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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Chechen Chief Warned

GROZNY -- A senior minister recently axed from Aslan Maskhadov's government warned Friday that the Chechen president has alienated many of his former allies by taking a soft line toward Russia.

Movladi Udugov, a field commander who fought alongside Maskhadov during Chechnya's war for independence and later became the republic's foreign minister, was sacked by Maskhadov last month along with the rest of the Cabinet.

Maskhadov parted ways with Udugov shortly after holding talks with Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, when both leaders pledged to improve their chilly relations and fight gangs plaguing the Caucasus republic.

"Between Maskhadov and me there were different approaches to politics with Russia. Our opinion on this question diverged," Udugov said.