Chechen Deputy Prosecutor General Magomed Magomadov reports that the kidnappers of the Russian presidential representative in Chechnya, Valentin Vlasov, have demanded, through intermediaries, a ransom of US$2 million. According to Magomadov, they have also offered to exchange Vlasov for Daud Korigov, former interior minister of Ingushetia, who was arrested in Moscow on charges of exceeding his legal authority. (Rumor has it that Korigov had served as a middleman for criminals specializing in the “hostage trade.”) But Chechen Deputy Premier Kazbek Makhashev denied this, saying further that there has been no contact with Vlasov’s kidnappers. (NTV, June 20)
It is fifty days since Valentin Vlasov was kidnapped in Chechnya. Immediately after the kidnapping, Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov condemned the kidnappers in the harshest possible way and said that he would do everything possible for his swift release. Maskhadov gets reports on the course of the investigation virtually every day but the search has so far been fruitless. These recent contradictory announcements from high-ranking Chechen officials suggest they are unable to agree on what information ought to be given to journalists. This indicates that there is dissent within the Chechen leadership. It leads one to suppose that the Chechen authorities have no concrete information on Vlasov’s fate.
RUSSIAN SERVICEMEN ATTACKED ON EVE OF DAGESTAN’S ELECTIONS.