Adam Osmayev and Amina Okuyeva.
A Ukrainian veteran sniper was shot dead, and her
husband, who was accused in 2012 of trying to kill Russian
President Vladimir Putin, was wounded near Kyiv.
The Chechen couple had fought against Russian-backed
separatists in the Donbas region of Ukraine and were considered
heroes in the country.
The incident is the latest of more than a dozen
badbadinations or attempted badbadinations in Ukraine since
A Ukrainian veteran sniper was killed, and her husband,
who was accused in 2012 of trying to badbadinate Russian
President Vladimir Putin, was wounded in a shooting on Monday
Amina Okuyeva and Adam Osmayev were riding in a car past a
railroad crossing in the village of Hlevakha when their vehicle
came under heavy fire from someone in the bushes on the side of
“She was shot in the head,” Osmayev told
LB.ua, a Ukrainian media outlet. “I drove as much as I could
until the car stopped, I don’t know, the engine was also hit. I
tried to give her first aid, but she was shot in the
Osmayev, who was shot in the leg, has since accused
Russia of orchestrating the attack. He said it was connected
to a car bombing last
week that wounded the Ukrainian lawmaker Ihor Mosiychuk, who
routinely insulted Russian politicians and once posted a video on
YouTube threatening to kill Ramzan Kadyrov, Putin’s hand-picked
leader of Chechnya.
Okuyeva had once worked for Mosiychuk as an adviser,
This wasn’t the first badbadination attempt the couple had
faced. On June 1, Osmayev and Okuyeva were in a car with a man
named Artur Denisultanov-Kurmakayev who was masquerading as a
French journalist named Alex Werner.
At one point, Denisultanov-Kurmakayev asked them to pull
the car over so that he could give them a gift from his
“When he opened it I spotted a Glock pistol,” Okuyeva told
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty after the June attack. “He
immediately grabbed it and started shooting at Adam.”
Okuyeva then pulled out her gun and shot the would-be
badbadin three times before she “pounced on him with my bare
hands and he gave up the gun,” she told the outlet.
Osmayev was shot in the chest, but his wife treated his wound
“immediately,” and he survived that attack as well. Ukraine has
since accused Russia of orchestrating the hit.
In 2012, Moscow accused Osmayev of plotting to kill Putin. He was
arrested in Kyiv in February 2012 on charges of possession
of illegal explosives. At the behest of Russia, Ukrainian
authorities charged him in connection with the plot.
But Kyiv refused to extradite Osmayev, and the charges were
eventually dropped. He was released from custody in November 2014
— months after Ukraine’s president at the time, Viktor
Yanukovych, fled to Russia, and fighting started in the Donbas
region of eastern Ukraine.
Moscow in 2007 also accused
Osmayev of plotting to
Kadyrov has been implicated in several
other badbadinations, including the high-profile killing of
Boris Nemtsov, the Russian opposition leader who was shot dead
near the Kremlin in 2015, and most recently the car bombing in
early September that killed Timur Mahauri, a Georgian citizen who
fought with a volunteer Ukrainian battalion in the Donbas.
Mahauri was reportedly a personal enemy of Kadyrov’s.
Okuyeva and Osmayev — both Muslims and ethnic Chechens —
have been celebrated in Ukraine as heroes, having served in
Chechen volunteer battalions fighting against Russian-backed
separatist in the Donbas.
reportedly wore her hijab in battle and fought for equality
among men and women in the military, was a paramedic and sniper.
Osmayev became commander of the volunteer Dzhokhar Dudayev
battalion in 2015.
“I declare a war on the Russian Empire,”
Okuyeva told Politico in 2014. “If Russian forces continue to
fight in Ukraine, thousands of Chechen immigrants living in
Europe, who had been ousted of their land during the two Chechen
wars, will come to Ukraine to fight a war to defend this
There have been at least 13 other
badbadinations — and many more attempts — in Ukraine
since 2014. In one,
a Ukrainian colonel
investigating Russia for an international court case was
killed in a car bombing in Kyiv in late June.