08 May 2008, 12:56

Investigation checks possible involvement of "Vostok" battalion in murdering Arsamakov brothers

The conflict around the "Vostok" (East) special-purpose battalion, which is commanded by the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Russian General Staff (the so-called "GRU"), continues to escalate. The investigation now possesses new information about possible involvement of special fighters in one more crime.

A source in law enforcement bodies of the republic has informed the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent that the inspectors dealing with the "Vostok" battalion case have data at their disposal about possible involvement of special fighters in kidnapping and subsequent brutal murder in Chechnya of two brothers of the well-known Moscow banker Abubakar Arsamakov and their driver, who disappeared early last February.

From the start of this week, it is already the third crime incriminated by the investigation to the militaries of the "Vostok" battalion. Yesterday, on May 7, information appeared that in the outskirts of Gudermes remains were detected belonging to Vakharsolt Zakaev, former servicemen of the special platoon of the military commandant (on the basis of which the "Vostok" battalion was later formed), who had been killed by his colleagues on suspicion in taking part in assassination of former platoon commander Jabrail Yamadaev (brother of Sulim Yamadaev, the present commander of the special battalion). (For reference: Jabrail Yamadaev was blown up in a private house in Dyshni-Vedeno village in 2003. Shamil Basaev was thought to be the customer of this murder). Zakaev had disappeared about six months after that incident. Now, it becomes clear that he was killed by his comrades-in-arms on suspicion of treason.

Besides, one day earlier, on May 6, near the city of Gudermes, a mass burial was found, where operative inspectors detected several skeletized human remains. It is asserted that all the casualties, including a young woman, had fallen victims of extrajudicial executions committed by servicemen of the "Vostok" battalion.

Author: Muslim Ibragimov, CK correspondent;

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