Yeltsin appears to have gambled that the assault in Dagestan would be perceived as a decisive move that would spare the Kremlin the humiliation it suffered in June 1995, when Chechen hostage-takers returned home safely after the Budennovsk hostage seizure. However, initial reactions from Russian lawmakers were mostly critical of the Russian president. Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov blamed the crisis on the "the president, the government, and their ham-fisted policies," while leaders of the reform-oriented Yabloko said the party might seek a no-confidence vote in the Duma over the assault. LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky supported the president, as he has done on other occasions since the start of the war in Chechnya, arguing that the assault was inevitable. (3) Reports out of Dagestan remained sketchy Monday and politicians in Moscow had little sense of what was happening on the ground.
Hostage Seizure Reported in Grozny.