Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 233

Sources close to Aleksandr Lebed say he will announce plans to found a political party at a conference of supporters on December 26. They also expect Lebed to announce that he will run for election as Governor of Tula oblast. (Interfax, December 12) Meanwhile, Thomas Pickering, until recently U.S. ambassador in Moscow, has predicted that Russian voters will soon tire of the former general and will not support him as a presidential candidate in 2000. Pickering says Lebed is in danger of becoming "another Zhirinovsky" — "a nationalist icon with no shelf life." (UPI, December 11)

Over a Thousand Russian Servicemen Missing Since Start of War.