Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 21

Sverdlovsk Governor Eduard Rossel and other regional heavyweights had immediate and angry reactions to last week’s announcement on Chechnya by Russian Security Council Secretary Ivan Rybkin. Moscow, Rybkin said, may suggest to Chechnya that it be recognized as "a sovereign and independent state, freely associated with the Russian Federation." He told a press conference on January 29 that this would not contradict the Russian constitution, which lists Chechnya along with other republics, krais and oblasts as "subjects of the Russian Federation." (Itar-Tass, January 29 and 30) The governors of Russia’s ethnically neutral krais and oblasts are extremely sensitive about the fact that, as they see it, ethnically based republics such as Tatarstan have negotiated power-sharing treaties with the federal center that give them special privileges. Rossel said that he and other members of the Federation Council, who would like to see Tatarstan stripped of its privileges, will certainly not stand for any kind of special status for Chechnya.

Rybkin cited the example of the status of Bavaria within the Federal Republic of Germany. Under the German constitution of 1871, Bavaria enjoyed a larger degree of independence than any of the other states of the empire. Even in 1946, Bavaria’s constitution described it as a free state with its own parliament. This is no longer the case today. Bavaria enjoys no tangible privileges that other German states do not.

Attack on Dagestani Garrison.