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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ambivalence at Top

Appearing before students at Moscow State Technical University [Jan. 25], Boris Yeltsin announced "it would be unfounded to expect a sharp change in priorities based on hasty and frivolous judgments surrounding the latest staff changes." He pointed out the country's political and economic course would undergo no revisions by the president or the government.

However, one day earlier, the unsinkable first deputy prime minister and head of the president's campaign headquarters, Oleg Soskovets, made an announcement of a slightly different nature. He pointed out that earlier attempts to directly infuse Western experience into Russia were made without regard for the country's idiosyncrasies. Confessing that this approach turned out to be inappropriate, he announced "structural and financial maneuvers" and adjustments to government policy were needed. In which direction? Naturally in the one given preference by the majority of voters ... tightening control over production prices and the services of natural monopolies.

[The Jan. 25 appointment of Vladimir Kadannikov as first deputy prime minister] demonstrates even more clearly the ambivalent position at the peak of Russian politics.