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Chechnya: Pro-Moscow Administration Shows Strain

Gudermes, 18 July 2000 (RFE/RL) -- The new Moscow-appointed administration in Chechnya is showing signs of strain and internal division, five weeks into its existence.

Russian news agencies report a conflict broke out today between top loyalist Chechen officials over who is in control. The Kremlin spokesman on Chechnya Sergei Yastrzhembsky said the dispute broke out after the head of the pro-Moscow administration, Akhmad Kadyrov, dismissed the loyalist leaders of several districts. Kadyrov's deputy, Bislan Gantamirov, who disagreed with the decision, and 200 of his armed supporters staged a show of force outside Kadyrov's headquarters.

Yastrzhembsky said a meeting earlier today in Gudermes between Kadyrov, Gantamirov and Russian military commanders failed to resolve the dispute.