Krasnoyarsk governor Alexandr Lebed’s death has caused many talks, that now-imprisoned Anatoly Bykov, former director of Krasnoyarsk aluminium work, could seriously correct pre-election prospects in Kransnoyarsk Region. Some observers suppose that Alexandr Lebed’s death was favourable for Bykov, taking into account the opposition between him and the late governor. Though, Bykov hardly could have organized the Mi-8 helicopter crash. Because the KrAZ former director should have understood that with even the smallest suspects of his implication in the governor death, the investigation would for sure get at the heart of the matter, at least to completely finish with Bykov’s influence upon the region. It is not a secret that the federal centre is negative towards Bykov. For the Kremlin, Bykov is a symbol of criminality achieving to get to the power. So, Bykov’s political ambitions, if even there are such ambitions at all, hardly could be realized. Though, the day before the hearing of his case, the KrAZ former director made a statement that he was satisfied with candidacy of the Legislative Assembly speaker, Alexandr Uss. The support of Bykov’s adherents could bring to Uss additional vote. But, does he need so much the vote of Bykov’s adherents? Uss is already the favourite of the pre-election race, which, however, has not started yet formally. Bykov seems to understand it. At least, next day after Bykov’s statement about his support of Uss, Bykov’s lawyer Genrikh Padva said that his client had not decided yet whom to support. Therefore, Bykov’s almighty is at least exaggerated. Now, he should be more interested in not paying the Kremlin attention to his person. If Bykov is released under some conditions (or at least the trial is transferred to Krasnoyarsk), it will be completely clear what influence he has upon the region. However, he will be anyway not admitted to personal meddling in the pre-election fight.
Sergei Alexandrov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/05/23/41644.html
The Americans came to realise that they would have to either leave the region or weaken their presence there. It is Russia that is filling the vacuum now