Soviet corruption cases suggest power shuffle

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A recent corruption crackdown in Moscow netted some big fishes, Soviet and Western sources say, prompting speculation about possible political implications.

Monitor correspondent Ned Temko reports the quarry includes a flamboyant Moscow circus star who goes by the name ''Boris the Gypsy,'' and the overall director of Soviet circuses. Both were reportedly detained in connection with a huge diamond scandal. ''Boris'' is said to have friends in high places, and his detention may suggest some pushing and tugging near the top.

In addition, the head of OVIR, the agency which processes visa applications for people wishing to leave the Soviet Union, is said to have been sacked over corruption within the organization.

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Neither case has so far been mentioned by the official Soviet media.

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