Risky Game in a Russian Republic Millionaire President of Kalmykia Caught in Swirl over Death of Biggest Critic

By Judith Matloff, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, July 15, 1998 | Go to article overview

Risky Game in a Russian Republic Millionaire President of Kalmykia Caught in Swirl over Death of Biggest Critic


Judith Matloff, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


Look anywhere in Elista and you see Kirsan Ilyumzhinov's face. He beams on billboards alongside Buddhist and Christian leaders. His white-fur hat adorns calendars. His portrait hangs in offices, reminiscent of Soviet leaders.

But these days it's hard to actually find Mr. Ilyumzhinov, the president of Kalmykia, a semiautonomous republic on Russia's steppes north of the Caspian Sea. He has been keeping a low profile since his most outspoken critic, newspaper editor Larisa Yudina, was killed last month after investigating alleged abuses of official funds.

Hundreds of miles away from Moscow, many of Russia's semiautonomous regions do what they like. Tatarstan and Bashkortostan join Kalmykia in defiantly trying to gain control over their own finances, regardless of what Moscow thinks. Some analysts say this tendency will deepen with time as the central government frays at the edges.

Outrage over the murder has flared up in Moscow, which normally leaves its 21 ethnic republics alone.

"We must find the murderers," declared President Boris Yeltsin, keen to get to the bottom of a potential financial scandal. State law-enforcement officials say it was a political contract murder. The Russian parliament has called for a new probe into Ilyumzhinov's finances, which have already been investigated six times by Moscow.

In such an obscure part of the world as Kalmykia, a journalist's murder might ordinarily have attracted little outside attention. But Ilyumzhinov is chief of the World Chess Federation and a self- proclaimed candidate for Russia's 2000 presidential elections. And suspicions were aroused when two of the four suspects arrested turned out to be his close former aides.

A self-proclaimed millionaire, Kalmykia's president presides over this republic of Buddhist descendants of Genghis Khan with a strong cult of personality. He came to power in 1993 promising to provide a cell phone to every shepherd and to make Kalmykia a second Kuwait. Neither has been realized.

This personalization of power is not atypical in the region. In nearby Turkmenistan, for example, President Saparmurad Niyazov's portrait adorns many public buildings in the capital, Ashkhabad, and is visible on the high-rise office of the national airline.

Many of the people here, known as Kalmyks, applaud Ilyumzhinov's efforts to promote their ancient culture and beautify the capital, Elista, with huge stone sculptures. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Risky Game in a Russian Republic Millionaire President of Kalmykia Caught in Swirl over Death of Biggest Critic
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.