SPECIAL EXTRA: Russia’s “National Hero” Strikes down Another Human Rights Leader

The latest victims of Vladimir Putin's KGB state

The latest victims of Vladimir Putin's KGB state

A young couple newly married couple barely into their twenties, Zarema Sadulayeva and her husband Alik Djabrailov (pictured, left), both just 33 years old, were abducted by law enforcement authorities in Chechnya on Monday and found shot and stuffed into the trunk of a car on Tuesday.  When human rights leaders complained to the authorities, they were told there had been no kidnapping, and later that the two had gone off voluntarily with law enforcement for questioning.

She was the leader of a small human rights NGO called “Save the Generations” which worked closely with UNICEF to protect Chechen children from land mines and other horrors.  This placed them, like all other human rights workers in Chechnya, in direct confrontation with a government that does not want to acknowledge any human rights abuses of any kind, and views those who reveal them as traitors to be executed. The horrifying double murder comes immediately after the leader of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, publicly declared that the last victim of such assassination, Natalia Estemirova, had no conscience or honor.  Kadyrov has been decorated for heroism by the Russian government.

No thinking person now can question the role of the Russian government in these killings.  It is time for President Barack Obama to end his craven silence and sanction Russia for these outrages.

NOTE: Reader “Robert” has lots of excellent follow-up links in the comments section of this post. Don’t miss them.

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35 responses to “SPECIAL EXTRA: Russia’s “National Hero” Strikes down Another Human Rights Leader

  1. The name’s “Let’s Save the Generation”/”Save the Generation” (translation from Russian of course).

    Save the Generation is a nongovernmental organization in Chechnya founded in 2001 that provides psychological and physical rehabilitation to disabled children, orphans, and other socially vulnerable groups. The group also works closely with UNICEF, among other groups, to provide training about landmines, and promotes protection of the rights of the disabled.

    http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/HRW/f10846ff320e767c079bd7a461472bb7.htm

    • Or actually Save the Generations in some translations:

      http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSTRE57A1D020090811

      The Save the Generations charity that Sadulayeva headed, provides medical and psychological help to young people who have suffered as a result of violence in Chechnya, including children who lost limbs during the region’s separatist wars.

      “There was no political element (to their work),” said Lyudmila Alexeyeva of the Moscow Helsinki rights group.

      “They just helped disabled children and children from poor families…It just shows that anyone whose position allows them a gun can kill whoever they like.”

      • LR, an important note:

        The group’s former chief, Murad Muradov, and his staff member Ismail Kadayev were abducted by members of an undetermined security unit during a special operation in Grozny in April 2005. Their bodies were returned to their relatives in 2006.

        http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jZkfee3LeioOR1w6TfziRLtUg8jA

        • @The group’s former chief, Murad Muradov, and his staff member Ismail Kadayev were abducted by members of an undetermined security unit during a special operation in Grozny in April 2005. Their bodies were returned to their relatives in 2006.

          Recently we have seen the increase in abductions of members of non-governmental organizations.

          The head of the organization Let’s Save the Generation Murad Muradov and a member of this organization Ismayil Kadayev were abducted on April 15, 2005, by officers from an unidentified security agency when a special operation was conducted in the Ippodromny Micro-District of the city of Grozny.
          No security agency claimed responsibility for their abduction. Muradov and Kadayev were reported missing. At the same time the republican prosecutor’s office opened a criminal case against Murad Muradov charging him with involvement in terrorist activities. Office appliances and documents of Let’s Save the Generation organization were seized on those grounds.

          In the end of February 2006, relatives of Muradov and Kadayev were informed that they could take the bodies of their family members. The permit issued by the CR Prosecutor’s Office to release the dead body of Muradov reads that, “According to the information obtained from the RF UFSB for the CR, there are no compromising materials against M.Kh. Muradov, including about his involvement in IAGs. There is no evidence, under the Federal Law No. 1340 of July 25, 1998 “On Combating Terrorism,” that would implicate M.Kh. Muradov in committing crimes of a terrorist nature” (Appendix 20).

          On March 1, 2006, relatives of Murad Muradov and Ismayil Kadayev brought the dead bodies of their family members from Mozdok. The dead bodies were charred and mutilated beyond recognition. On March 3, relatives buried the bodies they were given, without being sure if they were actually burying their family members.

