Zarakhovich says the prevailing political winds favor more indiscriminate violence. Monday, Yeltsin appointed as his new chief of staff Nikolai Yegorov, an aide that he fired last year for mishandling another prominent hostage standoff with Chechen rebels. "This is a very ominous sign," says Zarakhovich. "He was one of the key people who engineered the war in Chechnya, and his policy was to kill all the Chechens." Beyond that, the newly-elected Communist Duma starts its first session Tuesday, and few in the plurality would treat the Chechens lightly. "Ever since the war stopped, this story has really been in Moscow," says Zarakhovich. "If the federal government doesn't do anything to quell the fire, I don't know who will."