The head of Russia's North Caucasus republic of Ingushetia calls an accusation that the republic's prime minister has paid money to an Islamic militant leader "a provocation."
Speaking to journalists in Ingushetia's capital, Magas, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov said that an interview that a former Islamic militant gave to Russia's state-controlled television channel must be connected with Ingushetia's leadership election scheduled for September.
In the interview, aired on March 31, the man claimed that the leader of the region's Islamic insurgency, Doku Umarov, gets $1 million every month from Ingush Prime Minister Musa Chiliyev to secure his personal protection from attacks.
Attacks by Islamic militants in the North Caucasus against police, officials, and moderate Muslims leave scores of people dead and injured each year.
Based on reporting by Interfax and RIA Novosti