Boris Yeltsin's decision to devalue the ruble is just the latest in a long series of failures in his leadership, the opposition leader in Russia's parliament charged Tuesday.
The government let the ruble's value drop Monday by up to 34 percent, an effective devaluation that Yeltsin had repeatedly pledged to avoid.Gennady Zyuganov, who leads the largest faction in the parliament's lower house, said the action means "our president has absolutely devalued himself."
Zyuganov called for mass protests and Yeltsin's resignation, although previous calls have triggered little response.
Also Tuesday, Yeltsin accepted the resignation of his longtime economic adviser, Alexander Livshits. Other personnel changes were not likely immediately, his spokesman said.
The Interfax news agency reported that Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko and Central Bank chairman Sergei Dubinin had offered to resign, but Yeltsin told them to stay.
The president was expected to remain at his country house outside Moscow through the end of the week.
Russian newspapers had a mixed response to the devaluation of the ruble from about 6.3 to the dollar to 9.5 to the dollar. Some said it could give a break to the battered economy and let the government pay off months in back wages. But they also warned it could backfire on Yeltsin politically when prices begin to rise.
"We woke up in another country - one standing on the eve of price rises, deficit, cuts in import and black currency market," said the business daily, Kommersant.