Yeltsin's Latest Gambit
UNITED STATES--The firing of Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin and his government makes the fourth time in less than 18 months that Russian President Boris Yeltsin has made a Russian government disappear. Mr. Stepashin's replacement is 46-year-old Vladimir Putin who, like Mr. Stepashin and Yevgeny Primakov before him, hails from the secret police. He was head of the Federal Security Services, the domestic successor to the infamous Soviet KGB.
Welcome to today's Russia, where the Prime Minister is mainly the ailing Yeltsin's watchdog, appointed to protect the power and financial interests of the President, his family and their inner circle. Any thought that this sounds feudal is most apt. There isn't much law in Russia, just centers of power. ...
Despite it all, Russia has progressed in this decade. It now has contending political forces, instead of one-party rule. It has a constitutional base, though there is an overwhelming need for a credible rule of law. It has real elections and a contentious press. There is a market economy of sorts. And most important of all, its people are learning to make use of their greater freedom to cope with their own needs, even while governments come and go like troupes of players.
--Wall Street Journal
August 10, 1999
Parade of prime ministers
UNITED STATES--These are strange and dispiriting times in Moscow. By sacking another Prime Minister, Boris Yeltsin invites parody at a moment when his country desperately needs stability. Mr. Yeltsin and his evanescent governments seem increasingly irrelevant to the lives of most Russians, a sorry picture for a man who did much to free his nation from the stranglehold of Communism.
As Mr. Yeltsin heads into the final year of his presidency, he seems more interested in finding a successor than a prime …
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Publication information: Article title: Yeltsin's Latest Gambit. Contributors: Not available. Magazine title: The World and I. Volume: 14. Issue: 11 Publication date: November 1999. Page number: 50. © 1999 News World Communications, Inc. COPYRIGHT 1999 Gale Group.
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