VLADIMIR PUTIN MEETS WITH DUMA FACTION LEADERS

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VLADIMIR PUTIN MEETS WITH DUMA FACTION LEADERS

ORT, Novosti, August 14, 1999, 15:00

Acting Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has met with leaders of Duma factions. The first Duma deputy with whom Putin met was Gennady Zyuganov. It is known that the Communists intend to support Putin’s candidacy, but the final decision will be made at the plenary session of the Central Committee of the Communist Party on Sunday.

Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky said after his meeting with Putin that Yabloko supports the acting prime minister’s intention not to initiate a personnel revolution.

After the meeting with Putin, leader of People’s Power Nikolai Ryzhkov announced his surety that Putin will be confirmed by the Duma in the first vote. The conversation between Ryzhkov and Putin was dedicated to the structure of the new government. To make the government’s work in the real sector of the economy more effective, Ryzhkov suggested that an industry ministry be created.

STEPASHIN BECOMES A POPULAR POLITICIAN

ORT, Vremya, August 14, 1999, 21:00

Although Stepashin’s government functioned for less than three months, Sergei Stepashin has joined the top five most popular politicians in Russia.

If the presidential election were held this weekend, Yevgeny Primakov would win in the first round. Some 23% of voters would vote for him, which is 3% more than a week ago. Leader of the Communists Gennady Zyuganov retains second place, being supported by 16%. Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov holds third place with 10%. Last week Stepashin was last on the list, being supported by 7% of voters. Now he has moved into fourth place with 8%. Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky has lost nearly half his support since last week: it has fallen from 11% to 6%.

The Public Opinion Foundation conducted this poll in all regions of the Russian Federation.

BASAEV’S INTENTIONS IN DAGESTAN

ORT, Vremya, August 14, 1999, 21:00

Shamil Basaev’s most ambitious program in the North Caucasus is to establish a confederation there. The confederation would comprise Chechnya as the backbone and “exporter” of the Moslem revolution, Dagestan as a corridor to the Caspian Sea and oil, and Ingushetia, North Ossetia, Karachaevo-Cherkessia, and Kabardino-Balkaria for the sake of manpower. The ideal would be to seize Abkhazia as well in order to get access to the Black Sea.

The minimum program would be a confederation of Chechnya and Dagestan.

However, many politicians hold that Basaev is simply the best-known figure, and therefore he is heading the Moslem movement. In reality, it is the Shura of Chechnya and Dagestan that possesses real power in Chechnya.

Meanwhile, Moscow continues to talk about holding negotiations with Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov, whose real power extends no further than the Presidential Palace in Grozny.

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