Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 4 Issue: 30

Yury Budanov, the former Russian tank commander found guilty on July 27 of murdering a Chechen girl (see Chechnya Weekly, July 31), may go free long before the end of his ten-year sentence.

The Agenstvo politicheskikh novostei (Political News Agency) reported on August 12 that it had been told by a source in Russia’s Ministry of Defense that the prison sentence contradicted the promises that President Putin had given before the Budanov trial to the Russian military command in Chechnya. According to that source, Putin had said that Budanov would be pronounced mentally incompetent, sent somewhere for a compulsory psychiatric cure, then released. Therefore, concluded the news agency, “it is not to be excluded that Budanov’s sentence will be reviewed after the presidential elections in Chechnya.”