Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 164

Russian president Boris Yeltsin was reported on September 3 to have emphatically denied media reports that Federal Security Service (FSB) director Nikolai Kovalev will soon be relieved of his duties. The reports had suggested that First Deputy Prime Minister Anatoly Chubais was behind the attempt to oust Kovalev, and that Chubais hoped to place Vladimir Putin — the head of a department in the presidential administration — in the top FSB spot. ("Echo," September 2; RIA, NTV, September 3) An FSB spokesman insinuated that either organized crime interests or foreign intelligence services might be behind the media’s reports of Kovalev’s imminent dismissal. The goal of these groups, he suggested, is to use the Russia media to destabilize the country’s domestic intelligence arm. (NTV, September 3)

The FSB has had six directors since 1991. In July of 1996 Kovalev was named to replace Mikhail Barsukov in the post as part of a broader government shuffle that also saw the ouster of First Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets and long-time Yeltsin confidante Aleksandr Korzhakov. Beginning in October, 1994, Kovalev served as an FSB deputy director with responsibility for, among other things, economic counter-intelligence — an area of operations that has been emphasized since Kovalev took over the agency.

Military Jets and Helicopters for Indonesia.