What Would Lenin Say?

Under a new democratic constitution, Boris Yeltsin will have all the powers of a modern-day czar

Boris Yeltsin refused to endorse any party in Russia's parliamentary elections. Nonetheless, he took to the campaign trail last week on a surprise visit to the volatile North Caucasus region, where ethnic tensions have sparked armed conflicts. The President's message could not have been more direct: if voters in this separatist-minded region failed to endorse his new draft constitution, the Russian Federation was in danger of falling apart. Local officials dutifully joined the President in a statement calling for a da vote in the constitutional referendum.

While attention focused on elections to the new bicameral parliament, the Kremlin was worried about...

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