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OPPOSITION FACTIONS ALIGN BEHIND RUTSKOI

SHARE OPPOSITION FACTIONS ALIGN BEHIND RUTSKOI

They rally behind banners of varying colors, some working in Russia's parliament, others on the streets, at the factory gates or in the barrack rooms.

They have one common goal - the removal of President Boris Yeltsin, if possible before the next winter is out.Rival militant opposition parties have proclaimed a tactical truce and, tacitly at least, accepted former Vice President Alexander Rutskoi as provisional leader. The alliance, however, is fraught with political and personal jealousies.

"Today I see no leader in the opposition movement I could have faith in and step down for," Rutskoi said recently.

Rutskoi, jailed for five months after October's failed uprising, was entrusted by a meeting of some 20 groups to organize a national assembly for later this year that would appoint an "opposition government" ready to assume power.

As things stand, Yeltsin could stay in power until mid-1996, when fresh presidential elections are due. His enemies want to force the pace, perhaps exploiting economic disruption, strikes and political turmoil to secure early elections.

The Accord for Russia alliance includes Rutskoi's small Social Democratic People's Party and the mainstream Communist Party - a force on both sides of the parliamentary threshold.

The general flavor of its conference was venomous.

Nationalist Stanislav Govorukhin railed against Western "Pepsi Cola culture" and what he called the impoverishment of Russians. Others spoke of rampant crime and corruption.

Rutskoi, for his part, sought common ground with writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn, saying the recently returned exile shared the values of the "spiritual-patriotic opposition."

The presence of former centrist "lost souls" such as Vasily Lipitsky and Alexander Tsipko on the platform was calculated to broaden its appeal as a vigorous but law-abiding opposition.

Firmly beyond the pale, however, remain such firebrands as nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky, strongest party at December elections, and communist rabble-rouser Viktor Anpilov. Neither would take easily to the core discipline Rutskoi seeks.

"In October we paid in blood for our lack of organization and unity. . . We must not repeat this mistake," Rutskoi said.