One of Luzhkov’s strongest critics of late, former Prime Minister Sergei Kirienko, changed tack yesterday, aiming his criticism not at Luzhkov, but at Yeltsin. Speaking to a forum of international Russian-language press, Kirienko called on Yeltsin to step down voluntarily this October, prior to the planned December parliamentary elections. In resigning, Kirienko said, Yeltsin “should take with him the so-called successors, take [with him] the system of influence of the executive branch on society.” The only successor, Kirienko said, should be “Russia’s civil society” (Russian agencies, June 21).
Kirienko’s criticism of Yeltsin may simply have been designed to deflect criticism that in attacking Luzhkov, he has been acting at the Kremlin’s behest. (Last week, Kirienko’s political movement, New Force, set up a telephone hotline which Muscovites could call and complain about instances of corruption in the Moscow city government and mayor’s office.) Yet, even if Kirienko has been coordinating his attacks on Luzhkov with the Kremlin, it is possible that he and his political movement have decided to play their own game–specifically, to try and edge out both Grigory Yavlinsky’s Yabloko and Right Cause, the coalition founded by Yegor Gaidar and Anatoly Chubais, for the leadership position within Russia’s liberal intelligentsia.
LATVIA AIMS FOR COMPATIBILITY WITH NATO FORCES.