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11 October 1997
[Note from David Johnson:
1. Moskovskaya Pravda: Russia Still Haunted by Ghost of
2. Floriana Fossato (RFE/RL): Yabloko Party Seen as Top
Yeltsin Opponent In Duma--An Analysis.
3. AP: Yeltsin: Russia Supports Democracy.
4. The Times (UK): Yeltsin's Franco-Russian deal undermines
Blair's Euro hopes.
5. AFP: Microsoft's Bill Gates in Moscow.
6. Interfax: Survey Measures Zyuganov's Poll Rating.
7. Reuter: Mafia warnings aim to scare investors--Russia.
8. Moskovskiy Komsomolets: Yeltsin Gets Lukewarm Reception
9. Interfax: U.S. Ambassador Says Moscow Best Russian City
10. Segodnya: Those Who Served Time in Jail Would Not Serve
in the Army.
11. Komsomolskaya Pravda: People, Who Surprised us This Week.
12. Pravda: Boris Jordan.
13. Vecherniy Peterburg: Is It Good or Bad To Export Children?
14. USIA: ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI TESTIFIES ON NATO ENLARGEMENT.
15. New York Times letter: A 3d Term for Yeltsin?
16. Reuter: Soviet dissident art comes to former East bloc.
17. VOA reports on problem of asylum in Russia.]
Russia Still Haunted by Ghost of October 1993
October 4, 1997
[translation for personal use only]
Commentary by Oleg Zhirnov: "'Tallyho' -- the Regime's Motto"
In his radio address on the fourth anniversary of the events of
October 1993, B. Yeltsin threatened parliament again: "The president's
patience is not limitless. Your irresponsibility is too expensive an
indulgence for the people to fund."
Now, four years later, the pattern of the events of those days is
dangerously repeating itself. Much is already going the same way. What we
then tried to avoid with the help of tank volleys is what we are now moving
Two branches of power are again in a clinch. The opposition is more
aggressive than ever. Rutskoy's calls to bomb the Kremlin which were heard
then have now given way to Rokhlin's battle cries. All this is multiplied
by talk about changing the constitution, which was what led to a bloody
outcome four years ago. The country has not rid itself of the political
confrontation which is sucking out all its life juices. So far, the
temperature of this confrontation has been lower than in October '93. But
the mercury in the political thermometer is steadily rising.
Four years ago the democrats maintained that force had to be used to
restore order and stability. Where is that stability now? The true goal
in bombarding the White House was to assert B. Yeltsin's absolute power --
under a new constitution, the current one, tailored especially for him.
Four years of this absolute power have passed. It is not without reason
that, while regularly enlightening the country through radio addresses,
they put off a policy address on the country's development. Apparently,
they have not yet discovered a truly national idea.
What there is instead is the long familiar official motto of the
government. That is the notorious "system of checks and balances."
In practical terms, it assumes the shape of a policy of playing
everyone off against everyone else. Ours and theirs. Close companions and
distant enemies on the other side of the barricades.
Not only is the executive played off against the Duma. It happens
inside the government too: the premier against a pair of young reformers,
those two against the bankers.... And even within the young pair itself:
one against the other. It costs the country dearly to keep up the role of
"supreme arbiter." The artificial sowing of dissension at all levels and
in all directions is eating away at it like rust.
Fresh pieces of that dissension, "quanta" of tension and "struggle,"
are continually thrown into political life. This summer there were rumors
about dissolving the Duma. Now we have them again. Although the head of
state has not been at his post for half a term even, he started up the new
presidential campaign himself and is heating it up. First, "I will not
run," then "I won't say; my friends will not let me." Let everyone shake
and tremble with tension, wondering: What else are they up to? With
regard to private ownership of land there is also a hurry that is hard to
explain: Are many rural dwellers rushing to get land? But what an excuse
for new political infighting!
Whatever the president may have said in his radio address, the policy
of national accord is in fact dead and buried. That slogan was used like a
paper napkin. It was opened up and thrown away. First the Agreement on
Societal Accord was not taken seriously and was allowed to be denigrated.
Then the Agreement expired. It was not renewed. Now the opposition has
finished off the idea of accord by reviving the commission investigating
the events of October '93.
The houses of parliament are publicly divided into "good" and "bad,"
"ours" and "not ours." There is a stated unwillingness to cross the 100
meters separating the Kremlin from the Duma building on Okhotnyy Ryad.
Flouting and humiliating the Duma, they are forcing the activity of the
opposition out of civilized parliamentary channels onto the street. The
erection of an invisible but thick wall around the Kremlin gave rise to a
phenomenal degradation of a systemic opposition into an aggressive, warlike
"The White House had to be fired on to save democracy," they maintain.
Four years later all that is left of "the democracy of the victors" is a
shriveled skin half shed by a monster which has not received an exact name
yet in contemporary political zoology. But the most widespread is
"gangster-type, oligarchic capitalism."
