At the ConstitutionalCourt hearings on the legality of Yeltsin’s order to send troopsto Chechnya in December 1994, his chief defender, deputy premierSergei Shakhrai, blamed Mikhail Gorbachev for the Chechen crisis,Russian media reported July 10. That is because the former Sovietpresident supported Chechnya against the Russian Federation aspart of his effort to preserve the Soviet Union. Yeltsin’s defendersinsisted that Yeltsin was obliged by the Constitution to use forcein order to preserve the territorial integrity of the country,and that the court must back him lest other region’s follow Chechnya’slead. But Duma representative Issa Kostoyev said that Moscow mustfind a civilized solution to the Chechen problem or Chechnya willbecome the detonator for the blowing apart of Russia.
Former Finance Minister: Ruble Peg Destabilizing.