GROZNY, August 22 (RIA Novosti) - Sulim Yamadayev has been officially dismissed from his post as commander of the Defense Ministry's Vostok battalion in Chechnya, a military source said on Friday.
The source said that Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov had signed the order on Thursday.
Earlier in the month, Chechen Interior Minister Ruslan Alkhanov told Ramzan Kadyrov, the president of the troubled North Caucasus republic, that Yamadayev had been put on a federal wanted list over the 1998 abduction and murder of a Chechen businessman.
The latest reports said investigators in Chechnya had removed Yamadayev from the federal wanted list after he was tracked down in Moscow.
Yamadayev was earlier accused of an attack on Kadyrov's security convoy in Chechnya during a clash between Vostok and the Chechen president's men on April 14. Russian military officials have denied however that a shootout took place between the rival security convoys.
What is known is that the two columns of vehicles crashed on a highway in Gudermes after refusing to give way to each other. The Vostok base was subsequently surrounded by Kadyrov's men. The incident led to wide-spread rumors that the Vostok unit, along with another Defense Ministry special battalion, Zapad, could be disbanded.
The Vostok battalion answers directly to the Russian Defense Ministry and the Chechen authorities have no effective control over it.
Kadyrov said previously he had no conflict with Vostok itself, but had concerns about some of its military leaders, whom he dubbed criminals.
Badrudi Yamadayev, Sulim's younger brother, was sentenced in 2003 to 11 years in prison for attempted murder, but was later released on parole.
Kadyrov has accused the Yamadayev brothers of a number of crimes and demanded that they be brought to justice.
The Chechen president explicitly pointed to a special military operation by Vostok battalion troops in the Borozdinovskaya village in the summer of 2005. Four houses were burnt down, 11 people disappeared and a 77-year-old man died as a result of the operation.
Sulim Yamadayev has accused Kadyrov of provoking the convoy incident in order to force the battalion's withdrawal from Chechnya. He also expressed his shock in an interview with the Russian Vlast magazine in April that his men's base had been surrounded by "people who fought against Russia [in the Chechen wars]."