Chechen Republic of Ichkeria: Top Rebel Figure Arsanov Detained in Chechnya
Arsanov was taken captive in mid-January in the village of Chernorechye near Grozny. He is currently being held in custody in Tsentoroi, Kavkaz-Tsentr reported.
On January 16 Russian news agencies reported that Vakha Arsanov, the former deputy to Maskhadov, was detained by republican special-purpose police forces in Grozny. Chechen law enforcers, however, never confirmed the report.
Vakha Arsanov ran on the same ticket as Aslan Maskhadov, and the two won Chechnya’s presidential election in January 1997 — as Chechnya was beginning to enjoy a brief period of de-facto independence from Moscow.
Arsanov, a former Soviet traffic police officer, commanded a unit during the first 1994-96 Chechen war but chose not to fight when Moscow sent troops into Chechnya for the second campaign in 1999. Maskhadov fired Arsanov as vice president in January 2001 for not fighting federal troops.