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Khuseyn Gakayev

Хусейн Вахаевич Гакаев

Commander of Eastern Sector, Nokhchicho Province (Chechnya)
Personal details
Born (1970-07-08)8 July 1970[1]
Kalinovskaya, Naur district, Chechen–Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, USSR[1]
Died 24 January 2013(2013-01-24) (aged 42)[2]
Vedeno, Chechnya
Religion Sunni Islam
Military service
Allegiance Caucasus Emirate
Battles/wars First Chechen War
Second Chechen War
North Caucasus Insurgency

Khuseyn Vakhaevich Gakayev (Russian: Хусейн Вахаевич Гакаев), also known as Emir Mansur[3] (not to be confused with Amir Mansur, or Arbi Yovmurzaev, the Chechen nationalist commander killed in 2010)[4] and Emir Hussein,[5] was a mujahid Emir (commander) fighting in Chechnya. He was one of the most senior field commanders still operating in the North Caucasus prior to his death on 24 January 2013.[2]

In July 2011, Caucasus Emirate leader Dokka Umarov named Gakayev his naib (deputy) in the eastern sector of Chechnya,[6] thus resolving the nearly year-long dispute that saw a number of nationalist field commanders break away from Umarov, with Gakayev serving as Emir of Nokhchicho (Chechnya).

Gakayev was killed by Russian security forces along with his brother Muslim and nine other militants after they were surrounded in the mountains of Vedeno, Chechnya on 24 January 2013.[2] The rebel website Kavkaz Center confirmed their deaths in a statement released on 25 January.[7]


Gakayev was born on 8 July 1970 in the village of Kalinovskaya, which is located in the Naur district of Chechnya bordering Mozdok, North Ossetia.[1] He participated in the First Chechen War from 1994-96 - including the early struggle against the pro-Moscow Chechen opposition[5]- fighting in units commanded by the legendary Shamil Basayev.[1] Following the Khasavyurt Accord that ended the first conflict, Gakayev served as deputy commander of the Jundullah Islamic Brigade within the structure of the Eastern Front of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria's (ChRi) armed forces, and he was also named Emir of the local Elistanzhi Jamaat of the Vedeno sector. It was in the fall of 1999 that Gakayev launched a military campaign which continues to this day in the same capacity.[1]

On 20 August 2003, Gakayev killed Shaiman Madagov, imam of the Vedeno district, for "cooperating with the Russian state."[1] Gakayev was also reportedly a part of the 2004 Nazran raid commanded by Basayev, an assault which killed over sixty people and resulted in the capture of virtually the entire weapons cache of Ingushetia's police force. The operation is considered a milestone in Gakayev's career and helped propel him from the ranks of everyday militants into the upper tier of rebel leadership.[1] It was at this point that Russian sources began to associate him with many similar operations in the region.

From spring 2006 until May 2007 Gakayev was commander of the Shali sector of the Eastern Mountain Front (renamed the Southeastern Front in September 2006). He was appointed to the position by then-president of the ChRi Abdul-Halim Sadulayev at the request of Basayev, who was then Military Emir of the caucasian mujahideen. Gakayev also simultaneously served as minister of internal affairs of ChRi from March to October 2007.[1]

From May 2007 to June 2010, Gakayev was deputy commander of the Southeastern Front and in October 2007 he was named to the same position on the Eastern Front of the newly formed Caucasus Emirate. Gakayev was in charge of the Shali Mountain, Shali Plains, Argun and Ataginsky sectors, and from June 2010 to September 2010 he was the wali (head) of Nokhchicho, Wilaya (province).[1]

The Vedeno and Shalinsky mountain and foothill areas of the republic, specifically Elistanzhi, Agishty, Eshilhatoy and Agishbatoy are the area of operations for his guerrilla unit.


Gakayev was one of six brothers, two of which, the older Jamalay and Said-Usman, were killed in fighting during the First Chechen War.[1] His two other brothers died in combat in the Second Chechen War: Hasan in 2001 and Rizvan in 2003, both in the area of Vedeno.[5] Khuseyn's sole surviving brother, Muslim Gakayev (also known as "Amir Muslim" or "Dunga") served as commander of the Shali sector of the Eastern Front, and in 2009 commanded a unit of suicide bombers, until his death alongside Khuseyn.[8] In the course of the second war, his sister was abducted and remains missing since 2006,[5][9] along with thousands of other Chechens who "disappeared" since 1999.[10]


From 7 March to 7 October 2007, Gakayev served as the Minister of Internal Affairs in the last cabinet of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria under the chairmanship of Dokka Umarov. He later occupied the same post in Umarov's Interior Ministry of the Province of Nokhchicho (Chechnya) of the Caucasus Emirate.[5]

Until the breakup of the Chechen rebel leadership under Umarov in August 2010, Gekayev held the post of Deputy Commander of the Eastern Front of the Armed Forces of the Caucasus Emirate.[3] On July 25, 2010, he has been briefly appointed by Umarov as Wali (governor) of the so-called Vilayat Nokhchicho [Chechen Province of the Caucasus Emirate] (in practice, the post of commander of the Chechen rebel forces.).[11] After the rift in leadership, he was the first deputy to the new Emirate leader Aslambek Vadalov.

