National Diasporas Assess Yuri Budanov's Murder In Their Own Way

National Diasporas Assess Yuri Budanov's Murder In Their Own WayWhile ex-colonel of the Russian army, Yuri Budanov, convicted in 2003 for killing 18-year-old Elza Kungaeva, was honored by posthumous military honors, his death was vigorously discussed by two communities. Some Russian nationalists consider Budanov to be a hero and martyr. The North Caucasian public believes that he was killed for revenge or for the purpose of further inciting the Caucasian-Russian enmity. Observer "MN" Ivan Sukhov analyzes the Caucasian reaction to the loud murder.

The message about the death of Budanov, the flowers that the nationalists immediately carried to the scene of the murder, and the funeral honors could not help but recall the December events at Manezhnaya (read the reportage from the funeral on page 02). And about the oddities with the parole of Budanov in 2009.

In January, 2009 had to serve one and a half years out of nine of the colony to which he was sentenced for the murder of Kungaeva. At this point, the Budanov process, one of the few designed to show that the state even in war does not forgive lawlessness to its soldiers and officers, has lost resonance and would probably have been forgotten if Budanov had left the colony in time. But he came out ahead of schedule and immediately became a hero for some and an unjustly justified criminal for others. The resonance was repeatedly reinforced by the murder of the lawyer of the victims in the process of Budanov Stanislav Markelov and the journalist Anastasia Baburova 19 in January 2009, a few days after the release of Budanov. Budanov himself from that moment looked like a gun in theatrical scenery, which must necessarily shoot: his death would have logically completed this tragic and provocative staging. In an interview, he himself said once that he was sentenced.

One of the critics of mitigating Budanov’s fate was the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov. Back in 2004, he said that if the ex-colonel was pardoned, "we will find a way to give him what he deserves." After the death of the colonel, the head of Chechnya does not comment on what happened. But State Duma deputy Adam Delimkhanov, the closest aide to the head of Chechnya in all that concerns military operations, said: "I think this is retribution."

As if there is no official North Caucasian reaction: the Caucasus is not eager to engage in a discussion fraught with scandal. The head of the Moscow branch of the Russian Congress of the Peoples of the Caucasus (RKNK), Ahmet Azimov, told MN that he would like to refrain from commenting. But RKNK chairman Aslambek Paskachev told reporters that Kadyrov “would never have initiated such a thing” and that the murder is “pure provocation.” In his opinion, the murder is not related to revenge, but it may be a continuation of the December events on Manezhnaya Square and is aimed at destabilization before the parliamentary and presidential elections.

“I don’t think it is connected with something other than Budanov’s“ service ”in the Caucasus,” wrote Ingush expert, former assistant to the head of Ingushetia, Kaloy Akhilgov on twitter. In a conversation with MN, he explained that he was not inclined to consider a surge of nationalism as the real goal of those who shot Budanov: “If they considered this, it was a side effect. The main thing was retribution. The family of Elsa Kungayeva denies that she had anything to do with revenge, but besides the family there was a rather wide range of people who could, in accordance with the customs of blood revenge, feel their duty to retaliate - even more so after he was released early. Approximately the same happened after the murder of Magomed Yevloyev (an Ingush oppositionist, shot dead in the 31 police car in August 2008 of the year. - “MN”): the court actually released the gunman, after which he was also shot in the head ”.

“Whoever shoots Budanov, he restored justice,” said Dagestan journalist Zaur Gaziev. - According to the court’s verdict, Budanov did not answer for either the murder or the rape. Where the state refuses to assume the function of justice, it is done by someone else. ” Gaziev believes that for the same reason, more and more Caucasian youngsters are leaving for the militants.

Ruslan Kurbanov, a senior researcher at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, considers both versions as retribution and provocation to be plausible. Kurbanova is worried about the increase in the level of violence in the country before the elections, and he also sees the main misfortune that when the state withdraws from its functions, including the monopoly on violence, various extremist groups take over these functions. “In the same line are the recent murders of the dean of the linguistics department of the Ossetian University Shamil Dzhigkayev and the rector of the Dagestan theological university Maksud Sadikov,” Kurbanov said.

“In the criminal case of Budanov, an episode of rape of Elza Kungayeva was proved, but it was not considered in court - that was the tactic of protecting victims,” Alexander Cherkasov, an expert on the North Caucasus and a member of the board of the Memorial Human Rights Center, told MN. - Budanov was not punished for rape. The number of people who could have claims against Budanov is great, and in addition to the Kungaevs: his servicemen showed that women were brought to the commander regularly. In 2000, seven people disappeared in the Budanov area of ​​responsibility, four of them were detained on the personal instructions of Budanov. Three of the four in a few days were found dead, with signs of torture. As soon as Budanov was released, he was immediately charged in connection with this episode. But the episode was merged into one case with two other cases in which Budanov had an alibi. ”

Judgment from Cherkasov’s point of view cannot be justified by anything, but it becomes inevitable if justice does not ensure justice. “The mechanics of nationalist speeches are always the same,” the expert notes. - A crime is committed, and the authorities release the criminal or facilitate the punishment as much as possible, because he has ways to influence the authorities. In response, unrest begins, which would not exist if justice were possible. ”
Ivan Sukhov
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