          In this way, the official agencies which detained two young and healthy men, Muradov and Kadayev, after establishing their innocence, return to relatives their dead bodies, mutilated beyond recognition, without offering any explanations.

          http://www.europarl.europa.eu/comparl/afet/droi/20061121_gannushkina_en.pdf

  2. The reported killings came as a journalist for a local newspaper in Dagestan, a province in Russia’s volatile south, was found shot dead on the outskirts of Makhachkala, the capital, according to Russian news agencies.

    Malik Akhmedilov, who worked for Khakikat newspaper, was found with gun shot wounds to the stomach, a local interior ministry source said.

    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/europe/2009/08/200981154346856185.html

  3. On the topic:

    Lost Children of Chechnya

    http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/witness/2008/12/20081231121466916

    Over 12 years the Russian army fought two brutal wars in Chechnya, leaving it as United Nations estimate, one of the most heavily land-mined countries on earth.

    More than 250,000 civilians were killed – a quarter of the country’s population.

    Thousands of children have died or lost their limbs after stepping on land mines or picking up unexploded ordnance or homemade bombs disguised as toys, videotapes or cigarette lighters, according to relief agencies.

    Chechen surgeon Khassan Baiev has put his own life at risk by returning to Grozny to help a generation of children damaged by this terrible legacy.

    He works with seriously injured children and even though the conflict has now officially ended, thousands of unmapped landmines still kill or maim them every year.

    And there is a disturbingly high incidence of birth defects, rates of which have grown dramatically since the wars.

    The causes are not entirely clear, but one key factor may be mental trauma caused by the stress of years of war.

    In 2002, the Chechen Ministry of Health reported 5,695 landmine and unexploded ordnance casualties, among them 938 children.

    Children have also disappeared as a result of zachistki (anti-guerrilla special operations) carried out by Russian forces, claims Oleg Gaba, the official in Chechnya’s pro-Moscow administration responsible for monitoring children’s rights.

    Most of Chechnya’s 500,000 children do not know life without war. Some were in their formative years when they hid in basements, forced to play indoors.

    Counsellors who now work with them in schools said the children were depressed, have a hard time communicating and sadly, many of their first toys were guns.

    Eight out of 10 children suffer from psychological or nervous disorders, a study by the republic’s health ministry last November showed.

    “There is not a single child in Chechnya who hasn’t been traumatised,” says Yakha Shvarts, one of about 30 psychologists working with children in the devastated republic.

    “Most children have lost a parent or a sibling,” she said. “They saw people die. They have fears. They have nightmares. They are afraid when they see or hear tanks. The process of healing is very slow.”

  4. RFE/RL reports Zarema’s husband was named Alik, but the UK Guardian calls him Umar. Which is correct?

  5. All details as they’re known at this moment:

    According to news of radio “Echo Moscow” with referring to Alexander Cherkasov, a member of Memorial human rights organization: “On August 10, 2009 around 14.00 o’clock, five armed men came to the office of non-governmental ngo “Let’s Save the Generation (Spasem Pokolonie)”, three of them were in black uniform and two of them were in civilian clothes. They didn’t presented themselves, but they just said that are from the so-called law enforcement agency. They arrested to Zarema Sadulayeva and her husband Umar Dzhabrailov; after a while they came back, they took to the mobile phone and the car of Zarema’s husband. Later they disappeared to an unknown direction.”

    Umar (Alik) Dzhabrailov, the husband of Zareme Sadulayeva had been jailed for four years for link to Chechen mujahedeens. He married with Zarema Sadulayeva two months after he left the prison.

    The group’s former chief Murad Muradov and his staff member Ismail Kadayev were abducted by Russian occupier forces during an ethnic cleaning operation (zachistki) in Grozny in 2005. Their bodies were returned to their relatives in 2006.

    We must add a note for our readers: “Black uniforms” are in use by members of Akhmad Kadirov OMON (special task police forces) unit which is under controlling of puppet Kadirov regime.

    According to last datas about the tragic event, the dead bodies of Zarema and Umar found in the Chernoreche district of Grozny around 4.00 am with Moscow times on August 11, 2009. The victims of bloody Kadirov regime was in trunk of a car – VAZ-2107- with multiple gunshot injured on the Mansur Street of Chernoreche district, ten meters before the rehabilitaion center which was opened by “Let’s Save the Generation” non-governmental youth organization.

    http://www.waynakh.com/eng/2009/08/members-of-youth-organization-were-kidnapped/

  6. they were killed by Kadyrov,BASTA!!! All other discussions are complete nonsense!! Today the whole Caucasus and whole southern russia fear the Kadyrovites-militias. They are even active in “russian” cities like Stavropol,Astrakhan and even in Volgograd today!!! People fear them,local policemen fear them as well!

