Yeltsin foes join forces

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The Independent Online
RUSSIA'S resurgent Communists and other leading opponents of President Boris Yeltsin yesterday announced a new alliance of 'citizen-patriots' to bury what an emotional manifesto condemned as ruinous reform, while Alexander Rutskoi, the former vice-president, called for a revival of the Soviet Union.

The twin appeals underscored a volatile political ferment, heightened by Mr Yeltsin's abrupt decision on Monday to absent himself from the capital and retire to the Black Sea for a holiday.

Before his departure, Mr Yeltsin had suggested a truce with Russia's parliament. He got his response yesterday in the form of a proclamation signed by a phalanx of powerful foes - though not the ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky or Mr Rutskoi - denouncing reform and announcing a new movement, Accord for Russia.

The group's declared aim was 'to prevent the final collapse of historic Russia. Disaster has come to our common home. Everyone feels in their heart. It cannot go on like this. It must be stopped.'

Mr Rutskoi said: 'We are destined by Lord God himself to live as one family, one nation, one state, a Great Power.' He demanded another referendum on a reconstituted union. Such a proposition would almost certainly win. Russians form the biggest ethnic group by far in the former Soviet Union. But many non-Russians are fed up with the economic chaos that followed independence.

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