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Osmaev – An all Chechen affair? A tale of passports

June 2, 2017

Following on from yesterday’s entry relating to the assassination attempt upon Adam Osmaev and concluded thus:

“Regardless of the initial bizarre circumstances prima facie – the circumstances when clarified are likely to be far less bizarre.

Naturally initial speculation will almost instantly point to Russia (where you may be forgiven many nefarious things, but never for what is perceived treasonous).  Whether it be the SVR/GRU/FSB secret services (take your pick) or a diktat from within certain region within the Russian Federation (Chechnya), that is where initial accusations (perhaps rightly) will be directed.

Time will tell.  Confirmation of the identity of the supposed French journalist  has yet to be made (publicly anyway) at the time of writing.  Is he indeed French or even a journalist?

Intrigue abounds!”

Perhaps it is only fair to keep a reader informed before returning to the dull arena of Ukrainian policy (and politics by association).

In a nutshell, Mr Osmaev is a Chechen.  His father was not particularly in the favour of the current Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.  Mr Osmaev left Chechnya.  In January 2012 he was arrested in Odessa for plotting to kill President Putin – whether that be a true intention or not is not critical to this entry.  Whatever the case, Mr Osmaev blew up the apartment he was staying in in Odessa, killing a fellow Russian citizen and seriously injuring one from Kazakhstan.  He was investigated for terrorism in Odessa and thus extradition to Russia for conspiracy to murder President Putin was left in abeyance.

Events in Kyiv, the illegal annexation of Crimea and the war in the Donbas occurred in 2014.

In October 2014, Mr Osmaev pleaded guilty to mishandling explosives, the charges of terrorism were not proven and his extradition to Russia rebuffed.  Within a week of release in mid-November he was fighting on the Ukrainian side in the Donbas, eventually ending up in Kyiv-2 Battalion.  A proven and well respected Commander by all accounts.

That less than nuanced summary brings a reader to the attempt on his life in Kyiv yesterday – and the reciprocal shooting of the would-be assassin by Mr Osmaev’s wife and comrade in arms, Amina Okuevu.

Found in the possession of the would-be assassin (now in hospital in Kyiv having been shot by Ms Okuevu) were Ukrainian identity documents in the name of Alexander Dakar, born in Odessa.

Clearly there is a backstory to these documents.  Are they genuine?  Who is Alexander Dakar?

It appears, fairly convincingly at the time of writing, that Alexander Dakar is in fact fellow Chechen Arthur Denisultanov, known by his criminal nickname of Dingo.  Dingo has changed his name several times – for example from Denisultanov to Kurmakaev (the surname of his wife in the late 1990’s).

He had/has a reputation for brutality (including murder) and extortion among other equally unpleasant endevours.

Having set up criminal shop in Moscow and then Saint Petersburg in the 90’s/00’s, after a few years he disappeared into the Chechen diaspora in Austria.

It is there it is rumoured that he entered the service of “Kommandotruppe Österreich” – a group of Chechens allegedly run from/by the Russian Embassy in Vienna to robustly deal with particularly unwanted or irksome Chechens that may have fled Chechnya to the large Austrian diaspora.  The inference of this organisation is clearly that to annoy Ramzan Kadyrov or The Kremlin and to expect safe haven in Austria was to be mistaken.

Naturally such is the smoke and mirrors it is difficult to prove the existence of “Kommandotruppe Österreich” or its alleged command and control within the Russian Embassy in Vienna – albeit Dingo and this organisation are implicated in the murder of Oumur Israilov.

Returning to the many identities of Dingo Denisultanov and an apparently current Ukrainian incarnation, it appears Alexander Dakar came to life in Vinnitsa – the issuing authority for the passports seized at the scene of the attempted assassination of Mr Osmaev on 1st June.

However it also appears that Alexander Dakar was previously Alexander Antipov, a murder victim from 2001 in Odessa.

That murder (perhaps unsurprisingly for that time) was never solved and the late Mr Antipov’s identification documents were never found.

How well the documents of the murdered Mr Antipov circulated within the underworld of Odessa is a matter for speculation, but they appear to have found their way into the possession of Dingo Denisultanov (under whatever name he was using at the time).

Mr Dakar was thus created from the identification documents of a murder victim over a decade ago by way of legal – or perhaps “legal” name change.  Antipov to Dakar.  (As odious as it may seem, assuming the identity of the dead is not uncommon in several lines of work.)

Whether that name change was done via the tedious official process, simple bribery, an expedited process via a black or grey notary/advocate, or was arranged via “external help” is less clear at the time of writing.

Whatever the case, Mr Denisultanov, who became Kurmakaev, (and perhaps many others), became the murdered Mr Antipov and then legally – or “legally” – changed his name and became Alexander Dakar eventually being furnished with Ukrainian ID in that name in 2016 by issuing authorities in Vinnitsa.

The photographs upon the seized passport of “Alexander Dakar” at the scene of the attempted assassination appear to be very similar to the publicly available/internet searchable photographs of Dingo Denisultanov.

For all of that intrigue, as interesting as it may be, a reader is left with a similar question to that of yesterday’s entry when it comes to who is behind the would-be assassin – “Whether it be the SVR/GRU/FSB secret services (take your pick) or a diktat from within certain region within the Russian Federation (Chechnya)”.

Of course the choice is not mutually exclusive, but if you had to make an educated guess – an all Chechen affair would be the guess of the blog.

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