Brawn takes over former KGB
Tuesday 25 July 1995
General Barsukov, 47, has until now been in charge of the personal safety of senior Kremlin officials other than the President. He is believed to be a protege of Mr Yeltsin's influential bodyguard, General Alexander Korzhakov. A recent photograph of Mr Yeltsin, taken before he went into hospital, showed Mr Korzhakov and Mr Barsukov at his side, two very burly figures.
The top job at the FSB fell vacant after Mr Yeltsin sacked Sergei Stepashin, along with two other ministers, for mishandling the Chechen hostage crisis in the southern town of Budennovsk in June. Mr Stepashin had been trying to reform the security service.
While a Yeltsin spokesman hinted that General Barsukov might be planning staff changes in the organisation, liberals were not convinced this would aid reform. The head of the Duma's Defence Committee, Sergei Yushenkov, an opponent of the war in Chechnya, said he was not pleased with the appointment.
Alexander Konovalov, a military expert, suggested it would be a good thing if FSB professionals took charge of operations, while their new boss remained a figurehead. But he said this was unlikely. "I think it is a negative appointment when a bodyguard becomes head of the intelligence service."
News of the appointment was leaked last week, but General Barsukov then said he knew nothing about it. Confirmation came only yesterday, when Mr Yeltsin, said by his aides to be "feeling well" after treatment for a mild heart attack, checked out of the Moscow Central Clinic. He has now gone to convalesce for an unspecified period in a sanatorium at Barvikha in the countryside west of the capital.
Aides have said that stress over Chechnya had contributed to the President's heart problems. He has been closely following the progress of peace talks in Grozny but yesterday's session again failed to produce a breakthrough to cheer him.
After days of expressing optimism, which hardly seemed well founded, the negotiators admitted yesterday that the issue of Chechnya's future political status remained a stumbling block.
A Russian envoy, Arkady Volsky, said that the Chechen leader, General Dzhokhar Dudayev, had not improved the atmosphere by making a defiant anti-Russian statement on Saturday. Nevertheless, the search for peace would go on.
- 1 Amy Winehouse statue unveiled in Camden
- 2 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 5 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
George Galloway on Scottish independence: The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained in Los Angeles after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Scottish independence: Britain faces 'constitutional crisis' at next election
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
£50 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We are looking for flexible and i...
£50 - £65 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: We are looking for flexible and...
£130 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS2 Supply Teacher r...
£130 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Teacher required,...