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DATE=1/3/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=RUSSIA POL (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-257731 BYLINE=PETER HEINLEIN DATELINE=MOSCOW CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Russia's acting President Vladimir Putin has dismissed two of former President Boris Yeltsin's top aides. Moscow correspondent Peter Heinlein reports the changes had been expected. TEXT: Acting President Putin's first administrative move was to fire former President Yeltsin's daughter, Tatyana Dyachenko, from her post as presidential image-maker. The dismissal, just three-days after Mr. Putin took over the top Kremlin job, is seen as an effort to distance himself from the scandals of the Yeltsin administration. Ms. Dyachenko is under investigation by Swiss and Russian authorities in connection with allegations of massive kickbacks to senior Kremlin officials. With elections less than three-months away, Mr. Putin says he intends to clear up corruption in government, although he generated controversy on his first day in office by granting his predecessor immunity from prosecution. In another move (Monday), Mr. Putin dismissed Chief Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Yakushkin, although Mr. Yakushkin was immediately appointed to another position as deputy chief of staff. Mr. Yakushkin told a Moscow radio station he expects former President Yeltsin to keep an office in the Kremlin, and to play a role in Russian politics. Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, in an interview published in an Italian newspaper, said President Yeltsin wanted to stay on until the end of his term, but was persuaded to step down by his daughter, his doctors, and other trusted aides. Mr. Gorbachev was quoted as saying President Yeltsin -- resisted (resigning) with all the strength he had left, but they effectively threw him out. The former Soviet leader told the "La Stampa" newspaper doctors had been the decisive factor in Mr. Yeltsin's decision, telling the 68-year old president any further effort would have been fatal. Mr. Gorbachev also said that with elections due in March, Acting President Putin would do anything for victory in Chechnya, whatever the cost in human lives, because he understands that in the event of defeat, or simply no victory, his position could rapidly deteriorate. Mr. Gorbachev predicted there would be no fight against corruption under the new Russian leader, because in his words -- above all, the interests and privileges of the ruling class will be protected. (SIGNED) NEB/PFH/GE/RAE 03-Jan-2000 11:17 AM EDT (03-Jan-2000 1617 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .