CULTURAL REVOLUTIONSrnALEKSANDR LEBED, goernor ofrnthe vast Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia,rnshrugged off rumors circulating in laternSeptember that an ailing Boris Yeltsinrnwould appoint the populist “combat general”rnas premier and then resign, leavingrnLebed as acting president. The Krasnoyarskrngovernor claimed that the timernmay come when he will be “needed” torn”clean up” Yeltsin’s “mess,” and he didrnagree that ex-presidents sliould be guaranteedrna quiet retirement (otherwisernthe’ “cling to power tooth and nail”), butrnthe “governor general” doubts that evenrnthe persuasive Tatvana Dachenko —rnYeltsin’s daughter and de facto chief ofrnstaff, widely believed to faor such a scenariorn—could persuade “Boris I” that it isrntime to go. Yeltsin, Lebed claimed,rnwould hang on to power “as long as hernhas two brain cells to rub together. I herneamc,” Lebed intoned in his unmistakablernbass growl, “will go on.”rnThat ma’ be, but a sick and incoherentrnYeltsin (at summer’s end, Moscowrnwas rife with rumors that his health hadrntaken a turn for the worse) just might bernforced to step down, either b- membersrnof his entourage (“the Limily”) hoping tornsave their own skins or by the FederationrnCouncil, Russia’s upper house of parliamentrncomposed of regional leaders, whornare flexing their growing political muscle.rnThe question on the minds ofrnMoscow’s elites is just who will step in ifrnthe “guarantor of democracy,” iiuplicatedrnin the recent spate of corruption scandals,rnshould be forced out. “Plan B” (forrnBerezovsky, the Yeltsin Kremlin’s answerrnto Rasputin), which under the rash of terroristrnattacks in September and the deepeningrncrisis in the North Caucasus,rnwhere Russian troops are combating thernLlamic hordes of Chechen “field commander”rnShamil Basayev, could be usedrnas pretexts for imposing a state of emergene^•rnand calling off upcoming elections,rnhas not been implemented. Meanwhile,rnthe Kremlin’s worst fears havernbeen realized.rnFirst, Yevgeni Primakov, perhaps thernonly public figure apart from I^ebed whornhas not been tainted by credible corruptionrncharges, agreed to re-enter politics,rnforming an uneasy polifieal alliance withrnMoscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov. The Primakov-rnLuzhkov block, “Fatherland-AllrnRussia” (OVR), appears poised to challeucernthe Communists for the dominantrnc?rnposifion in the third post-communist Duma,rn.slated for election in December. Primakov,rnwhose ties to the “special services”rnare common knowledge withinrnthe Moscow ring road, is also the likelyrnsource oi kompromat (“compromisingrnmaterial”) circulating in reports bothrnEast and West on Kremlin corruption.rnThe “family” is justifiably concernedrnabout its post-Yeltsin fiiture.rnThe second monke\rench thrownrninto tire Kremlin’s plan was Lebed’s refusalrnto sign up with “Llnib,” (also knownrnas medved, “Bear”), a newly minted politicalrnnrovement made up oxerwhelming-rnIv of governors from “have not” regionsrnresentful of the capital —and its mayor—rnand equally resentful of the “national republics,”rnthose Russian Federation componentsrnbased on non-Russian (mostlyrnMuslim) nationalities, who are not toornenthusiastic about ongoing punitivernstrikes on camps within the rebelrnChechen republic. It just so happensrnthat most of the “national republics” havernlined up with OV’R. Berezovsky, displayingrnthe political insight he is justly knownrnfor, has been quietly —make that veryrnquieriy, since any public role in Unity’srnformation woidd scuttle the plan at tirernoutset—lining up governors with a reputationrnas earthy muzhiky (“peasants”; inrnthis context, the word coneys the imagernof a hardheaded “man of the soil” orrn”man’s man”) to fomi an e£fectie counterweightrnto OVR, a counterweight tiiatrnwould harness the anger of Russia’s vastrnnumber of disenchanted “protest oters.”rnBerezovsky could then make a deal withrnUnity leaders to sa e the Kremlin court’srnhash in return for megabueks and mediarncoerage to boost Unit}’ into the politicalrndriver’s scat. Very clever. But the planrnhinged on muzhik number one, AleksandrrnLebed, signing on as the movement’srnleader. No dice. Lebed, a solitaiyrnman of action who is the ver essence ofrnearthy Russianness, will go it alone,rnbuilding his political reputation on thernnumerous cracked heads of Krasnoyarskrnthugs. Thus tiie talk of Dyachenko fishingrnfor a limited deal to save papa, perhapsrninvolving Lebed, if Primakov willrnnot come to terms. The deal may yetrncome off—if the Federation Council,rnthat is, does not pre-empt it by forcingrnYeltsin out. Russia could do much worsernthan a Lebed-headed junta dedicated torncrushing the Russian mafia, stabilizingrnthe Caucasus, and making Russia semisafernfor business.rn— Denis PetrovrnBRITAIN’S D E F E N S E POLICY prohibitingrnhomosexuals from serving in thernarmed forces w.’as recently struck down byrnthe European Court of Human Rightsrn(ECHR). Formed in 1959 to enforce thernUnited Nations’ Ihiixersal Declaration ofrnHuman Rights, the ECHR is a creaturernof the 41-nation Council of Europe. I’herncourt’s authorit- comes from the EuropeanrnConvention on Human Rights, arntreat}’ under which the signatory nationsrnhave agreed to “undertake to abide by thernfinal judgment of the Court in any case.”rnThe enforcement of the court’s decisionsrnis delegated to the Council’s Committeernof Ministers.rnThe cases dealing with the British militarvrnpitted the Ministrx of Defence’s policyrndeclaring homosexualit} to be “incompatiblernwith service in the armedrnforces” against Article 8 of the Convention,rnwhich secures the “right to respectrnfor private and family life.” The casesrnheard by the ECHR were originally reviewedrnin the British appellate system,rnand the military’s prohibition against homosexualit}’rnwas upheld under a deferentialrn”rational basis” standard. As onernBritish judge phrased it: “the court mayrnnot interfere with the exercise of administrativerndiscretion . . . save where tire courtrnis satisfied the decision in unreasonable.”rnThe European Court of HumanrnRights, howeer, irscd a stricter standardrnin its review. T’hc ECHR asked whetherrnthe policy was “nccessar}’ in a democraticrnsociety.” hi linking necessit}’ and democracy,rnthe ECHR averred that the “hallmarksrnof tiie latter j include] pluralism,rntolerance, and broadmindedness.” .Afterrnconstructing this liberal trinit}’, the courtrncast aside die Ministry of Defence’s argumentsrnthat the ban on homosexuals wasrnnecessar’ to foster unit cohesion, a’oidrndisruption, and provide soldiers living inrnclose quarters a modicum of privacy.rnThe ECHR belittled the ministiy’s studiesrnon the attitudes of service members towardsrnhomosexualit}’ as “represeutfingj arnpredisposed bias on the part of a lietcrosexualrnmajority against a homosexual minorit}.”rnSuch a comment explains whyrnthe court’s trinity of democracy does notrninclude majorit rule.rn6/CHRONICLESrnrnrn