Armed Kadyrov fighters in Moscow as Chechen phenomenon
Crime Russia decided to turn to a unique subject for Russian reality, created by Ramzan Kadyrov’s own hands.
Ramzan Kadyrov recently declared his intention to finish his career of the head of the Chechen Republic in a short time, because the time "has gone". While the Chechen leader openly flirts with the community, asking it not to organize any street demonstrations in his support, the CrimeRussia decided to turn to a unique subject for Russian reality, created by Ramzan Kadyrov’s own hands. This mean - groupings of Chechen security servicemen sent to Moscow by the republic’s leaders to ensure protection for major politicians and authoritative businessmen from Kadyrov’s connection circle. It is not a secret that privileged Chechnya is the only territorial entity of Russian Federation, which can take the liberty to live in such luxury.
Officially Chechen security servicemen are sent to Moscow to protect high-ranking bureaucrats, who come here with different needs. Unlike them, groupings of Chechen elite bodyguards live in Moscow’s VIP President Hotel, which situated across the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD). For some years now they have been moving about Moscow’s avenues with any kinds of weapon and light bars on their cars. This aggressive performance has been disturbing Moscow citizens for a long time. Some extra media servicemen gladly demonstrate their armory, biceps and elite car fleet on their social pages.
In 2008 commander of Vostok battalion Sulim Yamadaev was concerned about Chechen citizens at the hotel.
"Kadyrov’s fighters made barracks out of the President Hotel - 200 people live their permanently, they drive across Moscow with light bars as if it is Chechnya", - told he in an interview to Kommersant.
At the same time, the Chechen fighters have already been figured in different crime scenes for some years, but usually without consequences. The criminal cases initiated against Kadyrov fighters usually ended up with nothing: figurants were either released or got off with a very loyal sentence. Meanwhile Ramzan Kadyrov openly voice support for them.
For some years now they have been moving about Moscow’s avenues with any kinds of weapon and light bars on their cars. This aggressive performance has been disturbing Moscow citizens for a long time.
Bes (the Demon)
According to information received, one of the "Chechen regiment" leaders is officer of Chechen MVD Zelimhan Israilov, nicknamed Bes (the Demon). He has been repeatedly figuring in Moscow’s criminal reports. Thus, in 2007 Israilov had a fight on the road with a "nine" (a car VAS-2109) driver, whereby the latter passed away. Back then, criminal case was dismissed. In 2009 Bes distinguished himself on Moscow’s roads by shooting from his duty weapon in the leg of an autobus driver, who moved across his car. Again, the criminal case has never seen the court.
After torturers were captured, the telephone of an investigator Chingis Berikov, who took the case, was ringing non-stop. Those were high-ranking bureaucrats from Chechnya, who "asked" to release Israilov and his people. Some visitors from Chechnya offered the Investigator a multimillion bribe. Due to the high profile of the case, Aleksandr Bastrikin himself took sole personal control of it. However soon after that, all figurants were released and the Russia Federal Security Guard Service’s (FSB) officials even went on strike, protesting against lawlessness and protection racketeering of the criminals. Nevertheless, even such upscale event, as a strike of security officers, could not help the deal: Berikov was fired and the criminal prosecution was stopped.
While commenting the case, the head’s of Chechnya spokesman claimed, that Ramzan Kadyrov did not have any guard at all. However, he did not commented the fact, that at the time of the arrest, the accused fighters had in possession travel authorizations for protecting Kadyrov himself and members of his family.
Ramzan TsitsulayevIn 2014, official representative of the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Tsitsulayev, became a figurant of a fraud case. The bureaucrat promised a wife of arrested businessman Andrey Novikov help to release him for 500 000$. Police investigators knew that oncoming "deal" would take place in Zolotoe Kolco hotel. During Tsitsulayev’s capture the "Chechen regiment" fighters, who escorted the bureaucrat, resisted forcibly, and, as a result, Tsitsulayev managed to run away and fly back to Chechnya at the same day.
Afterwards a criminal case was initiated against the ambassador’s bodyguards, Amir Sagaitov, Dmitriy Tkachenko and Salambek Tsitsulayev over making resistance to Moscow Criminal Investigation Department (CID). In 2015 they were sentenced to different terms of imprisonment, while Ramzan Tsitsulayev, who was saved from the police, happily lives in Chechnya, to where Moscow investigation officers apparently can’t find their way.
