Home Alone in Moscow

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MOSCOW: Russia's boy wonder is about to get the keys to the car: Sergei Kiriyenko is struggling to win the legislature's confirmation as prime minister, but Boris Yeltsin's state visit to Japan on Friday will probably leave the 35-year-old running the country for two days. "Yeltsin will leave Russia without a government when he flies out," says TIME Moscow correspondent Andrew Meier. "Kiriyenko is only the acting prime minister, and there's no constitutional provision for such a situation. But he'll probably run things anyway in Yeltsin's absence." So if the legislature rejects him for a second time when it votes on Friday, Kiriyenko will still get to thumb his nose at them.