According to the newspaper Moskovsky komsomolets, Moscow has decided to send an additional contingent of internal troops to Dagestan to maintain order during the elections for Dagestan’s State Council, which will take place on June 26. (Moskovsky komsomolets, June 19)
In the newspaper’s opinion, this will undoubtedly be seen as a sign of Moscow’s clear support for the present Dagestani government. The presence of additional Russian troops will lead to a marked increase in anti-Russian sentiments. Such sentiments could provoke armed conflict, which in turn could spread into other North Caucasus republics. As the newspaper notes, through a strange coincidence, the decision to send troops to Chechnya was also taken approximately two years before a Russian presidential election. At that time, the government was counting on a “small victorious war” which would boost Yeltsin’s rating before the elections. Now, according to Moskovsky komsomolets, the Kremlin is counting on something else: If the whole North Caucasus is “burning” in 2000, the Kremlin would have reasonable grounds to introduce a state of emergency and cancel the elections.
SOLANA SHOWS NATO FLAG.