YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Antoin Arakelian–a public figure from St. Petersburg–was recently released after being held hostage in Chechnya for three months.
Last September–Arakelian came to Chechnya to get some information about two journalists from St. Petersburg Maxim Shabalin (the Nevskoye Vremya) and press photographer Felix Titov who went missing in February-March 1995.
Last week–Chechen law-enforcement agencies apprehended a large criminal group which had been involved in kidnapping people and holding them to ransom. Finding himself at large–Antoin Arakelian managed to get to Grozny.
Despite having spent three months in Chechen custody–Antoin Arakelian has no intentions of returning to St. Petersburg now. He plans to stay in Chechnya to continue his mission.