Indeed, there's little real democracy in all this. Power is alienated
from the people, who have not received their pay for months on end and have
watched with indifference and disgust as oligarchic clans fight among
themselves over pieces of their [the people's] property, each of them
clamoring for "justice." Civil society has been crushed by crime and
government officialdom. There are no normal political parties. The only
strong people are the Red heirs of the past. All this is crowned by the
czarist airs of a person who calls himself Boris the First.
The political opposition is now eager to settle accounts for the
bloody events of four years ago. Millions of law-abiding citizens, who
want a normal, calm life, are asking very simple questions: Why have the
past years been wasted for nothing? Why is it that we are going around in
circles and the country hasn't achieved even the appearance of societal
peace? Why won't the ghost of those days leave us?
Russia: Yabloko Party Seen as Top Yeltsin Opponent In Duma--An Analysis
By Floriana Fossato
Moscow, 10 October 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Political analysts say the State Duma's
budget debate this week indicates that the reformist bloc Yabloko is the
most uncompromising opponent of the Russian government spending plan, rather
than the Communists and nationalists.
The Duma yesterday rejected the draft 1998 budget in the first reading
and pledged to hold soon a no-confidence vote in the government. But it
decided not to reject the budget outright and send it back to the cabinet.
Instead, Communist Party legislators joined pro-government deputies,
eventually contributing to a 326 to 13 vote in the 450-member Duma to reject
the draft budget, but create a trilateral commission, including members of
both chambers of parliament and government officials to revise it.
The vote was praised by government officials, who called it a "victory
for common sense" and said "concrete work can now begin."
Political analysts in Moscow say that the Communists' performance in the
budget debate, full of anti-government rhetoric, but lacking impact,
indicates that the Communist party is further marginalizing itself, while
still trying to look consistent to its electorate.
They say that the Yabloko faction led by economist Grigory Yavlinsky has
now assumed the role of the only uncompromising and articulate opposition to
president Boris Yeltsin and his government.
Foreseeing the outcome of the budget debate, Yavlinsky on Wednesday had
questioned the logic of the Communist's strategy, calling it "absurd."
In comments to RFE/RL, Yavlinsky said his faction opposes the 1998 budget
because it is linked to the approval of a new tax code that he said will not
decrease the tax burden and therefore will not help collecting revenues.
Influential economist Yevgeny Yasin, a minister without portfolio in the
current cabinet, told RFE/RL that much of Yavlinsky's criticism of the
government is fair but objected that "it is impossible to change the course
of economic reform now." He said "if Yavlinsky had accepted to be part of
the government, he would have realized that this is the case."
Ahead of the budget debate yesterday, Communist party leader Gennady
Zyuganov also had tough words to describe his faction's opposition to both
the draft and the tax-code proposed by the government. He said the
Communists "do not trust the socio-economic course" taken by Yeltsin and his
government, as it as "doomed to failure."
The day before the Duma had approved a non-binding resolution, declaring
the government's performance during the first nine months of this year
unsatisfactory. Zyuganov yesterday reiterated that he did not fear Yeltsin's
recent veiled threats to dissolve the uncooperative Duma and call new
But a first sign that Communist legislators were ready to cooperate with
the government came on Wednesday, when a motion to include a no-confidence
vote on the session's agenda, put forward by Yabloko, was rejected. The
move came before Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin addressed the Duma on
the government performance and pledged the government was ready to
compromise with deputies, to avoid the draft budget's rejection and a
Zyuganov repeated yesterday that a decision on a no-confidence vote had
not been dropped altogether, but simply delayed until next week.
However, First Deputy Prime Minister Anatoly Chubais said after the vote
on the draft budget that the fact that government and parliament would now
be working together on the budget meant that a no-confidence vote is "unlikely."
A no-confidence vote, if approved, would still be non-binding. If the
Duma approved a no-confidence measure twice within three months, then
Yeltsin would have to decide if he wanted to dismiss his cabinet or to
dismiss the Duma and hold new parliamentary elections.
The Communist faction has backed off in the past from threats of a
no-confidence vote and many commentators believe that behind-the -scenes
compromises will lead to the same outcome this year.
Yeltsin and his government seemed triumphant after the vote. Chubais
called it, "a great victory for common sense and a defeat of extremism."
Yeltsin also welcomed it, telling journalists as he arrived in Strasbourg,
France for a meeting of the Council of Europe that "now everything will be
in order with the budget."
The commission will try to reconcile the government's goal of maintaining
a tight budget with legislators' wish to increase spending in several sectors.
Rory McFarquhar, an analyst with the Russian-European center for Economic
policy, told our correspondent that "Yabloko" is reinforcing its stand as
the "most uncompromising and intransigent opposition" in the State Duma.
He said everyone "knows the Communists oppose Yeltsin and his
government." He added that the Communists use no-confidence threats "to gain
as much as they can" from the budget debate, out of the political necessity
to stay afloat.
