PRESIDENT YELTSIN SPEAKS WITH DEFENSE MINISTER IGOR SERGEEV

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PRESIDENT YELTSIN SPEAKS WITH DEFENSE MINISTER IGOR SERGEEV

Russian Television, Vesti, November 27, 1999, 21:00

On November 27 Russian President Boris Yeltsin had a telephone conversation with Defense Minister Igor Sergeev. The discussion touched on the counter-terrorist operation in Chechnya. However, Dmitri Yakushkin, the presidential press secretary, who told journalists about this meeting, stated that Sergeev reports to Yeltsin almost every day on the development of the situation. When asked about the president’s health, Yakushkin answered that it was satisfactory.

PUTIN DOUBTS THE SINCERITY OF BEREZOVSKY’S INTENTIONS

Independent Television, Segodnya, November 27, 1999, 19:00

On November 27 Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is making a quick tour of the Urals and Bashkortostan. The prime minister has already reported to journalists the first results of his journey. Primarily, President Rakhimov and Putin have agreed to resume broadcasts of current affairs programs on the ORT and RTR networks in Bashkortostan.

Vladimir Putin has also commented on an interview with Boris Berezovsky in “Kommersant-daily” on November 27, in particular Berezovsky’s offer to support the prime minister in his presidential campaign. Putin made it clear that he doubted the sincerity of Berezovsky’s intentions.

PUTIN’S POPULARITY RATING RISING

ORT, Vremya, November 27, 1999, 21:00

In three months, Vladimir Putin has been transformed from the low-profile director of the FSS into a politician with whom half of Russians link their hopes, as shown by a poll conducted by the Public Opinion Foundation.

The majority of Russians support the current prime minister. If the presidential election had been held this Sunday, Putin would have won 45% of the vote. During the last week the number of Putin’s supporters has increased by 4%. About 16% of respondents support Zyuganov. Yevgeny Primakov has almost lost his place in the leading group; this week he lost another 2% and is now supported by only 7% of Russians. If such a trend persists, in the near future it will be impossible to consider Primakov as a serious presidential candidate.

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