Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Chechen exile shot dead in Vienna

In another sign that Russia's special services are prepared to assassinate on foreign soil those whom they perceive to be enemies of the Russian state, Umar Israilov, a Chechen dissident and ex-bodyguard of President Ramzan Kadyrov who exposed Kadyrov's systematic use of torture and abductions, has been shot dead in the street of a Viennese suburb by two attackers. In the IHT, C.J. Chivers writes:

Israilov had been granted asylum by Austria, but his life there had been filled with worries about his safety. In the interview last fall, he said he limited his movements and contacts with strangers after an emissary from Kadyrov visited Austria and tried to dupe him into returning home.

"Ramzan is a very powerful man," Israilov said, "and he can have anyone killed."

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