In 2011-2012 other events, which took place in Moscow, showed that Kadyrov’s fighters protect not only bureaucrats, but also organized crime representatives and that Chechen leader himself is always ready to vote for release of a criminal authority.
In 2011, citizen of Grozny Hadjimurat Gakaev, known in criminal sphere as criminal authority Murat Bolshoy, was detained in Moscow.His gang was specializing in blackmailing and fraud; he himself was accused in an attempt of illegal seizure of one of Russian Academy of Science (RAS) building in Moscow. Believe it or not, but Ramzan Kadyrov did not hesitate to come to the defense of Murat Bolshoy, claiming, that he is a professor’s son and a legal business owner and that the existence of the ethnic Chechen organized crime group in Russia is a myth.
According to Kadyrov’s words, in Gakaev’s case "an economic dispute was passed as a considerable crime", similar disputes "happen every day". In this dispute, according to Kadyrov, "members of the law enforcement forces seem to take side of one of the figurants".
The police investigators had a video of Gakaev, threatening by a gun to the entrepreneur, who rented a room in RAS, and punching him in his face. However Ramzan Kadyrov’s interference helped Murat Bolshoy to get away from the responsibility.
According to Kadyrov’s words, in Gakaev’s case «an economic dispute was passed as a considerable crime», similar disputes «happen every day». In this dispute, according to Kadyrov, «members of the law enforcement forces seem to take side of one of the figurants».
While personal search of Plohish, investigators discovered drugs and weapons, which became a reason for initiation of criminal case. On April 1st of 2014, court adjudged Adam Taramov, Mamed Tumaev and Barzani Dadaev guilty in illegal arms bearing (art. 222 of the Criminal Code of Russian Federation); in addition, Taramov was adjudged guilty in preparing and illegal storage of drugs (art. 30, art. 228, para.1 of the Criminal Code of Russian Federation) and sentenced to six years of strict regime detention. At the same time, Taramov’s accomplices received sentences of two years and six months’ imprisonment.
Lawyers of all of the three convicted appealed the Dorogomilov’s court decision in Moscow City Court (the highest Moscow’s judicial body on civil, criminal, administrative and other cases). On 4th of August 2012, Plohish’s lawyer mitigated the "drug" article sentence’s term to 4 years.
In the winter of 2014 the CrimeRussia came into possession of a file on a collector grouping, which worked in Moscow under the cover of human rights organization Za spravedlivost (For the justice) and also was a part of the "Chechen regiment". The human rights organization, which "examines public opinion" was registered in august 2010 in Moscow and was headed by Shuaip Magamaev, Algazor Muzaev, and Isa Kolgaev. Collectors-rights activists were providing a crime-sponsored cover for businessmen; blackmailing; organizing an illegal gambling business in Moscow; and peddling drugs.
Among others, the pseudo-human rights activists were also covering the Chechen grouping. However, they were not the only ones. The gang was protected by a group of corrupted security servicemen. The employee of the Traffic Safety Special Designation Center of MVD was solving different automobile questions of the gang. He helped the Chechen citizens to get "vanity licence plates" and run different people’s plates in the State Road Traffic Safety Inspectorate’s (SRTSI) database. Moreover, the gang was covered by the Federal Security Guard Service (FSGS) employee and a policeman from the Department of MVD in Zyablikovo district.
One of the grouping leaders Shamhan Shahbiev, nicknamed Bandit, in November 2014 became a figurant of a criminal case over a shooting in Moscow’s club Artist on Rochdelskaya street. Eyewitnesses of the shooting went to the police, after an unknown person started to shoot in the club. By the time, the police arrived shooters had already been gone. According to the club’s guests, the men were shooting chaotically and randomly, and made about 30 fire shots. On August 15st, CID officers with the Main Investigation Directorate’s (GSU) investigators and with the force support of the SWAT fighters simultaneously detained five natives of the North Caucasus at different addresses, including Shahbiev.
The investigation charged Anzor Kozloev, Anzor Hazbiev and Artur Shahbiev with hooliganism (art. 213 of the Criminal Code of Russian Federation). Besides hooliganism, consequence added an accusation in an illegal possession of weapons to Saddam Shahbiev’s case, while Shamhan Shahbiev was charged with an organization of hooliganism (art. 33 and 213 of the Criminal Code of Russian Federation).
The hearings of the Bandit’s and his gang’s cases started in Presnenskiy court in the late March 2015. Three months later, Shahbiev’s accomplices got short, but still real terms, while the organizer of the shooting in the club got two years of conditional sentence and was released in the court. The CrimeRussia’s information providers are sure that there were some corrupt connections involved.
