Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 105

President Boris Yeltsin unveiled his election program yesterday while campaigning in the Urals city of Perm. (BBC, Western agencies, Financial Times, May 31) The program has something for everyone, promising to fight crime, protect the needy and defend domestic producers, while at the time modernizing Russia’s military potential, moving to an all-volunteer army, and completing Russia’s transformation into a fully marketized economy. Yeltsin makes a strong commitment to further economic reform, painting a rosy picture of the benefits to follow if he is reelected. Economic reforms will be completed by the end of this century. At that time, inflation will have fallen to 4-5 percent a year, Russia’s massive budget deficit will have been eliminated, and the economy will be growing at an annual rate of 4 percent. Yeltsin also promises to carry out a complete overhaul of Russia’s highly inefficient tax system and to compensate all those whose savings were eroded by the high inflation of the early reform period.

Yeltsin claims credit for preventing the territorial disintegration of the Russian Federation following the breakup of the Soviet Union but also admits to having made mistakes, especially in Chechnya. Telling Russian voters that they face a stark choice between a return to the dark days of Communism and a future as a flourishing modern power, Yeltsin assures the electorate that, "I have made mistakes, but I know better than anyone else how to put them right."

Yeltsin Camp Likens Zyuganov to Hitler…