A controversy between Russia’s two leading news agencies has developed over differing claims as to the authorship of a draft Russian national security concept paper published June 26 by Interfax and attributed to Security Council secretary Aleksandr Lebed. (See Monitor, June 27) A day later, the competing Itar-Tass news agency published what it claimed was a denial by Lebed that he had been involved in drafting the notably hard-line document. According to Itar-Tass, Lebed suggested that the document, entitled "A New Approach to National Security Problems," had actually been prepared prior to his entry into the Russian government.
But on June 28 Interfax fired back, claiming that it had received confirmation from Lebed’s press service that the document was indeed produced by a group working under Lebed. It also claimed to have received word from Lebed himself that the document reflected his views. The press service, meanwhile, did make the point that the published document was only a draft, but it suggested that the final version of the concept was expected to vary from it in only minor ways. Finally, sources described as close to Lebed reportedly told Interfax that the remarks run by Itar-Tass as Lebed’s own had in fact not come from the retired general. (Interfax, June 28)
Chechnya Talks "Driven into Dead End."