Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 93

Russia’s election campaign entered a new phase today. Between now and June 14, when official campaigning ends, each of the eleven officially registered candidates has been assigned equal amounts of free air-time on state-run television — the ORT, RTR and Petersburg channels — and on radio. Between May 14 and June 3, each candidate will get two slots of ten minutes on both the major TV channels; in the period June 4-14, they will get five-minute slots. Free radio time was also allotted, with candidates drawing lots for the various slots. (Segodnya, May 6; NTV, May 13) Candidates may purchase a small amount of additional time for campaign broadcasts on state-run media and can spend as much as they like on private media outlets. All campaigning must cease on June 14; the following day will be a cooling-off period prior to the election itself on June 16. The campaign kicked off this morning with a radio broadcast by Aleksandr Lebed, followed by Communist candidate Gennady Zyuganov. (BBC, May 14)

Zyuganov is considered to have drawn the most desirable television spot — on June 14 — while Boris Yeltsin has done less well, with June 11. As the incumbent president, however, Yeltsin enjoys opportunities for public exposure that his challengers do not. The Russian press has already commented that the population has seen more of their president in the past couple of weeks than in all the previous months (during much of which Yeltsin was in a clinic recovering from a stroke).

Yeltsin Pressures Yavlinsky…