Unconfirmed reports say the leader of the Chechen armed resistance, the so-called Emir of the Caucasian Emirate, Dokka (Doku) Umarov, has been killed or seriously wounded in a firefight along the Chechen-Ingush border.
Chechnya’s strongman Ramzan Kadyrov did not confirm a report, according to which Umarov would have been killed or injured in a battle with a unit led by Kadyrov’s right-hand man, Adam Delimkhanov.
There is further speculation that Moscow would be withholding information about the case so as to be able to confirm the news on Russia’s Independence Day, on 12 June 2009.
Kavkaz Center, which represents the views of the Chechen resistance, denies the report. The site reported that Umarov was safe and sound, and that he “continues to lead the Mujahideen forces.”
However, an announcement on the establishment of a new representative organ, the Majlisul Shura, which will have the powers to elect a new Emir in case of the latter’s death, is seen as tacit confirmation of Umarov’s death.