Ruslan Yamadaev’s Brother: He was Murdered by Kadyrov’s Associate

Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 10 Issue: 3

Ruslan Yamadaev

The Rosbalt News Agency reported on January 20 that Isa Yamadaev, brother of Ruslan Yamadaev, the former State Duma deputy murdered in Moscow last September (North Caucasus Weekly, September 26), says investigators believe the murder was committed by Aslan Diliev, a former member of the Vostok battalion—the now-defunct Russian army special forces unit that was headed by another Yamadaev brother, Sulim—and a former adviser to Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov. Isa Yamadaev told Rosbalt that Diliev has been charged with the murder of Mustafa Shidaev, a leader of the Lazansky criminal group, but is also suspected of murdering Ruslan Yamadaev, as well as Alikhan Mutsaev—a former bodyguard to ex-Chechen President Alu Alkhanov—and two Chechen girls. According to Rosbalt, Diliev was arrested last December 24 in connection with the murder of Shidaev, who was killed in May 2006.

“That person was at one time part our family’s entourage,” Isa Yamadaev told Rosbalt. “He even served in the Vostok battalion. I suspect that already back then he was planted by our enemies and told them everything about our actions.” Yamadaev told the news agency that Dliev was kicked out of the Vostok battalion two years ago, after which he went to work for Kadyrov, becoming an adviser to the Chechen president on coordinating the security agencies in Chechnya’s Vedeno district. “When Ruslan’s murder took place, we immediately decided that Dliev could have committed it: the way in which the crime was carried out and certain other information suggested this. That person is prepared to do anything for money. Now representatives of the investigation team are saying this.”

Isa Yamadaev also told Rosbalt that his $5 million house in the Chechen town of Gudermes had been burned down on December 31. He also claimed that Sulim Yamadaev’s home in Chechnya was burned down earlier this month. “The authorities in the republic are now creating complete lawlessness,” he said.

Kavkazky Uzel reported on January 15 that Sulim Yamadaev’s home in Gudermes had been burned down by unknown persons earlier that day. The website quoted an anonymous Chechen law-enforcement source as saying that a group of people had arrived at the home in two cars, shot out the street lights around it and then torched it. However, the Chechen Interior Ministry said that while a house in Gudermes had burned down that day, it belonged to a local resident named Suleiman Dudaev, not to Sulim Yamadaev.

The conflict between Kadyrov’s followers and the Yamadaevs’ Vostok battalion burst into the open last April following a reported armed clash between Vostok battalion members and members of Kadyrov’s bodyguard detail in Gudermes. The Vostok and Zapad battalions, both of which were subordinated to Russian Defense Ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) and thus not under Kadyrov’s command, have since be disbanded.