Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 48

The U.S. State Department’s annual report on human rights worldwide, released yesterday, included Russia among those countries criticized for a "familiar pattern of abuse." The report pointed to "continued and widespread use of Russian military force against civilians in Chechnya, the undermining of official institutions established to monitor human rights, and the continued violation of rights and liberties by security forces." (2) The report, which comes at a sensitive time for U.S.-Russian relations, also arrives amid reports that a Yeltsin decree on restructuring the presidential administration fails to maintain its Human Rights Commission. (3) The commission, which late last year was downgraded in importance, was formerly headed by human rights champion Sergei Kovalev. But Kovalev resigned in late January — followed by a group of other members in early February — over what he said was his inability to work any longer for a president who had abandoned the path of democratic reform. The other resignations followed a commission report that, like the U.S. State Department’s study, determined that Russia had retreated from political reform in a number of important areas.

Chicken Squabble Squelched.