Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 181

Leaders of 32 Communist and nationalist parties and movements met in Moscow yesterday to plan an "autumn offensive" against the Yeltsin leadership. They included the Russian Communist Party, smaller and more radical Communist organizations such as "Working Russia," nationalist groups led by Sergei Baburin and Nikolai Ryzhkov, and the new star in the opposition firmament, Gen. Lev Rokhlin’s Movement in Support of the Army. The parties of Aleksandr Lebed and Vladimir Zhirinovsky did not attend, but almost everyone else who is anyone in the opposition was there. (ORT, Ekho Moskvy, September 29)

The initiative for the meeting came from the Communist-dominated Popular Patriotic Union, the umbrella group that backed Gennady Zyuganov’s 1996 presidential bid. Zyuganov said the purpose of the meeting was to work out common tactics, but observers suspect that the established opposition was aiming especially to coopt Rokhlin’s new organization. The Movement in Support of the Army is now Russia’s fastest-growing opposition movement, with a strong regional base, and many observers see it as a potential challenger to the Communist Party as leader of the opposition.

"The Yeltsin regime and Yeltsin himself must go," Rokhlin told yesterday’s meeting. The proceedings took place behind closed doors, but participants reportedly agreed to join forces to campaign for the union of Russia and Belarus and against rent hikes and higher prices for utilities.

Yeltsin Admonishes Duma.