During the meeting, Yeltsin handed out promotions to three top aides: his interior minister, the commander of the Federal Protection Service and the head of the Presidential Security Service. But behind the coup rumors, there is a growing sense among the political elite that the system of government, like the economy, is grinding to a halt and that Yeltsin has simply lost touch. But certainly he has retained his sense of self-preservation. Although many onetime supporters would like to see Yeltsin resign, his meeting with the military signals that he is not going to leave without a fight.
MOSCOW: Could there be a coup in Moscow? Boris Yeltsin took the rumor of one seriously enough recently to scramble his top military and security chiefs in a demonstration of strength. "We have sufficient forces to nip in the bud any plans to seize power," he told the commanders -- a surprising and rare admission that such a risk might exist. He praised the military and interior forces for their close coordination, and pledged that they -- unlike other workers -- would be paid on time. (Sources tell TIME that Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev had prepared to resign over the government's failure to pay his troops.)