pro-Russian forces.
    If Chechens think that nationalist notions will succeed, then be sure that what is done without Allah’s Will is surely going to fail, and what is done to elavate the Word of Allah is surely going to yield a positive result. INSHA ALLAH.
    So my brothers and sisters unite under the banner of Islam, so that success may kiss your feet.
    All Praise To the Lord Of The World.
    ALLAHU AKBAR. ALLAHU AKBAR.
    ALLAHU AKBAR.

  • Ichkeri K1enti said:

    Caucasus Emirate,

    You are wrong. It seems that you don’t understand the fact and you are trying to impose your idea as a religious obligation. In fact, apples and oranges are different things.

    Who is Dokka Umarov that may find himself to decide in the name of entire Chechen people? Do you remember, how many votes did these supporters or ideologs of the Caucasus Emirate win at the latest free elections in 1997? It’s a simple answer. Thus neither Dokka, nor Udugov, nor some other people who considers himself as a representative cannot decide about our future!

    Chechen nation has already decided about its own future, it is the independent Chechen Republic of Ichkeria! We will fight for it! We will work for it! We will achieve our aim inshaAllah, it doesn’t matter what you try to impose! And when the day comes, we will live in our free and peaceful country where everybody will have liberty of religion, and freedom of speech!

    Marsho Aylo!

  • Caucasus Emirate said:

    I dont know brother that what your aim is, you say that Dokku Abu Usman is wrong, well, all nations with secular goals think like that. I am not far from that. As regards to elections, who elected Imam shamil in 1834 when Russia was attacking Dagestan and Chechnya and Ingushetia. Similarly Today Usman has taken a different approach, he has said that Chechen Republic of Ichkeria is one of the vilayats or provinces of the Caucasus Emirate, Chechen state is liquidated, so, Dokku hasn’t done anything wrong just to unite all north caucasus into one single political power to counter Russian evil threats. If Chechnya had gained independence it could had done at the time of General Dzhokhar Dudayev(May Allah have Mercy upon him) i mean i appreciate his work, but the Russian have gone too far in controlling Chechnya.
    As for elections,there are times when you dont get the right to be part of it bkuz the powerful wants to subdue the weak. Aslan Maskhadov,(may Allah have mercy upon him) was barred in 2003 elections. Did he did it willingly or he refused to do it. Any nation who fights under nationalistic slogans will get nothing but humiliation and a nation who wants to abide by the laws of Allah will surely win. INSHA ALLAH. You Chechens have been fooled that you will win independence one day is just one kind of a lie that is bred into your mind. Whereas Dokku Umarov has taken the right step. I support him.

  • Mansour said:

    Man, as Ichkeri K1enti said, you really mix oranges and apples! You have no idea about Imam Shamil, he had a real religious education and he was a real imam!

  • Ichkeri K1enti said:

    Caucasus Emirate,

    First of all I would suggest you to learn the history before trying to give us lessons. Without the details which you didn’t mention, you can’t change the historical facts.

    On the contrary of Dokka Umarov, Imam Shamil was elected with a consensus of people in Ashilta on October 2, 1834. He didn’t declared himself an “Amir” and he had never targeted the civilians!

    There wasn’t an election in Chechnya in 2003, under a military occupation you can’t organize an election, because then it doesn’t mean an election, but mostly an obligation.

    We know how these radicals tried to change our culture, our adats and even they tried to assasinate people’s elected President Aslan Maskhadov! I even don’t mention how they killed people with so-called Shari’a court decisions or how they kidnapped people for ransom and which kind of dirty agreements they did!

    It’s ridiculous to claim that Dokka Umarov created an “Emirate” through the North Caucasus, while people of these region don’t agree or don’t let him to decide in their names! It’s like a child action, come on then, where you live declare your own state! Things doesn’t work like this.

    Chechen Republic of Ichkeria is an independent country according to the international law rules and you can’t undermine its legality!

    I was going to forget nearly, Dudaev didn’t lose, we won against the Russian invaders in 1996, we forced them to make a peace agreement and they left our territory as accepting our independence!

  • namlas dahij said:

    Your Wahhabism is fit for the desert. Look what you good muslim ‘brothers’ have done. Massacred Shiites in the name of brotherly love, massacred other religious groups because they must be cleansed, propped up pervert rulers i.e Saudi princes that fill whole hotel floors in London with their prostitutes. And you talk of having something to offer the world. Don’t make me laugh.
    The ‘achievements’ of radical Islam speak for themselves this last 20 years. Nothing but murder, war and bad relations with all other peoples and fitna amongst our own people.

    You swapped Saudi money for the total destruction of culture, diverse practices turning revered figures into objects of vilification. How many Sufi shrines are destroyed by you thugs?
    The place where our humble mothers put simple wishes to Allah for the hopes of a better life.
    How many people have been murdered in the name of ‘Allah’ ? Does our lord really call for our blood in the manner you suggest? This is more the blood lust of the ancient Gods that the Allah of rahim and rahmat.

    You people are sterile like a dried plant that has no life.

    Freedom will come to Ichkeria but not through the miserable failures of Jihad nor through this travesty of humanity Kadyrov.

    Marsho!

  • Kevin said:

    I see how it is from reading these news. Perhaps those who have too much value for freedom are only buying themselves into a slaughterzone. Freedom is important and the ideal free state in which the people are guided by free will, dignity, the love of god and alms for one another is one to be dreamt of but the reality is so far-fetched. I am just saying that kind of ideal Republic would only be short-lived. Free Will is on most levels an illusion that people become induced into, but yes those who are pious, honest, god-fearing and with good intention will eventually be rewarded if not on Earth then in heaven.

  • Makhezoy Borz said:

    Asalam Waleykum brothers why are you guys fighting?Isn’t the inportant thing that we are all Chechens?Chechen Republic of Ichkeria will gain Victory!!I lost my big brother ther fighting for Ichkeria so i will support Ichkeria forever

  • serbia said:

    namlas dahij for you the real problem is truely akida of Islam wich you call wehabi akida,but the real problem of kavkaz is naqsbendi and all those others tarikats and fitnas and things that Islam is clear of.

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