46 Militants in Chechnya Voluntarily Lay Down Their Arms

On Saturday in Chechnya 46 militants voluntarily laid down their arms. The official surrender ceremony was attended by Ahmad Kadyrov, head of the republic's administration, Stanislav Ilyasov, Russian minister on Chechnya, and Sergei Babkin, chief of the Chechen department of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation.

Among those who laid down their arms were two Brigadier Generals of the armed forces of Ichkeria and one Colonel. All of them fought as part of illegal armed formations in the eastern part of the republic. Negotiations with them initiated by Ahmad Kadyrov lasted for more than a month.

Kadyrov stated at the ceremony that the militants who surrendered would not be criminally prosecuted as they were not involved in serious crimes and "conditions would be created for them to return to creative labor." One of the militants, Colonel of the Security Service of the government of Ichkeria Arsur Ahmadov appealed to all those who knew him to take part in the referendum and to vote for the adoption of the Chechen constitution.