Today we continue to work through this piece by Evgeny Krutikov, compiling our Murder Book as we go; and currently focusing on the Victimology biography. I note that the article has changed a little bit from yesterday, as Krutikov added more details to his second paragraph after the lede, namely: “In hot pursuit the [Berlin] police force detained a citizen of the Russian Federation, in whose flat was found a large sum of cash. At the same time their colleagues, in scuba-diving suits, were searching the River Spree looking for the weapon.”
As we learned yesterday, the [alleged and still unnamed] perp committed a low-tech bicycle drive-by, capping the vic with a bullet to the back of the head, and then presumably tossing his weapon into the River Spree, which is 400 km in length and forms a left-bank tributary of the River Havel which flows into the Elbe. Silly assassin, he should have used some exotic nerve agent that is produced only in Russia and guaranteed to kill with one drop. German coppers quickly got a bead on the sharpshooting cyclist, since Berlin streets have more surveillance cameras than pigeons to surveille. Kraut newspapers quickly exploded with headlines shrieking: “Russian kills Gruzian right in the center of Berlin!” Not one word of which, according to Krutikov is true, except for the word “Berlin”. As we follow his reasoning, we shall see what he means by that wisecrack.
Where we left off yesterday we saw that the vic, Zelimkhan Khangoshvili is not actually a Gruzian, except by citizenship — he is a member of the distinctive Kistintsy tribe who are more Ingush than Gruzian. Nor is the [alleged] perp a Russian, except, again, by citizenship. (Hint: he is also a Chechen.) Seems like German newspapers were eventually able to make that distinction.
According to Krutikov, the vic was a typical, almost stereotypical, product of his tribal values (the Kistintsy had a reputation as a criminal clan even in Soviet times), and of the 1990’s realities, in which the Kistintsy joined up with Al Qaeda to fight against the Russian government. Their goal being to carve out some juicy territory in the Caucasus to build their own shiny Emirate. (They particularly craved Dagestan, Ingushetia and Chechnya.) In Soviet times, in Tbilisi there was a street-slang term “Duiseli” referring to the criminal Mafia hailing from the village of Duisa (Zelimkhan’s home town) in the Pankisi Gorge. The Duiseli were considered the worst kind of criminals imaginable, capable of the most egregious violence and not even showing any loyalty to each other. Even the other criminals shunned them as pariahs. But in the 1990’s the outcast Duiseli found religion, international approval, and a purpose in life. It wasn’t exactly “come to Jesus”, more like “come to Mohammed”, Wahhabi-style.
Life in the Gorge is tough. There are no jobs, nor educational opportunities available. Instead of joining the 4-H Club, young boys join Al Qaeda. When the Chechen Wars began, the Kistintsy rushed to help their brothers the Vainakhi [an ethnic terms for combined Chechen-Ingush]. The Pankisi Al Qaeda franchise was commanded by the Brothers Makhauri, all of them Kistintsy. The Pankisi Gorge became completely transformed into a jihadist terrorist nest. After a hard day taking hostages and beheading people, the Chechen terrorists would head for Duisa to rest and recuperate, and also to train. They placed a checkpoint at the entrance to the Gorge, through which the Gruzian police dared not pass. Once in a while Gruzian Spetsnaz might try to raid them, but were always repulsed. The Gorge became a state within a state, with its own laws, ways of life and approach to the outside world. There is no doubt that the Gruzian police detested these outlaws; but also no doubt that the outlaws enjoyed “krysha” from higher up in the Gruzian security services. And even higher “krysha” from Westie spy agencies, who regarded these terrorists as useful cannon fodder against Russia.
During those years, the Russian citizenry were taking quite a hit from these terrorist attacks, many of them planned and launched from inside the Gorge. It was well known and understood that the Wahhabist terrorists had the complete support of the major Western governments, especially Great Britain and America; despite their pious charade of the “war against terror”.
In 2003 the Russian government debated internally, whether it should send its own troops and paratroopers and clean up the Gorge once and for all. Just a quick raid, kill all the terrorists, in and out. But then chickened out, probably fearing international reaction and condemnation, which always happens when Russia plants a foot outside her own borders. Although Americans are allowed to plant their boots wheresoever they please. Double standards at work!
Zelimkhan Grows Up
Zelimkhan was just a sprout and too young to participate in the First Chechen War, but he made it into #2. Where he grew up fast. In the Gorge he was considered an authority figure despite his relative youth and short beard. Despite his amazing military skills, his side lost the war, and Russia won. But Zelimkhan survived physically. At some point he moved to Tbilisi.
Fast forward to 2015. Zelimkhan is living in Tbilisi just minding his own business and driving around when, out of nowhere, somebody tries to whack him. An unknown man just strolled up to his car and let loose on him with a Stechkin automatic pistol. Zelimkhan survived the attack only because he happened to be close to a hospital, whither he was rushed and operated on.
Taking the hint, Zelimkhan fled Gruzia and relocated to the Ukraine. Even there, among the Banderites, he didn’t feel safe, and migrated eventually to Germany. He felt safer in Berlin, living amongst the huge Chechen diaspora which the kindly Germans have welcomed into their bosom.
But now we flash back … diddle diddle diddle… to the formative year 2012. It is August of 2012, to be more specific. This is when some key stuff happened in a place in Gruzia called the Lopotsky Gorge. And Krutikov starts building his case, that events in that Gorge, at that time, and that place, had something to do with the 2015 attack; and then, to today’s headlines. So what the heck happened in August of 2012 which had such ramifications 7 years on? Krutikov lays out his theory of the case…
[to be continued]