Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 136

A closed-door meeting was held July 8 to discuss the creation of a new movement on the basis of the Communist and nationalist alliance that backed Gennady Zyuganov’s presidential bid. The founding congress of the new movement, to be called the Popular-Patriotic Union of Russia (NPSR), will be held August 7. The meeting was held in Zyuganov’s office but was chaired by former Soviet prime minister Nikolai Ryzhkov. Also attending were Agrarian Party leader Mikhail Lapshin, Aleksei Podberezkin (Zyuganov’s eminence grise), Russian nationalist Sergei Baburin and former vice-president Aleksandr Rutskoi. Baburin told NTV that "Working Russia" leader Viktor Anpilov and other left-wing radicals either were not invited or had decided not to join the new movement. The aim is to use next month’s congress to announce the formation of a shadow cabinet, and Lapshin has already expressed his annoyance that the only portfolio being offered to his party is that of agriculture minister. (Interfax, NTV, July 9) Reporting on the meeting, Izvestiya said that NPSR leaders are keen to portray it as a social-democratic movement but that the presence of the Communist party at its organizational core is creating identity problems that have not yet been resolved. (Izvestiya, July 9)

U.S.-Baltic Military Exercise Begins.