In his message on the fifth anniversary of Russia’s declaration of sovereignty, President Boris Yeltsin claimed that the main achievement of the period had been “the destruction of one of the worst, most merciless totalitarian systems,” Itar-Tass reported June 11. “I think that over the last few years we have managed to do the main thing–we have found the strength to start moving, to overcome our fear of change,” Yeltsin said. He acknowledged, however, that “Russia has still not become a strong, really democratic state” and suggested that “a weak state is economically ineffective and socially dangerous.” Like most Russians, Yeltsin himself took the day off, playing tennis in Sochi. Presidential aide Sergei Filatov said that Russia now shows all the signs of becoming a normal country, Russian radio reported June 12 But Krasnaya zvezda commentator Aleksandr Golts said that “to this day, we are living at a typical Russian building site. The same one with churned up soil, spilled concrete, bricks falling on innocent passers-by, drunken foremen, curses and chaos. And theft, theft, theft,” the radio reported.
Chechen War After Six Months.