Sergei Kharlamov, deputy secretary of the Russian Security Council, appeared late last night on Independent Television (NTV) and made a statement on behalf of Aleksandr Lebed. The broadcast was not announced beforehand, suggesting that it was arranged only at the last minute. According to Kharlamov, Lebed thinks "certain speeches" in the Duma and the Federation Council and "certain press conferences" indicate that those who oppose a peaceful settlement in Chechnya are growing more active. The "war party" is now ready to undertake any provocation and has even begun to accuse Lebed of turning military technology over to the rebels, Kharlamov asserted. (NTV, October 9)
Oddly enough, this is the first anyone has heard of allegations that Lebed has handed military technology over to the Chechen opposition. Lebed’s aide appears, however, to have been referring to recent statements by Interior Minister Anatoly Kulikov. Kulikov charged at a press conference on October 7 that criminal elements helped Lebed set up the Khasavyurt accords. On October 8, Kulikov told a closed session of the Federation Council that, "It can’t be called ‘peace’ when certain Russian politicians, instead of negotiating seriously, make deals with the separatists, promise to meet all their conditions and cold-bloodedly give away Russia’s interests." (NTV, October 9)
Until last night, Lebed had pointedly ignored Kulikov’s barbs. When journalists asked for his reaction, Lebed brushed Kulikov’s criticism aside with the words, "What criticism?! Dogs always bark when the train passes through." (ORT, October 9) Yesterday’s late-night statement by Lebed’s aide suggests that Lebed has found out about a new attempt to compromise him and decided to launch a preemptive strike.
Lebed’s Unexpected Praise for NATO Riles Duma.