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Johnson's Russia List
22 January 1999
[Note from David Johnson:
My grateful thanks for the messages of support and condolence over
the death of my mother. I will be responding directly.
1. Reuters: Gary Hart: U.S. Erred in Russia Policy.
2. AP: Russia Objects to US Treaty Change. (ABM).
3. AFP: Russian journalist on trial for exposing military pollution.
4. Ray Smith: Herspring's Question. (Re political culture).
5. Times Higher Education Supplement: Nick Holdsworth, Sanctions. (US and
6. Reuters: Gorbachev Says Yeltsin Should Resign.
7. Moscow Tribune: John Helmer, DeBAKEY TO THE RESCUE.
8. Rogov at Carnegie.
9. Nicolai Petro: Quick note on Novgorod paper.
10. Susie Baker: Re: 3019-Landsberg/Russian Want to Leave.
11. Beverly Nickles: unique language textbook available.
12. Nick Holdsworth: Re: Police problems, JRL 3024.
13. Mark Jones: Fwd: L-I: Workers movement in Russia.
14. Jerry Hough: Debate about culture.
15. New York Times editorial: Reducing Russian Dangers.
16. Job posting for Eurasia Foundation.
17. RFE/RL: Paul Goble, The Internationalization Of
18. Moscow Times: Kirill Koriukin, Lebed's Power Tested in Mine Dispute.
19. Electronic Telegraph (UK): Marcus Warren, Yeltsin's daughter in
Gary Hart: U.S. Erred in Russia Policy
MOSCOW, Jan. 21, 1999 -- (Reuters) Former U.S. Senator Gary Hart said on
Wednesday the United States had bungled its policy towards Russia by
directing support through the International Monetary Fund instead of
managing assistance itself.
It is the sort of topic the ex-senator likes to talk about these days,
now that he is out of the political limelight.
"It was a vast mistake to, in effect, turn over the Russian account to
the IMF," said Hart, a senator for 12 years to 1987 and in Moscow as part
of a Congress-sponsored mission.
"The IMF is a bank. The IMF with all due respect has no political
judgment. Many of these issues are political issues."
"To say to Russia we'll put $20 billion or $40 billion in the bank that
you can have to pay your soldiers, pay your teachers, pay your nurses when
you shut factories down and put hundreds of thousands or millions of people
out of work is nonsense," he said.
Hart said he instead favored a comprehensive plan of advice and
structural reform for reviving Russia, much like the U.S. Marshall Plan
which helped rebuild Western Europe after World War II.
"In the space of 15 minutes I could outline a Marshall Plan that would
have cost us less than funneling our aid through the IMF, which I think has
botched it," he said, adding that he had written U.S. President Bill
Clinton on the topic.
Hart, an arms control expert who has written a book about military
reform, was in Moscow as a part of a 16-member National Security Study
Group which the U.S. Congress has asked to come up with a new strategy for
the 21st century.
The former Democrat senator from Colorado now practices law in his home
state. He said he does not much miss politics and declines to talk about
either the sex scandal that ended his high-flying presidential bid or the
similar story currently playing out in Washington.
But he is happy to talk about the effort to come up with a new national
security doctrine, which he called the most comprehensive in half a century
since an effort in the mid-1940s established the containment policies of
the Cold War.
The study is due to be ready when the next U.S. president takes office in
"The only part of (politics) I miss is the chance to be engaged in the
rare historic debates," said Hart, 62. "That was such a privilege for 12
years to do that one can't help but miss it."
"On the other hand when I did run for the Senate originally I had in mind
not to make politics a career. I thought then and I think now that it's a
danger to seek a career in politics because then you begin to calculate
your decisions on your own survival, not what's best for the country."
Russia Objects to US Treaty Change
By Anna Dolgov
January 21, 1999
MOSCOW (AP) -- U.S. plans to develop a national system for defense against
attack by long-range missiles threaten Russia's security, a top Defense
Ministry official said Thursday.
The United States, fearing a possible attack by a hostile nation like
North Korea or Iraq, wants to amend the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty
so it can start building a missile-defense system.
U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen said Wednesday that if Russia
rejects proposed U.S. amendments to the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty, then
Washington will withdraw from the pact and proceed with deployment anyway.
Russia's Defense Ministry dismissed Cohen's explanation of U.S. fears of
attack by a rogue state.
``Any military expert understands that these states have not, and, in the
near future, will not have guaranteed means of delivering weapons to U.S.
territory,'' said Col. Gen. Leonid Ivashov, chief of international
cooperation at the ministry.
Any changes to the ABM treaty would be regarded ``as a threat to Russian
security interests,'' Ivashov was quoted as saying by the Interfax news
In a related development, former security chief Alexander Lebed also
spoke out against Washington, saying that Moscow must not ratify the
long-delayed START II treaty for the reduction of nuclear arms because it
would irreparably weaken Russia, according to an article published Thursday.
Lebed, a provincial governor and a top presidential aspirant, argued that
parliament's ratification of the 1993 treaty would deprive Russia of its
most powerful missiles and force it to build expensive new weapons to keep
up with the United States.
