Ruslan Imranovich Khasbulatov


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(b. Groznyi, Chechnya, 22 Nov. 1942)

Chechen; Speaker of the Russian Parliament 1991–3, Opposition leader in Chechnya 1994–6 Coming from a family exiled to northern Kazakhstan under Stalin, he was educated at Kazan and Moscow universities as an economist and, after working in production in Alma-Ata, became an academic. He is a doctor of economic sciences, professor, and author of many academic works. He taught economics at the Plekhanov Institute of National Economy in Moscow 1979–90, where he headed a department. He was a party member 1966–91.

In 1990 he was elected to the Russian Republic Supreme Soviet, becoming Deputy Speaker. In October 1991 he was elected Speaker (President) of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation. Initially a supporter of Yeltsin, he became his implacable opponent, leading the opposition to Yeltsin's economic reforms and style of government and asserting the rights of parliament. In October 1993 he was arrested when the parliament was stormed. Later charges were dropped and he returned to Chechnya as a leader of the Opposition to Dudayev, but, though he denounced the methods of the Russian invasion, he failed to gain credibility as an alternative leader, and early in 1996 returned to Moscow to teach at the Plekhanov Institute and he retired from active politics. In 2002 he was one of the key individuals who developed the Liechtenstein Plan, which aimed to provide a settlement for Chechnya, but further discussions of the plan were overtaken by events in Chechnya. He was a strong critic of independence for Chechnya but has also criticized heavy-handed Russian military actions.

Subjects: Politics.

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