  7. By the way, Kadyrov shocked, shocked, SHOCKED by the murder of Sadulaeva and Jabrailov. “It is a challenge to all the Chechen people and an attempt to scare each and every person individually”, Kadyrov said.

    But, of course, Kadyrov’s nature comes through in the very next paragraph:
    “Jabrailov was a member of military formation, a crime that landed him in prison for 4 years. And, he could be involved in the murders of Chechens. So, it’s possible that his murder was a revenge.”

  8. of course he is shocked,LOL. Just yesterday he accused Sadulayeva as a “rebel-friend”. Hours later she was abducted and killed!!! Do you see any connection? LOL, i do

  9. and please do not discuss possible punishments for Kadyrov. It´s nonsense! No one in the Kremlin will be able to replace him and his militias without a big and bloody war,neither Putin nor Medvedev! One more time Moscow will forgive him this murder,two human rights activists are no reason for Moscow to start a new large war in chechnya to remove a tyrant!

    • Well, one can always:

      Waste a Kadyrov when your model is getting expired and pick a replacement (a younger Kadyrov?). The word on the street is that it happened once already.

  10. Memory Eternal! Vechnaya Pamyat! to the workers of mercy and helpers of the poor,
    Zarema Sadulayeva and Alik Djabrailov!
    “Blessed, are they who remember the poor.”

    “Greater love has no man, but that he lay down his life for his friends”.
    Zarema and Alik are not really dead, they are not really gone, their virtue and their martyric sacrifices on this earth, will live on and on and on. Their good deeds follow them, forever. What goes around, comes around, and thus those who committed these foul murders, will themselves suffer the same or worse ends. It is an immutable law of life. Murderers cannot be happy or lead pleasant lives, they are forever darkened and oppressed within themselves, forever guilty. If others do not murder them (as often happens) then they often commit suicide. THEY DO PAY!
    And that goes for those arch-criminals who ordered these crimes against humanity, as well as for those whose hands committed these dark deeds.
    The blood of the innocents, cries to Heaven for revenge, for justice. When it comes, the wicked will be laid low and NOTHING will remain of them or their servants or their own families.
    With all the rivers of blood shed by these gangster murderers employed by FSB-Putler and his fellow criminals…their evil works..will come back upon their own heads, no doubt sooner rather than later, and in this world….even before some eternal punishments. All will SEE their downfall.
    With deepest respect and with sadness for the newly departed, the feeders and nursers of the orphans and the widows and the hopeless, the Noble Zarema and Alik,
    Reader Daniel

  11. there is no replacement for Kadyrov in the pro-russian camp Robert

    • Lemme see… how about, Alu Alkhanov. Used to be a president. Fine moustache.

      Or Malik Saidullayev or Aslambek Aslakhanov.

      Probably not Zavgayev nor Gantamirov though.

      And how about skip the Moscow club and, say, Magomed Khambiyev?

  12. Anyone heard an outcry out of the eternal weasel word spineless UN condemning any of this or did I miss it?

    Face it, Putin and his satellite thugs will go on killing innocents, the inconvenient, with impunity until the Russian people show the moral fiber to get rid of Putin.

    They aren’t excused from having blood on their hands either. And, I’m not buying that too few of them know the score. They are simply choosing to ignore the dark side of Putin.

  13. Robert please believe me,no chance for your suggestions! In order to rule Chechnya you need armed manpower and there are no militias left beside the Kadyrovites and the rebels! No way! Even if the Kremlin were to appoint a figure like Zavgayev or Alkhanov again,the tenthouands of Kadyrovites would join the rebels or fight the russians on their own! Believe me

    • @baku-man

      It’s not like most of them in Chechnya are dedicated “Kadyrov-fans” (hehe). Some are, the rest are pretending.

      Anyway, they would blame it on the muj. A blast like in 2004, killing Kadyrov, Delimkhanov, Alkhanov (the minister one), maybe a few more and that’s about it I guess. It’s really a close circle.

      • And then the replacement would even have a “secret” speech on the personality cult and its consequences ;)

        Chechens are not used to be a totalitarian society, they were always a very egalitarian society. The current system is based on fear. But you just can’t fear Kadyrov when he’s dead and replaced by someone else (someone like Saidullayev, or Khambiyev from the other side of Chechnya’s political spectrum).

        The troops would “go to the forest” en masse only in the case of Russians doing really stupid, like cancelling the Kadyrov amnesties and rushing-in back the armoured divisions (well, in this case they would first rather go to the cities, to defend them, and then here we go again).

