Her car was ambushed at a rail crossing near the settlement of Hlevakha in Kyiv Oblast, gunfire was opened from roadside shrubs. Amina Okuyeva died of wounds on the spot. Her husband Adam Osmayev was wounded, however, his condition is non-life-threatening. “Osmayev has sustained injuries, but he will live. I have just talked to him on the phone,” an adviser to Ukrainian Minister of Interior, MP Anton Herashchenko wrote on Facebook at 20:41 on 30 October.
A friend of Amina Okuyeva, Dmytro Bulatov has confirmed the report on her death in his comment to Ukrainian online newspaper Censor.net. Another media outlet, Liga.net says that the Security Service of Ukraine has commented that the police approves the information.
As Adam Osmayev told to LB.ua, as their car reached a rail crossing, he was at the wheel and saw the car’s dashboard starting to smash. Amina Okuyeva was wounded in the head and Osmayev was injured. He managed to leave the ambush site and tried giving first aid to his wife, but she was already dead. In the comment to LB.ua, Osmayev said he is convinced the attackers meant to kill both of them, and accused Russia of orchestrating the attack.
Police investigators are probing the murder. Police advisor Zoryan Shkiryak reported that head of the National Police Serhiy Knyazev is headed to the crime scene.
Amina Okuyeva was born in the South-Ukrainian city of Odesa on 5 June 1983, had lived in Moscow and Grozny, the home of her parents, and had returned to her hometown in 2003 because of the war in Chechnya. There she studied medicine and worked as a doctor in the surgery department of an Odesa hospital, where she met her future husband Adam Osmayev. In 2007, the Russian authorities accused him, a native of Chechnya who still lived in Russia, of plotting to kill the head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov. The case collapsed for lack of evidence and he moved to Ukraine. In 2012 at the request the Russian authorities, he was charged with plotting to kill Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. However, the European Court of Human Rights recommended Ukraine not extradite Osmayev to Russia, after which Kyiv decided to suspend the extradition process. In 2014, the post-Maidan Ukrainian authorities dropped the attempted assassination charges.
As war erupted in the Ukrainian eastern region of the Donbas in 2014, Amina Okuyeva joined the Kyiv-2 volunteer battalion. She was officially listed there as a paramedic, but Okuyeva took part in numerous battles in Debaltseve and Tchornukhivo. In the course of legalizing volunteer battalions by integrating them into the army and police, Okuyeva became a member of the 3rd company of the special police regiment “Kyiv” and thus a lieutenant of the police.
Later she worked as a spokesperson for the Chechen Dzhokhar Dudayev Battalion comprised mostly of Chechens who had fled Kadyrov’s regime to the West. In 2015, Adam Osmayev became a commander of the battalion after the death of brigadier general Isa Munayev amid the Debaltseve battle.
According to The BavaroUkrainian, Okuyeva planned to combine her experience in combat and medical training in the army and to participate in future international peace missions. Because of her combat missions, she was regarded as a figurehead of the aspired equality of men and women in the army and repeatedly campaigned for the abolition of various prohibitions for women in uniform. She was also a confessing Muslim woman who didn’t renounce her hijab even in battle, a blatant contrast to widespread stereotypes and prejudices. As a member of the Muslim community in Ukraine, she saw it as her duty to serve her homeland and joined forces with Muslim and Jewish comrades to fight against the Russian propaganda of a fascist Ukraine.
According to journalists of the Crimean Tatar TV channel ATR, Okuyeva’s latest project was a cycle of shows about the heroes of the Caucasus, referring to the republics of Chechnya, Ingushetiya, and Dagestan, a region the conflict between which and the Russian government is considered to be the longest active war in the world. The most recent conflict in the region took place in the 1990s, as the Soviet Union disintegrated, and after two Chechen wars ended with the Russian security forces establishing control over Chechnya. Okuyeva’s first show was dedicated to Dzhokhar Dudayev, the first President of the breakaway Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, who was killed in 1996 by missiles after his location was determined by a Russian reconaissance aircraft.
— SpecGhost (@SpecGhost) June 7, 2015
This is the second assassination attempt on the Chechen pair. Earlier this year, on June 1, Russian assassin Artur Denisultanov, who had posed as a journalist from the French newspaper Le Monde, attempted to kill Adam Osmayev and his wife Amina Okuyeva in central Kyiv. Back then, Osmayev was shot and wounded in the chest, but Okuyeva returned fire at the assailant. Both men were seriously wounded but survived.
The assassination attempts on Okuyeva and Osmayev are part of a string of killings thought to be carried out by the Chechen ruler Kadyrov.
On 8 September, pro-Chechen fighter Ali Tamayev, known as Timur Makhauri, died in a car blast in Kyiv. He participated in fighting against the Russian troops in Dagestan from 1999 to 2000. In 2008, Makhauri, a Georgian citizen back then, took part in the Russo-Georgian war on the side of Georgia. In recent years, Makhauri participated in the Donbas war on Ukrainian side alongside other Chechens who supported Ukraine.
From 2004 until the summer of 2017, Russian special services in foreign countries assassinated at least 13 ethnic Chechens who fought for the independence of Chechnya. Only one of 12 attacks failed before the June 1 botched attempt on lives of Osmayev and Okuyeva.
- Chechnya, a mainly Muslim republic in the North Caucasus, endured two bloody wars for independence, first in 1994-1996, then in 1997-2007. Hundreds of thousands of civilians were killed, injured and displaced in Chechnya and its neighboring regions. Thousands of fighters perished.
- All presidents of the “Chechen Republic of Ichkeria” were killed by the Russian special services.
- As Chechen rebel defector Ramzan Kadyrov became a pro-Russian Chechen leader, he formed a private militia called the “Kadyrovtsy”. Human rights groups accuse them of torture, kidnappings and assassinations in Chechnya.
- In 2008 Russia activated terror against Chechens abroad. The Austrian police arrested Artur Denisultanov, who tried persuade Chechen dissidents to return to Chechnya. In his testimony, Mr. Denisultanov stated that in Kadyrov’s residence he saw a list containing about 5000 names of Chechens who opposed Kadyrov, with 300 of those on the list marked “have to die.”
/written with contributions by Alya Shandra
- Pro-Chechen fighter killed in car blast in Kyiv
- Russia assassinated at least 13 Chechens abroad before victim returned fire in Kyiv
- Man accused of Putin murder plot gunned down in Kyiv, attacker might be linked to Kadyrov
- World’s largest flag of Chechen Republic of Ichkeria unraveled in central Kyiv
- Moscow continues to cover up mass murder by Chechen authorities
- Russia’s “Chechen” show trial of Ukrainians, explained
- Chechens fight on both sides in Ukraine
- ‘The Chechen War isn’t over’
- Kadyrov opens first concentration camp for gays since Hitler’s times