Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 71

Zhirinovsky’s text, while unremarkable in itself, may be significant in light of another document also published yesterday — a report by Dmitri Yuriev, an expert on the staff of the pro-Yeltsin "Strategiya" Center (of which Gennady Burbulis is a leading light). In his report, published in Segodnya April 10, Yuriev writes that only an explicit "social contract" initiated by Yeltsin can improve the president’s chances of reelection. Yuriev criticizes Yeltsin’s campaign to date, saying it has been managed by unimaginative bureaucrats.

The Monitor has learned from sources in Moscow that the two publications are being seen there as evidence that pessimism about Yeltsin’s reelection chances has prompted some members of Yeltsin’s inner circle — notably, his chief aide Viktor Ilyushin — to argue that a negotiated division of power with the most diverse opposition groups offers the only chance of beating off Zyuganov’s challenge and averting a winner-take-all victory by the Communists. In other words, Yeltsin is being advised that, in order to retain power, he may have to consider sharing it with other, non-Communist political figures and movements.

Chechnya Mediation Plan: Diplomacy or Public Relations?