Kadyrov Reportedly Purges Former Close Associate

Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 8 Issue: 43

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov fired Deputy Interior Minister Alambek Yasaev, Kavkazky Uzel reported on November 7. The website reported that Yasaev, who was considered a close Kadyrov associate, was “hiding” in Moscow.

Kavkazky Uzel quoted an anonymous Chechen Interior Ministry source as saying that the reason Yasaev was fired is that he had made “impartial” statements about siloviki from Kadyrov’s native village of Tsentoroi. According to Kavkazky Uzel, several weeks ago, a video clip surfaced in Chechnya on which Alambek Yasaev was shown speaking to people in his native village of Oiskhar (Novogrozny) in the republic’s Gudermes district. Oiskhar is located not far from Tsentoroi, which is also known as Khosi-Yurt. On the video, Yasaev reportedly accuses Khosi-Yurt residents of “slaughtering” anyone who gets in their way and calls on his supporters to resist them, stating: “Rather than become ‘wives’ of those from Khosi-Yurt, it would be better to die fighting them, if we are men.”

The same source reported that Yasaev was subsequently summoned by Kadyrov personally for an explanation. Yasaev was allegedly beaten, all of his property seized and he was forced to sign a document saying he had resigned from his post voluntarily. The website reported that Yasaev then left for Moscow. There, according to a “confidential source,” he met with Ruslan Yamadaev, a deputy in the State Duma and brother of Sulim Yamadaev, commander of the GRU’s Vostok special battalion, and asked Ruslan Yamadaev for “aid and support.”

Alambek Yasaev was named deputy interior minister for the public security police in March of this year, Kavkazky Uzel reported. Earlier, he was a commander of a battalion in the security service of pro-Moscow Chechen administration headed by Akhmad Kadyrov and in 2004 was named commander of the republic’s newly formed Akhmad Kadyrov OMON special police unit. Just prior to being named deputy interior minister for the public security police, Yasaev was made deputy interior minister for the city of Grozny. He was also commander of the second regiment of the Chechen Interior Ministry’s patrol-sentry service (PPS), also known as the “Kadyrov spetsnaz,” which is made up of former members of the republic’s now-defunct Anti-Terrorist Center.