* Shamil  Basayev was born in 1965 in Chechnya. He is a direct descendant of Imam Shamil, one of the legendary heroes of the war against the RUSSIANS in early 19th century.

The teenager Shamil  Basayev was an avid football player, graduated from school in Dyshne-Vedeno, Chechnya.  In 1982 he was recruited for two years to the RUSSIAN Soviet army. From 1984 up to 1988 Shamil  Basayev worked at the Aksaiisky state farm in the Volgograd (Stalingrad) region of southern Russia before moving to Moscow.

In the late 80s’ and the early 90s’ Shamil  Basayev lived in Moscow and even tried to enlist to the RUSSIAN police to be a detective but was denied. As a young man living in Moscow, he joined Boris Yeltsin at the barricades to resist the coup when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

Already in 1991 Shamil  Basayev, armed with pistols and grenades, hijacked a Turkish airliner to Grozny, Chechnya’s capital, and then released all 171 passengers and crew. The purpose of the hijacking was to draw attention to the Chechen demand for independence. 

In 1992 Shamil  Basayev became the Chechen commander of the forces who fought with the RUSSIAN-backed ethnic Abhkaz guerrillas seeking separation from the republic of Georgia. Some of his acquaintances claimed that Shamil  Basayev was trained and sent to Abkhazia by the RUSSIAN intelligence.    

In 04/1994 Shamil  Basayev led a group of about 30 people to the province of Khost, Afghanistan, but their deeds in Afghanistan are not clear. He returned to Chechnya in 07/1994. In 12/1994, when the first war aginst the RUSSIANS breached out, Shamil  Basayev became a war hero who organized the defense of the Capital Grozny and caused heavy casulties to the RUSSIAN army.


In 05/1995, the RUSSIANS destroyed his family’s homes. The attacks reportedly killed 11 of his relatives, including his wife, two daughters and a brother. A month later, in 06/1995 Shamil  Basayev executed his first long range raid, with mass hostage taking, when he hid fighters in trucks that ostensibly carried the bodies of slain RUSSIAN soldiers and, with a fake police escort, drove to the adjacent republic of Dagestan and seized a hospital in Budyonnovsk and as many as 1,500 hostages. Russia conducted two failed assaults against him in which more than 100 hostages died. The same tactic became the fingerprint of Shamil  Basayev and was duplicated again in Beslan Horror on 09/01/2004.

Eventually Shamil  Basayev exchanged hostages for passage back to Chechnya, where in 1996 he commanded the assault that ousted the RUSSIAN Army from Grozny and led, for a short while, to de facto Chechen autonomy.

In 01/1997, Shamil  Basayev lost a bid for the Chechen presidency, capturing just 23.5 percent of the votes. The new government appointed him prime minister – a job for which his skills were of little use. Chechnya became a gangster state, exploited by Islamic militants.

When the second war with Russia began in 1999 Shamil  Basayev became a free lancer warlord and one of the most frightening enemies of Russia (see – DAGESTAN WAR). Russia has put a $10.3 million bounty on Shamil  Basayev.  Shamil  Basayev used, again, his famous long range tactic when his men committed the Moscow Theater mass hostage attack on 10/23/2002.

Shamil  Basayev was killed by a special RUSSIAN commando on 07/09/2006 night by a remote controlled bomb in his hiding place in Ingushetia.

Summary ;

Shamil  Basayev was not a Jihady Islamist warrior, Mujahid, or a Chechen hero liberator.   Shamil  Basayev was most of all a warlord who switched sides and many of his enemies were other Chechen warlords. Motivated by hate and feeling of revenge, after his family killing in 05/1995, the war against the RUSSIANS was a personal one.


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