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Yeltsin Fires Three Officials, Appoints Chief of Security Service

Moscow,June 20 (RFE/RL) - Russian news agencies are reporting that President Boris Yeltsin has fired three top officials, including his chief bodyguard Alexander Korzhakov. Also sacked are Mikhail Barsukov, head of the Federal Security Service and First Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets.

The Russian agencies also say that Yeltsin named Yuri Krapivin acting chief of the Security Service. Krapivin was the head of the Federal Guard Sevice.

Agencies quoted Yeltsin as saying "it's necessary to make changes so there are fresh people."

The dismissals follow last night's brief detention by Federal Security Service of two members of Yeltsin's re-election team. Senior presidential aides have said the detentions were an attempt to prevent the second round of presidential elections from being held next month.

Korshakov and Barsukov denied there was a political motive behind the detentions. Also today, Yeltsin presented Alexander Lebed as the new secretary of the Security Council at a meeting of that body. RFE/RL correspondent quotes Yeltsin's staff officials as saying the Security Council supported Lebed's appointment. Lebed was this week appointed as Yeltsin's national security advisor as well.