President Yeltsin has appointed Dmitri Yakushkin as his press secretary. Yakushkin, 41, is both a practicing journalist and, probably more important, a close friend of Yeltsin’s chief-of-staff, Valentin Yumashev. His father was a general in the foreign intelligence arm of the KGB. He worked for Komsomolskaya pravda until 1986, after which he headed the APN-Novosti bureau in Paris. Since 1990, he has been working for Moscow News and, most recently, for Russian television (Russian agencies, September 15). Yakushkin replaces former presidential spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembsky, fired last week after he reportedly joined the camp of those seeking to persuade Yeltsin to nominate Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov as prime minister. This put Yastrzhembsky at odds with Yumashev and others who supported Viktor Chernomyrdin’s candidacy.
INDIA APPLAUDS PRIMAKOV APPOINTMENT.