Former Wagner mercenary arrested for high-profile murder in South Ossetia
Murder in South Ossetia
A recent murder in South Ossetia has shaken Ossetian society. Beloved local character – regarded by many as a kind of “holy fool” – Soslan Valiyev, nicknamed Tsugri, was stabbed to death in the center of Tskhinval on April 17. One of the alleged killers is a former Wagner mercenary, but some blame President Alan Gagloev and his brother for the incident.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs reports that Valiyev “was brought to the hospital, where he died from his wounds.” The Prosecutor General’s Office opened a criminal case, and suspicion fell on three locals who have had prior problems with the law.
Two of the suspects confessed that night, while the third suspect was put on the wanted list and soon also arrested. This is Georgy Siukaev, who was serving a prison sentence in Russia for a murder committed in 2014.
According to some Telegram channels, “Siukaev recently returned from the special military operation zone where he had been a member of the Wagner Group.” According to the Prosecutor General’s Office, he entered South Ossetia on March 27.
Wagner is a Russian paramilitary group created and controlled by Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin. In a number of countries it has the status of a terrorist organization.
The prosecutor’s office reports that the investigation and interrogation of suspects are underway, and promises to provide more detailed information “on completion of the first stage of investigative measures.”
Meanwhile, surveillance video has appeared on Telegram channels, which clearly shows the moment of the attack on Soslan Valiyev.
A video from a hospital operating room which captured the last minutes of Valiyev’s life also found its way onto Telegram.
President Alan Gagloev instructed the Minister of Health to identify and punish those who filmed and distributed this video:
“Video of the patient has become public domain in violation of all ethical and moral standards. Find out who made the video.”
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The murder of Soslan Valiyev has shaken South Ossetian society, and there are at least two reasons for this.
First, Tsugri, as the people called him, was an unspoken symbol of Tskhinval.
Former President of South Ossetia Eduard Kokoity wrote on his Telegram channel: “Like most residents of Ossetia, I am shocked by the news of the murder of everyone’s beloved Soslan (Tsugri) Valiyev. Tsugri was a kind and harmless man whom everyone, with rare exceptions, and loved as if he were their own family.”
Second, this is not the first high-profile criminal story recently, which is noticeable in a population of 55,000.
People on social networks are writing angry comments, demanding the perpetrators be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Many point to the fact of increased crime after Alan Gagloev came to power. Moreover, people blame the President’s brother Alik Gagloev, whose name has repeatedly appeared in various criminal cases, for the aggravation of the crime situation.
He was accused of attempting to commit a terrorist attack in 2007 in Tskhinval and of committing a triple murder of Russian citizens around the same period.
Recently, Alik Gagloev again became a defendant in a criminal scandal — according to eyewitnesses he threatened Dzantemir Khubaev, an employee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, with a pistol. No investigation into this incident followed; it was simply hushed up, although there were many witnesses.
JAMnews tried to obtain comment from Dzantemir Khubaev, but he refused to communicate, saying that he “does not want to talk about this topic at all.” And to the question whether this incident had taken place at all, Khubaev replied: “I don’t know.”
In this case, they say that at least one of the suspects in the murder of Tsugri is friends with Alik and Alan Gagloev. This is Soslan Gabaraev, who opened fire a few months ago near the office of the ruling Nykhas party in Tskhinvali.
Some believe that the Gagloev brothers are simply covering for their criminal friends, inspiring them with a sense of impunity and thereby contributing to the growth of crime.
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