        In my opinion the real problem is that Putin-Kadyrov relationship is quite personal. He would have to get rid of his foster son (and it’s a long-time pampered son) and that’s why it’s not going to happen.

        Think about how Saddam Uday Hussein would often annoy his father quite a lot (stuff like personally murdering his favourite bodyguard and food tester at an official party, using an electric knife in one tale or a baseball bat in another version), but he was still his crazy son so never a real biggie (despite Saddam having an another son, more like him or Al Capone and less like Ted Bundy).

  14. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8196538.stm

    Russia decided to reverse evolution apparently.

  15. LR you misplaced quotation marks in the title. It should read “Russia’s National Hero”.

    • @LR you misplaced quotation marks in the title. It should read “Russia’s National Hero”.

      That’s right! As we all know, and you know this too, this medal and this title is totally meaningless and absolutely worthless. It’s a joke, basically.

      (Can’t even get one protection when on a hit list.)

  16. Robert, I am with baku-man on the replacement issue. it doesn’t really matter whether there is anyone to replace him.
    First, Kadyrov won the war against Russia. As a winner, he decides whether pardon former enemies (after full and unqualified surrender, of course) or kill Russian collaborators (remember, one of Yamadaev brothers was killed in the downtown Moscow). So, an attempt by Putin to replace Kadyrov would be more suicidal than a war with Georgia. LR called him Frankenstein – that’s probably the best description that I’ve heard. He is certainly not Russian Hero – he is a foreign ruler to whom Kremlin pays Danegeld.

    Second, even if Kremlin could, I doubt that they would try to replace him. From Russian point of view it’s ideal separation of duties. Kadyrov takes care of Chechnya, doing things that Putin would otherwise be accused of. He eliminated the “taliban” enemies – Doku Umarov and his hundred ragtags don’t really count as a meaningful force. But these are Moscow’s enemies as well. And Yamadaevs and others are just collateral damage in Moscow eyes, anyway.

    So, Kadyrov is here to stay. My bet is that he will outlast Putin and Medvedev!

    • @remember, one of Yamadaev brothers was killed in the downtown Moscow

      He killed more than only Ruslan Yamdayev in downtown Moscow (the same attack also wounded a retired GRU general). Or tried to kill Isa Yamadayev (and allegedly Gantamirov).

      He also killed there Baisarov (his father’s former chief bodyguard and a high-ranking officer in the FSB special forces), he killed a bodyguard commander of Alkhanov’s, and so on.

      @He eliminated the “taliban” enemies – Doku Umarov and his hundred ragtags don’t really count as a meaningful force

      700 according to the federals (active fighters, besides supporters). I’d not say they’re “rag-tag”.

      And there’s always an option THEY will do this to one of Kadyrov’s cars when he’s inside:

    • @LR called him Frankenstein – that’s probably the best description that I’ve heard. He is certainly not Russian Hero – he is a foreign ruler to whom Kremlin pays Danegeld.

      It should be “Frankenstein’s monster” – Frankenstein being Putin.

  17. Robert,

    @He killed more than only Ruslan Yamdayev in downtown Moscow…
    I assume this means that you agree with my assertion: Kadyrov won the war against Russia and has full freedom to operate as he pleases on the vassal territory. I hope I understood you correctly.

    @there’s always an option THEY will do this to one of Kadyrov’s cars when he’s inside
    Err, everything is an option, of course. It is even possible that a meteor will fly into Kadyrov’s palace and kill him on the spot. However, I have as much trust in self-serving kavkaz.tv movies as I have in self-serving First Channel movies. A pox on both your houses…

    @700 according to the federals
    The number that was given in order to continue “counter-terrorism operation” regime in Chechnya! If we extrapolate from the number of killed in South Ossetia (2000 turned into 150) – the real number will be 50. That said, it could be 70, it could be 7,000 – the number given by federals is meaningless.

  18. you are talking nonsense Felix,your hate against the chechen people is disgusting.Without the chechen rebels Kadyrov´s terror would even increase.Last night two more of Kadyrov´s “policemen” were killed by rebel snipers in Grozny,at least they still defend their people against the Frankenstein-monster Kadyrov!

  19. Meanwhile in neighbouring Ingushetia:

    Ingush minister shot dead at work

    Two masked gunmen have shot dead the construction minister of the volatile Russian republic of Ingushetia, local officials say.

    Ruslan Amerkhanov was killed in his office in the town of Magas on Wednesday. The gunmen then fled by car.

