Why a mob in the homeland revolted thousands in Chechnya after Abubakar and Ibrahim Yangulbaev

KYIV — Facts Yangulbaev brothers There was nothing but horror as thousands of people poured into the streets of their hometown, shouting that the two men were “Western agents” and “The shame of the nation”. Pro-government mobs stormed the public squares of the Chechen capital Grozny and burned photos of siblings and their families, who infuriated the notorious Chechen leader. Ramzan Kadyrov and his most fervent supporters.

It was a surreal moment for the exiled lawyers, 27-year-old Ibrahim and 29-year-old Abubakar, who watched video of the February 2 protest from a safe place in Europe. The brothers told The Daily Beast they had no intention of causing a “blood feud” with Kadyrov. But after many years Abubakar made a dossier at the request of the state torture cases in Chechen, and Ibrahim voiced a warning about the leader’s alleged corruption on social media, Kadyrov essentially declared two enemies of the state, threatening them with “prison or burial” and encouraging public They protested against the family. One Chechen lawmaker went so far as to say he wanted to “tear” [their] take the lead. ”

“It was the dumbest moment of my life: Chechen television showed a crowd ‘protesting’ my family,” Abubakar, who previously worked with the Committee Against Torture, told The Daily Beast.

Before fleeing the country late last year, both claimed to have endured detention and torture at the hands of the state. And just last month, their mother, Zarema Musayeva, was arrested on suspicion of fraud, prompting their father to flee the country as well. “Kadryov and his police detained me in basements, hanged me, poured cold water over me, tortured me with electricity. They are now holding my ailing mother hostage in Chechnya,” said Ibrahim.

Ibrahim told The Daily Beast on Sunday that he thinks his family was initially targeted because of the comments he made about Kadyrov on his Telegram channel. “I have listed the sanctioned cases. I simply cannot understand how [Kadyrov], a former separatist guerrilla, may be swimming in gold, enjoying corruption, while treating the Chechens like slaves. he said.

On the same day of mass protests against his family, Russian President Vladimir Putin is said to have met with Kadyrov. “Putin summoned Kadyrov to the Kremlin as a result of outrageous attacks on our family. But we have not heard a single statement by Putin in support of the attacks,” Abubakar told The Daily Beast.

“We are not safe, [not] as long as Kadyrov and all his closest people are off the international terrorist list.”

As for their next steps, the lawyer added: “We are going against Kadyrov now: I am a civilized lawyer, so I will only use civilized methods. We will not call for violence but will call on Russian prosecutors and the Investigative Committee, after Kadyrov called for all of us to be killed.”

Some of Moscow’s biggest media outlets and opposition politicians have voiced support for the Yangulbaev family. A reporter decorated with the word independence Novaya Gazeta The newspaper, Yelena Milashina, had to flee Russia on her own, after Kadyrov called her a “terrorist” for covering her ordeal.

Moscow local deputy minister Ilya Yashin launched a petition calling for Kadyrov’s ouster on Monday. “Kadyrov constantly talks about ‘real men’ and dignity, but for every Russian man, it is clear that in the end it is impossible to kidnap an ailing opponent’s mother. And this is an offense to cause a blood feud, for tearing people’s heads off… I have been calling on the Kremlin to fire Kadyrov since 2016”

More than 50,000 people signed Yashin’s petition within hours on Monday. In it, Yashin writes that during Kadyrov’s 15 years of rule, Chechnya became a state within a state, playing by “its own rules, while Russian laws did not work there”.

According to Yashin, the Chechen leader was “totally out of the Kremlin’s control”. “We know that there is only one man who can control Kadyrov: that is Putin. Everyone around Putin, including the FSB generals, was definitely outraged to see Kadyrov’s beheading plan, so Putin met with Kadyrov to calm things down,” Yashin told The Daily Beast. “But Kadyrov took it for a great achievement: now he brags about how Putin has received him at the highest level and supported him; even if Putin doesn’t support it, that’s how Kadyrov explains it. Therefore, we ask Putin to remove Kadyrov from his position.”

The Daily Beast interviewed Abubakar back in December, shortly after the police arrested dozens of his relatives in Chechnya. “Kadyrov is angry with us because a lot of people in Chechnya and Russia support us, not him,” Abubakar told The Daily Beast after Kadyrov promised that members of his family would now be “shaken” every time I hear a knock on the door. . “Certainly, there have been assassinations by Kadyrov’s detachment in Russia, in Europe and in Turkey but he has never called for punishment so openly. All his anger is now focused on my poor mother, whom he is keeping in prison. She has diabetes but we’re not even sure she’s getting insulin to survive.”

People hold placards with photos of Yangulbaev family members and messages reading “Disgrace to the Fatherland” during a protest in central Grozny.

Yelena Afonina / TASS via Getty

Most independent Chechen experts believe that Kadyrov is fully capable of controlling the country however he wants, as long as the republic remains stable and loyal to Moscow.

“For many years, the Chechen government relied on collective punishment to suppress dissent. The malicious attack on the Yangulbaev family seems to be a signal to all critics and opponents of Kadyrov, and especially those in Chechnya, the Chechen diaspora,” said Tanya Lokshina, deputy director of the department. Europe and Central Asia by Human Rights Watch, told The Daily Beast on Monday. .

Despite the horror their family went through, the brothers say the whole ordeal has inspired more citizens to speak out against Kadyrov than ever before.

“So far, all Kadyrov has achieved by capturing our mother is number [his Telegram channel’s] followers have grown from 16,000 to over 36,000 and most of them share our views. It was a huge outcry,” Ibrahim told The Daily Beast.

However, he admits, “We’re not safe, [not] as long as Kadyrov and all his closest people are off the international terrorist list.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/why-a-raging-hometown-mob-of-thousands-in-chechnya-is-after-abubakar-and-ibrahim-yangulbaev?source=articles&via=rss Why a mob in the homeland revolted thousands in Chechnya after Abubakar and Ibrahim Yangulbaev

Russell Falcon

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