"Aushev affair” may have been reason for Chechen deputy interior minister's dismissal
By Umalt Chadayev
CHECHNYA - A close relative of the Aushev cousins, two Ingush residents who in September were abducted in Chechnya and then released again, says that there may be a connection between those events and the sacking of Chechen deputy interior minister Alambek Yasayev.
The relative told Prague Watchdog that he has learned from a source in the Chechen law enforcement agencies that Ramzan Kadyrov had complained to Yasayev about the fact that the Aushevs’ release was effected though interior ministry channels. This, Kadyrov explained, might discredit the Chechen government and law enforcement bodies. Kadyrov told Yasayev that the two abducted men should have been thrown out of a vehicle somewhere en route, and not taken to Shatoi, where they were set free at the local police station. “My friend informed me that this was one of the reasons why Yasayev lost his post,” the man said.
However, another theory concerning the senior police official’s sudden removal from office is circulating in Chechnya: In mid-October many Chechen residents (especially younger ones) were sent a mobile phone video made in the republic’s Gudermessky district. In the video Alambek Yasayev is seen in a roomful of armed officers (according to some sources they were members of the PPSM-2 police regiment) calling on them to stop the brutal excesses of the “law-enforcers” from Tsentaroi (Khosi-Yurt), Ramzan Kadyrov’s home village.
"These Khosi-Yurt guys are making life impossible for us on the roads: they beat people up and jeer at them, and they say they can do whatever they want. There isn’t one of us here today whom they haven’t beaten. They even beat up my family – my father and myself,” Yasayev says in the clip. "It would be better to die like real men than be the ‘wives’ of the Khosi-Yurt gang!" The officers in the video are shown shouting "Allahu Akbar!” and firing shots.
Prague Watchdog’s correspondent has received information from a source in the Chechen law enforcement agencies that Alambek Yasayev, his brother, father and about 15 close relatives were taken to Tsentaroi and subjected to beatings and torture. "Alambek and his father were told they would only be set free if they signed documents transferring all their property to people in Ramzan Kadyrov’s immediate circle,” the source says.
"Their homes were confiscated, and also their cars, including a jeep Ramzan had given Yasayev’s son for his birthday. They even took away their garages and private filling stations. The total amount of the 'expropriations' is about five billion roubles. In addition, Yasayev had to make a “voluntary” donation of half a billion roubles to the Kadyrov Foundation and write a statement requesting dismissal from his post. His position is currently filled by another man, a native of Tsentaroi,” the source said.
Alambek Yasayev was born in the village of Oyskhar (Novogrozny) in the Gudermessky district of Chechnya. He was deputy minister for public security. Before that, he commanded the Second Police Patrol and Point Duty Service Regiment (PPSM-2) and one of the units of the Chechen presidential security service. Earlier in his career, Yasayev was a separatist field commander, and managed to obtain legal status with Kadyrov’s help.
At one time Alambek Yasayev was one of the Chechen president's most trusted supporters. He has now more or less repeated the fate of another local official, Shamsadi Dudayev, former general director of the Chechenstroy construction company. Dudayev, whom Ramzan Kadyrov appointed to lead the reconstruction of Grozny, was accused of embezzling large amounts of money and of various machinations. Retribution was swift. Dudayev and several of his brothers were taken away to Tsentaroy and locked up in a cellar. After that the homes and property of all the members of Dudayev’s family were confiscated. It was said that Dudayev alone lost not only his three-storey private house and large sums of money, but also 15 apartments he had acquired in downtown Grozny.
(Translation by DM)
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