Russian Official Decries ‘Red-Brown Opposition’ With AM Russia-Politics, Bjt
NEW YORK (AP) _ Russia’s foreign minister said Sunday that forces seeking to overthrow President Boris Yeltsin will fail ″because people are fed up with the Communist system.″
Speaking at John F. Kennedy International Airport before a return trip to Russia, Andrei Victor Kozyrev said Yeltsin is in full control and enjoys wide support.
″They are trying to overthrow the freely elected president,″ Kozyrev said.
At least 24 people are reported dead and as many as 100 injured in the worst political violence in Moscow since the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution.
On Sunday, thousands of anti-government protesters armed with rocks, clubs and machine guns smashed through troops besieging parliament.
A column of 40 armored vehicles loyal to Yeltsin rolled into central Moscow, taking up positions outside the Kremlin and Defense Ministry.
Kozyrev, who met with reporters at about 8 p.m., said he had spoken to Yeltsin an hour before.
″He is in control and has exercised as much restraint as possible but there are limits,″ Kozyrev said.
The rebels have little in common except their hatred for Yeltsin; their leaders include nationalists, hard-line Communists and fascists.
Kozyrev called them a ″red-brown opposition″ and said Yeltsin ″tried to avoid the use of forces with the Communists and Nazis.″
″They are the ones who sought the violence,″ he said. ″There is no other agenda but violence for Communists and Nazis.″
Kozyrev, who gave a speech at the United Nations last week, said he favors negotiations to restore order.
″That is always preferable to the use of force,″ he said. ″Our intention is to have a minimum loss of lives.″