Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 94

The Ivan Rybkin electoral bloc, or "left-of-center" side of the "party of power," has lost one of its major components, the My Fatherland Movement. In a statement issued September 12, the movement’s leaders accused Rybkin of a "bizarre unwillingness to constructively criticize the executive branch." The movement will contest the elections independently and has withdrawn its high-power candidates from the Rybkin bloc’s list. Those candidates include Col.-General Boris Gromov, the economic reformers Stanislav Shatalin and Nikolai Shmelev, singer Iosif Kobzon, and other popular figures. (6) The decision amounts to a heavy blow to the Rybkin bloc’s electoral chances. The grounds cited for the break indicate that My Fatherland considers that criticism of Yeltsin and the government increases its chances of success in the elections.

SVR Denies Helping Iranian Intelligence.