But McFarquar also said Yabloko's position that slashing taxes would
boost revenues is unrealistic at the moment because it could raise inflation.
Michael McFaul, a senior associate at the Moscow Carnegie center, wrote
recently that the Communist party looks increasingly marginalized since last
year's presidential election. According to McFaul, "Yabloko," with its
established network of grassroots regional organizarions and firmly
identified with democratic principles, could benefit more than other
movements from "the end of polarized politics," to emerge as a powerful
parliamentary opposition in next elections.
Yeltsin: Russia Supports Democracy
October 10, 1997
STRASBOURG, France (AP) - Russia is proud to play its part in a
trend toward greater democracy throughout Europe, President Boris
Yeltsin told a summit of European leaders Friday.
``We have moved away from a totalitarian state and we have
become an open country with a market economy, free elections and a
free press,'' Yeltsin said. ``Now we are part of a system of
democratization throughout the continent.''
He added: ``We have to insure that we do not look for
differences, but rather we focus on what unites us.''
The Council of Europe summit, attended by 26 presidents and 20
prime ministers, was called to reaffirm the 48-year-old
organization's basic aims of promoting democracy, human rights and
the rule of law.
President Jacques Chirac of France urged European leaders to be
vigilant about democracy, because ``nothing is achieved forever.''
Inspired by the writings of Czech President Vaclav Havel, Chirac
said the leaders must ``be the guardians of this fragile flame.''
The final document here is expected to urge the creation of a
permanent European Court of Human Rights by 1998, available to
about 800 million Europeans; action against corruption, money
laundering and organized crime; a ban on cloning humans; and
measures against racism and intolerance.
German Chancellor Helmut Kohl said the potential for cloning
humans is ``the greatest moral challenge in Europe.''
``Particularly because we Germans have to look back to a dark
page in our history,'' Kohl said, referring to Nazi medical
experiments on prisoners during World War II. ``Germans take this
The Times (UK)
11 October 1997
[for personal use only]
Yeltsin's Franco-Russian deal undermines Blair's Euro hopes
FROM CHARLES BREMNER IN STRASBOURG
TONY BLAIR'S drive for British leadership in Europe was dealt a setback
yesterday when Russia, France and Germany agreed to stage an annual
summit without inviting Britain.
News of the Franco-German arrangement with Russia was announced by
Presidents Chirac and Yeltsin after Mr Blair had already left the summit
of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. Only two hours earlier, Mr
Blair, fresh from a visit to Moscow, had outlined the Government's plans
to bring Britain into line with the rest of Europe by incorporating the
1950 Convention on Human Rights into domestic law. Britain would "lead
the way" in Europe, he said.
The words lost some of their force when a jovial Mr Yeltsin and M Chirac
emerged after lunch to announce that they had agreed, with Helmut Kohl,
the German Chancellor, to hold annual meetings to review the state of
the continent. The meetings would be "an important force, a necessary
element in the deepening of peace," M Chirac said.
Mr Yeltsin was delighted with an arrangement that bolsters Russia's ties
with the West and which, as he put it, recognises "Russia's place in the
European family". Russia, France and Germany had "common problems,
common business to discuss", he said.
Tony Lloyd, a Foreign Office Minister, said Britain welcomed the
arrangement but acknowledged that no prior warning was given of it. "Of
course this is not a snub for Britain. Britain doesn't take part in
every relationship across the whole world. We regard this as a very
welcome development that enhances Russia's role within the European
framework," he said.
Italian officials, irked by their exclusion, muttered about a
"Franco-German stitch-up". Despite the British line, one council
official described the announcement of the "troika" summit as "weird"
because it had been presented in the context of the European club.
EU officials said British exclusion would have been barely noticed under
the previous Government, but it carried a message in the light of Mr
Blair's European aspirations. He is to host a summit of East European
states applying for EU membership in February.
Microsoft's Bill Gates in Moscow
Fri, Oct 10 1997
MOSCOW, Oct 10 (AFP) - Microsoft chairman Bill Gates urged Russia Friday
to crack down on computer piracy, but said the country had the potential
to become a major software developer and exporter.
At a meeting with First Deputy Prime Minister Anatoly Chubais here,
Gates voiced concern that 91 percent of the software used in Russia was
pirated, although he welcomed the fact that the figure had dropped from
95 percent thanks to tougher legislation and action by the authorities.
A statement from Microsoft said Gates -- whose personal fortune is
estimated at nearly 40 billion dollars and whose Windows software
dominates the PC market -- would also focus on the piracy issue at a
meeting with Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin on Saturday.
Gates told a news conference that software piracy was "very severe" in
Russia, and that Microsoft would try to reduce it through public
awareness campaigns and a persistent dialogue with clients, as in other
countries where piracy rates are high.
Gates arrived here late Thursday for a two-day visit -- his second to
Russia, and the final leg of a European tour that has already taken him
to Britain, Germany and Switzerland.
