http://gdb.rferl.org/425ecce1-a945-4ee3-9534-67ad4f81a6b4_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/425ecce1-a945-4ee3-9534-67ad4f81a6b4_mw800_mh600.jpg
Doku Umarov, the new leader of the Chechen rebels (file photo) (RFE/RL)
PRAGUE, June 21, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Chechen separatists have formally announced that a rebel field commander, Doku Umarov, has been appointed the leader of the self-declared Chechen separatist government.
Umarov succeeds Abdul-Khalim Sadulayev, who was killed by pro-Russian forces on June 17.
A statement on a separatist website posted on June 21 said Umarov had taken over as president the day Sadulayev was killed.
Umarov, a long-time guerrilla leader, previously served as vice president in the self-declared government.
The aftermath of a December 2002 Chechen resistance attack on the main government building in Grozny (epa)
The fighting in Chechnya
has raged, with short breaks, since 1994. It has brought misery, death, and destruction to the North Caucasus republic and to Russia as a whole. View an annotated timeline
of the conflict.
RFE/RL's complete coverage of Russia's war-torn Republic of Chechnya.