    Attacks on government officials have become more common in the troubled, mainly Muslim North Caucasus republic.

    In June, Ingushetia’s President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov was seriously wounded in an assassination attempt.

    The Ingush interior ministry said the gunmen shot and killed Mr Amerkhanov at point-blank range in his office.

    His assistant, Magomed Amerkhanov, was wounded in the attack.

    Ingushetia has seen escalating clashes between security forces and armed militants in the past year, similar to the violence that continues in neighbouring Chechnya.

    Ingush security officials quoted by Itar-Tass news agency said Wednesday’s killing might be linked to a recent review of construction projects in the republic. Ingushetia is plagued by corruption, including in the construction sector.

    Three employees of Russia’s emergencies ministry were shot dead in Ingushetia ten days ago.

    In Chechnya, Russian forces were engaged in heavy fighting with separatist rebels until a few years ago, though the fighting has become much less intense recently.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8196689.stm

  20. Sadulayeva headed a Russian NGO, Save the Generations, which provided medical and psychological help to young victims of the fighting in Chechnya. Among those it helps are children who lost limbs during the region’s separatist struggle against Moscow.

    Her husband shared her work. They had married recently, after he had been jailed for four years on charges of links to armed separatist groups.

    Not Politically Active

    Human rights representatives who knew the two young people — both were in their mid-20s — say they were not politically active.

    The killings were condemned by Human Rights Watch (HRW). The group’s deputy chief in Moscow, Tatyana Lokshina, called the murders “a horrendous crime.”

    The chief of the Moscow Helsinki Group, Lyudmila Alekseyeva, said she holds Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov responsible for the murders since he is obliged to provide safety for the republic’s citizens.

    The killings come less than a month after the murder of one of Chechnya’s most prominent rights activists, Natalya Estemirova, under similar circumstances.

    In both cases, the victims were bundled into cars by unidentified men, taken to remote locations, and shot to death.

    The killings underline the climate of fear that reigns in Chechnya, where a Moscow-backed government is in power but there is no security against unidentified armed groups, including those suspected of links to the government itself.

    “[The couple’s abductors] introduced themselves as members of security forces,” Aleksandr Cherkasov, a leading member of the Russian human rights organization Memorial, told RFE/RL’s Russian Service. “When commenting on this kidnapping, Chechen Interior Ministry officials said that according to their information Sadulayeva and Dzhabrailov got in the car voluntarily. Were they supposed to start shooting at five armed men who came after them?”

    He adds that the pattern of abduction and killing has become commonplace in Chechnya in recent years.

    “Thousands of people, including absolutely innocent people, have been kidnapped and killed in this fashion throughout the years of the second Chechen war,” he says.

    Atmosphere Of Fear

    The Memorial group stopped its work in Chechnya after the killing of Estemirova, who was the head of the organization’s branch there.

    Rights activists blame Kadyrov for contributing to the atmosphere of fear that prevails in the republic.

    His strong-arm tactics, including reprisals against the families of suspected separatist fighters, have helped to complete Moscow’s rollback of rebel forces with the second Chechen war.

    But his intolerance of criticism, combined with an apparent disinterest in solving the murders of critics, has opened him to charges of ordering extrajudicial killings of opponents.

    Chechen exiles have been gunned down in foreign countries, some have been shot in Moscow, and others killed in Chechnya. Virtually none of the assassination cases have been solved.

    Following Estemirova’s murder, Memorial’s chairman Oleg Orlov charged the Chechen president with being responsible, irrespective of who ordered the crime.

    Kadyrov has denied any involvement. However, his derogatory remarks about Estemirova following her death have only added to the controversy over her murder.

    No Immunity

    In an interview with RFE/RL on August 8, Kadyrov said Estemirova “never had any honor or sense of shame” and “would say stupid things.” Estemirova had publicly accused Kadyrov’s administration of rampant human rights abuses.

    Sadulayeva and Dzhabrailov were not prominent voices like Estemirova. Like most people working in public positions, they did not risk speaking out on public issues, whatever their private opinions might be.

    But this does not seem to have guaranteed them any kind of immunity in a place where armed men kidnap in broad daylight without masks and yet their identity is never learned.

    Kheda Saratova, a Grozny-based rights activist, told The Associated Press that three of the abductors were clad in military fatigues and two others were wearing civilian clothes. After taking Sadulayeva and her husband away, they returned to their office to pick up her cell phone and seize Sadulayeva’s car.

    http://www.rferl.org/content/Charity_Head_Found_Dead_In_Chechnya/1796949.html

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