Vladimir Anatolyevich Shamanov

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Vladimir Shamanov during a visit to George W. Bush in 2007

Wladimir Anatoljewitsch Schamanow ( Russian Владимир Анатольевич Шаманов ; born February 15, 1957 in Barnaul ) is a Russian officer and politician. The actions of the military units he commanded in the Chechen wars and the associated casualties among the Chechen civilian population brought him repeated accusations of serious violations of international martial law on the part of independent observers, press reporters and human rights groups .


Military background

Vladimir Shamanov graduated from the Airborne Forces Officers College in Ryazan . After graduating in 1978, he served as the commander of various units until the mid-1990s, including the 104th Air Storm Regiment of the 76th Air Storm Division in Pskov . After graduating from the Frunze Military Academy in 1989, he served a. a. as deputy commander of the 300th Paratrooper Regiment of the 98th Airborne Guards Division in Ivanovsk and as the commander of the 328th Paratrooper Guards Regiment of the 104th Airborne Guards Division. From July 1994 to September 1995 he was deputy commander of the 7th Guards Air Storm Division. After Shamanov graduated from the General Staff Academy of the Armed Forces of Russia in 1998, he was initially Chief of Staff or First Deputy Commander of the Moscow Military District and, since August 1999, Commander of the North Caucasian Military District. After an "interlude", u. a. as governor of Ulyanovsk Oblast from 2001 to 2004, he has served as a "contract officer" again in the Russian armed forces since November 2007. By decree of the Russian President of May 24th, 2009 he was appointed Commander in Chief of the Airborne Forces. He has been Colonel General since 2012 . Shamanov is also the recipient of the highest Russian awards and a hero of the Russian Federation .

Commander in the Chechnya Wars

Vladimir Shamanov was deployed in the First and Second Chechen War, where he was reputed to be a "butcher of the Chechen people". In his efforts to secure territory and destroy the enemy, he paid little attention to so-called collateral damage among bystander Chechen civilians. According to his logic, any civilian who was unwilling to betray Chechen fighters, even fathers, sons and brothers, to the Russians was treated the same as the enemy and therefore annihilated. With the brutal action of his armed forces authorized by him, he also earned the reputation of being a man who brought his mission to a successful conclusion.

During the Second Chechnya War, his troops were no less brutal and their commanding officer did nothing to counter “mishaps” that occurred in his area of ​​command, such as the air raid on Chechen civilians who had previously been allowed by Russian forces to travel to a neighboring republic. Pavel Felgenhauer, a for the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta working military analyst, ruled in March 2000 that Putin and the head of his military leadership solely by the authorized them use of aerosol and 1,500-kilogram bombs, rocket launchers of the type TOS-1 and of missiles of the type SS-21 "Totschka-U" were involved in war crimes . By then the war had already cost the lives of several thousand Chechen civilians. In addition, numerous "suspicious" Chechens were interned by the Russian military in so-called " filtration camps", where not a few of them were tortured and murdered. Shamanov also tolerated these camps within his sphere of influence.

Human Rights Watch urged the international community in July 2007 to insist on the Russian government to investigate Shamanov. This request was based on a process before the European Court of Human Rights in which Shamanov was responsible for the "massive use of indiscriminate weapons" and the associated number of civilian victims on the occasion of a Russian military operation he commanded in February 2000 in the Katyr yurt south-west of Grozny . The European Parliament had previously referred to this process in a resolution at a meeting on January 19, 2006. It called in point 13 (of a total of 22)

"... the Russian authorities to resume the investigation and criminal proceedings against Major General Vladimir Shamanov and Major General Jakow Nedobitko, both of whom should be brought to justice and removed from their functions for the duration of the investigation because they were indiscriminate by the European Court of Human Rights Bombing Chechen civilians in Katyr-Yurt convicted in February 2000; "

Similar to Katyr-Yurt, Shamanov's troops were deployed in Alkhan-Yurt , southwest of Grozny, at the end of November / beginning of December 1999 . After the Chechen rebels were driven out, Shamanov's men systematically plundered the villagers, killing at least a dozen of them. Human Rights Watch had documented the events in Alchan-Jurt in a detailed report in April 2000. On June 8, 2001, the organization wrote an open letter to US President George W. Bush about the massacre . In it he was asked to urge that an investigation be opened in Russia against Shamanov, who - according to the facts presented - had been asked for help by residents of Alkhan-Yurt but had done nothing to stop the massacre.

Commander in the Caucasus War and Governor of Ulyanovsk

During the last Chechen war, Shamanov had already spoken out in favor of teaching a lesson to the “traitorous” Georgians, who in Russian military circles were considered secret supporters of the Chechens. He finally got this opportunity in August 2008, when he was Commander-in-Chief of Russian troops in Abkhazia during the Caucasus War .

Shamanov also continued for the in Russia for war crimes sentenced Yuri Budanov one who during the Second Chechen War, the 18-year-old Elsa Kungayeva had abused and murdered - a crime that had caused even with many Russian officers for aversion. From 2001 to 2004 Shamanov was governor of Ulyanovsk Oblast , " one of the poorest, turned into a mere source of raw materials for big companies based elsewhere and, worse, into a rubbish tip for waste materials ", as the Russian reporter and who have since been murdered Human rights activist Anna Politkovskaya wrote in one of her books. There it says about Shamanov's activity as governor:

"Under him the crime bosses of Ulianovsk came out of the underground. Shamanov openly depended on them and was surrounded by ex-soldiers who had retrained as gangsters, a minor sideways movement in Russia. Shamanov himself was thoroughly stupid and incapable of managing civilians.
Wrapping themselves in democratic slogans and brandishing the support of Putin, these supposed helpmates of the state openly robbed, and continue to rob, the province, even though Shamanov has now been transferred to the presidential administration. "

Commander in Chief of the Russian Airborne Forces

After his term of office as governor, which the media described as unsuccessful, Shamanov, now with the rank of lieutenant general , became commander in chief of the Russian airborne troops. In this function, he received a reprimand from Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov in autumn 2009 for the abuse of his official position for private purposes . Shamanov had ordered two groups of paratroopers' special forces to a vodka factory that then belonged to his son-in-law. There they should prevent investigators from the Moscow public prosecutor's office from searching. According to media reports, what was rather unusual for Russian standards in this case was that evidence of Shamanov's abuse of the military units under his control reached the public and was published in the newspaper Novaya Gazeta.

