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Zakaev: Putin has steered Russia in a gangster direction
14:54 06.04.2012
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Comrade-in-arms of the former Chechen president Jokhar Dudaev and a member of government being in exile in London, Akhmed Zakayev has said in the interview to “The Guardian”, that he is not surprised by an alleged plot to kill him in London, and claimed that the Russian government is still actively trying to eliminate its "enemies" abroad.

Zakayev said that despite MI5's assessment that he is on a hit-list drawn up by Chechnya's president, Ramzan Kadyrov, he still felt safe in Britain. Since the polonium murder of his close friend Alexander Litvinenko, Zakayev is under 24-hour protection from Scotland Yard.

Based on various sources, The Guardian publishes new information about the Chechen, who, according to the British Security Services, was going to attack Zakaev. He is 45-years-old and is only named as E1.  He was one of 12 bodyguards to Alsan Maskhadov, the military leader of the Chechen independence movement. E1 fought against the Russians, was wounded twice, and after the war became deputy commander of Maskhadov's presidential guard. Maskahadov sent him to Britain in 1999, where he claimed asylum and worked as Maskhadov's emissary.    

In 2008 E1 left Britain and returned to Chechnya. One possibility is (the newspaper presumes) that  Kadryov recruited E1 specifically to get close to Zakayev and Litvinenko and to inform Kadyrov about Zakaev’s movements.

On the other hand Zakaev told in the interview to the newspaper:
"For the past 12 years Putin has steered Russia in a gangster direction. He first used these methods in Chechnya, and then in Russia. He's now exporting them abroad. Putin considers England to be an unfriendly country. He is happy to damage its reputation while the Olympics take place."

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