Asked to comment on the talent of Russian computer programmers, Gates
said: "Russia has a very bright future as a country developing software.
"We definitely are seeing the beginnings of that. It's a little tough on
the local companies until the piracy rate goes down -- that'll help grow
the market here," he told the news conference.
"There's no doubt Russia will become a major software exporter. I think
the only other country that will export software services in a major way
will probably be India."
"The main thing that is needed is a good head and education, and that is
exactly where we have an absolutely staggering potential," Interfax
quoted Chubais as saying later.
Earlier, Gates also met Russian Central Bank Chairman Sergei Dubinin and
Andrei Kazmin, head of the semi-privatised Sberbank, which has a virtual
monopoly over retail banking in Russia.
The two banks are among Microsoft's largest clients in Russia.
Sberbank agreed to pay the US software giant 1.65 million dollars for a
licence legalising its use of Microsoft technology already installed at
the bank, ITAR-TASS said.
Microsoft said it would also be supplying Sberbank with new software.
"Sberbank have decided to use Microsoft technology for automating office
activities and for managing inter-regional accounts which are based on
the Microsoft Windows NT Server and Microsoft SQL Server platforms," the
Gates and Dubinin also discussed the Central Bank's use of Microsoft
technology in its automation programme to the year 2001, and the central
bank's "control and influence over the use of licenced software in
Russian commercial banks."
In 1995 Russia completed copyright law reform and this year a new
criminal code took effect, making software piracy a crime along with
other breaches of intellectual property rights.
But enforcement is weak, and software pirates are not deterred by fines
which are dwarfed by their profits.
Chubais, a standard-bearer for market reforms and architect of Russia's
mass privatisation, told Gates that Russia was "ready for widespread use
of information technology to the maximum and at all levels -- from the
federal authorities down to small firms of two or three people," the
Microsoft statement said.
Russia now invests less than 50 dollars per capita in information
technology, compared with 1,000 dollars in Switzerland and 784 in the
Referring to specific IT projects, Gates said discussions were underway
on the feasibility of launching 300 low-orbit satellites, possibly with
decommissioned Russian military rockets, to provide high-speed Internet
Dubinin earlier told him that a satellite would be launched on November
12 to begin the creation of a global accounting and information system
for the Central Bank, ITAR-TASS reported.
Survey Measures Zyuganov's Poll Rating
MOSCOW, Oct 8 (Interfax) - Opinion polls suggest that 19% of Russians
believe Communist Party leader Gennadiy Zyuganov "can understand ordinary
people's problems" and 13% think he "can talk to people and make easy and
The Public Opinion foundation told Interfax on Wednesday it took polls
in April and September this year and that Zyuganov's image had undergone no
noticeable changes between the two surveys.
In September 11% said the Communist leader possessed the "experience a
statesman and organizer needs." Twelve percent said he was honest, but on
this point he was not ahead of other politicians pollers asked about.
His physical appearance impressed only 3% of those questioned, while
5% thought particularly highly of his competence and 7% believed he knew
what path Russia ought to take.
Analysts believe popular politicians have stereotyped public images.
Former security chief Aleksandr Lebed, for example, is "firm and resolute,"
Moscow Mayor Yuriy Luzhkov is "an experienced economic administrator,"
while First Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov is "charming and
Zyuganov's image, however, lacks dominant components. Questions about
his personality cause more hesitation that those about other politicians'
personalities and replies mention fewer virtues than others are credited
Mafia warnings aim to scare investors--Russia
By Peter Henderson
October 10, 1997
MOSCOW (Reuter) - Recent U.S. warnings that a growing Russian mafia could
bring the country to its knees were calculated to scare off foreign
investors, Interior Minister Anatoly Kulikov said Friday.
He admitted that there were even more organized crime groups in Russia than
U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation director Louis Freeh told Congress in
Washington last week.
But Kulikov said Russia was cleaning up its streets and denied Freeh's wider
allegations that crime groups posed ``imminent dangers'' to the United States
and threatened Russian reforms.
``On the streets we've seen a positive dynamic,'' Kulikov told a news
conference on the crime situation in the first nine months of 1997.
``We don't think there is anything new in that testimony,'' he said. ``Rather
the reverse -- we think the goal of the testimony was to seriously damage our
investment policy regarding our western partners,'' he said.
Kulikov said there were 12,000 organized Russian crime groups with 60,000
members, while Freeh said there were 5,000 to 8,000 such groups with 100,000
Organized crime had risen 10.7 percent to about 20,000 crimes in the first
nine months, Kulikov said.
But he vowed to protect foreign investors and warned that crime groups
operating in Russia should not be confused with Russian-speaking criminals
``The (FBI) testimony clearly errs in equating Russian organized crime and
international organized crime by Russian speakers ...,'' he said.
