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Russia: Cossacks Meet About Alleged Discrimination

Pyatigorsk, Russia; 15 January 1997 (RFE/RL) - Cossack leaders are expected to meet today to discuss alleged discrimination against Cossacks and other ethnic Russians in the north Caucasus region.

Interfax news agency said the chairman of the Duma's defense committee, Lev Rokhlin, is scheduled to attend the meeting in the north Caucasus spa town of Pyatigorsk.

Stavropol Krai Cossacks rallied on January 10 to demand the return of part of the krai's territory, which was transferred to the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Republic in 1956 and now belongs to Chechnya.

Some Cossacks have called for introducing direct rule by the Russian president in some Cossack communities in Chechnya, pending elections in the republic on January 27.