Publication: Monitor Volume: 5 Issue: 146

Yuri Chaika, the first deputy prosecutor general who has served as acting prosecutor general since the suspension of Yuri Skuratov earlier this year, was today transferred to a new post–fist deputy secretary of the Security Council, President Boris Yeltsin’s powerful advisory body. The move is significant in that Chaika reportedly decided recently to continue the investigation by the Prosecutor General’s Office into Andava, the Swiss-based firm reportedly founded by Boris Berezovsky and into which flowed hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues from the state airline Aeroflot. “Moskovsky komsomolets” yesterday published what it said was a transcript of one of Berezovsky’s recent phone conversations, in which he reacts with panic to news of Chaika’s decision concerning Andava. In the alleged conversation, Berezovsky tries to convince former Kremlin administration head Valentin Yumashev, who remains an influential Yeltsin adviser, to engineer Chaika’s “voluntary” resignation (see the Monitor, July 28).

Chaika went on vacation on July 23, and was replaced temporarily by Vladimir Ustinov, the deputy prosecutor general of the North Caucasus Region. Ustinov is said to be trusted by the Kremlin inner circle, but there so far has been no word on who will now serve as acting prosecutor general. Skuratov, whom Yeltsin suspended earlier this year, has not been formally removed from the post. Such a move requires the approval of the Federation Council, which has several times refused to back Yeltsin’s decision to remove Skuratov.