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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Blase Muscovites Laud Sacking of Ministers

If Russia was indeed teetering on the brink of a coup Wednesday night, then nobody passing through Pushkin Square Thursday afternoon had heard about it -- and if one had taken place, they were none too concerned.


"A coup? What coup?" said a bemused Dmitry Gorbunov, a 24-year-old designer, before adding, "Even if there was one we already had two before."


Some passers-by were quite unaware that some of the most powerful men in the country -- Kremlin Security Services chief Alexander Korzhakov, Federal Security Service chief Mikhail Barsukov and First Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets -- had been fired.


Once informed, however, nobody expressed any regrets.


Ruslan, 50 and "not a very successful businessman," said: "Good, people who shouldn't have been there in first place are at last being removed. Now I can see that Yeltsin is turning his face to us, to people."


One man who works in the media and gave his name as Vladimir Ivanovich, 54, thought Thursday's cabinet reshuffle was a "natural thing to do."


"The split in the government was obvious for at least a year," he said.


Even Anna Sergeyevna, a communist babushka who sells flowers in the subway under Pushkin Square, was pleased with the sacking -- although for different reasons. "Chubais should have been removed too," she said. "And Yeltsin should be thrown out, Yeltsin and all of them."


The most enthusiastic approval, however, was reserved for the appointment of retired General Alexander Lebed as head of the Security Council.


"He is good, honest man," said Gorbunov. "We need somebody to start to fight the corruption."


A group of young tae kwan do sportsmen said Lebed was "a great lad and may be able to do something."


But Gorbunov was also concerned for Lebed, saying that "he is not a great politician, they might give him a hard time in the Kremlin offices."


Only the babushka was infuriated by Lebed -- "He sold himself to Yeltsin and did it very cheaply."