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Russia: Parliament Alarmed At Kremlin Power Struggle

Moscow, 18 October 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Russia's State Duma today passed a resolution expressing "deep disquiet" at what it called the "dangerous" recent developments in Russia. The resolution came as deputies met to discuss President Boris Yeltsin's dismissal yesterday of Aleksandr Lebed as National Security Advisor and Security Council Secretary.

The Duma said that a "war of compromising material" being waged among Kremlin officials could lead to a "serious crisis of all state power in Russia."

Lebed was accused two days ago of mounting a "creeping coup" by Interior Minister Anatoly Kulikov. Yeltsin's firing of Lebed for what Yeltsin called "insubordination" made no mention of the coup charges.

Russian public figures have both praised and criticized Lebed's dismissal.

Sergey Belyaev, head of the parliamentary faction associated with the party Our Home is Russia, says that it was high time to dismiss Lebed from his security posts.

Aleksey Podberezkin, leader of the pro-communist movement Spiritual Heritage and a prominent member of the opposition Popular Patriotic Union, says he does not expect the president's move will bring any negative consequences to the country.

Victor Ilukhin, in charge of the Duma security committee, says, "Aleksandr Lebed's career has come to a logical conclusion."

But the Chechen separatist government said yesterday that the dismissal of Alexander Lebd will lead to, in its words, "tragic consequences for Russia." Ruslan Chimayev, foreign minister in the Chechen separatist government, said Lebed had "fallen victim to the party of war" that seeks "a continuation of the slaughter in Chechnya."

Yelena Bonner, a well-known human rights campaigner, says that from the very beginning, Lebed's efforts to reach a settlement in Chechnya met fierce resistance from the top administrative and government authorities.