Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 131

Zyuganov campaign officials complained yet again yesterday about media bias, accusing Russia’s main TV channel, ORT, of refusing to run a campaign advertisement that raised the question of campaign fraud. The Zyuganov team said the channel’s action was "a serious violation" of election law. ORT chief Sergei Blagovolin responded that the ad was not aired because the Communists had not paid for it and because it contained "unproven allegations." But the Zyuganov campaign said the ad had been paid for in advance. They also expressed concern that less stringent voting rules, introduced by the election authorities in an effort to boost turnout, open the way for vote-rigging. (AP, July 2) Initially, Central Election Commission chairman Nikolai Ryabov agreed to examine Zyuganov’s complaint against ORT, but later in the day his deputy, Aleksandr Ivanchenko, stated that, since Zyuganov’s headquarters had not lodged an official complaint by 4:30 PM, he viewed the incident as "an illegal attempt to engage in electioneering." (Interfax, July 2) This is not the first time Zyuganov’s team has complained about blatant media bias; their previous complaints have also been ignored.

Military Reform Documents Drafted.