Letters , Feb. 6, 1995

A Political and Military Mess President Boris Yeltsin is sufficiently sophisticated to realize that his political survival is at stake as a result of actions in Chechnya [Jan. 16]. But it would be harmful for us to cynically view his motivation as solely political. He knows that instability in Russia alienates investors outside the country, and that support and aid from the West and the International Monetary Fund are all at grave risk. Accordingly, it is highly doubtful Yeltsin would think he could boost his political popularity by using force to suppress secession in Chechnya. To the point: separatism in Russia...

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