Kulikov said Russia overall had made great strides in fighting traditional
types of crime. Overall reported crime in Russia fell over 9 percent to 1.8
million incidents in the first nine months of the year, he added.
Moscow, the showcase, saw crime fall almost 19 percent compared to the first
nine months of 1996.
Criminals behind the most lurid crimes, contract killings, are also finding
the police at their door more often. Almost a third of 350 contract hits have
been solved this year, a three-fold increase on 1996.
But his data indicated that outside the high profile and traditional areas,
police success has not been as noticeable.
Drug-related crime has skyrocketed almost 80 percent over last year's level
to 131,000 in the first nine months.
``We consider this figure catastrophic for our country,'' Kulikov said.
About 2.5 million Russians had tried narcotics and 200,000-300,000 were
addicts, he said.
Economic crime has also jumped, though the economy itself is still struggling
to show its first sustained growth since 1989.
Kulikov said economic crimes had risen 50 percent to 177,000. But he said
police were uncovering economic crimes that would have gone unnoticed or
would have been hidden in the past.
Kulikov said virtually all Russian state bodies were involved in the latest
anti-crime program due to begin in November and efforts were made to step up
cooperation with other former Soviet republics and the Baltic states of
Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
Yeltsin Gets Lukewarm Reception in Nizhniy
October 3, 1997
[translation for personal use only]
Inara Filatova report: "In Nizhniy the President Sat on a Swan: The
Bottle of Smirnov Was Concealed From Yeltsin"
There was no great anticipation of Yeltsin's visit in Nizhniy
Novgorod. The people of Nizhegorod ignored the painting and washing that is
traditional in every Russian city prior to a Kremlin visit. Nor were their
facial expressions--bored and indifferent—suited to the moment.
The journalists accompanying B.N. encountered rudeness, as a matter of
fact: "They've come here from Moscow in droves.... There's nowhere to put
ourselves," the hotel workers grumbled. Local television mentioned the
upcoming visit in passing. Direct broadcasts from the fair that has opened
in Nizhniy and the New Russia forum whirled from morning until night, on
the other hand. And of its former governor Nemtsov, of course.
The head of state was met at the airport by an indecently small
handful of Nizhegoroders led by that same Nemtsov. The lack of greeters was
hardly compensated by the artistry with which they performed the greeting
ritual: Young girls, customary in such cases, not only presented bread and
salt but also sang "Many years". "Many or not, but I still need about two
years," the President told them.
For some reason or other a four-meter-high inflatable bottle of
Smirnov vodka at the fair was removed on the day of the presidential
visit--in order not to screen the exhibition, evidently. B.N.'s first
order of business was to visit the Nizhegorod Oblast pavilion, where he sat
in a chair carved by local Khokhloma craftsmen from wood in the shape of a
swan. Then Yeltsin spoke with young entrepreneurs about the advantages of
the present Russian system compared with the previous, Communist, system,
when "you could not keep a thing." And about Duma Speaker Seleznev, "the
enemy of the independence of the components of the Federation" ("but let
Seleznev not think that he is president and that he will forbid this!").
Having strolled around the fair, Yeltsin came to the conclusion that
it is, for all that, not the biggest in Europe and is by no means superior
to the Leipzig Fair. But this did not spoil Boris Nikolayevich's mood. The
President was cheerful, affable, and content. He was relaxing, as a matter
of fact. As distinct from his security, which inspected the unfortunate
press for weapons and explosives on every suitable and unsuitable occasion.
U.S. Ambassador Says Moscow Best Russian City to Invest
9 October 1997
MOSCOW -- Moscow is the most favorable Russian city to invest in, according
to the U.S. Ambassador to Russia, James Collins.
Collins made the remarks during a meeting with Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov at
the Blue Hall of the Moscow Mayor's Office Thursday.
In line with the U.S. Interregional Initiative program, Russian regions are
currently being examined as potential areas for investments by U.S.
businessmen, he said.
In fact, Moscow has already become a priority city in which it is reasonable
to invest, Collins said. The choice has been made by businessmen themselves,
Luzhkov said the city government was pursuing a policy for further
democratization of the society and the development of market-economy
principles. The market of goods, services and workforce has been formed in
the Russian capital, and a financial market is currently being created whose
main tool will be the Moscow Stock Exchange, he said.
Moscow receives about $4.2 billion in foreign investments annually, Luzhkov
said. Not a single foreign company working in the Russian capital has lost
its money, he said.
>From Russia Today press summaries
10 October 1997
Those Who Served Time in Jail Would Not Serve in the Army
Segodnya wrote about the upcoming military draft. Mobilization Department
Head Gen. Putilin said that this year they plan to draft 180,000 people, of
whom 113,000 will serve in the Army, and the rest - in the Borderguard
service, the Interior troops, the railroad troops and with FAPSI (the
Federal Security Service's communication arm).
