Yuri Budanov : biography
Yuri Dmitrievich Budanov ( 24 November 196310 June 2011) was a Russian military officer convicted by a Russian court of kidnapping and murder in Chechnya.
Budanov was highly controversial in Russia: despite the conviction, Budanov enjoyed widespread support of Russian households as polled by public opinion. At the same time, he was broadly hated in Chechnya, even by the pro-Russian Chechens. In December 2008, a court in the south Russian Ulyanovsk Oblast granted a petition for early release. After eight years in prison (of the ten years he was sentenced), he was released on parole on 15 January 2009.
On 10 June 2011, Budanov was shot dead in Moscow by an unknown perpetrator; responsibility for the attack was later claimed by the Caucasus Emirate.
Assassination and funeral
Yuri Budanov was assassinated around 11:30 on 10 June 2011 in central Moscow (Hamovniki, Komsomolski prospekt), Russia. Six silenced shots were fired, four of which struck Budanov in the head. The killer escaped in a car driven by an accomplice. The car was subsequently found partially burned several blocks from the site of the attack. A gun believed to be a Makarov PM was found with a silencer inside the car. Budanov's wife witnessed the assassination and was held by Russian authorities. Russian police investigators commented that the attack was carefully planned and they considered blood revenge as one of the likely motives. One witness to the murder described the driver of the car from which the six shots were fired as being of Slavic appearance. Dokku Umarov claimed responsibility for the assassination as he sat by the commander of the Riyadus-Salikhiyn Brigade saying "I am addressing you today about a joyous occasion: yesterday, on 10 June, Allah by his will brought us a great celebration, punishing one of the sadists, the reprobate, the killer Budanov. The same fate, the same revenge awaits the others. Let these celebrations happen more often for Muslims." Upon the release of a video by Umarov, one of the investigators in the case said that "We have been expecting this kind of statement for a long time because the 'Chechen version' is one of the main ones we are working with. Nevertheless, these types of terrorist statements will not alter the course of our probe. We are studying all the leads."
His funeral was attended by such Russian right-winged leaders as Vladimir Zhirinovsky and accompanied by a three-gun salute. The Moscow police were report to have made a dozen arrests immediately before closing most of the investigation to the press.
Budanov was born in 1963 in Khartsyzk, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union. He graduated from the Tank Military School in Kharkiv and went on officer career in the Soviet Army, particularly, serving with the Soviet base in Hungary.
At the fall of the Soviet Union, Budanov was serving in Belarus, but he refused Belarusian citizenship and was transferred to the Siberian Military District, and then to Chechnya. In 1999 Budanov graduated from the military academy, receiving the rank of Guards Colonel.
According to the father of Budanov's victim, Budanov's tank regiment had been encamped just outside Tangi-Chu since February 2000, and Budanov himself had a notorious reputation among villagers. About ten days before the murder, Budanov reportedly arbitrarily searched and looted several homes in Tangi Chu, and two days before the incident he reportedly looted and threatened to torch several other homes.
From 2001 to 2003, Russian courts tried Colonel Yuri Budanov on the charges of March 27, 2000, kidnapping, rape (an allegation later withdrawn by the prosecution) and brutal murder of Elza Kungaeva, an 18-year-old Chechen girl whom Budanov alleged of being a sniper for Chechen rebels who were attacking his unit. He admitted killing her in a fit of rage, but denied the rape charges.
He was assassinated on 10 June 2011 in Moscow, Russia.
Budanov was arrested on March 29, 2000. According to press reports, Budanov claimed that Kungaeva was a suspected sniper, and that he had gone into a rage while questioning her.
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