Moscow, 7 Aug 2000 (RFE/RL) - The Russian government today announced the capture of Ibragim Khultygov, a former security chief for the separatist government in Chechnya. The Kremlin's Chechnya spokesman, Sergei Yastrzhembsky, said Khultygov is an important Chechen leader whose surrender has great symbolic importance. But RFE/RL's correspondent in the North Caucasus reports that Khultygov has not taken part in the current conflict.
A spokesman for Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov said Khultygov was relieved of his duties in June 1999. But the Kremlin claims that Khultygov has been serving as a separatist field commander in recent months.
Moscow officials also say a fundamentalist field commander in Chechnya named Musali Khaskhanov surrendered yesterday.