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Lebed Defends Chechnya Peace Deal

Thu., Oct. 3, 1996

Facing angry legislators in Parliament Wednesday, national security chief Alexander Lebed defended his peace accord in Chechnya against accusations it might lead to Russia’s disintegration.

“All talk that Russia is leaving Chechnya in shame is sacrilege,” Lebed told the State Duma, parliament’s lower house. “Russia is not leaving, it has only put an end to its shame,” Lebed was immediately challenged by Interior Minister Anatoly Kulikov, who told the lawmakers that the peace deal amounted to “high treason.”

Kulikov’s outburst signaled high-level opposition to the agreement Lebed signed with the rebels in August.

The Duma, controlled by Communists, nationalists and other hard-liners, was meeting for the first time after its summer recess.


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