Pro-Putin Chechen general who led 'gay purge' killed in Ukraine

Chechen general Magomed Tushayev was killed on Saturday, and was responsible for for torturing and murdering LGBTQ+ individuals.

 General Magomed Tushayev and others. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
General Magomed Tushayev and others.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Ukraine forces killed Chechen general Magomed Tushayev on Saturday at the Antonov International Airport (GML) northwest of Kyiv. Tushayev is responsible for the torture and murders of LGBTQ+ individuals in the largely Muslim region of Chechnya in Russia.

The Ukrainian Armed Forces confirmed his death, writing in a tweet that “Magomed Tushayev, leader of the 141 motorized regiment of the Chechen National Guard, was killed!.”

Illia Ponomarenko, a defense reporter for The Kyiv Independent, tweeted: “Magomed Tushayev, one of Ramzan Kadyrov’s top warlords, has been killed in action in Hostomel. Ukraine’s elite Alpha Group is reportedly fighting Chechens in the airfield.”

Peter Tatchell, a British LGBTQ+ activist and human rights campaigner, told The Jerusalem Post that “While I never rejoice at the killing of anyone, his death means one less mass murderer on the loose. Those who live by the sword should not be surprised if they die by the sword.  This will mean that he is no longer able to abduct, torture and kill Chechen LGBTs and dissidents, which is is a good thing.”

 A satellite image shows southern end of convoy armour towed artillery trucks, east of Antonov airport, Ukraine, February 28, 2022. (credit: MAXAR TECHNOLOGIES/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS) A satellite image shows southern end of convoy armour towed artillery trucks, east of Antonov airport, Ukraine, February 28, 2022. (credit: MAXAR TECHNOLOGIES/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

Kadyrov said on Saturday that the Chechen fighters did not have “one single casualty or wounded” combatant, according to Reuters. 

Kadyrov, who has  been widely criticized for his repressive rule, said: “The president [Putin] took the right decision, and we will carry out his orders under any circumstances.”

LGBTQ publication The Los Angeles Blade reported that ”Tushayev, who was one of three top advisors and military commanders for Kadyrov, prior to the Ukrainian invasion by Russian forces, was directly involved in the campaign of terrorizing the LGBTQ+ community in Chechnya.”

According to the Blade: “Sources with Russian-based human rights organizations confirmed that Tushayev played an unspecified role as recently as May of 2021 when human rights activist and a gay man, Ibragim Selimkhanov, was abducted from a subway station in the Novogireyevo District of the Russian capital city of Moscow by four Chechen operatives and flown against his will to the Chechen  capital city of Grozny.

"Since 2017, human and LGBTQ+ activists noted that Chechen security operatives and other officials in the Kadyrov regime, including Tushayev sources confirmed, have rounded up dozens of men on suspicion of being gay, held them in unofficial detention facilities for days, humiliated, starved and tortured them, in what has been dubbed Chechnya’s 'anti-gay purge," the report added. 

Fox News Digital reported “The Chechens are part of a Russian national garud unit and are well known for fighting insurgencies, using brutal tactics that even jolted Russia during its two brutal wars in the '90s against them. The Chechens have been employed to hunt down terrorists in Syria and used by Russia to fight elsewhere, including in Georgia. They also fought the Ukrainians in Donbas when hostilities began there in 2014.”