The special commission of the State Duma for the impeachment of President Yeltsin has set July 27 for hearings on the first item on the charge sheet. This concerns Yeltsin’s role in the agreement to dissolve the USSR, signed by Yeltsin and the leaders of Ukraine and Belarus at Belovezhskaya Pushcha in December 1991. Yeltsin’s accusers describe this as the first impeachable offense Yeltsin committed. Commission member Anatoly Lukyanov (often seen as the mastermind behind the failed coup of August 1991 that catalyzed the collapse of the USSR) said that among the evidence to be brought against Yeltsin will be the March 1991 referendum (boycotted by six of the fifteen republics), in which 76 percent of voters supported the preservation of a reformed USSR. Other charges range from the use of force in 1993 to dissolve the Soviet-era legislature and launching the military offensive against Chechnya to undermining the nation’s health by allowing the spread of AIDS. (Ekho Moskvy, Itar-Tass, Reuter, July 20)
FIVE SOUTH KOREAN DIPLOMATS RECALLED FROM RUSSIA.