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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Shift at State Council

MOSCOW -- The head of the Moscow-backed Chechen government-in-exile announced he was handing his powers to the former mayor of Grozny, recently released from jail in Moscow.

Malik Saidullayev, chairman of the Chechen State Council, was quoted by Interfax as saying former Grozny Mayor Beslan Gantemirov "will be able to do more for Chechnya" in the position.

Gantemirov was unexpectedly released last week from prison, where he was serving a term for embezzlement. Media predicted he would become the head of a puppet government.