Under a law passed last year, the president on February 1 gained the power to remove from office regional leaders suspected of breaking federal laws. Before the day was out, President Putin dropped the axe on Yevgeny Nazdratenko, the governor of Primorsky Krai on the Sea of Japan. Nazdratenko, a Yeltsin appointee with almost ten years on the job, is a black hole into which millions of dollars of federal and regional funds have disappeared. He will now step down. Following him into the private sector is Energy Minister Aleksandr Gavrin, who got a share of the blame for the energy crisis that has left Primorye without heat or light in the misery of Siberian winter. Anatoly Chubais, an architect of Boris Yeltsin’s economic programs and for years a favorite of Western bankers, is expected to be ousted from his position as president of United Energy Systems, the holding company that controls about 80 percent of the country’s power generation. Other Yeltsin-era holdovers rumored on the bubble include Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, Central Bank President Viktor Gerashchenko, Interior Minister Vladimir Rushailo, Defense Minister Igor Sergeev, Tax Minister Gennady Bukaev and Railways Minister Nikolai Aksenenko.