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Russian investigators charge two Chechens over 1995 hospital siege in Budyonnovsk

June 10, 2015, 16:51 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The investigation was launched in June 1995 when Chechen militants led by Shamil Basayev took hostage 1,586 civilians, killing 129 of them
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Shamil Basayev with other militants at the hospital in Buddyonovsk

Shamil Basayev with other militants at the hospital in Buddyonovsk

© ITAR-TASS/Konstantin Tarusov

MOSCOW, June 10. /TASS/. Russian investigators have completed an investigation against two Chechen natives accused of taking part in a terrorist attack on the Budyonnovsk hospital in the North Caucasus Stavropol Territory in 1995, Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said on Wednesday.

The investigation was launched in June 1995 when Chechen militants led by Shamil Basayev took hostage 1,586 civilians, killing 129 of them.

"The investigative bodies of the Investigative Committee’s Main Department for the North Caucasian Federal District are bringing criminal charges against Ramzan Belyalov and Magomed Mazdayev," the spokesman said.

‘They are charged with their involvement in a criminal group, hostage-taking and committing a terrorist act," he added.

The attack by 160 Chechen militants on the southern Russian city of Budyonnovsk was organized by terrorist leader Basayev who was eventually killed by Russia’s Federal Security Service in a secret operation in 2006.

The investigation has found that a criminal community was established in south Russia back in 1991 to organize armed rebellions and terrorist attacks for the violent change of Russia’s constitutional order and the illegal secession of the North Caucasus republics from the Russian Federation for the purpose of establishing an Islamic State on their territory, the Investigative Committee spokesman said.

Both suspects were hiding from the investigation for a long time but were eventually detained. Mazdayev was arrested in December 2014 in the southern Volgograd Region and Belyalov was seized in Chechnya in June last year. The complicity of both suspects in the 1995 Budyonnovsk hospital siege is confirmed by eye-witness testimony, the Investigative Committee spokesman said.

"Currently, 23 persons are on federal wanted list," Markin said. "The investigation of the criminal case was complicated after most of the persons now convicted illegally obtained and used Russian passports issued to fake names in order to avoid criminal prosecution," he added.

During the Chechen militants’ attack on Budyonnovsk in June 1995, a total of 196 vehicles were either destroyed or damaged along with the Children’s Creativity House, the hospital, a police station, the building of the city administration and 107 private houses. The damage from the terrorist attack was estimated at $20 million.

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