The Russian Defense Ministry yesterday denied media reports that some six military satellites had been placed into incorrect orbits. The Kosmos satellites–said to be of the Strela-3 type–were launched on board a Tsiklon-3 booster from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in northern Russia on June 16. Russian news sources quoted officials yesterday as saying that none of the six satellites had been placed into proper orbit, but that they were functioning normally and could nevertheless be used. A military spokesman later said, however, that there had been no problems in launching or placing the satellites, and that all were in their proper orbit and working fine. The launching of the Strela-3’s was reported to have been commissioned by the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) of the Russian General Staff. According to a Russian daily, the Strela-3’s are part of a highly classified system and are used to record radio messages transmitted by Russian intelligence agencies worldwide and then to relay those messages to Moscow. (AP, Russian agencies, June 17)
CHUBAIS TO ASSUME MORE PUBLIC ROLE.