Mohamed H. Zakaria, Jeddah, published in Arab News on 7 March 1992 Yeltsin Your editorial on Yeltsin (Feb.

28) is timely one. The sudden and unexpected disintegration of Soviet Union created an atomphere of uncertainty. Mr. Bor is Yeltsin underestimated the problems his country was facing when he was desperate to snatch the power from then President Gorbachev. Now, when Mr. Yeltsin managed to grab the power, he had reacted with impulsive speed to tackle a crisis that still threatens the shaky post Soviet order. That being a clash between Russia and Ukraine over the future of the Black Sea Fleet. Only few months ago the president of the Soviet Union would have flown to Crimea’s only big airport at Simperopol and been driven in convoy to the port. But Mr. Yeltsin as president of Russia, has no power to fly uninvited into Ukraine. Mr. Yeltsin may have inherited Mikhail Gorbachev’s seat on the U.N. Security Council but he has not inherited supreme control over the armed forces of the union, he helped to dissolve. The admirals, like the men serving under them, still wear the badge of the Red Army. There are people like Gen. Broris Gromov, who is so-called hero of Afghanistan war & now deputy commander of land forces, believes that the old symbols are better than the new realities. On the international front, however, Mr. Yeltsin is playing the peacemaker in grand style, having declared that Russia’s nuclear weapons would no longer target America; he also quickly responded to President Bush’s arms cuts. Things were different when Gorbachev was negotiating with the West as the West was more worried over the then USSR military might than the reforms. Now without a control over that world’s largest fighting machine, Mr. Yeltsin is not in a position to blackmail the West for badly needed aid that will fulfill his exaggerated promises to Russians, should he come to power. The mess in former Soviet Union is sending clear message to the world that it could still all end in tears. Muhammed H. Zakaria Jeddah