Aleksandr Lebed yesterday won his defamation case against Interior Minister Anatoly Kulikov. The court found no evidence to support Kulikov’s allegations that Lebed had been plotting a coup. No one had believed the allegations, though they served as the pretext for Lebed’s ouster from his post as Security Council secretary last October. The court ordered Kulikov to retract his statement and to pay Lebed symbolic damages of one ruble–less than one-tenth of one cent. Kulikov said he would appeal. (NTV, Itar-Tass, BBC, December 17)
UN Refugee Commission Withdraws Staff from Dagestan-Chechen Border.