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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Holds Dudayev's Brother

The Interior Ministry is holding an older brother of Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudayev on suspicion of involvement with rebellious activity in the breakaway North Caucasus republic, a spokesman for the Federal Counterintelligence Service said Monday.

Alexander Zdanovich said Interior Ministry troops had detained Dudayev's brother in Grozny last Thursday and transported him to Moscow. Itar-Tass identified him as Bekmurzy Dudayev, aged about 50.

Interfax reported that Dudayev's uncle had been detained on the same day as his brother and had also been transported to Moscow, but Zdanovich denied this.

He said Bekmurzy Dudayev would be summoned as a witness in proceedings launched by the General Prosecutor's Office against the Chechen leader, whose whereabouts are unknown. "But maybe not only a witness, because he was in charge of the personnel department in Dudayev's administration," Zdanovich added.

The prosecutor's office brought charges against Dzhokhar Dudayev two weeks ago, accusing him of treason and mass murder, punishable by death.

The daily Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported that Dudayev's brother had been "a shadow" to the Chechen leader and was in charge of all personnel questions in the president's administration.

The newspaper said Bekmurzy had received only a secondary education and worked for a long time as a truck driver.

His career received a sudden boost after Dudayev came to power in September 1991 and declared Chechen independence.

Dudayev's oldest son Ovlur Dudayev died in early January from wounds received in the defense of Grozny, where he was buried.

The Chechen leader's nephew, Shamir Dudayev, 23, was shot dead in May, 1993, in a gunfight in Grozny.