Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 216

Doubts are being expressed over the authenticity of a transcript published on November 15 in Moscow’s largest circulation newspaper, Moskovsky komsomolets. The transcripted conversation purportedly took place on June 22 — between the two rounds of Russia’s presidential election — and involved the chief of Yeltsin’s election campaign, Anatoly Chubais, and other top presidential aides discussing covert funding for the campaign. Chubais has vehemently denied that the conversation ever took place, and Aleksandr Korzhakov, the former Yeltsin aide initially suspected of leaking the transcript, has also denied having anything to do with it. (ORT, November 15) Moskovsky komsomolets, which in its November 15 issue said it had no doubt as to the document’s authenticity, backtracked in an editorial the following day in which it merely claimed that the document was " more or less plausible." Political commentators are speculating that Yeltsin’s apparently rapid recovery from heart surgery has forced Moscow leaders to come to terms with the possibility that he will be around for another four years. They are therefore readjusting their sights. Instead of attacking one another in an effort to gain the lead in the Kremlin succession stakes, they are aiming to get Yeltsin’s ear. This places Chubais, Yeltsin’s closest aide, in the firing range. (NTV, November 17)

Rybkin Meets with Chechen Envoy.