The last three prime ministers - Yevgeny Primakov, Sergei Stepashin and Vladimir Putin - have been chosen according to completely different criteria. Yeltsin has chosen these men, in rapid succession, with one idea: keeping a hold on his personal political power.
The St Petersburg Times
YELTSIN'S PROBLEM seems to be that he wants to be remembered as having overseen the first democratic transfer of political power in Russia - but at the same time, he doesn't want to give up power. It's anyone's guess what Yeltsin will decide to do next. He probably does not know himself.
The Moscow Times
ANOTHER INTELLIGENCE officer is in charge of the government. The President has yet again confirmed that he is unpredictable, jealous, and loyal to people who do not intend to take his tsar's throne. Thus, [the new Premier- designate] Putin has become the hostage of an unpredictable President.
BORIS YELTSIN has turned the Prime Minister's job into a mainstream profession. During his rule, the premiership has changed seven times. Former prime ministers have their own electoral worth. On the one hand, such swift change devalues the post. On the other, there is no other way to become a top politician known throughout the country in no time at all.
THE PROBLEM is that no one believes the Kremlin elite. Everybody believes that it is impossible to deal with these crazy people. Putin carries no weight among Russian politicians, and, even if he did, it wouldn't mean success for the Kremlin.
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