Russian President Boris Yeltsin was still considering the American
amendments to the ABM treaty.
A U.S. missile defense would not be deployed until 2005 -- assuming that
President Clinton determines that such a system is technically feasible,
Russia, and before it the Soviet Union, has long opposed a U.S. national
missile defense. The Cold War-era ABM treaty was meant to leave both
superpowers vulnerable to attack and thus limit the chance that either
would attempt a decisive first strike.
Ivashov said ``attempts to bypass the ABM treaty would upset strategic
stability'' in the world and may jeopardize long-delayed ratification of
the START II arms reduction treaty by the Russian parliament.
Lebed, for his part, directly condemned START II, saying its
implementation would be ``an irreparable blow'' to Russia's security.
``Its ratification must be put off the agenda,'' said Lebed, governor of
the vast Krasnoyarsk province in Central Siberia, in an article in the
daily Nezavisimaya Gazeta.
As governor, Lebed also has a seat in the Russian parliament's upper
house, which would have to approve the START II treaty for it to go into
The U.S. Senate approved START II in 1996, but the Russian parliament has
delayed ratification, citing arguments similar to Lebed's.
Russia's cash-strapped government has lately supported ratification,
saying that by 2007 -- the START II deadline for halving Russian and
American arsenals to 3,000-3,500 warheads each -- Russia will have to scrap
its aging nuclear missiles anyway.
Lebed countered that it would be cheaper to modernize the old missiles
than to continue producing more modern strategic bombers and nuclear
Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev rejected Lebed's call and
reiterated his support for START II on Thursday.
``Russia needs this treaty and will benefit from it,'' Sergeyev said,
according to the Interfax news agency. ``It's in line with our national
Russian journalist on trial for exposing military pollution
VLADIVOSTOK, Russia, Jan 21 (AFP) - A Russian military journalist went on
trial before a military court in this far eastern port city Thursday
charged with high treason for his reporting on radioactive pollution caused
by Russia's Pacific Fleet, Interfax said.
The closed-door proceedings against Grigory Pasko incited a clamour of
protest from human rights groups denouncing the trial as a cover-up of
heinous ecological crimes.
No details of the first day of the hearing were divulged, agencies
reported, but Pasko's lawyers insisted that their client was a victim of
"There is no evidence that Pasko is guilty of the crime he is being
charged with," lawyer Oleg Kotlyarov was quoted by Interfax as saying.
"The investigation was biased. The charges are based on assumptions by
military counter-intelligence and the prosecutor's office of the Pacific
Pasko, 34, was arrested on November 20, 1997 and accused by the KGB
successor body the Federal Security Service (FSB) of "high treason in the
form of espionage," without indicating the country which was benefitting
from his alleged subterfuge.
The journalist had previously collaborated with the Japanese television
channel NHK and the daily Asahi on the dumping of radioactive and chemical
waste in the Sea of Japan.
For 20 months Pasko has been held in solitary detention in a Vladivostok
prison. In a recent letter he said he had been suffering from headaches and
swollen limbs and that he feared catching tuberculosis.
The naval tribunal in charge of the inquiry has refused to place him
under house arrest, and he was not allowed to see his wife Galina until he
had been in prison for a year.
The case has chilling echoes of a probe into Alexander Nikitin, a former
naval officer accused of divulging state secrets to a Norwegian
environmental group concerning the dangers posed by Russian nuclear
International organisation Reporters sans Frontieres (Journalists Without
Borders) urged the authorities on Wednesday to free Pasko immediately,
arguing that his activities are protected by article 10 of the European
Convention of Human Rights on the right to freedom of expression.
The group also argues that information "revealed" by Pasko were mostly
public knowledge. Human rights observers meanwhile are demanding that the
trial be opened to the public.
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 1999
Subject: Herspring's Question
From: email@example.com (Ray Smith)
Dale Herspring raises an interesting issue: how does political culture
change, and to what extent can change be imposed. As a general rule,
military occupation of a defeated society does not seem to me to be very
successful in changing political culture in fundamental ways. Germany and
Japan after WWII might seem to argue the opposite. Germany, however, was
part of the Western European culture. It had experienced the Renaissance,
the Reformation and the Enlightenment, the foundations of Western political
culture. I am not sure why military occupation in Japan produced the
results it did. I imagine Japanese scholars and scholars of Japan have
written on the subject, but I don't know that literature.
I suspect that when occupiers promote change by offering an attractive
alternative their chances for success improve. When they impose change by
force, they get the appearance of acquiescence, but in reality freeze in
place underground the old political culture. When the occupying power can
no longer impose its will by force, the old culture resurfaces. I would
cite the Balkans and the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union
as contemporary examples.
