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Alleged Participant In 1995 Budyonnovsk Hostage Seizure Detained In Moscow

Khazvakha Cherkhigov (center) is pictured during his detention in Moscow.

Russian authorities say they have detained an alleged participant in a deadly hostage-taking attack in the southern Russian city of Budyonnovsk in 1995, a turning point in the first of the two post-Soviet separatist wars in nearby Chechnya.

Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) said in a statement on November 20 that Khazvakha Cherkhigov, born in 1978, was detained in Moscow a day earlier and transferred to the North Caucasus region.

In June, the North Caucasus Regional Military Court in the city of Rostov-on-Don found another man, Badruddi Daudov, guilty of involvement in the hostage-taking and sentenced him to 14 years in prison.

Daudov pleaded not guilty.

On June 14, 1995, a group of Chechen separatists led by Shamil Basayev attacked a local police station and government buildings in Budyonnovsk and took some 1,500 people hostage, demanding the withdrawal of Russian troops from Chechnya.

About 150 people were killed. The surviving hostages were released following a five-day siege after Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin promised a cease-fire in Chechnya and gave Basayev and his backers safe passage back to Chechnya.

The deal to resolve the crisis paved the way for an August 1996 agreement that ended the war.

A second war erupted in 1999, with then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin playing a prominent role in decision-making, after Basayev led militants in an incursion into neighboring Daghestan.

Basayev, who became the most wanted man in Russia, was killed in an explosion in 2006.

Based on reporting by Rapsinews and Interfax