President Boris Yeltsin dismissed two top officials in a government reshuffle Tuesday, forging ahead with plans to give more authority to radical reformers, news reports said.
Security Council chairman Yuri Skokov and Deputy Prime Minister Georgy Khizha, both veterans of the military-industrial complex, were being shifted to other jobs, the Interfax and ITAR-Tass news agencies quoted Yeltsin's office as saying.Yeltsin's senior aides promised a purge of officials who did not support his policies af
ter they were endorsed by about 53 percent of voters in an April 25 referendum.
Although replacements were not announced, those who take over the duties were expected to be more closely aligned with Yeltsin and his reforms.
The Security Council, founded in April 1992, comprises top ministers and Yeltsin administration officials who have authority over everything from economics to foreign policy. It acts primarily as an advisory body.
As council chairman since its founding, Skokov had staked out a centrist position in the power play between Yeltsin and the parliament. Many lawmakers last December had supported him for prime minister, but Yeltsin instead chose oil official Viktor Chernomyrdin to replace reformer Yegor Gaidar.
Khizha had been appointed deputy prime minister a year ago in charge of defense conversion, transport, space and communications.
Khizha, an engineer by training and long-time military factory director in St. Petersburg, had argued against cutting off subsidies to the huge military-industrial complex.
Both moves had been rumored for several days.