The general also said that 40 percent of the draftees have health
problems, which make them unable to serve in combat units. The worst health
problems are found in Siberia. Altogether, the medical commissions working
with draftees declare about 20 percent of those called up unfit for the service.
According to the new presidential decree, people, who were previously
convicted for crimes, will not serve in the army. Besides, talented youths
-- artists, musicians, writers and so on -- will be exempt, with a quota of
10,000 people for each creative profession. The list of exempt persons will
be compiled and submitted by the Union of Artists, the Union of Musicians
and other corresponding creative people organizations in Russia.
>From Russia Today press summaries
10 October 1997
People, Who Surprised us This Week
The list starts with a picture of Aleksander Lukashenko. The President of
Belarus, 44, spoke with a son's warmth about the sixty six year-old Russian
President: "Yeltsin is much older than I. I am forty, and he is eighty...".
The daily connected that slip of Lukashenko's tongue with his permanent
thoughts about the upcoming eightieth anniversary of the Great October
Former presidential candidate and ex-security chief Aleksander Lebed told
in his interview to Komsomolka: "We have one draw-back in common with
Yeltsin: we are both big and have scary faces".
Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the leader of LDPR, told at his Duma speech:
"Honest prostitutes want to pay taxes, but the government is unable to
collect them. This is because the government is a hermaphrodite."
>From Russia Today press summaries
10 October 1997
The daily wrote about Boris Jordan, an American financier, the head of
MFK. Recently, the media focused on him again, after his multiple Russian
visa was revoked again in the airport, when he left the country.
Boris Jordan was born in 1967 in New York. He studied international
relations and arrived in Russia in 1992, as an advisor to the State Property
Committee, which was then headed by Anatoly Chubais. That same year he
became the manager of the Moscow division of CS First Boston, which soon won
a leading position on the Russian investment market.
In 1995, Boris Jordan founded his own Renaissance Capital company, which
became the leader of the corporate bonds market very soon. The daily wrote
that Boris Jordan unscrupulously used his connections with the State
Property Committee to achieve this. Besides, he was always very intimate
with the MFK bank, which is a company favored by the government. Recently
MFK joined the UNEXIM group.
Besides, the daily found out that Boris Jordan is a nephew of some
Troyanovsky, who is the head of the Swiss Servina publishers. This company
recently became well-known in Russia, because it allegedly paid Alfred Kokh,
who was then the state property committee chairman, a $100,000 honorarium
for an unwritten book.
Thus the daily supposed that appearance of 25-year-old Boris Jordan, B.A.
on the team of voucher privatization "fathers" in 1992 was not accidental.
He came there from New York as "the nephew of his uncle."
RUSSIA TODAY Notes: The Swiss publishing company Servina is also reputed
to be connected to Uneximbank, the powerful bank headed by Vladimir Potanin.
Alfred Kokh was recently questioned by Russian prosecutors about his
honorarium from Servina, on suspicion that the money was simply an attempt
by Uneximbank to curry favor with him. Uneximbank won a number of important
tenders for state property during Kokh's tenure as privatization chief.
>From Russia Today press summaries
9 October 1997
Is It Good or Bad To Export Children?
Besides gas, oil and forests, Russia has one other precious natural
resource that it is exporting--children. It is no secret that Russia has
many orphans who waste away in state orphanages. And their number is growing
every year. It is also well known that many foreigners have adopted or want
to adopt Russian orphans. A conference, called "Adoption: The Myths and the
Realities," was recently organized in our city to discuss
some of these issues.
There are many rumors that Russian children are taken abroad for various
evil purposes, such as for spare organ parts, or to be used in sex business.
But, a representative from the National Committee for Adoption, USA, said
that there is no basis for such allegations. She says that in the West there
is tight control on how children are adopted and how they live. The case of
a Russian boy being beaten to death in Arizona is just an example of how the
American child care system is vigilant in punishing abusers. Such a tragic
example is the exception, and not common.
RUSSIA TODAY Notes
The first Russian children were adopted by foreigners in 1989. Since then,
thousands have been adopted, but the real number is not known because there
is so much corruption and the Russian adoption process has been up to
recently racked by chaos. New laws are bringing more order to the process.
But still, severe problems persist. By law, parents wishing to adopt should
pay minimal processing fees, but Russian officials often ask for<BR>
"donations" of $10,000-15,000 from Westerners to speed up the process.
United States Information Agency
10 October 1997
TEXT: ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI TESTIFIES ON NATO ENLARGEMENT
(Enlargement "central" to a "secure international system") (670)
Washington -- Speaking before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,
former national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski said that NATO
enlargement "has global significance" and "is central to the
step-by-step construction of a secure international system in which
the Euro-Atlantic alliance plays the major role in ensuring that a
peaceful and democratic Europe is America's principal partner."
Voicing strong support for NATO enlargement, Brzezinski said that it
was "about America's role in Europe" and whether the U.S. will remain
a European power "organically linked" to a larger democratic Europe.
