Thank you for the fine reporting on Alexander I. Lebed ("Behind the showmanship, Russia's Lebed has a bold plan," International Outlook, Sept. 9). His "refreshingly blunt" personality, I predict, will elevate him to Russia's presidency. Here is a leader who is willing to risk his political future to forge a workable peace agreement with Chechnya--a boiling cauldron that was made worse by Yeltsin's policies and his military advisers.

The West should be happy that Russia finally has a leader who is plain-speaking and who visibly works for peace. Maybe some of our leaders can emulate General Lebed and forge ahead by taking action on their promises--regardless of polls and the advice of political handlers.

Jerome R. Bulkan

Coconut Creek, Fla.

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