Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 159

Results from the December 17 Duma balloting in Russia’s military installations were collected and publicized at an early hour the next day, before much of the civilian vote was in. As officially summarized by the defense ministry, "the overwhelming majority of armed forces personnel supported the blocs and movements which stand for stability and Russia’s security, particularly "Russia is Our Home." (11) The statement covered servicemen based within national borders and in the "near abroad." An independent press report claims, however, that the soldiers’ preference for prime minister Viktor Chernomydin’s ROH is a lot of hogwash. According to accounts, officers handed down instructions to their men to vote for ROH. But anecdotal evidence suggests that many chose to cast ballots for the parties of Zyuganov, Zhirinovsky, Govorukhin, and even the Beer Lovers. Army sociologists tracked the direction of the vote throughout election day and confirmed that the Communist and Zhirinovsky parties were most popular. A high-ranking officer of the general staff explained that sheer "politicking" was involved in the brass’s attempts to fool Yeltsin and Chernomyrdin into thinking the military in its mass supported ROH, the party of the government. At a highly publicized command conference attended by Chernomyrdin shortly before the election, defense minister Pavel Grachev ordered the top generals to order their subordinates in military units to make sure that the armed forces vote for "Russia is Our Home." (12)

Land Privatization Likely to be High on the Russian Agenda.