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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

03/07/1997

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Observers Doubt Pledge to Battle Crime

Leading members of the opposition-dominated legislature and Moscow observers reacted skeptically to President Boris Yeltsin's renewed pledges to fight crime and corruption in Thursday's address to parliament. When Yeltsin said Russia has no ""untouchable individuals"" and law enforcement officials should act ""resolutely and strictly"" even if the ""tracks of a crime are leading to high offices,"" there was a stir of disbelieving noise in the Kremlin hall. Yeltsin has promised similar crackdowns on graft and bribe-taking before. In the same ceremony two years ago he spoke about ""resolute action to get rid of corrupt officials."" On Thursday he was more specific only in pledging that ""the struggle against corruption is above all eliminating the conditions that contribute to it."" ""I do not believe in the president's sincerity,"" said Viktor Ilyukhin, the Communist chairman of the State Duma's committee on security.

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