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Akhmed Zakayev

Former prime minister of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria

Akhmed Zakayev is the former prime minister of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. A veteran of the First Chechen War, Zakayev was one of the signatories of the Chechen-Russian peace treaty when it was signed in 1997 and served as Chechen deputy prime minister after the war. When Russia attempted to implicate him in the planning of the Moscow theater siege in 2002, a British court refused to extradite Zakayev, who was living with his family in exile in the United Kingdom, saying his life would be at risk if he returned to Russia. He was granted political asylum in 2003. Zakayev leads an alternative political movement that rejects the violent Chechen Islamist insurgency and the Russian-backed Chechen government of Ramzan Kadyrov. Still living in exile in the United Kingdom, Zakayev continues to be highly critical of Vladimir Putin and Ramzan Kadyrov through public protests, commentary, and social media.

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