Yeltsin has appointed TASS director Vitaly Ignatenko to be Russia’s eighth deputy prime minister, Moscow television reported June 1. In this new role, Ignatenko, who is currently in charge of the government wire service Itar-Tass, which has been subordinate to the Russian president since 1993, will oversee government policy on the mass media. Ignatenko first came to international attention when he directed Moscow’s propaganda efforts during the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Later he served as a spokesman for Mikhail Gorbachev. According to Moscow television, Ignatenko will retain his present job even while he assumes his new one. One immediate challenge he will face is the financing of Russian television. One Moscow television station has already cut back its broadcasting schedule and another, the independent ORT, will again seek to sell advertising to raise funds, Segodnya reported June 1.
A Return To Soviet-Era Information Control?