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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Vlasov Release Demand

MOSCOW -- An Islamic leader in Chechnya demanded Friday that kidnappers release President Boris Yeltsin's envoy to the secessionist region, Itar-Tass reported.

Valentin Vlasov was kidnapped at gunpoint May 1. No one has claimed responsibility for holding him or made demands for his release.

Akhmad-Khadzhi Kadyrov, a mufti, urged Chechens to help police find Vlasov and obtain his release.

"You deserve to be despised and damned by people in this life and to be punished by God in the other world," Kadyrov said to the kidnappers, Itar-Tass reported.