In connection with the Russian annexation of Crimea , Shamanov was listed on May 12, 2014 as number 2 in the “List of persons and entities under Article 1” of the “Regulation (EU) No. 269/2014 on restrictive measures in view of acts that the undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine ”. The reason given was that Shamanov, in his function as “commander of the Russian airborne troops [...] was responsible for the stationing of Russian airborne forces in the Crimea”. In the following months, the European Union was followed by several other countries, including Canada and Australia , but not the USA .


  • Ray Finch: One Face of the Modern Russian Army: General Vladimir Shamanov. In: Journal of Slavic Military Studies , 24: 396–427, 2011. ( online ; PDF; 512 kB)

Web links

Commons : Vladimir Shamanov  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

References and comments

  1. All data on the military career were taken from the biography on the website of the Russian Ministry of Defense . The German names of the Russian troop units come from the website of the armed forces "Airborne Troops " of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation of the "Association for the Maintenance of Traditions of the National People's Army and the Border Troops of the GDR eV" (accessed on January 9, 2015).
  2. On these allegations and other machinations of Shamanov cf. The paratrooper boss also used units privately (Die Welt, October 12, 2009) and A Russian General (Frankfurter Rundschau, January 19, 2001).
  3. See Finch 2011, p. 406 f.
  4. See Finch 2011, p. 415.
  5. See also ÖMZ 3/2000, p. 368 and Pavel Felgenhauer: Russian Strategy in the Chechnya Wars , p. 7: “The use of such mass-destruction weapons ... and ballistic missiles against civilian targets was authorized by the Kremlin and this implicates Putin, as well as his top military chiefs in war crimes. ”Lecture at the research seminar Parameters of Armed Conflicts , organized by the Institute for International Peacekeeping of the National Defense Academy from 17. – 19. March 2000 ( download of the articles ).
  6. A preliminary “balance sheet” by two Chechen MPs from mid-January 2000 assumed 15,000 civilians killed, whereas the chairman of the pro-Russian “Chechen State Council” spoke of 2,000 civilians killed. Putin, on the other hand, had told the then US Secretary of State just a month earlier that the civilian war victims in Chechnya could be "counted on the fingers of one hand". ÖMZ 2/2000, p. 230.
  7. See Finch 2011, p. 415 f.
  8. "Indiscriminate weapons" are those that can strike military targets and civilians or civilian objects indiscriminately, either because they cannot be directed against certain military targets or their effect cannot be limited accordingly. The prohibition of the use of such banned weapons is in the " Convention of October 10, 1980 on the Prohibition or Restriction of the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons That Cause Excessive Suffering or May Have Indiscriminate Effects" (also: "UN Weapons Convention 1980"; English: "Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects, October 10, 1980") and the associated protocols. The protection of the civilian population and civilian objects from such indiscriminate attacks was also laid down in the " 1st Additional Protocol of June 8, 1977 to the Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949 on the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflict (Protocol I) ".
  9. See Human Rights Watch: Justice for Chechnya. The European Court of Human Rights Rules against Russia . July 2007, pp. 12 and 14.
  10. Information from the European Parliament. European Parliament resolution on the post-election situation in Chechnya and civil society in Russia . Federal Council. Printed paper 224/06 of February 20, 2006, p. 6.
  11. See Florian Hassel: The War in the Shadow. Russia and Chechnya. Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2003, pp. 68f. - When asked about the crimes of Alkhan-Yurt, Shamanov replied that no one should dare to “touch” the Russian soldiers. “You are performing a sacred deed: you are defending Russia.” Ibid., P. 69 and General on criminal astray (Wiener Zeitung, September 21, 2009).
  12. Human Rights Watch, "No Happiness Remains." Civilian Killings, Pillage, and Rape in Alkhan-yurt, Chechnya . Report, April 1, 2000.
  13. See US President Must Press Russia on Chechnya Abuses. Criminal Investigation Urged on Role of Top General in Massacre (Human Rights Watch News, June 14, 2001). - The HRW letter of June 8, 2001 is no longer available on the web.
  14. See Finch 2011, p. 416.
  15. See Finch 2011, p. 417.
  16. ^ Anna Politkovskaya: A Russian Diary. A Journalist's Final Account of Life, Corruption, and Death in Putin's Russia. Random House, New York 2007 (e-book edition).
  17. Politkovskaya, Diary , ibid.
  18. Shamanov's son-in-law, Alexej Chramuschin, was considered an important member of the Tatar mafia at the time and was wanted on a wanted list.
  19. See paratrooper boss used units privately (Die Welt, October 12, 2009) and general on criminal astray (Wiener Zeitung, September 21, 2009).
  20. Regulation (EU) No. 477/2014 (PDF) of the Council of May 12, 2014 implementing Regulation (EU) No. 269/2014 on restrictive measures in the face of acts that undermine the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine or threaten. Official Journal of the European Union L 137/3 of May 12, 2014.
  21. See Consolidated list of Ukraine-related sanctions and restrictive measures ( Memento of April 28, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) (info on riskadvisory.net). - This list is updated regularly.