The 21st Century Phenomenon


* Salman Raduyev was born on 02/13/1967 near Gudermes in Eastern Chechnya. As a teen-ager he was active in the Communist Youth Movement – the Komsomol and became, eventually, the head of the Ingush-Chechen branch in the Komsomol.

In 1985-87 Salman  Raduyev served in the Russian Red Army in the Strategic Rockets unit stationed in Byelorussia.  After his release from the army Salman  Raduyev became a Communist Party member and worked in Soviet construction industry while studying economy.

Salman  Raduyev became the son in law of Dzhokhar Dudayev, the future first Chechen President and, when Chechnya was looking for its independence, he was nominated as the regional head of his home town Gudermes. When the first Chechen war breached out in 1994 Salman  Raduyev became one of the most effective field commanders of the Chechen resistance. He was wounded in the first battle for Grozny in 03/1995 and got the nickname “Lone Wolf”.

In 10/1995 Salman  Raduyev led, With Sultan Geliskhanov, the successful raid on the Russian troops in Gudermes.      

Salman  Raduyev led, on 01/09/1996, some 250 militants in the raid on a Hospital in the Northern Dagestani town of Kizlyar, where they held up to 3,000 people hostages. They demanded a Russian withdrawal from Chechnya, before releasing most of the hostages and taking the remaining few back to Chechnya.

As they made their getaway across the Chechen border, Russian troops launched an assault. Several hostages died in the following days as the Russian military brought the crisis, which ended with the complete destruction of the border village of Pervomayskoye. Raduyev’s raid was criticized by other Chechen leaders.

The situation was complicated when, on 01/16/1996, pro-Chechen gunmen hijacked a Turkish Black Sea passenger ferry. The gunmen threatened to blow up the ship – and the 255 hostages on it – if the Russians did not halt their offensive against the Kizlyar hostage-takers. The hijackers surrendered after four days (see – Muhammed Tokcan).

In 03/1996, Salman  Raduyev was shot in the head, probably by Chechen opponents, and incorrectly reported dead. When he returned to action in late 1996 Salman  Raduyev refused to accept the authority of the newly elected second president Aslan Maskhadov. He was stripped from his rank as Brigadier general. Salman  Raduyev was severely wounded, the third time, in 10/1997, by a car bomb which killed three other people. He already survived at least two other attempts on his life in 04/1997 and 06/1997.

 In 05/1998  Salman  Raduyev was sentenced in absentia, by an Islamic court in Chechnya, for allegedly attempting to overthrow Aslan Maskhadov. In early 1999, Salman  Raduyev vanished from public again while undergoing a major plastic surgery in Germany, which granted him also a new nickname “Titanic”.

When the second Chechen war breached out in late 1999 Salman  Raduyev commanded a militia of 1000 men strong in Grozny. Salman  Raduyev was captured in 03/2000 by Russian Special Forces. He was sentenced, in 12/2001, for life imprisonment.   

Salman  Raduyev died, on 12/14/2002, while in Russian prison, due to a “serious and protracted diseases”.


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