Russian Woman Reported Executed by ISIS as Spy; Trucker Activist Searched; Navalny Fears New Prosecution

May 11, 2016
Elvira Karayeva, a Russian citizen reported to have been executed by ISIS for spying on behalf of Russia. Photo via LifeNews

LIVE UPDATES: LifeNews reports that a Russian woman has been executed by ISIS on charges of spying for Russia.

Welcome to our column, Russia Update, where we will be closely following day-to-day developments in Russia, including the Russian government’s foreign and domestic policies.

The previous issue is here.

Recent Analysis and Translations:

Does it Matter if the Russian Opposition Stays United?
Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov Has Invented A Version Of History To Meet His Needs
Getting The News From Chechnya – The Crackdown On Free Press You May Have Missed
Aurangzeb, Putin, Realism and a Lesson from History


Ilya Azar, Meduza Correspondent, Detained for 4 Hours in Grozny

Ilya Azar, a correspondent for the independent news site based in Riga, was detained in Grozny, Caucasian Knot reported, citing Meduza’s site.
Azar went to a Chechen village to cover the torching of the homes of terrorists who attacked a checkpoint in Grozny on May 9th.
Anton Naumlyuk, a reporter from Radio Svoboda, the Russian-language service of RFE/RL, said he had spoken to Azar on the telephone, and he had told him that the silovoki (law-enforcers) had come to the village, although did not specify what kind of police they were. He said they wanted to establish his identity. He was detained at about 13:30 or 14:00.
At about 17:15, Azar called and said he had been released, and that he had been questioned as to whether he was a “terrorist” or a “sympathizer” and whether he was in ISIS.
— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick
Magomedov, Press Secretary for Salafist Mosque in Makhachkala, Detained or Abducted
Mukhammad Magomedov, the press secretary fo the Salafist Tangim Mosque on Gen. Omarova Street (formerly known as Vengerskhikh Boitsov Street) in Makhachkala, capital of Dagestan, has been detained by law-enforcement, reported, citing Caucasian Knot.

Translation: The press secretary of the Salafist mosque in Makhachkala has been either detained or kidnapped.

Kavpolit reported Magomedov as in custody of police and that riot police had taken part in his detention.

Neighbors said that police claimed to have found weapons in his car.

Reports indicate that he is under “mental and physical pressure” at the Interior Ministry’s Center for Prevention of Extremism.

They said Magomedov and Akhmed Chililov, founder of the newspaper Novoye Delo, filed a complaint April 10 to the prosecutor of Dagestan regarding unlawful police actions, saying that two policemen who were said to be intoxicated had barged into the building of a new mosque and ordered everyone present, mainly elderly people, to follow them, using swear words.

But the local newspaper Chernovik said Magomedov was abducted. He was stopped by traffic police as he was driving home, and when he got out of the car, unidentified men from a blue van and Niva car without license plates grabbed him, twisted his arms behind his back and put him in the van and took off. 
His relatives believed this indicated the methods of the CPE and the Sovietsy District police, and turned to them for information, but authorities said they had no detainees by that name.

The Tangim mosque was one of the first not to support ISIS and has been in the media frequently, most recently due to the police break-in to the service.

Ekaterina Sokirianskaia of the International Crisis Group commented on Facebook that, “Step by step, the moderate Salafist field is being cleansed in Dagestan.”

For a background report on police crackdown on the Salafists in Dagestan, see Daniil Turovsky’s report in March.

Set as default press image

The danger-zone mosques: Why the security police have declared war on Dagestani Salafism – Meduza

Over the past several months, law enforcement units in Dagestan have shut down Salafi mosques wherever worshipers profess ultraconservative Islam. Even the largest communities, found in Makhachkala, have been defenseless against the police, who believe the Salafi mosques are recruiting for the Islamic State.

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May 12, 2016 01:43 (GMT)

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick 

Russian Woman Reportedly Executed by ISIS for Spying
LifeNews reported today, May 11,  that ISIS militants have executed a Russian woman who had earlier joined them for spying on behalf of Russian intelligence, citing the UK Mirror
Elvira Karayeva was said to work for intelligence for four years after penetrating ISIS, and was said to transmit information about ISIS fighters, their safe houses, and military bases.
The Mirror and other Russian media in turn cites Istok, a glossy Russian-language journal for ISIS fighters launched last year by the Al Hayat Media Centre as part of an ISIS Russian-language propaganda campaign.

Karayeva was said to have accomplished her mission by marrying an ISIS member who went by the name of Abu Muslim whom she was said to poison.

She was also said to be be responsible for the deaths of the following ISIS members: Adam Shakhbiyev, Artur Amriyev, Beslan Gochiyayev, Temurlan Tatarkulov, Valentin Dlugoborsky and Marina Urusuva. ISIS operatives were said to track her down by audio tapes of her conversations with her handlers at the FSB. 

Russian officials have not made a comment on the story.

Last year, when a Russian citizen said to have served as a spy for Moscow was executed, Ramzan Kadyrov, currently acting leader of Chechnya, said he was set up by other ISIS fighters and confirmed he was killed. Earlier, social media indicated that he had sought a job in Kadyrov’s police forces. 

ISIS has taken responsibility for a number of terrorist attacks in Russia, including the December shooting in Derbent.
— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick
Russian Woman Reported Executed by ISIS as Spy; Trucker Activist Searched; Navalny Fears New Prosecution

The rate of exchange of the ruble to the dollar is 65.75 and to the euro 75.05. The price of Brent crude is $45.74.

The following headlines were taken from LifeNews, Chronicle of Current Events, Navalny, RBC, 7:40 na Perrone, Svoboda, Kommersant and Financial Times.

– Kommersant Reports Viktor Ivanov May Get Deputy Appointment But TV Rain Reports Andrei  Khrapov Made Deputy for Narcotics
– Igor Borbot, Former Head of Far East Shipping Center Charged with Theft of $60 Million, Reportedly Arrested in US
What We’re Reading

– Playing Smart with Russia’s Dangers to NATO

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick