In Moscow yesterday, 25 left-wing parties and groups agreed to create a ÒPeopleÕs Patriotic BlocÓ and to back the leader of the Russian Communist party, Gennady Zyuganov, as the sole candidate of the left in next JuneÕs presidential election. They included ÒPower to the PeopleÓ (led by former Soviet prime minister Nikolai Ryzhkov), the Union of Communist Parties–Soviet Communist Party (led by Oleg Shenin), the Agrarian Party (Mikhail Lapshin), the Agrarian Union (Vasily Starodubtsev), the Agricultural WorkersÕ Trade Union (Aleksandr Davydov), the Popular Alliance (Igor Muravyev), the Komsomol youth movement (Igor Malyarov) and the All-Russian Union of Armed Forces Veterans (Georgy Yashkin). Zyuganov declared the bloc stands for "spirituality, statehood, and the ideals of goodness and justice." He said he has hopes that the bloc will be joined by such political figures as Aleksandr Rutskoi, retired Lt. General Aleksandr Lebed, and Sergei Govorukhin with whom, he said, he has no serious differences. So far refusing to join the bloc, however, is Working Russia, the far-left party led by Viktor Anpilov which scored an unexpected 4 percent in the December elections. Anpilov wants Zyuganov to make a wholehearted commitment to restoring the Soviet Union. Also playing hard to get is Sergei Baburin, leader of the nationalist Russian All-PeopleÕs Movement. (4)
"Third Force" Created.