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Chechnya: Yelena Bonner Criticizes Yeltsin Over Chechnya

Moscow, July 31 (RFE/RL) -- Yelena Bonner, a Russian human rights activist, said today that Russian President Boris Yeltsin's re-election has turned out to be a "deception for millions of voters."

Bonner, 73, spoke from a Moscow hospital where she is in intensive care for heart problems. There was no immediate word on her condition. She is the widow of Nobel Peace Prize winner Andrei Sakharov.

"Very many people voted for Yeltsin because before the election he showed his desire for peace in Chechnya." But, she told reporters today, "This has turned out to have been only pre-election words."

She also criticized Alexander Lebed, the head of the Russian security council, for not following through on his presidential campaign promises to withdraw Russian troops from Chechnya and to hold a referendum there.

Fighting between Russian troops and Chechen separatists erupted again almost immediately after Yeltsin's election victory.