This little note in Jamestown raised a few eyebrows:
"On Saturday evening, November 18, machine-gun fire erupted on Leninsky Prospect in downtown Moscow. Special police forces and a bomb squad quickly arrived at the scene and discovered one fatality. They had no problem identifying the victim, despite his multiple head wounds: Movladi Baisarov, the former commander of the 'Gorets' (Highlander) special detachment.
"According to official information immediately released after the attack, Baisarov was ambushed in a joint operation by the Moscow and Chechen police, resisted arrest, and was killed on the spot (Newsru.com, November 19; Rossiiskaya gazeta, November 20). Nobody appeared to be particularly bothered that this 'special operation' had been carried out in a crowded public place, but other details have provided rich fodder for journalists eager to spin a crime story that perfectly illustrates the current stage of 'normalization' in Chechnya.
"Baisarov had organized his detachment during the chaotic 'peace' that followed the end of the first Chechen war in September 1996. At the time it was called the 'oil regiment,' because it controlled a few oil wells and the smuggling business. With the start of the second war in autumn 1999, the 'regiment' shifted allegiance to Moscow and became a part of the 'guard' of Akhmad Kadyrov, the new Chechen leader appointed by Vladimir Putin. Baisarov was wounded in a clash with rebels who targeted collaborators and then sidelined by Kadyrov’s ambitious son, Ramzan, who took charge of protecting his father but failed to prevent the spectacular assassination of his father in the Grozny stadium on May 9, 2004.
"It remains unclear why the FSB decided earlier this year that it no longer needed this detachment for operations too 'special' to put its own forces in harm’s way. Kadyrovtsy surrounded Gorets members in the village of Pobedinskoe, near Grozny, but Baisarov refused to surrender and escaped to Moscow."
Eternal Remont is baffled as to why Moscow would be considered safer. But we judge not.