Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 58

Duma speaker Ivan Rybkin’sleft-center electoral bloc, which had to register for the electionsbefore it even had a name, now consists of more than 50 politicalparties and public organizations, Russian radio reported July21. But the groups, who signed an agreement on that date, do notinclude any of the major parties–for example the Agrarians–whichhad been expected to join and make Rybkin’s group a credible alternativeto Russian premier Viktor Chernomyrdin’s "Russia is Our Home"bloc. (That bloc already has prepared a draft political programand organized in 65 of the country’s 89 regions, Rossiiskayagazeta reported July 21.) One individual whom Rybkin hasattracted to his banner is Gen. Boris Gromov, a popular Afghanwar veteran who has opposed the current defense ministry establishment.

Luzhkov, Sobchak Prepare for Elections.