Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 87

Ultranationalist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky told Russian TV August 30 that he hopes to gain up to 30 percent of the Duma’s seats in the upcoming election. However Zhirinovsky expressed concern that Aleksandr Lebed, of the Congress of Russian Communities, and the Derzhava leader and former vice-president Aleksandr Rutskoi are competing for his supporters. Zhirinovsky made clear that his party would go into the elections alone, without entering into a bloc with other groups. Meanwhile Agrarian Party leader Mikhail Lapshin told Independent TV August 31 that he intends to expel Duma chairman Ivan Rybkin from his party. Rybkin, who nominally remains a member of the Agrarian Party, is in fact the leader of the "left-center" electoral bloc, one of the two facets of the "party of power," which the Agrarian party has declined to join.

Orthodox Patriarch Urges Muslims to Stay Out of Elections.