It is also "about Russia's relationship to Europe" and whether NATO
enlargement helps a democratizing Russia, Brzezinski said.
Enlargement, according to the former official, "is not principally
about the Russian threat, for currently it does not exist...." Neither
is it "primarily a moral crusade" to undo injustices suffered by
Central European peoples under Soviet oppression.
Rather, Brzezinski said, it is "the long-term historic and strategic
relationship between America and Europe" that is central to NATO
expansion. "NATO expansion is central to the vitality of the
American-European connection, to the scope of a democratic and secure
Europe, and to the ability of America and Europe to work together in
promoting international security," Brzezinski asserted.
Following is the prepared text of Brzezinski's introductory statement:
INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT ON NATO ENLARGEMENT
Senate Foreign Relations Committee
October 9, 1997
I would like to comment very briefly on the historic and geopolitical
significance of NATO's enlargement. In my view, that enlargement has
global significance -- it is central to the step-by-step construction
of a secure international system in which the Euro-Atlantic alliance
plays the major role in ensuring that a peaceful and democratic Europe
is America's principal partner. Hence,
-- NATO's enlargement is about America's role in Europe -- whether
America will remain a European power and whether a larger democratic
Europe will remain organically linked to America;
-- it is about Russia's relationship to Europe -- whether NATO's
enlargement helps a democratizing Russia by foreclosing the revival of
any self-destructive imperial temptations regarding Central Europe.
(Let me note in passing that NATO and the EU have creatively resolved
the old question of disproportionate German power in Europe; the
progressive expansion of NATO can similarly resolve the question of
disproportionate Russian power in Europe. It is also noteworthy that
public opinion in key NATO countries is favorable to expansion.
Moreover, so far, all the apocalyptic predictions of the critics of
NATO expansion have failed to come to pass.)
In brief, to me NATO expansion is not principally about the Russian
threat, for currently it does not exist, though one cannot exclude its
reappearance and hence some insurance against it is desirable.
Secondly, to me NATO expansion is not primarily a moral crusade, meant
to undo the injustice the Central European peoples suffered during the
half-century-long Soviet oppression, though one cannot ignore the
moral right of the newly emancipated and democratic Central Europeans
to a life no less secure than that enjoyed by the West Europeans.
For me, the central stake in NATO expansion is the long-term historic
and strategic relationship between America and Europe. NATO expansion
is central to the vitality of the American-European connection, to the
scope of a democratic and secure Europe, and to the ability of America
and Europe to work together in promoting international security.
The expansion of the Euro-Atlantic alliance will bring into NATO
counsels new, solidly democratic and very pro-American nations. That
will further deepen the American-European kinship while expanding
Europe's zone of peace and democracy. Such a more secure Europe will
be a better and a more vital partner for America in the continuing
effort to make democracy more widespread and international cooperation
more pervasive. That is why NATO's enlargement -- in itself a vivid
testimonial to the dynamism of the democratic ideal -- is very much in
America's long-term national interest.
New York Times
10 October 1997
A 3d Term for Yeltsin?
To the Editor:
"Yeltsin Opens Door He Once Closed to a 3d Term" (news article,
Oct. 3 suggests that Boris N. Yeltsin's decision not to rule out a third
term as President of Russia "did little to support his claim that he is
building a state based on clear democratic principles." However, it may
be that his position better reflects the growing pains of a fledgling
Regardless of his intentions, the threat of another term is an invaluable
political tool when facing a hostile legislative branch, as Mr. Yeltsin
By ruling out this possibility last month, Mr. Yeltsin committed a
Nathan Miller, in his biography of Theodore Roosevelt, describes how
Roosevelt committed "the greatest political blunder of his career" on his
1904 election night by announcing, "Under no circumstances will I be a
candidate for or accept another nomination" for President.
According to Mr. Miller, Roosevelt's statement "made him a lame
duck even before his new term had begun -- and would cause substantial
trouble in the future." Roosevelt's wife would later say that had
she known what her husband was going to do, she would have tried to
prevent it. It is no wonder President Yeltsin's associates feel the same
MARK J. WEBBER
Washington, Oct. 8, 1997
Soviet dissident art comes to former East bloc
By Michael Roddy
BUDAPEST, Oct 10 (Reuter) - Dissident art spirited out of the former Soviet
Union by an American collector went on display in Hungary on Friday, its
first showing in a former East-bloc country.
The exhibit of so-called non-conformist art selected from more than 9,000
pieces collected by retired American professor Norton Dodge is being shown at
Budapest's Mucsarnok Museum along with similar works from the Tsaritsino
Museum in Moscow.
``Budapest has always been a special meeting place for Russian culture,''
Hungarian Culture Minister Balint Magyar said in opening the exhibit.
``It is the first time that this private collection meets with a collection
that is still in the Soviet Union...and it is something like when a decade
ago tourists from (then-communist) East Germany and West Germans could meet
here,'' he added.
