- 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) FORMER ISLAMIC STATE FIGHTER, MARAT NURMAGOMEDOV, TALKING TO REPORTER NURMAGOMEDOV'S HANDS NURMAGOMEDOV TALKING TO REPORTER (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) FORMER ISLAMIC STATE FIGHTER, MARAT NURMAGOMEDOV, SAYING (VOICED OVER BY ALTERED ACTOR'S VOICE TO PROTECT HIS IDENTITY): "I feel calm here. In this situation I don't have many options. Here, if you are not involved in such activity, if you don't take part, no one is interested in you. So, you can live a normal life here." KIEV, UKRAINE (RECENT) (REUTERS) STREET, MONASTERY IN BACKGROUND CARS DRIVING ALONG ROAD INDEPENDENCE SQUARE UKRAINIAN FLAG ON TOP OF BUILDING EXTERIOR OF UKRAINIAN SECURITY SERVICE BUILDING SIGN ON BUILDING READING (Ukrainian): 'SECURITY SERVICE OF UKRAINE' 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): "All these (Islamic armed) groups look the same to me, they all are lost, they don't fight for Islam. I'm not going to support them in any way, to do something for them whether alone or together with somebody else, conspire or blow up somebody in the metro. I don't have such plans. I have the only goal - to study religion and to return to a quiet life." NURMAGOMEDOV TALKING TO REPORTER (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) FORMER ISLAMIC STATE FIGHTER, MARAT NURMAGOMEDOV, SAYING (VOICED OVER BY ALTERED ACTOR'S VOICE TO PROTECT HIS IDENTITY): "I don't have any rights here. I cannot travel, I can go to Europe or to Russia, of course, or to any other country. I cannot do something here as well as obtain a legal status. I cannot start my own business or find a job because I need documents." MOSCOW, RUSSIA (RECENT) (REUTERS) VARIOUS EXTERIORS OF RUSSIAN FEDERAL SECURITY SERVICE HEADQUARTERS
- 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: LVA0016QDT0EF
- 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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