Russian president Boris Yeltsin returned to the Kremlin yesterday after a month’s absence and publicly scolded the government he had appointed for its failure to resolve the country’s economic woes. "A lot of work has piled up. Plenty of questions and problems have been created," Yeltsin said. The president’s televised remarks increased speculation that he intends to replace the government after it gives its oft-postponed accounting of its activities, now scheduled for the end of February. First Deputy Premier Anatoly Chubais is assumed to be most at risk, but Yeltsin surprised onlookers yesterday by publicly chastising the hawkish interior minister, Anatoly Kulikov. During Yeltsin’s absence, Kulikov caused a stir by calling for preemptive strikes against rebel strongholds in Chechnya. (Reuter, January 19)
Incumbent Ousted in North Ossetia.