The first group of State Duma deputies flies out to Belgrade and Pale September 13, according to the office of Duma Chairman Ivan Rybkin. The decision to send deputies to the conflict zone was based on a resolution taken during Saturday’s emergency session. This will be the first of three delegations to make visits. After the deputies’ working trips, Rybkin will lead an official delegation. (3) Many deputies appear to believe that Russia has lost its sovereign capacity for foreign policy initiative and to exert influence in an area that for two centuries it has considered a field of expansion. Their highly publicized trip is designed to stiffen the backbone of President Yeltsin and Foreign Minister Kozyrev, while gaining publicity for themselves in the run-up to December’s parliamentary elections. Though Yeltsin has toughened his rhetoric on the NATO strikes, he views most of his Duma critics as implacable political enemies no matter what he does, and he wants to forestall their acquiring the votes to derail his overall policy.
Chechnya: Moscow Broadens Search for Collaborators, Inches Toward Conditional Acceptance of