A HARDER LINE:

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TIME's Yuri Zarakhovich says the prevailing political winds favor more indiscriminate violence. Monday's appointment of Yegorov, whom Yeltsin fired last year for mishandling another prominent hostage standoff with Chechen rebels, "is a very ominous sign. 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 held 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."