Did Russia Arrest Rustam Azhiev For Moscow Attack?!

Did Russia arrest a Ukrainian man called Rustam Azhiev for the Crocus City Hall attack in Moscow?! Take a look at the viral claims, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Russia Arrested Rustam Azhiev For Moscow Attack!

Some people are claiming that Russia just arrested a Ukrainian man called Rustam Azhiev for the Crocus City Hall attack in Moscow that killed at least 133 people.

Paul A. SzypulaUkraine citizen Rustam Azhiyev was just identified as a terrórist who took part in the massącre Friday of over 150 peaceful people in Moscow.

Were U.S. tax dollars used by Zelensky to facilitate this horrendous attack on innocent citizens of Russia?

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Truth : Russia Did Not Arrest Rustam Azhiev For Moscow Attack!

This appears to be yet another example of fake news circulating on X (formerly Twitter), and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : Rustam Azhiev Is Chechen Battalion Deputy Commander

Let me start by pointing out that Rustam Magomedovich Azhiev (born Мохмад ВоӀ Рустам / Moxmad Vo’ Rustam on 12 April 1981) is currently the deputy commander-in-chief of the Chechen battalion OBON, which is fighting on the Ukrainian side of the Ukraine War.

Azhiev was a former Chechen wrestler who started fighting against the Russian military in the Second Russo-Chechen War in 1999. He later fought against Russia in the Syrian civil war, as Abdul Hakim al-Shishani, the emir of the jihadist militant group, Ajnad al-Kavkaz (AK).

In 2022, Abdul Hakim al-Shishani and his AK militants joined the fight against the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Fact #2 : Russia Never Said He Was Rustam Azhiev

Without a doubt, Rustam Azhiev has been a thorn in the side of the Russian government for many years, and is thus, is well-known (infamous?) to them.

If Russia did indeed capture Rustam Azhiev, it would have been a major coup. The Russian government would have publicly announced it, and made a big fuss. Yet, it did nothing of the sort.

Even Margarita Simonovna Simonya, the editor-in-chief of RT – the Russian state broadcaster, only identified the man in the viral photo as the “mastermind” behind the Crocus City Hall attack. She never identified him as Rustam Azhiev.

The only people who are apparently making these claims are Western social media users who probably cannot tell the difference between a Chechen and a Syrian, never mind identify Rustam Azhiev in a line-up. Unsurprisingly, none of them actually provided any evidence that the man is Rustam Azhiev.

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Fact #3 : The Captured Man Is Not Rustam Azhiev

While the man may look superficially like Rustam Azhiev, they are not the same man as the photo above shows. They have different cheek profiles, and their ears look different.

But the clearest indication is their hair partings. The man who was captured has hair parted on his left side. Rustam Azhiev’s hair is parted on his right side.

It cannot be determined from the photo, but the real Rustam Azhiev lost three fingers while fighting in the Second Russo-Chechen War in 2009. The Russian government would obviously know if this man is, or is not, Rustam Azhiev.

Fact #4 : Rustam Azhiev Was Never Associated With ISIS

Rustam Azhiev may hate Russia, but he has never been associated with ISIS. His jihadist militant group, Ajnad al-Kavkaz, was made up of fighters from the Caucasus Emirate, but operated autonomously.

In fact, AK’s support for the fight against Russia has less to do with its jihadist ideals, and more to do with fighting against Russia’s oppression, as one of its commanders explained:

Every enemy of Russia is a friend of ours. Also, the Ukrainian people are oppressed, and Islam commanded us to support the oppressed, let alone if the oppressor is a common enemy to us.

There is simply no evidence that Rustam Azhiev would subject himself to ISIS command, never mind actually take part in an ISIS operation.

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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