m, 25  
news presenter  
Federal District Plus
North Caucasus  
Street, Town, Region
Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkaria  
local TV news programme, Vesti on State Radio and TV Broadcasting co  
Other Ties
Cause of Death
shot dead  
Legal Qualification
Article 105 RF Criminal Code "Murder"  
Post Image


Alexander Cherkasov, Board chairman of the Memorial Human Rights Centre
(Source: “Radio Echo of Moscow”,

In Kabardino-Balkaria today (North Caucasus) they were saying goodbye to the journalist Kazbek Gekkiev. Yesterday the local news host was halted on his way home and, his identity confirmed, he was shot. We offer our condolences to his family and friends.

Talk and listen a little, and you will get the impression that no one is surprised when journalists are murdered in the North Caucasus. When a high-profile journalist is murdered there it is, indeed, treated as if the act were self-explanatory.

• Magomed Yevloyev, shot dead in Ingushetia, 31 August 2008. Yevloyev was owner of the website, the only independent channel for information in the republic.

• Natalya Estemirova, kidnapped in Grozny, murdered in Ingushetia, 15 July 2009. She reported on the terror in Chechnya, not just as a member of but also as a journalist in the pages of “Novaya gazeta”.

• Gadzhimurad Kamalov, shot dead in Makhachkala, 15 December 2011. Kamalov was the founder and publisher of Dagestan’s most important and almost last independent publication, the “Chernovik” weekly.

In the latest case, however, Kazbek Gekkiev was neither an opponent of the regime, nor was he like the clever Magomedsalikh Gusaev (Dagestani Minister for National Policy, Information & External Relations), a prominent figure in media power structures killed by a bomb on 27 August 2003.

Kazbek Gekkiev was just a newsreader. He did not hold any office. He wasn't known for vehement denunciations. He was just an ordinary journalist.

So another journalist was murdered – what of it? The number of journalists murdered in Dagestan has now reached fifteen. There is something appalling about our attitude as a society. Journalists have become "legitimate targets" and the indiscriminate nature of the attacks by armed militants is just as terrible…


The Jamaat movement in Kabardino-Balkaria was once headed by Musa Mukozhev and Anzor Astemirov. The movement's shift to armed violence was slow: its leaders certainly did not make an immediate and hurried transition from peaceful appeals to jihad. Mukozhev was killed on 11 May 2009, and Astemirov on 24 March 2010. Since then there have been at least two more "generations" of the leadership. The new leaders are less and less inclined to reflect on the correlation of aims and means. It is clear they are no longer theologians, just young people with guns.

In the attempted coup of 2005 militants in Kabardino-Balkaria attacked many military and police facilities. They were targeting the security services’ top brass. Today the list of targets has expanded. This time they have deliberately murdered a journalist in cold blood. Not just a "civilian", but a person who, like a doctor, should be spared in principle, for the profession they pursue.

I can understand (or I don't want to know) why the militants are so cold-blooded - but why is everyone else so calm? Why has the murder of a journalist in the Caucasus become such a commonplace event?

(Translation, Rights in Russia website)