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Chechen Separatists Ready To Swap Captured Russian Police

Grozny, Jan. 29 (RFE/RL) - Chechen separatist spokesman Movladi Udugov said today his men are ready to exchange 17 Russian policemen they are holding for all separatist fighters captured by Russian troops in the Dagestan hostage crisis.

Itar-Tass quoted Udugov as saying an exchange could take place at "any time" if the Russians agreed to an "all-for-all" swap. Udugov said this remained the Chechen separatists' position at on-going talks with Dagestani officials.

Interfax meanwhile says that three Russian soldiers have died and eight others have been injured in fighting in Chechnya during the past 24 hours.

In another development, Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Skuratov said yesterday that thousands of millions of rubles earmarked for the reconstruction of war-torn Chechnya had disappeared. He told a news conference that theft had been especially blatant in the agencies handling construction, health, agricultural and community services.