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Yeltsin Readies Another Purge

July 25, 1998

MOSCOW (AP) _ President Boris Yeltsin and his prime minister agreed Saturday on some high-level government dismissals, but Yeltsin refused to identify the targets of his latest purge.

``I would prefer that you learn it from the presidential press service, because that would be more ethical for the people in question,″ Yeltsin told reporters at the government resort where he is vacationing in northwestern Russia.

The presidential press service said later that the president had not issued any personnel decrees and that none were expected until at least Saturday night or Sunday, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported.

Yeltsin and Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko discussed a variety of issues, including the situation in the breakaway region of Chechnya, whose president was the target of a failed car bomb attack last week, and the economy.

Yeltsin said they talked about how Russia can repay international loans without ``harming the life and well-being of our people.″ International lenders recently agreed to a new $17.1 billion loan, bringing Russia’s total bailout package to $22.6 billion.

The personnel changes apparently include both dismissals and appointments. ``Decisions have been made,″ Yeltsin told reporters.

Yeltsin has a long history of frequent personnel changes. Kiriyenko was appointed earlier this year after Yeltsin dismissed much of his cabinet, including then-Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin.

The Interfax news agency quoted Yeltsin as saying he closely monitors all his ministers.

``I know what he is doing, of every case, of every crime, solved or not,″ he boasted. ``You know less. A decision to dismiss may seem illogical or incomprehensible, but I make one when I cannot tolerate the situation any longer.″

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