A brutal warlord who murdered LGBT+ people in what became known as the "gay purge" has been killed fighting in Ukraine.
Magomed Tushayev was a military boss under the command of feared Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.
Anti-gay purges were first reported in Chechnya, now a constituent republic of Russia, in 2017 and involved secret abductions, torture and extrajudicial killings.
It is estimated that more than 100 people were detained illegally and at least two were killed.
Tushayev was killed on Saturday after Ukrainian soldiers – defending their homeland from Russian invaders – managed to wipe out a column of 56 tanks approaching Kyiv.
He was the leader of the 141 motorised regiment of the Chechnya National Guard.
His death was confirmed by a spokesperson for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. It came shortly after Kadyrov announced that Chechen soldiers would move into Ukraine to support Vladimir Putin's troops.
Kadyrov, who styles himself as Putin's "foot soldier", denied claims that Chechen soldiers had suffered heavy losses.
"As of today, as of this minute, we do not have one single casualty, or wounded, not a single man has even had a runny nose," he said.
"The president (Putin) took the right decision and we will carry out his orders under any circumstances."
Human rights groups told the Los Angeles Blade that Tushayev played a central role in the suppression of LGBT+ people in Russia, even as recently as last year.
He was specifically implicated in the August 2021 abduction of Ibragim Selimkhanov, a gay man who was forced into a car at a Moscow train station, robbed, bundled onto a plane and flown to the Chechen capital of Grozny.
Remarkably, Selimkhanov eventually managed to escape back to Moscow.
Chechen authorities have always denied that an anti-LGBT+ crackdown occurred in the region.
Yet at a Council of Europe meeting last year the suppression of gay people in Chechnya was described as "the single most egregious example of violence against LGBTI people in Europe that has occurred in decades".
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