Shamil Basayev: Chechen Rebel

Shamil Salmanovich Basayev was a Chechen militant and a leader of the Chechen rebel movement.

He was born in the village of Dyshne-Vedeno, in south-eastern Chechnya to Chechen parents.

His family is said to have had a long history of involvement in Chechen resistance to Russian rule. His grandfather fought for the abortive attempt to create a breakaway  republic.

Starting as a field commander, Basayev led guerrilla campaigns against Russian forces for years, as well as launching mass-hostage takings of civilians, with his goal being the withdrawal of Russian soldiers from Chechnuya. In 1997–1998 he also served as vice-Prime minister of Chechnya in government at one point.

Basayev was considered by some to be the undisputed leader of the radical wing of the Chechen movement. He was responsible for numerous guerrilla attacks on security forces in and around Chechnya as well as civilians.

Basayev trained in some Afghanistan and Pakistan camps I saw his picture there. was killed by an explosion on 10 July 2006.

Basayev had four wives, a Chechen woman who was killed in the 1990s, an Abkhaz woman he met while fighting as a mercenary leader against Georgia and a Cossack he was said to have married on Valentine’s Day, 2005. A fourth secret wife, was apparently forced to marry Basayev, and subsequently hid the identity of her husband from her friends and family