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Islamist Militant Leader Dead, Claims Chechen Leader

Published: January 17, 2014 (Issue # 1793)



  • It is not the first time Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has proclaimed the death of Doku Umarov, who is classified as a terrorist by both Russia and the United States.
    Photo: Government.ru

  • A screen shot purported to be of Doku Umarov from a 2009 video posted following the Moscow-Petersburg train bombing.
    Photo: File photo

The president of the republic of Chechnya claimed Thursday to have new evidence that the country’s most notorious Islamist militant is dead, just as Russia braces to host the Winter Olympics amid heightened security in the nearby resort of Sochi.

It is not the first time Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has proclaimed the death of Doku Umarov, who is classified as a terrorist by both Russia and the United States.

“According to our information, Umarov is dead and we are looking for his body,” Kadyrov said late Thursday, according to a report on Russia’s NTV television channel.

It is unclear from Kadyrov's statements in what circumstances Umarov is purported to have died.

Writing later on social media site Instagram, Kadyrov said that intercepts of a recent conversation between senior North Caucasus militants included a discussion of Umarov’s death and disagreements over his replacement.

Russia has been plagued by security concerns in the run-up to the Winter Olympics, with a double suicide bombing in the southern Russian city of Volgograd last month highlighting the risks.

Sochi is several hundred kilometers from the North Caucasus, which has been wracked by an Islamist-inspired insurgency for more than a decade.

In an address to his followers in July 2013, Umarov called for the Olympics to be attacked.

The majority of the high-profile militant leaders in the volatile North Caucasus have been killed in recent years, but Umarov has consistently resurfaced after erroneous reports of his demise.

Sources within the security services said Thursday that there was no confirmation that Umarov was dead, according to Russian media reports.

Umarov has claimed responsibility for a number of Russia’s worst terrorist attacks in recent years, including the 2011 bombing of Moscow’s Domodedovo airport and 2010 attacks on the capital’s metro system.

See also:

Umarov Claims Responsibility for Bombing

New Strains of Terrorism





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Tuesday, Jan. 27


Observe the 71st anniversary of the end of the Siege of Leningrad on Palace Square with a free concert at 7 p.m. Listen to WWII-era songs and the poetry of Olga Bergholz while you peruse outdoor exhibitions dedicated to life during wartime. The event is capped off by a fireworks display at 9 p.m.



Stop by the Lexica School of Foreign Languages at 73 Ligovsky Prospekt from now until Friday for a free English lesson. The classes start at 7 p.m. and cover all levels, from Beginner to Advanced. Registration by telephone on 7641692 and a desire to improve your skills are the only prerequisites.



Wednesday, Jan. 28



Feel like becoming a publishing mogul? Stop by the Freedom anti-cafe at 7 Ulitsa Kazanskaya today at 8 p.m. where Simferopol, Crimea-based founder and chief editor of the Holst online magazine will talk about creating an internet magaine, including what stories to cover, how find an audience and build a team, where to find inspiration and how to stand out from the crowd. Admission is the normal price of the anti-café — 2 rubles per minute, which includes tea and snacks.



Learn everything you always wanted to know about wine, and perhaps a bit more, at the Le Nez du Vin seminar for wine lovers. Held at the WineJet Sommelier School, 100 Bolshoy Prospekt Petrograd Side, at 7:30 p.m., the event will cover wine production, the basics of wine tasting, the concept of terroir and the various countries where wine is produced. Tickets are 750 rubles and include a wine tasting. Register by calling +7 921 744 6264.



Thursday, Jan. 29



Attend a master class on how to deal with complicated business negotiations today at the International Banking Institute, 6 Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa. Running from 3 to 6 p.m., Vadim Sokolov, an assistant professor at the St. Petersburg State University of Economics, will introduce aspects of managing the negotiation process and increasing its effectiveness. Attendance is free with pre-registration by telephone on 909 3056 or online at www.ibispb.ru



Celebrate what would be writer Anton Chekhov's 155th birthday at the Bokvoed bookshop at 46 Nevsky Prospekt. Starting at 5 p.m., the legendary author will be feted with readings of his stories and short performances based on his plays by various St. Petersburg actors. Chekhov's books will also be offered at a 15% discount during the event.



Friday, Jan. 30



The Lermontov Central Library, 19 Liteyny Prospekt, will screen 'Almost Famous’ in English with Russian subtitles at 6:30 p.m. Cameron Crowe's Academy Award-winning comedy from 2000 stars Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit, and tells the story of a budding music journalist at Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s. Admission is free.



Meet renowned Russian poet, journalist and writer Dmitry Bykov, famous for his biographies of Boris Pasternak, Bulat Okudzhava and Maxim Gorky, and winner of 2006 National Bestseller Award. Bykov will read old and new poems as well as answer questions about his works at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Main Hall, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at 1,000 rubles and are available at city ticket offices and the from the Philharmonic website www.philharmonia.spb.ru.



A retrospective of the films of Roman Polanski starts today at Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt, with a screening of ‘Repulsion’ at 7 p.m. and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ at 9:15 p.m. The series runs through Feb. 4 and will include Polanski's eminently creepy ‘The Tenant,’ the cult comedy ‘The Fearless Vampire Killers’ and ‘Cul-de-sac’ among others. Tickets are 150-200 rubles and the complete schedule is available at www.vk.com/artpokaz/



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