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Yavlinsky's Letter to Yeltsin
Open letter to the President of Russia from Grigoriy Yavlinsky on behalf of the Yabloko public association: "Yabloko Has Reminded the Guarantor That He Is the Guarantor"
Obshchaya Gazeta, No. 25
1 July 1998

At the end of last week the Yabloko faction adopted an open letter to Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin. We thought that it would find its way into the newspapers. Unfortunately, this did not happen. The  text was not published, only accounts spiced in this form or the other by journalists' commentaries appeared. I request that Obshchaya Gazeta publish, if possible, the full text so that the President have an opportunity to familiarize himself with it. We are interested in this case in B.N. Yeltsin's response to the appeal to him, not journalists' commentaries. 

What has dictated this drastic way of framing the issue? It has not hitherto been characteristic of our movement, today, though, this is explained by a whole number of factors. The election campaign in Bashkiria, which turned the elections into a comedy, the bloody tragedy in Elista, and much else. All this is being summarized in the minds of our constituent and leading him to the unequivocal conclusion that it is time, simply essential, for Yeltsin to go. This opinion did not arise all at once, and now it is  quite definite. 

In conveying this letter to the newspaper I would like to emphasize that no one is working against Yeltsin, he is working against himself and doing so at times with great enthusiasm. 

Grigoriy Yavlinsky 


Open Letter to the President of Russia

Dear Boris Nikolayevich, 

We consider it our duty to call your attention to the glaring illegalities in a number of republics that are a part of the Russian Federation. 

We are uncomfortable with the composure, which at times develops into open support, with which you, who call yourself the guarantor of the Constitution, contemplate the outrages of the regional authorities in a number of components of the Russian Federation. 

The enormous profanation called elections of the president of the Republic of Bashkortostan has just been presented to the view of the entire country. 

The viewers of all television programs and the readers of almost all newspapers have learned that: 

    President Rakhimov illegally brought the elections forward;  the Central Election Commission of the Republic of Bashkortostan refused to register two candidates in opposition to Rakhimov, ignoring the ruling of the Supreme Court; 

    independent news media such as the newspaper Vecherniy Neftekamsk and the Timan radio station were persecuted in the course of the campaign; 

    all the prerequisites for vote-rigging in favor of Rakhimov were created; 

    the MVD authorities, which were essentially made Rakhimov's personal secret police, were employed in the fight against dissidents; 

    The only thing that the audience of the news media has not heard is how you, the guarantor of the Constitution, have reacted to these obvious facts of tyranny.

The propensity of the leadership of Bashkiria for unlawful behavior could hardly have been news to you, who surely knows that the republic is systematically mocking Russian legislation, flouting human rights, strangling the independent press, and shamelessly appropriating the powers of federal structures--those of yourself, president of Russia, included. 

For numerous governors and presidents of our country your inaction is serving to confirm the idea that all this is permissible and justified. But this is the quickest way to the feudal disintegration of the country, which is increasingly coming to resemble a confederation of appanage principalities. 

The murder of our colleague Larisa Yudina has put on general view the criminal essence of the Ilyumzhinov regime in Kalmykia. It is obvious to all that such crimes cannot occur in a void. A tremendous share of the responsibility for what happened in Kalmykia is borne by the federal authorities, which simply failed to react to the fact that the elections of the president of Kalmykia in October 1995 contained the most flagrant violations of Russian legislation. 

Are you aware that in conniving at the lawlessness, "elections," and tyranny in Russia's regions you are assuming responsibility for future political assassinations? 

Today, two years prior to the expiration of your term, we propose that you think not only about the discharge of your constitutional obligations but also about your historical responsibility. For the possibility that you will go down in the history of Russia as the politician who was the cause of its disintegration is today all too obvious. 

On behalf of the Yabloko public association, Grigoriy Yavlinsky.  18 June 1998.   

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