Emir of Chechnya

Following Umarov's renunciation of his resignation, Gakayev, Vadalov and Tarkhan Gaziev (Tarkhan), as well as the Arab commander Muhannad, renounced their oath of loyalty to Umarov, criticising his authoritarian leadership and his unilateral decision to abandon the cause of Chechen independence in favour of a Caucasian pan-Islamism (Umarov later also said they criticised him for claiming responsibility for the 2010 Moscow Metro bombings). They then removed themselves and their forces from Umarov's command. In a video, they also announced Gekayev has been elected the Emir of Chechnya.[8][12][13] Two months later, the mutiny leaders also jointly appealed for the support of all Chechens, including those abroad, who support their vision of a free Chechnya under Islamic Sharia law.[14] At the same time, however, Gakayev stressed that the Chechen fighters are not abandoning the idea of the joint North Caucasus emirate, in the name of which they would continue to fight, and assured the "brothers", (fellow Muslims), in Dagestan, Ingushetia, North Ossetia, and Kabardino-Balkaria that they will remain ready to render them assistance.[11]

In October 2010, the Chechen government of Ramzan Kadyrov accused Gakayev of organising the August attack on Kadyrov's fortified home village of Tsentoroy while supposedly acting under orders from the exiled Chechen nationalist leader Akhmed Zakayev.[15] A few days later, a Chechen Interior Ministry official again accused him of organising the Chechen Parliament attack as "a way to loudly proclaim that he is the new leader, and send a message to his foreign sponsors,"[16] an opinion which was shared by some independent observers such as Pavel Baev or Yulia Latynina.[17] Zakayev, for his part, had formally acknowledged Gakayev as Chechnya's legitimate wartime leader, however he disclaimed any connection with the parliament attack, or any knowledge of who was behind it.[18]


According to a press release from the Chechen Interior Ministry, on or around 17 January 2013 a well-camouflaged guerrilla base was discovered in a gorge in the Shatoi district.[19] Over the next six days a search operation was carried out in the area; on 23 January a group of gunmen opened fire on police near Elistanzhi - Gakayev's native village - killing two and injuring six.[20] Fighting continued the following day with insurgents in the heavily forested mountains of the Vedensky district. According to Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov, a prolonged conversation took place with the militants via radio.[19] Given the chance to surrender, Gakayev refused while offering to release the younger militants among his group who had yet to commit serious crimes.[19] Kadyrov claimed that the insurgents then began firing on Russian forces, at which point it was decided to destroy the group.[19]

Killed alongside Khuseyn and Muslim Gakayev were Isa Vagapov, Akhmed Labazanov, Umar Dadayev, Sidik Abazov, Ruslan Suleymanov, Aburayk Yusupkhadzhiyev, Ibrahim Saydhasanov, Vakha-Murad Bakayev, and Abuezid Dzhabrailov. One militant, Islam Temishev, surrendered.[19]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 "A Portrait of Chechen Rebel Commander Hussein Gakaev". January 2011. Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Опаснее Умарова: ричастных к взрыву в Грозном боевиков братьев Гакаевых уничтожили в Чечне". 24 January 2013 г.. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Emir Mansur (Hussein Gakayev): Our lives are in the hands of Allah!, Kavkaz Center, 19 July 2010
  4. Factional Divisions within the Chechen Separatist Movement, The Jamestown Foundation, 22 October 2010 (Georgian Daily)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Emir Hussein: All Mujahideen accepted Emir Dokku's decision on the Caucasus Emirate with great happiness, Kavkaz Center, 1 September 2008
  6. "Emir Dokku Abu Usman appoints Emir Khamzat and Emir Hussein as deputies of Province of Chechnya". Kavkaz Center. 23 July 2011. Retrieved 24 July 2011. 
  7. "Подтверждена Шахада братьев Гакаевых". 25 января 2013 г.. Retrieved 25 января 2013 г.. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Grozny Attack Underscores Chechen Insurgents' Military Capabilities, RFE/RL, 25 October 2010
  9. Reciprocal terror of the security services and guerilla militants in Chechnya: burning of houses, Memorial, Winter 2008–2009
  10. Chechnya: 'Disappearances' a Crime Against Humanity, Human Rights Watch, 20 March 2005
  11. 11.0 11.1 Chechen Commanders Rebel Against Umarov, RFE/RL, 13 August 2010
  12. Chechen Rebel Field Commanders Renounced Loyalty Oath to Doku Umarov, Jamestown Foundation, 8 October 2010 (UNHCR)
  13. Jihadists in Crisis, The Atlantic, 24 November 2010
  14. Chechen Insurgency Commanders Appeal To Compatriots, RFE/RL, 8 October 2010
  15. Puppet ringleader Kadyrov claims Gakayev acts under orders from Zakayev, Kavkaz Center, 13 October 2010
  16. Separatist strike kills six in Chechen parliament, The Independent, 20 October 2010
  17. Chechen warlord may be behind parliament attack, Associated Press, Oct 20, 2010
  18. Death Toll In Grozny Parliament Attack May Have Been Far Higher, RFE/RL, 29 October 2010
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 "Глава ЧР в четверг вечером прибыл в зону проведения спецоперации". 24 января 2013 г.. Retrieved 25 января 2013 г.. 
  20. ""Имарат Кавказ" лишился министра". 24 января 2013 г.. Retrieved 25 января 2013 г.. 

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