Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 107

Russian TV reported June 2 that a military committee attached to the Central Committee of the Russian Communist party meets regularly in the party’s parliamentary offices. Headed by retired Lt. General Mikhail Surkov, deputy chairman of the Duma’s defense committee, the body is said also to include such notorious and hard-line Soviet-era military leaders as generals Albert Makashov, Vladislav Achalov, Valentin Varennikov, and, more recently, Aleksandr Rutskoi. Russian TV reported that the defense committee was formed in December of 1995 to oversee agitation efforts among military personnel on behalf of Communist party leader Gennady Zyuganov. The committee also aimed to establish Communist cells in military units and educational institutions. The report suggested that the committee had been highly successful in this last goal. It also said that defense committee leaders have cultivated ties with their former comrades-in-arms, especially in the prestigious General Staff Academy, in order to strengthen Zyuganov’s influence within the armed forces. (RTR, "Zerkalo," June 2)