- Title: Unable to go home, Russian who fought for IS settles in Ukraine
- Date: 19th July 2017
- Summary: UNIDENTIFIED LOCATION, UKRAINE (RECENT) (REUTERS) (PART MUTE) NURMAGOMEDOV TALKING TO REPORTER (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) FORMER ISLAMIC STATE FIGHTER, MARAT NURMAGOMEDOV, SAYING (VOICED OVER BY ALTERED ACTOR'S VOICE TO PROTECT HIS IDENTITY): "Yes, of course, I definitely cannot go to Russia under any circumstances. There I will be of course send to Dagestan. And there in the best case scenario I will get a very long (jail) term. It happens very often to people like me in Dagestan - one can be found somewhere in the woods shot in the head and they (the security forces) can put a pistol or grenades and say that they shot dead another terrorist during a special operation." ISTANBUL, TURKEY (RECENT) (REUTERS) SHIPS AT SEA VARIOUS OF MOSQUE VARIOUS OF INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP REPRESENTATIVE, YEKATERINA SOKIRYANSKAYA, AT LAPTOP (SOUNDBITE) (English) INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP REPRESENTATIVE, YEKATERINA SOKIRYANSKAYA, SAYING: "Well, Russia has significantly tightened the legislation about those who participate in terrorist groups abroad. And now people who left for Syria and Iraq, they are put on special lists, most recent numbers were about 3,400 people who are on these lists. And so, the Russian Federal Security Service is waiting for them at the border. So, the moment they enter the country they would be arrested and would be facing various serious charges, involvement in terrorism. And then basically their future is spending many years in Russian prisons." MOSCOW, RUSSIA (RECENT) (REUTERS) PEOPLE WALKING AT MANEZH SQUARE, KREMLIN AND HISTORY MUSEUM IN BACKGROUND RED STAR ON KREMLIN TOWER VIEW OF KREMLIN AND HISTORY MUSEUM PEOPLE WALKING PAST KREMLIN
- Embargoed: 2nd August 2017 19:26
- Keywords: Syria Russian Federal Security Service Ukrainian Security Service Turkey Crimea Russian fighter Islamic State fighter Russia Ukraine Marat Nurmagomedov Islamist
- Location: UNIDENTIFIED LOCATION AND KIEV, UKRAINE / MOSCOW AND NAZRAN, RUSSIA / ISTANBUL, TURKEY
- City: UNIDENTIFIED LOCATION AND KIEV, UKRAINE / MOSCOW AND NAZRAN, RUSSIA / ISTANBUL, TURKEY
- Country: Turkey
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA0046QDT0EF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:EDITORS, PLEASE NOTE: THE SOUNDBITES OF THE INTERVIEWEE HAVE BEEN VOICED OVER BY ACTOR AND TECHNICALLY ALTERED (THE EDIT IS PART MUTE) TO PROTECT HIS IDENTITY
When Islamic State fighter Marat Nurmagomedov escaped from Syria to Turkey after becoming disillusioned with the militant group, he was unable to return home to Russia for fear of arrest.
Instead, he managed to obtain a passport under another name and flew from Istanbul to Ukraine, whose ability to identify him as a terrorism suspect was hindered by a lack of intelligence sharing between Moscow and Kiev.
The 33-year-old Muslim slipped easily through passport control, aided by the fact that Ukrainian border guards do not use an electronic database that shows the faces of terrorism suspects wanted by Moscow.
Moscow reduced intelligence sharing with Kiev, and the Ukrainian Security Service halted it altogether, after Russia annexed Crimea and backed separatists in eastern Ukraine in 2014, officials in both countries said. Reuters was unable to ascertain whether Kiev used the database before 2014.
Reuters was unable to verify Nurmagomedov's comments independently but spoke to several people who know him including his father, a family friend and a friend in Ukraine who is also from Nurmagomedov's home region of Dagestan. They confirmed the man interviewed was Nurmagomedov.
Nurmagomedov, who says he spent about two years in Syria, believes Ukrainian authorities are still unaware of his identity.
He could face up to 15 years in jail if he returns to Russia, which strictly enforces a law punishing Russians who take part in conflicts abroad that are against Russian national interests.
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