On December 21 in the Chechen capital of Djohar, unknown persons in camouflage uniforms kidnapped Salambek Khadzhiev, director of the company “Chechengazprom” (Segodnya, December 23). During 1991-1992, Salambek Khadzhiev was one of the most influential political opponents of then Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudaev. However, in 1993, after Dudaev dispersed the Chechen parliament, Khadzhiev was forced to flee to Moscow. After the entry of Russian troops into Chechnya in 1994, the Kremlin named Khadzhiev head of the pro-Moscow Government of National Revival, hoping that Khadzhiev’s rather high popularity rating in Chechnya would convince the population not to join the resistance movement.
Khadzhiev, however, turned out to be insufficiently “manageable,” and repeatedly sharply criticized the actions of the Russian army, saying it was destroying the civilian population, not Chechen resistance fighters. Apparently for this reason, Khadzhiev was replaced in the summer of 1995 by Doku Zavgaev, who in the Soviet period had been Communist Party first secretary in the Chechen-Ingush national republic. Khadzhiev returned to Chechnya from Moscow four months ago, despite the fact that the Chechen authorities regularly demand that Moscow hand over influential “collaborationists” for trial. He apparently thought his relatively independent role during the war would protect him. It looks now as if he miscalculated: He was likely seized by radical Chechen field commanders for having cooperated with the “occupation troops.”
MARCHUK REPLACED AS HEAD OF FACTION IN UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT.