Rutskoi renews Yeltsin attack

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The Independent Online
MOSCOW (Reuter) - Former vice-president Alexander Rutskoi, freed from prison under a parliamentary amnesty, launched a new campaign yesterday to remove President Boris Yeltsin and his government from office. In an interview with the Communist newspaper Pravda, Mr Rutskoi attacked the President and ruled out any possibility of an end to confrontation as long as Mr Yeltsin remained in office.

'There should be no illusions about the possibility of any changes for the better under this president and this government,' he said. 'That is why it is necessary to stop playing with consensus or agreements and get down to work - to change the authorities by legal methods.'

It was Mr Rutskoi's toughest attack since he and other leaders of the armed revolt against Mr Yeltsin last October were released from prison under a parliamentary amnesty in February. Mr Rutskoi, 46, said he was not going to leave politics and was absolutely unrepentant over his role in the October bloodshed, laying all the blame on Mr Yeltsin.

Mr Rutskoi launched the uprising against what he said was an illegal dictatorship by calling on armed supporters to storm the Moscow mayor's office and main television centre.

Mr Yeltsin, some members of parliament and public groupings are working on a 'Memorandum on Civic Accord' in Russia, which they hope will provide for a political ceasefire.

The lower house of parliament issued the amnesty as a gesture of conciliation. But the Russian leader has promised to send the freed men back to prison if they resort to physical confrontation again.

Mr Rutskoi said Mr Yeltsin and his team 'have no future, their shameful and ignominious time is coming to an end'.

Mr Rutskoi, who is clearly positioning himself to run in the next presidential elections, said it was too late to introduce changes in the current reform process.