According to reports from Moscow, a conference was held there April 2 to draft recommendations for the Russian Communist party’s electoral platform and governmental program. The conference was held under the auspices of RUSO (Russian Academics of Socialist Orientation), a think tank that is backing Gennady Zyuganov’s presidential bid. The keynote speaker was Igor Bratishchev, a Communist parliamentarian who chairs the Duma’s Subcommittee on Regional Issues. Bratishchev outlined the Communist faction’s new legislative program. Entitled "Emergency Measures to Overcome Russia’s Crisis and Safeguard the Country’s Social and Economic Development," the program includes draft legislation on the partial nationalization of selected industries. The ensuing debate reportedly revealed deep disagreements within the Zyuganov camp. Bratishchev’s "desire to restore the key elements of Brezhnev-era socialism" was challenged by, among others, Aleksandr Buzgalin, a prominent Communist intellectual from Moscow State University. Buzgalin warned against attempts to "reproduce the old socialist model." He said the Communist party must choose between allying itself with lobbies representing inefficient agriculture and heavy industry, or supporting new, high-tech industries. The clash of opinions is said to typify the growing rift between Zyuganov and a group of politically influential left-wing intellectuals who are increasingly disappointed with what they see as Zyuganov’s nationalist and backward-looking policies. Some, such as Buzgalin, are said to be thinking of switching their support to another presidential candidate, Svyatoslav Fedorov, leader of the Party of Workers’ Self-Management.
Legal Action Threatened Against Russian Privatization Officials.