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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

02/11/1997

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New Chief Takes Over At Troubled State TV

Popular TV commentator Nikolai Svanidze was named chairman of RTR, the Russian state television and radio company, Monday following the resignation of Eduard Sagalayev amid accusations of corruption. Appointed to the influential position by President Boris Yeltsin, Svanidze, 41, is a veteran journalist best known as the anchor of ""Zerkalo,"" a program on current events with liberal commentary. Since last August, Svanidze has been deputy chairman of information and political programming at the state-owned RTR, which is Russia's second-largest national television channel. The new chairman's bearded face, calm manner and pro-democratic views first became known to Russians in 1991, when he began to appear on the ""Vesti"" evening news program. He and well-known anchor Svetlana Sorokina were on the air the night of Oct. 3, 1993, when the Ostankino television center was under siege by anti-Yeltsin forces and RTR was the only functioning television channel.

Russian Emigre Guilty

BOISE, Idaho -- A Russian emigre who left his job as artistic director of Ballet Idaho under mysterious circumstances was convicted of murdering his third wife. Veniamin ""Ben'' Kuzmichev, 56, was found guilty Saturday in the Sept. 1995 strangulation of Wanda Cowger Kuzmichev, 61, just four months after they married. Kuzmichev claimed to have been a ballet dancer and choreographer in Kiev but never produced any documents to back up those claims when he was given the Ballet Idaho position.

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