Badrudin Yamadaev, who is the younger brother of Vostok battalion commander Sulim Yamadaev and viewed by many observers as the unit’s de facto commander, has been put on the federal wanted list for kidnapping. Kommersant reported on April 29 that investigators believe that more than a year ago, Badrudin Yamadaev kidnapped the brothers of Abubakar Arsamakov, owner of the Samson-K meat-processing plant in St. Petersburg and president of Moscow Industrial Bank (MIB). The brothers, who have not been seen since, are believed to have been murdered.
On April 23, the investigative unit of the Investigative Committee for the Chechen Republic revived the investigation into the kidnapping of 56-year-old Yunus Arsamakov and 59-year-old Yusup Arsamakov that had been launched in February 2007 and closed down five months later. Kommersant noted that Sulim Yamadaev was initially suspected in the kidnapping, given that he had actively taken sides with opponents of Abubakar Arsamakov in a dispute over the ownership of Samson-K. Yet suspicions that the Yamadaevs were involved in the kidnappings dissipated after Sulim Yamadaev personally went to the Arsamakovs’ relatives in Chechnya, telling them he was not involved in the kidnappings and promised to do everything possible to find the perpetrators.
After the April 14 armed confrontation between members of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov’s security detail and Vostok battalion personnel in Gudermes, Kadyrov denounced the Yamadaev brothers as kidnappers and the case involving the kidnapping of the Arsamakovs was revived. Badrudin Yamadaev was then put on the federal wanted list in connection with the case. The Chechen authorities note that Badrudin was convicted of attempted murder in 2003 but subsequently freed from prison under circumstances that remain murky. Kommersant quoted Badrudin Yamadaev’s other older brother, former State Duma Deputy Ruslan Yamadaev, as saying: “I myself would like to see Badik [Badrudin]. And as long as he is absent, they can hang all the crimes committed in Chechnya on him.”
Kadyrov, for his part, was quoted by the Grani.ru website on April 26 as saying: “The law-enforcement organs of the Chechen Republic have repeatedly handed over material to the military prosecutor’s office devoted to the crimes committed by Vostok servicemen … however the proper investigations were not carried out; [they were] delayed for unknown reasons and shelved. The investigators have gathered material on crimes that were committed, and I will see to it that the perpetrators are punished.” Kadyrov accused the Yamadaev brothers of involvement in kidnappings and murders, and specifically mentioned the disappearances and murders of residents of the village of Borozdinovskaya and the abduction and presumed murder of the Arsamakov brothers (Chechnya Weekly, April 17 and 24).