SHOIGU RECEIVES “BLACK MARK”

Pravda.ru has already told its readers of the clouds gathering over Russia’s chief rescuer Sergei Shoigu. He is said to have got a swelled head, flaunting his general’s uniform, rates himself above the Yedinstvo faction in the Duma. Last Wednesday, Premier Mikhail Kasyanov, having emerged at the Emergency Situations Ministry, unexpectedly spoke of misusing budget funds by Mr. Shoigu’s ministry and of the necessity to increase control in this delicate issue. There is another “black mark.” The Procurator General’s Office is said to have forwarded to the Yedinstvo’s leader a letter suggesting him to drop one of his posts since it is unlawful to combine the party post with the ministerial chair. Until recently, the “minister of all cabinets” has been regarded as both Mr. Yeltsin’s and Mr. Putin’s darling, so Mr. Ustinov’s move can hardly be considered accidental.