:– Reform economist Grigory Yavlinsky was accused of libel when he charged the government with selling offices to interest groups in exchange for their support.

— Former Deputy Prime Ministers Anatoly Chubais and Boris Nemtsov accused Moscow mayor and born-again centrist Yuri Luzhkov of “economic illiteracy.”

— Luzhkov, who recently returned from Tony Blair’s Britain, said Russia must choose a “third way” between “total socialism and vulgar liberalism.” He also attacked the West for “trying to shove Russia into the Third World.” Of course, that would be like pushing a lemming off a cliff.


— President Yeltsin has dropped out of foreign policy as well as day-to-day domestic governance. Primakov took over for him in meetings with the European Union in Vienna and will travel as Russia’s representative to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Malaysia later this month. Heads of government of Croatia and Canada have postponed visits to Moscow. Moscow summits with Japan and China are still on the November calendar but are in doubt.

— Do you feel awkward when it’s time to tip the help? The newspaper “Moskovsky komsomolets” published a guide to bribing the Moscow police. Among the suggestions: 1,000 rubles to make sure your sidewalk stall passes inspection, US5,000 to solve or deep-six a murder case.