• ACI Russia

08/23/1998 19:25:20 Chronology of Russian government crises

MOSCOW, Aug 23 (Reuters) - Russian President Boris Yeltsin,

who sacked his entire government on Sunday for the second time

this year, has often responded to bad news and policy failures

by sacking people around him.

Following are some of the key shakeups in his seven years in


June 16, 1991 - Yeltsin elected the first executive

president of Russia, then still a part of the Soviet Union.

August 1991 - Hardline Communists try to oust Soviet leader

Mikhail Gorbachev. Yeltsin plays key role in blocking the coup.

Autumn 1991 - Yeltsin announces radical economic reform,

including freeing of prices and privatisation. He puts

little-known reformer Yegor Gaidar in charge of the plans.

December 8, 1991 - Yeltsin and the leaders of Belarus and

Ukraine sign an agreement dissolving the Soviet Union.

June 16, 1992 - Yeltsin names Gaidar acting prime minister.

December 14, 1992 - Under pressure from conservative

parliament, Yeltsin sacks reformer Gaidar and names Viktor

Chernomyrdin, former head of gas monopoly Gazprom, as prime

minister, a post he will hold for more than five years.

April 25, 1993 - Yeltsin wins nationwide referendum on

confidence in his rule. Stand-off with parliament worsens.

September 21-October 4, 1993 - Yeltsin dissolves parliament,

calls new elections. Rebel parliamentarians refuse to vacate

building, leading to long siege. After a night of violence in

which parliament's supporters try to storm television

headquarters, Yeltsin calls in tanks. Parliamentarians surrender

after being shelled.

December 12, 1993 - Russians vote in favour of new

constitution giving Yeltsin wide powers.

October 11, 1994 - Rouble nose-dives against dollar in

Russia's first post-Soviet currency crisis. Yeltsin sacks acting

finance minister Sergei Dubinin.

December, 1994 - Yeltsin sends troops to breakaway region of

Chechnya, opening two years of war.

December 17, 1995 - General election. Communists stage major

comeback taking more than one third of seats.

January, 1996 - Yeltsin sacks high profile liberals,

including Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev and First Deputy Prime

Minister Anatoly Chubais in a further shift away from reform.

June, 1996 - In runup to presidential election, Yeltsin

sacks security officials and army officers, including defence

minister Pavel Grachev. Yeltsin wins election, but only after

taking on general Alexander Lebed as his security chief.

August 31, 1996 - Lebed signs truce ending war in Chechnya.

October, 1996 - Yeltsin fires Lebed.

February - April, 1997 - Yeltsin reshuffles his cabinet with

reformers again in key roles.

May 22, 1997 - Yeltsin sacks Defence Minister Igor Rodionov.

November 1997 - Market begins slide on bad news from Asia.

February 28, 1998 - Yeltsin sacks three minor ministers.

March 23 - Yeltsin, angered at slow pace of reform, sacks

entire government. Chernomyrdin replaced by 35-year-old energy

minister Sergei Kiriyenko.

April 29 - May 5 - New cabinet, packed with reformers is

announced. Markets recover slightly, but fall soon resumes.

July 13 - International Monetary Fund and other foreign

lenders agree to $22.6 billion bale-out loan package. Markets

recover again, but slide later resumes.

Aug 14 - Yeltsin vows rouble will not be devalued.

Aug 17 - Rouble is effectively devalued after government

raises corridor in which rouble can fluctuate against dollar.

Moratorium is placed on repayments of some commcercial banks'

debts. Some state debt is to be restructured.

Aug 21 - Lower house of parliament blasts Kiriyenko and

government and adopts resolution demanding Yeltsin quit.

Kiriyenko says he is not stepping down.

August 23 - Yeltsin sacks entire government, appointing

Chernomyrdin as acting prime minister.

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