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Opinion from a participant in the debates between Grigory Yavlinsky and Anatoli Chubais
By Julietto Kieza, Special correspondent for the "La Stampa" newspaper in Moscow
November 26, 1999
Debates between Grigory Yavlinsky and Anatoli Chubais

In my opinion, Grigory Yavlinsky won a convincing victory in the struggle with Anatoli Chubais, both rationally and emotionally. I refuse to believe that the majority of TV viewers failed to notice that Chubais virtually did not answer any of the questions. I should say that a man bearing such a load of a serious responsibility on his shoulders, who fails to provide any decent explanations of his actions, must possess extraordinary courage - or barefaced impudence - to risk appearing in public. My experience leads me to assume that the Russian viewer has already seen through such behaviour. I think that Grigory Yavlinsky easily won the debates, both with regards the attitudes of the social groupings incorporated in his electorate and, at least partially with regards those groups of democratic or former democratic intelligentsia that the Union of the Right Forces Ed. the party of Chubais) appeals to.

With regards all the other layers, I think that Yavlinsky's arguments were unlikely to secure a breach in the national-patriotic ideas of the extreme left and extreme right. But this is inevitable for a politician trying to preserve his dignity. On the contrary, I think that the circles nourishing extreme national-patriotic feelings must experience significant inconvenience in accepting this new like-minded person, their most hated enemy (Ed. Chubais).

Therefore, I should say that within the framework of the limited, albeit still significant influence that a TV programme may exert on viewers, the decision to take up the challenge yielded positive results for Grigory Yavlinsky and negative results for Anatoli Chubais.

ei Stepashin on Grigory Yavlinsky's proposals