LIEUTENANT GENERAL ALEKSANDR LEBED traded his military uniform for a politician's suit on 30 May, resigning as commander of the 14th Russian Army, based in Moldova, to run for a Duma seat. By early summer, he was one of Russia's most popular politicians. He is a charismatic figure whose dry wit and brusque, no-nonsense style sets him apart from most of the familiar faces of Moscow's political elite.

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