Collectors-rights activists were providing a crime-sponsored cover for businessmen; blackmailing; organizing an illegal gambling business in Moscow; and peddling drugs.The Rosbalt’s source of information claimed, that Bandit’s grouping had practically taken the place of arrested in March 2012 Zelimhan Israilov’s (Bes) gang. Back then, Bes and his fighters were one of the main commands of collectors from the North Caucasian Republic, who operated through the use of force. However, in spite of the fact, that Israilov was almost immediately released on his own recognizance not to leave town, his gang dilapidated after his arrest. A new command, headed by Shamhan Shahbiev appeared to replace them.
In 2014 it surfaced, that fighters of the "Chechen regiment" were protecting ex-senator and authoritative entrepreneur Umar Dzhabrailov. However, Chechen fighters did not solve only protective problems. In January 2014, they were detained at attempt of extorting $2 million from ex-senator Mikhail Kapura. A group of armed fighters in black uniform, headed by the Chechen FSB officer Rustambek Agaev, took over a notary office, which belonged to a wife of the Federation Council of Russian Federation member, Mikhail Kapura. When the politician arrived to the place, Agaev, who presented himself as a FSB officer, demanded $2 million from him. Kapura’s assistants managed to call the police, and the fighters were detained.
The Chechen citizens explained blackmailing by doing a favor to an ex-senator, businessman and father of female singer Alsu - Ralif Safin. A head of Russian Association of Stuntmen Aleksandr Inshakov, who was a neighbor of Safin in Razdori housing development located near Moscow, attended the hearing as a witness.
As the inquiry progressed, it occurred that Agaev witnessed a conversation between Inshakov and Safin, during which the latter told about the financial conflict between him and Mikhail Kapura and his unwillingness to pay a $2 million debt. According to Inshakov, Agaev expressed his readiness to extort the debt. He involved the entire Chechen group in blackmailing family of the ex-senator. However, according to the official version of the inquiry, Safin and Inshakov did not know, that Agaev would actually try to extort money through the use of force.
In the early March of 2015, Zamaskvoreckiy court of Moscow city found Agaev guilty in extorting of $2 million "for the purpose of personal enrichment out of his mercenary interests". Agaev was sentenced to 11 years of strict regime detention, four of his countrymen – from 7,5 to 10 years. However, in autumn the Moscow City Court decided, that there were no extorting, but arbitrariness, and shortened terms of detention for all of the convicted almost threefold. After this "sign of faith", it occurred, that Arthur Inziev and Bekhan Gazapkhadzhiyev were included in the amnesty.
It should be pointed out, that the main figurant of the case, Rustambek Agaev, had earlier been detained with officer of the Private Security of Chechen MVD Zelimhan Israilov under the case of raiding. He, however, was not brought to justice.
On 10th March 2015 the bodyguards of Umar Dzhabrailov distinguish themselves again. At about 5 p.m., the police got a message concerning shootings on Krilatskaya street. One of the conflict participants took a shot in the sky from Saiga shotgun and after that, attackers run away. Policemen, who arrived at the place, found abandoned cars: Suzuki, Mercedes G500, Land Rover and even armored car – Tiger. Some of the cars had their windscreen crashed and parts of their bodies dinged up. The armored car was also crashed.
It emerged that Dzhabrailov fighters fired a bikers from the Nochniye Volki (Night wolfs) biker-club, who came to Razdori, taking them for "enemies". Ex-senator’s assistant Rahman Yasnukov said, that the conflict took place on the territory of the businessman.
"We have a very well trained and taught guard. The fighters reacted quickly. Ostrov fantasiy (Fantasy Island) is protected very seriously, but we are protected even more seriously. Some people on five cars arrived to our private territory", - claimed Yasnukov.
So it occurs, that the "Chechen regiment" fighters opened a fire in direction of bikers only because they thought, they were "enemies". Later, a video of the shot-out cars with a voice of one of the shooters on background occurred on a video hosting service. According to the comments, Dzhabrailov’s guards were amused by the event. On the next day Dzhabrailov contacted the leader of Nochniye Volki, after what he was invited on a meeting and the dispute was settled.
As we can see, for a couple of years now, the "Chechen regiment" fighters have been taking part in criminal actions, including shootings and armed resistance to the Moscow’s police. And almost every time they manage to get away clean. Whether this Chechen phenomena disappear, after Ramzan Kadirov will leave or not - time will show.