Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 49

TheRussian Constitutional Court on July 11 opened its hearings onthe constitutionality and legality of Yeltsin’s decrees whichlaunched the Chechen war, Itar-Tass reported July 10. Officially,the hearings were initiated by the Communist faction in the Duma,a body which is represented on the court by Anatoly Lukyanov andIssa Kostoyev. But the first session of the court suggests thatthe presidential side plans to use the hearings for propagandapurposes by leaking a variety of documents captured from the Chechens,and thus to put pressure on the Chechen negotiators in Grozny.Presidential aides Yuri Baturin and Sergei Shakhrai said thatthey wanted to use the hearings to demonstrate "the criminalnature of Dudayev’s regime" and the "correctness"of Yeltsin’s decisions.

Dudayev Had Massive Force in December 1994.