Sulim Yamadayev bigraphy, stories - Chechan warlord

Sulim Yamadayev : biography

21 June 1973 - 30 March 2009

Sulim Bekmirzayevich Yamadayev ( 21 June 1973 – 30 March 2009) was a Chechen rebel commander from the First Chechen War who had switched sides together with his brothers Dzhabrail, Badrudi, Isa and Ruslan in 1999 during the outbreak of the Second Chechen War. He was de facto commander of the Russian military Special Battalion Vostok unit belonging to the GRU. As such, until 2008, he was officially in command of the biggest pro-Moscow militia outside the control of the current Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov., International Herald Tribune, 15 April 2008 From August 1 to 22 August 2008 Yamadayev was wanted in Russia on a federal warrant. Nevertheless, he served as one of the Russian military commanders in Russia's war with Georgia during the same period.,, 14 August 2008

On 5 March 2003, Sulim's brother Dzhabrail Yamadayev was assassinated by a bomb. On 24 September 2008 Sulim's brother, Ruslan Yamadayev, was shot dead on Smolenskaya Embankment in Moscow. Initial press responses reported name of the victim as Sulim Yamadayev; the name was corrected later. Kommersant, 24 September 2008 Sulim Yamadayev was shot in Dubai on 28 March 2009, and died in hospital on 30 March 2009.


Yamadayev studied business in Moscow before returning to Chechnya. He once said that his dream was to become a fighter and that during a time he decided to go to Afghanistan to train. Yamadayev's political interests were tightly tied with those of his teip (clan) Benoi, which has long-standing claims to the town of Gudermes. Under the Chechen president Aslan Maskhadov, he served as a field commander and commanded a special forces detachment which routed a radical Wahhabi militia at Gudermes in 1998.Valery Tishkov, Mikhail S. Gorbachev (2004), Chechnya: Life in a War-torn Society, p. 178. University of California Press, ISBN 0-520-23887-7.

During the Second Chechen War, the Yamadayevs and Akhmad Kadyrov arranged for their stronghold of Gudermes to be taken over by federal forces without a fight. Later, Sulim became leader of the GRU Spetsnaz unit called the Special Battalion Vostok ("East") of nearly 600 men, succeeding his brother Dzhabrail Yamadayev following his assassination in 2003. While working closely with the General of the Army Alexey Maslov, Sulim Yamadayev received the medal and title of Hero of the Russian Federation after his Vostok battalion killed the commander of the Arab Mujahideen in Chechnya, Abu al-Walid, in April 2004. Together with his paramilitary soldiers known within Chechnya as Yamadayevtsy, which are alleged to be unruly and prone to mix warfare with crime, Yamadayev often conflicted with Ramzan Kadyrov (the son of Akhmad) and Said-Magomed Kakiyev over who controls overall military authority in Chechnya. Isa and Badrudi, the younger brothers of Sulim, became the company commanding officers in the battalion.

On 14 April 2008, the forces loyal to Yamadayev and Ramzan Kadyrov engaged in one of the biggest battles between rival Chechen factions. The clash occurred when convoys from each group ran into each other in Gudermes and reportedly resulted in around 18 dead. A bitter conflict between the men loyal to Yamadayev and forces of Kadyrov followed. In this conflict, Kadyrov prevailed and eventually Yamadayev was sacked from his post and declared a wanted "criminal" in Chechnya. On 6 August, the previous 'Hero of Russia' Yamadayev and some of his commandos were put on a federal wanted list., RIA Novosti, 06 August 2008 According to his brother and Duma deputy Ruslan Yamadayev, Sulim still allegedly lived in Moscow and did not hide at the time of the warrant being issued., The Moscow Times, 8 August 2008 The other Yamadayev brother, Badrudi was placed on the federal wanted list earlier in 2008. According to Moscow-based defence analyst Pavel Felgenhauer, "It's important because this had been a rare challenge to Kadyrov in Chechnya. Now, it's clear that Yamadayev has been quashed and Kadyrov controls Chechnya.", Reuters, 7 August 2008

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