ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Yeltsin Inauguration in the Shadow of Death

Shadow of Death Dev Murarka THERE was something macabre and pathetic about the occasion. People were dying in tens and hundreds in Chechnya under the hail of mercjlcss Russian bombs released on his orders, and here was Boris Yeltsin, the re-elected Tsar of Russia, droning on about his constitutional duties. It was like Nero fiddling while Rome burned, except that it was not Moscow burning but distant Grozny, the Chechnya capital. The man with the fading health, who had broken virtually all his election promises, whose demise is being discussed in whispers behind his back by all his underlings and competitors, was undertaking yet more. His pledge to "respect and preserve the rights and freedom of the individual and the citizen" according to article 82 of the constitution, sounded not merely ironical but positively insulting in view of what was going on in Chechnya at that very minute.

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