As the Constitutional Court prepares its decision on the legalityof Yeltsin’s intervention in Chechnya, the Russian general staffis preparing to show that none of its orders in Chechnya citedYeltsin’s decrees. Consequently, the military’s directives wouldnot lose their force even if the Court unexpectedly finds thatYeltsin acted unconstitutionally, NTV reported July 18. The Courtis under enormous political pressure, but the chief justice toldthe television station the court would ignore warnings by officialsthat declaring Yeltsin’s acts unconstitutional could trigger apolitical crisis. Moscow’s Echo Radio reported July 19 that Russiangovernment officials had sent a statement to the Court which includessuggestions that Moscow planned to deport Chechens last year werewithout any basis.
Mikhailov Rejects Shumeiko Proposal on Chechen-Ingush Merger.