Aleksandr Lebed, just appointed by President Boris Yeltsin to supervise the "power ministries," said last night in a Western TV interview that he would urge a negotiated withdrawal of Russian troops from Chechnya and the holding of a referendum there "to ascertain the Chechen people’s will." The remarks as reported mark a turnabout in Lebed’s position. He has strongly criticized the military’s performance in the war, but his proposals for a settlement envisaged an the evacuation of the civilian Russian population from Chechnya and a tight military blockade to asphyxiate the republic economically. (Interview on CNN, June 19, cited by Western agencies, June 20)
Chechnya Armistice Talks Blocked.