MOSCOW — The top economic adviser to Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev has left his post after writing a public letter accusing Gorbachev of criminal acts to prop up "a regime in its death throes."
A spokesman said Friday that economic adviser Nikolai Petrakov was out of a job, joining a growing list of reformers who have left Gorbachev's inner circle or been fired after Gorbachev began using more hard-line tactics. It was not clear whether Petrakov had resigned or been removed.
Others who have departed include Foreign Minister Eduard A. Shevardnadze, economist Stanislav S. Shatalin and Interior Minister Vadim Bakatin. Additionally, Politburo member Alexander N. Yakovlev, considered the godfather of Soviet reforms, has been dropped quietly from the government.
Of the reformers who have left Gorbachev's team, the departure of Shevardnadze was the most spectacular. He resigned last month, warning that "dictatorship was coming" to the Soviet Union.
He later said in an interview that he feared a repeat of military crackdowns that left scores dead in Georgia in 1989 and in Azerbaijan last year.
Petrakov could not be reached for comment, but two associates said Gorbachev had been enraged by the open letter.