Russian security forces claim to have killed two key Chechen rebel leaders, along with nine other rebels, BBC reported on Friday. The two commanders, brothers Khusein and Muslim Gakayev, were considered the regions “most wanted men”, were reportedly killed during a clash with the security forces. The killings follow a “counter-terrorist operation” that has been on in the South of Chechnya since Wednesday, UPI cited Moscow backed Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, who is largely considered by Chechen nationalists as a quisling.
The death of the Chechen rebel leaders is considered a significant military victory by Russian counterinsurgency forces.
The First Chechen War that lasted from December 1994 to August 1996, that involved the loss of anywhere between 50000 to 100000 Chechen lives, resulted in the creation of a de facto independent Chechnya.
The Second Chechen War, that was started by Russia in 1999 under the pretext of responding to the invasion of Dagestan by Islamists, resulted in the restoration of Russian federal control over Chechnya, involving the deaths of about 30000-50000 Chechen civilians. Russia declared the counterinsurgency operations to have ended in 2009.
After the killing of several Chechen nationalist political leaders, Russia appointed its paramilitary strongman Ramzan Kadyrov as a President of Chechnya, giving the province little autonomy.
However, low intensity insurgency has been ongoing in Chechnya ever since 2009.
Likewise, the Russia backed Chechen leader Kadyrov has been accused of severe misuse of power, extrajudicial killings, torture and abductions.
Sri Lankan diplomat Dayan Jayatilleka has in the recent past called on Sri Lanka to apply Russia’s Kadyrov model to the occupied homeland of the Eezham Tamils.