Moscow, July 15 (RFE/RL) -- Russian President Boris Yeltsin today appointed liberal former Privatization Minister Anatoly Chubais as chief of his administration. Chubais replaces hardliner Nikolay Yegorov.
Interfax news agency quotes Yeltsin's press secretary, Sergei Medvedev, as saying Chubais will also be Yeltsin's senior aide. Yeltsin's former senior aide Viktor Illyushin will reportedly be named first deputy prime minister.
However, Medvedev said that Yegorov will still be in charge of organizing the ceremony for Yeltsin's inauguration for a second term in office on August 9.
Widely disliked by communists and nationalists, Chubais, 41, was the main driving force behind Russia's huge privatization programme.
Yeltsin ousted Chubais from his cabinet post in January. But Chubais made a comeback as Yeltsin's presidential campaign manager. He had denied in recent weeks that he planned to return to government, saying he wanted to go into private business.
Yegorov is the latest prominent hawk in the Kremlin to lose his position. Last month Yeltsin fired some senior hardliners, including his bodyguard Aleksandr Korzhakov, Federal Security Service head Mikhail Borsukov and Defense Minister Pavel Grachev.