Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 2 Issue: 19

On May 7, the heavily publicized trial of Colonel Yury Budanov, accused of having murdered a young Chechen woman, El’za Kungaeva, in March 2000, resumed in Rostov-on-Don. Budanov once again had to receive medical attention for his high blood pressure. On May 8, his prospects at the trial worsened when former military subordinates testified that he had been completely drunk at the time he set out to find Kungaeva. This testimony made it more likely that he could be charged with kidnapping as well as with murder (Lenta.ru, May 5, 7, 10; Gazeta.ru, May 10). Commenting on these new revelations, Gazeta.ru remarked: “This was already not the first instance in the Budanov trial when his fellow soldiers wanted to say something good about their commander and ended up saying something bad. One of them, for example, …related that on one occasion, when it seemed to Budanov that one of his commands was not being carried out, he tossed a [live] grenade into the officers’ tent. The officers barely managed to escape the blast” (Gazeta.ru, May 10).