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Published On: Sun, Sep 10th, 2017

The dirty wars and the death of Chechen – Georgian Ali Tamayev in a car blast in Ukraine

nsnbc : An explosion ripped through the center of Ukraine’s capital Kiev on September 8. A car bomb killed Chechen – Georgian citizen Ali Tamayev and wounded the two passengers in his Toyota Camry. The bomb in the car with Georgian license plate numbers exploded as Tamayev was driving through the busy Pavla Skorpadskoho Street in the city center next to the Arena shopping mall. The bombing was but one of a string of murders in Ukraine. Without being able to identify the exact motives and perpetrators, a who’s who and a rundown of CVs of the involved suggest that the murders are to be placed within the context of the ongoing dirty war that involves networks in Ukraine and Crimea, Russia, Georgia, Chechnya, as well as Turkey.

Ali Tamayev_Ukraine_Kiev car bomb_Sep 8, 2017Ali Tamayev a.k.a. Ali Timayev and Timur Makhauri died instantly. A woman in the passenger seat of the Toyota Camry was badly injured and taken to the hospital. An approximately 8 – 10 years-old child who was in the backseat suffered lighter physical injuries and was also taken to the hospital. Ukraine’s Interior Ministry stated that it was a “targeted assassination”. The Ministry didn’t provide any further details about possible suspects, motives, perpetrators.

A glance at Tamayev’s past is enough to see that it isn’t surprising that he found a violent end, and that there are plenty of possible leads in his past that more likely than not are linked to his assassination. He reportedly survived three previous assassination attempts. Ali Tamayev was born in Chechnya in 1978 when Chechnya was still a part of the Soviet Union (USSR). At the time of his death he held a Georgian passport. Tamayev was at different times wanted by Russian, Ukrainian, and Turkish authorities.

Ali Tamayev_Timayev_Ukraineian police_Kiev_Ukraine_Jan 2017Artem Shevchenko, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s Interior Ministry, described Tamayev as “well-known in criminal circles” and “not an example of a law-abiding citizen.” Ukraine’s Security Service SBU claimed Tamayev (Timayev) was “opposed to the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin” and that he was chased by “Russian special services”. The SBU would also stress that Tamayev was a bitter enemy of Ramzan Kadyrov, the President of the Russian Federation’s Chechen Republic. Ukrainian law enforcement agencies report that it is known that Tamayev, from 1999 – 2000, fought against Russian government forces in Dagestan in the northern Caucasus.

Ali Tamayev reportedly also fought in the 2008 Russio – Georgian war as a member of Georgia’s special operations forces, and to have been in contact with Ukrainian UNA-UNSO volunteers in Georgia. He reportedly took part in other military operations on the Georgian side until 2012.

UNA-UNSO Marching in Ukraine - 2014

UNA-UNSO Marching in Ukraine – 2014

The evolution from anti-Russian Islamist insurgent in Dagestan to a member in the Georgian special operations forces, contacts with UNA-UNSO volunteers, and other links to the dirty wars at the interface between terrorism, special forces, agents and double agents is by no means surprising. Tamayev wasn’t exactly a “Mr. Nobody” in Georgian circles. He reportedly was friends with then-Georgian Deputy Interior Minister Giorgi Lortkipanidze, who in 2015-2016 was chief of police in Odesa Oblast, while Georgian ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili served as the region’s governor.

It’s a position that made him a potential target for both the administration of Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko and the inner circle around him, the Russian Presidency and those who wish to broker a compromise between Putin and Poroshenko; not even to mention others in Ukraine, Russia, Chechnya, Turkey, Dagestan, among others, who may have perceived Tamayev as an asset that had served its purpose – a dispensable asset.

In 2012 Tamayev reportedly entered Syria via Turkey where he trained “rebels”. nsnbc could not identify any specific organization but it is probable that Tamayev was linked to the more than 1,000 Chechen and other Caucasian fighters in Syria. Turkish police detained Tamayev in the airport of Istanbul in 2012 on the charges of murder and attempted murder of five Chechens in Turkey who led guerilla activities against Russian authorities.

The Turkish prosecutor’s office also called him an accomplice in the murder of Shamil Basayev, a Chechen militant Islamist killed in 2006. – Timayev – Tamayev – Makhauri – the man with three names a double-agent? Apart from that, he was also suspected to be an agent of Russian secret services and was being under arrest and investigation for more than three years. Tamayev was released in July 2016 — shortly before the Turkish coup d’état attempt, as Russia and Turkey mended ties and began cooperating on Syria — because the investigation lacked evidence to prove his involvement in the murders.

Later Tamayev moved to Ukraine where he reportedly joined the Battalion of Sheikh Mansur, an unofficial Chechen group that is reportedly participating in the fighting against pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region. He first attracted the unwanted attention of Ukrainian law enforcement in January 2017 when he was arrested in Kiev for illegal possession of weapons. His car was stopped and searched on Basseyna Street, very close to the spot where he would be killed months later. Police found the unregistered Glock pistol and the Stechkin automatic pistol, which, according to Interior Ministry, was stolen from the war zone. Tamayev “struck a deal” with the investigators and got a suspended sentence.

To understand the assassination of Ali Tamayev and the wounding of a woman and a child in the process, it may be helpful to seek for patters, similar cases, and political context. We have already mentioned the fact that Tamayev was let off the hook in Turkey as Russian – Turkish relations were normalized. We have already mentioned that Ukrainian and Russian circles who seek a reconciliation or compromise between Putin and Poroshenko are believed to perceive former Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili as a liability. Agents or double agents who have deep insight into the dirty wars between Ukraine and Russia, Georgia and Russia and the infiltration and use of Islamist volunteers in international conflicts by all of the above – like Tamayev – may have become a liability for one or more of the above mentioned parties.

Other assassinations and assassination attempts also provide context. The assassination of Ali Tamayev came three months afte an assassination attempt of the two high-profile Chechens Amina Okuyeva and Adam Osmayev, members of the Chechen Battalion of Dzhokhar Dudayev. Okuyeva and Osmayev were shot at by a man pretending to be a journalist on June 1 in Kyiv. Both survived the attempt and lived to tell the tale. Another car bomb killed Maksym Shapoval, a top officer of the Defense Ministry’s intelligence service, on June 27 in Kiev. Shapoval was believed to have been a key coordinator between regular Ukrainian troops and militia, including Georgian, Chechen and international Islamist volunteers. Days before that, a car belonging to a businessman known to own very lucrative real estate in Crimea was blown up in Kyiv, leaving no one wounded.

Also earlier in the year, Denis Voronenkov, an ex-member of the Russian parliament who had fled the country and become an open critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin was gunned down on March 23 outside the Premier Palace hotel in the Ukrainian capital Kiev. His killer, Pavlo Parshov, was shot dead by Voronenkov’s bodyguard. Ukraine’s authorities claimed that Parshov was a Russian agent who acted on behalf of Russian security services. ….  etc…..

CH/L & F/AK – nsnbc 10.09.2017

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