Russian Communist party leader Gennady Zyuganov has deplored the cabinet changes President Boris Yeltsin made over the weekend, saying the president "got the wrong men." (Itar-Tass, February 28) Zyuganov said Yeltsin should have sacked the "young reformers," first deputy premiers Anatoly Chubais and Boris Nemtsov. Instead, Yeltsin dismissed Deputy Prime Minister Valery Serov, Transport Minister Nikolai Tsakh and Education Minister Vladimir Kinelev. The dismissals appeared to be Yeltsin’s attempt to show he is still a force to be reckoned with. No one believes that the sackings will make any appreciable difference to the government’s performance. Zyuganov spoke for many when he said the sackings were irrelevant because the government’s key figures remain in place.
Serov, who had responsibility for Russia’s relations with the CIS, was the only one of the three sacked ministers with any real clout. He was one of those whom Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin singled out for criticism in his February 26 report on the government’s stewardship. Chernomyrdin accused Serov of failing in his mandate to build strong ties with other former Soviet republics. In reality, Serov had earned the animosity of the "young reformers" by his strong support of union with Belarus. Of the three outgoing ministers, Serov was the only one criticized in Chernomyrdin’s report. Serov’s responsibility for Russia’s relations with the CIS has, however, gone to Cooperation Minister Anatoly Adamishin, who also came in for sharp criticism from Chernomyrdin last week. Therefore, while Adamishin is taking over Serov’s functions, insiders predict that he will probably not succeed to Serov’s rank as deputy premier. (RTR, 28 February)
Russian Government Decides to Bury Imperial Family in St. Petersburg.