Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 4

Chechnya’s "head" Doku Zavgayev, speaking on Russian television, called for election of a Chechen People’s Assembly by early spring. Russia’s nationalities and regional policy minister Vyacheslav Mikhailov and top representative of the federal government in Chechnya Vladimir Zorin praised the initiative as a step that could lead to peace. (9) Simultaneous elections December 17 for the Russian Duma and the post of "head of the republic" led to intensified fighting in the republic; both elections were widely considered lacking in legitimacy. Chechnya’s current, nominal legislature is actually the former Chechen-Ingush ASSR Supreme Soviet, resuscitated by Moscow and Zavgayev in October 1995 after ceasing to exist in 1991.

Among the many objections to the December 17 elections in Chechnya was that a significant part of its population had been forcibly deplaced. Russia’s Federal Migration Service yesterday provided indirect substantiation of that charge, announcing that "more than half a million people" of Chechnya’s pre-war population of 1.2 million had fled their homes during 1995. (10)

Kremlin Sounds Populist Themes.