Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 112

Local elections were held yesterday in three Russian regions and, as expected, incumbents were victorious in all three. In Tyumen oblast in western Siberia, incumbent governor Leonid Roketsky was reelected with 58.8 percent of the vote while his opponent, a banker, gained 32.9 percent. Roketsky’s victory will not, however, resolve the ongoing conflict between the oblast and the two oil- and gas-rich autonomous districts that form part of it. Under the Russian constitution, the Khanty-Mansi and Yamal-Nenets Autonomous okrugs are simultaneously components of Tyumen oblast and enjoy equality in status with it. Local leaders in Khanty-Mansi and Yamal-Nenets refused to allow their residents to take part in yesterday’s election and said they would observe its outcome only if it suited them. Both autonomous okrugs want more autonomy from the oblast to reap the benefits of their rich natural resources. Their struggle for more autonomy seems set to continue.

Also reelected yesterday was Valeri Kokov, the incumbent president of the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria in the north Caucasus. Kokov ran unopposed, which is against Russian law. In the nearby north Caucasus Republic of Adygeya, incumbent president Aslan Dzharimov fought off a Communist challenge to win reelection with 58 percent of the vote. (Itar-Tass, January 13)

Russia Said to Have Sold Two Destroyers to China in Secret Deal.