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Zhirinovsky's Party Calls To Define Gorbachev, Yeltsin Policies 'Criminal'

Russia's Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) has filed a document with parliament to define as "criminal and destructive" the policies of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and Russia's first president, Boris Yeltsin.

The text of the nonbinding declaration, posted on March 15 on the website of the parliament's lower chamber, the State Duma, says Gorbachev and Yeltsin were personally responsible for "the collapse of the U.S.S.R., interethnic clashes, military conflicts...and catastrophic plunge of the level of life of the millions of people in 1990s."

The votes of 226 of 450 lawmakers are needed to pass the document.

The LDPR, led by Russia's controversial ultra-nationalist politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky, has 56 seats in parliament.

Gorbachev, whose "perestroika" reforms in the late 1980s led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, called the LDPR's move an attempt "to escalate tension in the Russian society," and called for its dissolution.

Deputy Duma Speaker Andrei Isayev called the LDPR's move part of the party's election campaign.

The parliamentary elections are scheduled for September 18.

Based on reporting by, TASS, and Interfax

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