The exhibit called ``Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union'' runs through
November 16 and is expected to draw tens of thousands of people, including
Hungarians who lived under communism.
The exhibit includes large numbers of paintings with themes blatantly
ridiculing Soviet society, such as one with Stalin and a Russian bear
urinating together. Other works show the angst and misery of life under
``This kind of exhibit has never been shown in Hungary before,'' said Katalin
Timar, a curator at the Mucsarnok. ``It shows a concern for the past that
hasn't happened for us yet in Hungary.''
Andrei Erofeev, curator of the Tsaritsino Museum which has contributed a
large number of conceptual art works to the exhibition, said he was surprised
by the interest it has generated in a country that formerly was part of the
``It was not too long ago that the Soviet army was here...so I would have
thought they would have rejected us,'' he said.
Dodge, who has donated his collection to the Zimmerli Museum at Rutgers
University in New Jersey, said he is delighted he has been able to bring
parts of it to the former East bloc, but does not want to risk sending it to
``I do not want it to go to Russia or those parts of the former Soviet Union
that are without any rule of law,'' Dodge, who is 70, told Reuters.
``But at this point we are delighted to have it in Eastern Europe where
people were distressed by the Russian occupation.''
Voice of America
TITLE=MOSCOW REFUGEES (L)
INTRO: THE UNITED NATIONS REFUGEE AGENCY (U-N-H-C-R) IS URGING
MOSCOW AUTHORITIES TO SPEED UP ASYLUM PROCEDURES FOR SOME
15-THOUSAND ASYLUM-SEEKERS WHO COME FROM COUNTRIES OUTSIDE THE
COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES. LISA SCHLEIN IN GENEVA SAYS
THE REFUGEE AGENCY IS CONCERNED BY THE GROWING FRUSTRATION AMONG
ASYLUM SEEKERS WHICH, EARLIER THIS WEEK, ERUPTED INTO VIOLENCE IN
TEXT: THE U-N REFUGEE AGENCY WARNS MOSCOW COULD HAVE MORE
VIOLENT INCIDENTS IF IT DOES NOT SPEEDILY PROCESS ASYLUM
CLAIMS AND PREVENT ASYLUM SEEKERS FROM BEING HARASSED AS ILLEGAL
EARLIER THIS WEEK, SOME 50 ASYLUM-SEEKERS FROM ANGOLA AND THE
FORMER ZAIRE STORMED INTO A REFUGEE RECEPTION CENTER IN MOSCOW
AND DEMOLISHED THE PREMISES. THEY HAD COME TO ASK FOR FUNERAL
FEES FOR A ZAIRIAN ASYLUM-SEEKER WHO WAS KILLED IN THE RUSSIAN
CAPITAL A WEEK AGO, ALLEGEDLY BY TWO RUSSIANS.
U-N-H-C-R SPOKESWOMAN MAKI SHINOHARA SAYS THE VIOLENCE WAS THE
RESULT OF PENT-UP FRUSTRATION BY THE ASYLUM SEEKERS WHO ARE
LIVING IN A STATE OF LEGAL LIMBO. SHE SAYS THE ASYLUM SEEKERS DO
NOT HAVE PERMITS TO LIVE IN MOSCOW AND THIS MAKES THEM TARGETS
// SHINOHARA ACT //
OFTENTIMES, IF THEY ARE INDEED STOPPED BY POLICE AND IF
THEY CAN NOT PRODUCE A VALID RESIDENCE PERMIT OR A
STATEMENT THAT THEY ARE ALLOWED TO LIVE IN MOSCOW, THEN
SOMETIMES THEY DO GET DETAINED AND ARE KEPT FOR A COUPLE
OF DAYS AND THEN THEY ARE RELEASED.
// END ACT //
THERE ARE SOME 31-THOUSAND REGISTERED ASYLUM SEEKERS IN RUSSIA,
HALF OF THEM ARE IN MOSCOW. MOST OF THE ASYLUM SEEKERS IN MOSCOW
ARE FROM AFGHANISTAN -- THE REST COME FROM ANGOLA AND THE FORMER
MS. SHINOHARA SAYS MOSCOW HAS NOT PROCESSED A SINGLE ASYLUM
CLAIM -- AND THIS, SHE SAYS, IS CREATING GREAT HARDSHIPS FOR THE
ASYLUM SEEKERS WHO HAVE NO SECURITY AND NO RIGHTS. SHE SAYS
THESE PEOPLE ARE FEELING INCREASINGLY HOPELESS IN THE FACE OF
GROWING XENOPHOBIA AND WITH NO PROSPECT OF A BETTER FUTURE IN
SIGHT. THE U-N REFUGEE AGENCY IS PROVIDING THE ASYLUM SEEKERS
WITH SMALL CASH ALLOWANCES, MEDICAL, SCHOOL AND SOCIAL SERVICES.