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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Shamanov Visit Embarrasses White House

WASHINGTON -- Red-faced officials in the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush on Friday were trying to explain why no one had noticed that a Russian general who met with Bush last Monday had been accused of overseeing some of the most notorious atrocities against civilians in Chechnya.

Bush met with General Vladimir Shamanov and retired U.S. Air Force General Robert Foglesong, now head of Mississippi State University, in their capacities as co-chairs of a U.S.-Russian commission on missing soldiers.

In 1999, troops under Shamanov killed 17 civilians in a village in Chechnya, then looted homes and shot those who got in the way, including a woman who was more than 100 years old, human rights investigators said.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Friday that Bush "was not aware of the allegations" made against Shamanov, although they were outlined in a Pentagon biography of Shamanov, and people inside and outside the White House knew about them.

"Due to the information about the current Russian commission leadership, we are going to review how best to move forward with that important work, without future photo ops," Perino said.

"Would [Bush] have met with him if he'd known about these allegations?" a reporter asked. "Unlikely," she said.