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Duma Calls For Enquiry Into Alleged Armed Commandos

Moscow, April 17 (RFE/RL) - The Russian State Duma today asked the Prosecutor General's office to investigate media reports on alleged armed commandos being trained on the initiative of several Russian political parties, including the Communist Party.

Our Moscow correspondent reports that the move was initiated by Deputy Sergey Yushenko, a member of the pro-reform party "Russia's Choice." Yushenkov served until December, 1995 in the former State Duma as chairman of the Parliamentary Committee On Defense. 319 lawmakers voted today in favor of the inquiry.

Russian communist deputies in the 450-member-strong Duma called the reports a "provocation", but agreed to ask the Prosecutor's office to investigate.

According to recent media reports, several Russian extremist parties, as well as the Communist Party, are financing the training of illegal armed commandos.