Writing in the July 18 Moskovsky komsomolets, FederationCouncil deputy Nikolai Gonchar said that "Chechnya cannotbe kept. Nor should it be. This is the sad truth." The Chechenswill keep fighting and will be a drain on the Russian state budget,as well as a base for criminal gangs throughout Russia, as longas Moscow tries to prevent the Chechens from forming their owncountry, he said. But he suggested that Moscow should insist thatportions of Chechnya with ethnic Russian majorities be transferredto Russian regions, and that Moscow make it clear that it wouldnot give Grozny any aid in the future. On the same day, RozalinaRyvkina argued in Segodnya that only one Russian in foursupports the use of force to prevent Chechnya from becoming independent,and that the departure of Chechnya would strengthen rather thanweaken the Russian Federation. "Apparently," she concludes,"the time is ripe for [non-Russian regions] to leave theFederation," and she urged that Moscow assist this processby amending the constitution to allow them to do so.
Army Prepares for Constitutional Court Decision on Chechnya.