Bullish Yeltsin scents poll victory
Tuesday 11 June 1996
Under it, the Russians have agreed to withdraw their troops from the republic by the end of August in return for the disarmament of the Chechen fighters, a deal which marks another crucial step towards Mr Yeltsin's promise to end the conflict before election day on Sunday.
The move came as his bandwagon rumbled into the southern city of Rostov- on-Don, where he said he expects to win Sunday's election outright, without going to a run-off. His confidence appears to be rooted in figures compiled by advisers which suggest he has seized the lead in a clutch of prize areas, some of which voted for the Communists in December's parliamentary elections. Sergei Filatov, a key figure in Mr Yeltsin's campaign, said their analysts concluded that his ratings have pushed ahead in the far east, the north-west, the Volga valley, the Ural mountains, and western and eastern Siberia.
As examples of these areas, Mr Filatov, a former chief of staff to the President, said they were hoping to win the Volgograd, Nizhny Novgorod, and Perm regions; the Krasnoyarsk and Primorsky territories and the Bashkortostan Republic - despite past Communist successes in these areas. Each contains a healthy parcel of voters - of around 1 million or more, based on last year's turn-out.
Election-information gathering is almost as unsophisticated in Russia as its fledgling democracy and the President's strategists are as prone to being partisan as anyone else operating in the political cauldron. But their figures may offer clues to the centres the President is likely to target as the race gathers momentum towards an almost certain run-off in July.
Among key battlegrounds, according to Mr Filatov, are the north Caucasus; central Russia, including the ancient city of Vladimir, 200 miles east of Moscow; and the central "black-earth" country, which includes Lipetsk, in what is also usually seen as "red-belt", or Communist, territory.
Mr Filatov said Mr Yeltsin's ratings should go over the 35-40 per cent mark this week, giving him a comfortable first- round victory but not enough to win outright. But 20-25 per cent of the electorate were still undecided. Three recent polls suggested this group is shrinking, and gave Mr Yeltsin 34.5 to 37 per cent, eight points or more ahead of his Communist rival, Gennady Zyuganov, with between 26 and 15.9 per cent. But the Yeltsin camp's figures also suggested some other trends afoot: Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who stunned the world when his ultra-nationalist party came second in December but seems since to have divebombed, is making a last-minute rally. The liberal economist Grigory Yavlinsky has moved ahead of Mr Yeltsin in Kaliningrad. And General Alexander Lebed is moving upwards slightly.
Yesterday the President's handlers were careful not to seem too complacent. They were stoking up an old story that the Communists had set up armed formations ready to go into action if the elections do not go their way. To counter this, the streets will be flooded with three times as many police as usual, almost as many as the number of observers from the two main rival camps who plan to descend on the 96,000 voting stations. If nothing else it will be an eventful, and rather crowded, day.
International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
Feminist quotes to inspire you on the International Women's Day
Belle Knox: How the porn star student from Duke University became bigger than Justin Bieber
International Women's Day 2014: Mothers and daughters describe their hopes and dreams in touching photographs
Liam Neeson on death of wife Natasha Richardson: ‘When I hear the door opening, I still think I’m going to hear her’
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 4 Too upsetting? Academy members voted for Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave 'without watching it'
- 5 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: A small but growing chain of boutique hot...
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ba...
£45 - 60k Per Annum: Charter Selection: Highly profitable leisure brand, marke...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residenti...