MOSCOW, Sept. 16 -- Russian President Boris Yeltsin has appointed three centrist politicians to the new Cabinet of Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov ('yehv-GAY-nee pree-muh-KAWF'), further weakening any influence the communist and nationalist opposition hoped to maintain. Yeltsin signed a decree appointing Alexander Shokhin ('SHOH-een'), Vladimir Ryzhkov ('vlah-DEE-meer reezh-KAWF') and Vladimir Bulgak ('bull-GHAK') deputy prime ministers in charge of, respectively, financial affairs, social affairs and industry and communications. The three men, all from the centrist Our Home is Russia bloc, will weaken the position of communist First Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Maslyukov ('YOU-ree mass-loo-KAWF'), who has been placed in overall charge of economic affairs. Shokhin, a 46-year-old former economics minister who moved to parliament to head the Our Home is Russia movement, had earlier said he would join the government after being given assurances by Primakov and Yeltsin that he would get relative freedom of action and not have to report to Maslyukov, but directly to the premier. Ryzhkov, the 32-year-old deputy speaker of the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, is probably the most interesting appointment. He is young and has no government experience, but has shown himself capable of learning fast and was propelled to a leading position in parliament. Ryzhkov hails from southern Siberia, and there are hopes he will be able to cope with the difficult social problems in the restive region, where unpaid miners have blocked the Trans-Siberian railway and unemployment -- and discontent -- is rising fast. Bulgak, a 57-year-old technocrat, was former minister of science and technology in the previous Cabinet.
In another development, Shokhin told reporters Georgy Boos ('BOH- oss') had been chosen to head the State Tax Service, replacing Boris Fyodorov ('FYOH-dah-rawf'), a leading economist who started a crackdown on tax delinquents and then said he intended to resign because of the change of government policies. There was no immediate confirmation of Boos's appointment from government sources. ---
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