IS YELTSIN REALLY IN CHARGE?

THE KREMLIN SAYS HE IS. BUT A FEROCIOUS BATTLE AMONG HIS AIDES OVER HOW TO END THE WAR IN CHECHNYA SUGGESTS OTHERWISE

Rumors, confusion and anxiety gripped Moscow so intensely last week that his Kremlin handlers just had to produce a live Boris Yeltsin. The President of Russia had not been seen publicly since his alarmingly inarticulate inaugural oath of office on Aug. 9, while all manner of confounding events were convulsing the country. See, presidential aides needed to demonstrate, he's still the boss. But Yeltsin's surprise photo op last Thursday evening provided precious little reassurance. He didn't look as frail and puffy or sound as slurred as he had in the inauguration, yet his appearance lasted only a few minutes, his speech...

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