Meeting in Krasnodar last weekend, atamans of the All-Kuban Cossack Army declared their support for President Yeltsin in the upcoming presidential elections. For the first time in eighty years, one of them said, "a Russian leader has turned his face to the Cossacks." (Interfax, May 21) Yeltsin’s decision to cultivate the support of Russia’s resurgent Cossack movement by means of tax breaks, grants of land and the establishment of special army units was masterminded by his hawkish chief of staff Nikolai Yegorov, formerly minister of nationalities. Yegorov, himself of Cossack origin, has recently called for Russia’s Cossack troops to be granted the status of a state institution. In an interview with the daily newspaper of the Defense Ministry, Krasnaya zvezda, Yegorov said Cossack troops should become an integral part of the state security system and serve in areas of ethnic and social unrest as well as patrolling Russia’s borders with the other former Soviet republics. (Krasnaya zvezda, May 16)
Grachev Ouster Rumored…Again.