Russia's actions in Chechnya warn of recidivism toward the totalitarian policies of past regimes, Russian State Duma member and human-rights activist Sergei Kovalev told the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, the congressionally funded body that deals with matters related to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Speaking in Washington on 1 May as an expert witness at the commission's third hearing on Chechnya, Kovalev called on the United States not to abandon his country, but to foster a new Russia - not only by supporting democratic reforms, but by vigorously opposing government forces that threaten the ideals of democracy

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