Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 106

Russian president Boris Yeltsin has replaced Vladimir Ignatenko, his official representative in Primorsky krai. Ignatenko will not be out of a job, however: he has already been appointed deputy governor by his chum, Primorsky krai governor Yevgeny Nazdratenko. Indeed, Ignatenko’s closeness to Nazdratenko had long since rendered him useless as Yeltsin’s eyes and ears in Russia’s troubled Far East. The region has been crippled by power shortages caused by industrial unrest, the result, in turn, of huge wage arrears.

Yeltsin’s new appointee is well placed to know what is going on in Primorsky krai and to keep the president informed about it: he is none other than Lt. Gen. Viktor Kondratov, head of the Federal Security Service (successor to the KGB) in the region. Kondratov is already talking up a storm. He gave a press conference this week in which he accused local officials of massive corruption. He said federal funds sent to the region for the re-equipping of local power stations was embezzled by local officials and sent straight back to Moscow, where it was invested in private country dachas. Yeltsin has long wanted to replace Nazdratenko with someone more subservient, but the loyalty the governor inspires among the regional elite and within the local population have so far made this impossible. Kondratov’s revelations may do the trick. (RTR, May 29)

High Level Contacts Between Russia and Japan Continue.