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Zhirinovsky Asks Russians Not to Vote Communist

Moscow, June 28 (RFE/RL) -- Russian ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky asked his voters today not to back Communist Gennady Zyuganov in the runoff against President Boris Yeltsin on July 3.

Zhirinovsky, who took fifth place in the first round of the Russian presidential poll, told a news conference "I ask my voters to participate in the July 3 vote but not to vote for Gennady Zyuganov."

Zhirinovsky stopped short of asking his supporters to back President Boris Yeltsin. Yeltsin has won the backing of law-and-order General Alexander Lebed, who came in third in the first round. His aides said he was also planning to meet liberal economist Grigory Yavlinsky soon to discuss how best to "mobilize democratic forces."