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Russia: Lebed Promises 'Civilized Return To Power'

Moscow, 10 January 1997 (RFE/RL) - Russia's former national security chief, Aleksandr Lebed, said today that he aimed to take power in what he called a "civilized way."

Lebed said in an interview with the Interfax news agency that he is preparing to win the next presidential election due to be held in the year 2000.

Yesterday Lebed called on Russian President Boris Yeltsin to resign, saying he is unfit to govern. Yeltsin has been hospitalized since Wednesday. The Kremlin says he is suffering from pneumonia.

Lebed, one of Russia's most popular politicians, has become one of Yeltsin's major opponents since he was sacked in October after a power struggle emerged in the Kremlin.

He recently began moves to form his own political movement.