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Chechnya: Council Of Europe Faults Russians, Separatists

Moscow, 13 March 2000 (RFE/RL) - Lord Frank Judd, the head of a delegation from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, said Monday that war crimes have been committed in Chechnya by both Russian soldiers and separatist fighters. Judd spoke in Moscow after completing a two-day tour of the region. He also said the Kremlin has done little to interfere in abuses by federal forces. Also in Moscow Monday, Russian acting President Vladimir Putin announced that security forces had captured senior Chechen field commander Salman Raduyev.

Putin said the capture was the result of a special operation by Russia's Federal Security Service, the FSB. Raduyev led a mass hostage-taking in Russia's republic of Daghestan in 1996.

On the ground in Chechnya, Russian troops are continuing to battle rebels in the village of Komsomolskoye in the republic's southern mountains.