How the president of Chechnya rose to fame in Abkhazia
A bizarre mystery story has unfolded in Abkhazia, starring an abducted Russian businessman, the local police and the Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov.
The events unfolded as follows:
Three months ago Russian businessman Maxim Yakovlev was kidnapped in Abkhazia. The abduction was brazen: his masked kidnappers broke down the door to his hotel room in Novy Afon (Akhali Atoni aka New Athos) and dragged him out while the hotel staff was locked in a back room.
The Abkhaz police searched for Yakovlev for three months, albeit unsuccessfully. The relatives of the businessman then appealed to the President of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov.
Representatives of Kadyrov soon arrived in Abkhazia, and the businessman was found in one of the villages of the Gudauta district. Daur Amichba, head of the Investigation Department of the Prosecutor General of Abkhazia, said that doctors examined Yakovlev and that the police interrogated him, but did not provide any further details.
Abkhazia wasn’t Yakovlev’s first port of call: back in 2013, Kyrgyzstan announced him wanted, and he ended up on Interpol’s radar for the illegal acquisition of property. Yakovlev first hid in Thailand, but then felt he would be safer in Abkhazia. He was wrong.
Now he is in a St Petersburg hospital and is not communicating with journalists.
Kadyrov later went public. He posted a clear message on his Telegram channel which stated that he was responsible for securing Yakovlev’s release.