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Chechen Antiseparatist Poet Gunned Down In Moscow


Chechen Ruslan Akhtakhanov apparently began writing poems when he was held in a dungeon by separatists.

Chechen Ruslan Akhtakhanov apparently began writing poems when he was held in a dungeon by separatists.

A Chechen poet with antiseparatist views was gunned down in Moscow in what Russian investigators say was a contract killing.

Ruslan Akhtakhanov was getting out of his car near his apartment building in Moscow when an unidentified gunman fired several shots at him.

The attacker fled the scene in a car.

Akhtakhanov, 58, was best known for a book of poems called "I Am Proud of Chechnya, Which Gave Heroes to the World."

He had said he began writing poems while held in a dungeon by separatists.

According to Russian media reports, Akhtakhanov was held for ransom in 1998.

He will be buried in his native village in Chechnya.

compiled from agency reports

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