Papaskiri Confesses to Two Chechen Assassinations in Turkey
The main news bulletin broadcast by the Turkish television network Kanal D on the evening of December 1 reported that Ruslan Papaskiri has confessed to murdering two Chechen asylum seekers in Turkey.
According to the news report, 6 Chechen asylum seekers have been assassinated in Istanbul over the last 4 years and the cloak of secrecy shrouding the murders has just been opened. The investigation has been carried out by Turkish intelligence and their counter terrorism branch for a while now. However, the mystery was solved only after the recent arrest of a Georgian citizen named Ruslan Papaskiri. He entered Turkey from Syria and was arrested as he tried to leave for Egypt via Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport. Ruslan Papaskiri, who originated from Chechnya, had traveled in and out of Turkey at least 58 times with 12 different passports. He confessed to the murders when he saw evidence from Turkish police. He said that he assassinated Islam Dzhanibekov in 2008 and Ali Osayev (Musa Atayev) in 2009. The news report did not give any details as to who has been ordering the murders.
Ruslan Papaskiri also admitted to participating in the assassinations of three Chechen asylum seekers in Istanbul in September of 2011. According to his testimony, two Russian agents committed the murders. They arrived in Turkey together with members of the Russian Olympic Committee, but later left them and rented a car. For two days, they stayed with supporters in Istanbul and followed the three Chechen asylum seekers around. On the third day, they carried out the murders. After the incident, the assassination squad left Turkey using fake passports.
Well known Chechen historian Mairbek Vatchagaev wrote an analysis for the American think-thank organization The Jamestown Foundation’s publication “North Caucasus Weekly”. He wrote that Ruslan Papaskiri has Chechen origins and that his real name is Ali Dabuev. He and his brother Musa Dabuev left Chechnya after the end of the first Russian-Chechen war in 1997-1998, but their motivation is unclear. They then moved to Georgia and Azerbaijan. Musa Dabuev was arrested by Azerbaijani authorities in 2005. Investigators accused him of multiple murders of Chechen and Azerbaijani businessmen with the intention of illegally extorting cash from them, and he was subsequently imprisoned for life. Ali Dabuev moved to Georgia where he had extensive political and social contacts. He lived in Tbilisi under the name Ruslan Papaskiri and ran a business there until March 8, 2010, when a bomb exploded as he was entering his house on Vazha Pshavella Street. He was injured and hospitalized. This bombing forced Georgian authorities to look at Papaskiri’s activities more closely. He left Georgia soon after and moved to Turkey.
According to Vatchagaev, if a link between Papaskiri and Russian security services is established, it will be a major negative mark against Moscow in the region. The arrests in Turkey could confirm the theory that a “Berlin group” of killers has operated in Germany under the cover of Russian security services. That, in turn, will have a negative impact on relations between Russia and Turkey, especially in the area of the two countries’ policies toward the Caucasus. In addition, Europe will be forced to review the activities of Russian security services on the continent, which still seem to be operating in the adversarial mode of the Cold War period of the 1970s and 1980s.
*Text was written by Waynakh Online and edited by Michael Capobianco