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Stepashin, Sergei Vadimovich


(b. 1952), general-lieutenant of the internal troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, member of Supreme Soviet and chair of the Defense and Security Committee, head of the Counter-Intelligence Service, minister of Internal Affairs, prime minister, and head of State Audit Commission.

Sergei Stepashin joined the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Soviet Union and served there until 1990. He graduated from the Military Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. In his last years in the Ministry of Internal Affairs he was involved in the Ministry's response to such "hot spots" as Baku, the Fergana Valley, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Sukhumi. In 1990 he was elected to the RSFSR Supreme Soviet from Leningrad, and he served as chairman of the Committee on Defense and Security. He served in the Russian parliament until 1993. A political ally of President Boris Yeltsin, Stepashin was also appointed deputy minister of security in 1991 and held that post until 1993. In 1993 Stepashin supported Yeltsin in his struggle with the Russian parliament; Yeltsin appointed him deputy minister, then, in March 1994, minister, of the Counter-Intelligence Service. Stepashin played a leading role in unsuccessful covert efforts to overthrow the Dudayev government in Chechnya in the fall of 1994. In 1995 Yeltsin officially fired Stepashin for the fiasco in handling the Chechen raid on Budennovsk in Russia but continued his involvement in counter-intelligence activities. In 1997 Yeltsin appointed him minister of Justice. In the administrative turnover of the last years of Yeltsin's second term, Stepashin moved up rapidly. He was appointed minister of Internal Affairs in April 1998 and then prime Minister in May 1999 to replace Yevgeny Primakov. Stepashin directed the government's initial response to the raid of Chechen bands into Dagestan, but was replaced as prime minister by Vladimir Putin in September 1999. In 2000 Putin appointed Stepashin to head the State Auditing Commission.

See also: chechnya and chechens; military, soviet and post-soviet; putin, vladimir vladimirovich; yabloko; yeltsin, boris nikolayevich


Bohlen, Celestine. (1999). "Yeltsin Dismisses Another Premier: KGB Veteran Is In." The New York Times (August 10, 1999).

Bohlen, Celestine. (2002). "Sergey Vadimovich Stepashin." National Politics. <>.

Shevtsova, Lilia. (1999). Yeltsin's Russia: Myths and Reality. Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution.

Jacob W. Kipp

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