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Russian Elections 1999
The elections are as much a contest between personalities, and the power blocs they control, as a conventional electoral race between parties. Click the names on the right for an at-a-glance guide to the key figures and political groupings.
FATHERLAND-ALL-RUSSIA
UNITY
UNION OF RIGHT-WING FORCES
YABLOKO
OUR HOME IS RUSSIA
THE COMMUNIST PARTY
Boris YELTSIN
Yury LUZHKOV
Yevgeny PRIMAKOV
Vladimir PUTIN
Grigory YAVLINSKY
Gennady ZYUGANOV
Aleksander LEBED
Vladimir
ZHIRINOVSKY

Grigory Yavlinsky



Grigory Yavlinsky
Grigory Yavlinsky is Russia's foremost liberal politician, and the darling of the intelligentsia. A one-time junior boxing champion, who became an economic adviser to the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, he came fourth in the 1996 presidential election with just over seven per cent of the vote.

Having always refused any position in government lower than the rank of prime minister, which he was never offered, he has remained untainted either by corruption scandals or the failures of earlier governments.

Aged 47, he has often been one of the harshest critics of government policy, and describes the result of eight years of reform in Russia as "bandit capitalism".

Critics have accused him of putting personal ambition before the interests of Russian democracy by refusing to co-operate with other pro-reform parties. Mr Yavlinsky has declared his intention to run in June's presidential election, but the failure of his Yabloko party to gain more than 6% in the December parliamentary election does not bode well for his chances of success.