With the budget debate over and President Yeltsin still secluded at a hunting lodge 70 miles from the capital, the Moscow political scene is unusually quiet. But rumors have filled the vacuum. Speculation that Anatoly Chubais will lose his post as head of the presidential administration has died down temporarily, to be replaced by rumors that Chubais’ chief ally, Yeltsin’s younger daughter Tatyana Dyachenko, is about to be given an official Kremlin post as presidential aide. The rumor was given front-page coverage yesterday by the newspaper Segodnya, which said the Kremlin wanted to place Dyachenko on an official footing precisely to put an end to press speculation about her role, which is acknowledged to be crucial. (Segodnya, December 17) Indicating the sensitivity of the subject, Segodnya’s report prompted an immediate denial from the Kremlin. (Itar-Tass, December 17)
Other rumors hold that Interior Minister Anatoly Kulikov will shortly be promoted to deputy prime minister, with responsibility for overseeing the financing and provisioning of the army and the police. Also reported to be in the running for this new post is Sergei Stepashin, presently on the staff of the presidential administration and a close ally of Anatoly Chubais. (Interfax, December 17) According to yet another rumor, a third Communist will soon join the government. The rumor holds that, as part of the price for approving the budget last week, the Communists demanded the appointment of Yuri Maslyukov, former head of USSR Gosplan and now chairman of the Duma’s Economics Committee, to a ministerial post.
Management of Coal Companies to be Privatized.