President Boris Yeltsin’s declaration that November 7 is henceforth to be celebrated in Russia as the Day of Reconciliation and Accord got a mixed reception in Moscow political circles. Pro-government figures greeted the move enthusiastically but opposition figures were less keen. Agrarian party leader Vasili Starodubtsev, who was briefly jailed in 1991 for his role in the coup that toppled Mikhail Gorbachev, strongly objected to Yeltsin’s attempt to abolish the memory of the October Revolution. "Robbers can’t make peace with those they rob," he declared, "and it won’t be possible to bury this date." (Interfax, November 8) Radical Communist leader Viktor Tyulkin predicted that Yeltsin’s initiative would go the same way as the president’s 1994 Pact of National Accord, which the Communist party refused to sign and which everybody forgot about long ago. (Interfax, November 8) Others saw the move as a cynical attempt to embarrass the Communist party. Yeltsin invited Communist Party leaders to join a new committee headed by Prime Minister Chernomyrdin that will mark next year’s 80th anniversary of the 1917 Revolution by organizing events and erecting monuments to the victims of communism. The Communists can hardly agree to take part but, if they refuse to join in, they will be accused to rejecting Yeltsin’s offer of cooperation and reconciliation. (Reuters, November 8)
Communist Candidate Wins Regional Election.