IS BATTLE BETWEEN YELTSIN AND HIS FOES ABOUT TO COME TO A HEAD?
Publication: Monitor Volume: 5 Issue: 65
Some pro-Kremlin observers see a connection between the Skuratov scandal and the KPRF’s calls for military support to Serbia. Yevgeny Kiselev, the host of NTV’s weekly news program “Itogi,” charged several times last night that the KPRF was whipping up “anti-Western hysteria” and using the issue of backing Slobodan Milosevic “as an instrument in the struggle for power” inside Russia. Kiselev also noted that the KPRF has called a large anti-NATO demonstration for April 7 while the parliament’s vote on impeachment is set for April 15. He said–in a way which could be described as knowingly–that the power struggle might be decided this week. What he was hinting at, if anything, is uncertain, but rumors have been circulating that Yeltsin is planning imminent radical steps against his opponents, ranging from firing part or all of the Primakov cabinet to banning the KPRF (see Monitor, March 31).
On the other hand, it is possible that Yeltsin will take measures against members of his inner circle suspected of corruption, either as part of a compromise with the opposition, or to balance any moves he may take against his opponents. A likely target would appear to be Boris Berezovsky, whom Yeltsin replaced as CIS executive secretary with Yuri Yarov on April 2. Yarov, who has been Yeltsin’s representative in the Federation Council, is a long-time presidential crony. Berezovsky’s airplane, meanwhile, was reportedly refused entry on April 2 into Russia from Ukraine; Russian prosecutors said he had been repeatedly summoned to give evidence as a witness in the Aeroflot corruption case. Businesses connected to Berezovsky, who is believed to control Aeroflot, have been the targets of raids over the last several months. Tax officials recently raided a dealership of the LogoVAZ used car company, which Berezovsky founded, and seized fifty automobiles (Russian agencies, April 2; Moscow Times, April 3).
SUMMIT PICKS NEW EXECUTIVE SECRETARY.