Russia's Distracted Peacemaker

Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott could see a glimmer of progress. Viktor Chernomyrdin, the former Russian Prime Minister whom Boris Yeltsin has appointed as his Kosovo envoy, was inching last Wednesday night toward compromise. Chernomyrdin had signed off on a sketch of what postwar Kosovo's government might look like, and, nearby, a Russian general had spread out a map with lines drawn showing how armed peacekeepers might be deployed. Peace, Talbott hoped, was closer. But then a note was passed into the Kremlin meeting. Yeltsin had just sacked his Prime Minister, Yevgeni Primakov. Chernomyrdin--whom Yeltsin had fired as Prime Minister...

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