Russia is neither defeated nor occupied. From my point of view, the country
did not lose the Cold War. Rather, its people won an internal struggle
against a pretty barbaric, dead-end regime. But Russia is heir to a very
different culture from the Western European. Fundamentally, it did not
experience the Renaissance, the Reformation or the Enlightenment. For many,
perhaps most Russians, that is not a loss, but a source of their cultural
strength and uniqueness. That said, it seems to me that a Russia that plays
a constructive role in the world and offers its people the prospect of a
better life will be one that internalizes many of the values that we
associate with the idea of civic culture: respect for rule of law,
individual rights, democratically chosen (and removed) governments. Perhaps
the Russian civic culture will accept greater community/governmental
responsibility for ensuring access to adequate education and health
facilities, and for providing a minimum standard of living and a less skewed
distribution of wealth to its citizens than does the American.
What is the outside role in this? Pretty minimal. We can provide an
example, in our better moments a pole of attraction. They should take what
they can use and leave the rest. On the other hand, if we are asked to
provide assistance, we ought to try to see that it is used in ways that
promote a civic culture. If circumstances in Russia do not permit that, we
are not obligated to provide assistance that will be used in ways that
violate our fundamental values.
From: "Nick Holdsworth" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 20 Jan 1999
Times Higher Education Supplement, Friday January 22nd 1999
by Nick Holdsworth
(for personal use only)
RUSSIA – Sanctions
Sanctions imposed by the Americans against three top Russian technical
universities following claims they were helping Iran build missiles and
nuclear weapons have provoked fears that years of international cooperation
could be put at risk.
Professors at Russia’s top chemistry institute, Mendeleyev University in
Moscow, an internationally renowned research centre, say links with American
colleges including Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bowling Green
State University and Berkeley University could be severely damaged if US
national security advisor Sandy Berger’s threatened economic sanctions bite.
The sanctions were announced last week after Mr Berger accused Mendeleyev,
Moscow Aviation Institute and the Institute of Power Technology’s scientific
research and design arm, NIKIET, of providing Iran with “sensitive missile
or nuclear assistance.”
Economic sanctions would be applied to the universities Mr Berger said,
without going into specifics.
The Russian Foreign Ministry protested the American action was groundless
and officials promised to raise the matter with US Secretary of State
Madeleine Albright during a planned visit to Moscow next week. University
rectors and professors at the institutions have been left in the dark over
the reasons for the American move and US embassy officials have declined to
comment. The Iranian Embassy in Moscow said Tehran had no official links
with the unversities named by Mr Berger.
Pavel Sarkisov, rector of Mendeleyev University said: “This move was totally
unexpected, unprovoked and biased. Mendeleyev has absolutely no contacts
with Iranian organisations or private citizens. In the last 15 years we have
had one Iranian post-graduate student who studied polymer materials: nothing
to do with defence.”
The university, which had worked hard in the years since perestroika to
forge links with American universities, was worried that its student
exchange programme annually involving 60 students from both countries could
be threatened by the American action.
“We’re not sure what affect the sanctions will have on our exchange and
other links, but hope that other countries will not follow America’s
example. I don’t believe that because of one American fool all other people
will act like fools as well,” Prof Sarkisov said.
Natalya Tarasova, head of the university’s sustainable development
department, said the announcement had caused consternation on both sides of
the Atlantic. American colleagues had sent e-mails expressing their surprise
and concerns and one Berkeley Phd student who spent two years at Mendeleyev
researching the history of the nuclear age said he would write to the state
department to demand an explanation. Parents of the 30 Russian students
studying in America on exchange programmes, alarmed at the news, had been
calling the department.
“We don’t know what will happen but suspect that student exchanges will be
stopped and academics will find they have problems getting visas to visit
“There is a genuine fear that eight years of building contacts could be
thrown away in one go,” Professor Tarasova said, adding that she feared
America’s key diplomatic ally, Britain, could follow suit.
But despite their fears academics have not lost their sense of humour: one
Siberian researcher visiting Mendeleyev this week joked that the three feet
of slushy snow swamping the university’s entrance must be a secret weapon
against American spies.
“It’s difficult enough for me, a Siberian, to negotiate this let alone an
American spy,” he quipped.
Gorbachev Says Yeltsin Should Resign
ST PETERSBURG, Russia, Jan. 21, 1999 -- (Reuters) Former Soviet leader
Mikhail Gorbachev (pictured) on Wednesday added his voice to those calling
for Russian President Boris Yeltsin to step down due to ill health.
"He has to take the initiative and say 'The situation is like this -- I
have power but my health has failed and now it is already necessary to
offer early elections and voluntarily step down,'" Gorbachev told a news
conference in St Petersburg.
He said that if Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov could keep Russia's
economy going in the interim, he would be a clear favorite to win an early
election if it were held.
Gorbachev, who was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his role in ending the
Cold War, is now a marginal figure in the country he once ruled. After
being forced out of the Kremlin by Yeltsin, he ran for president in 1996
but received barely one percent of the vote.
Now 67, the same age as Yeltsin, Gorbachev has ruled out making another
Yeltsin has been in hospital since Sunday with a severe stomach ulcer,
the latest ailment after three months of successive bouts of bronchitis,
exhaustion and pneumonia. On Wednesday, Yeltsin's doctors said he would not
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 1999
From: email@example.com (John Helmer)
>From The Moscow Tribune, January 22, 1999
DeBAKEY TO THE RESCUE
Heart surgeons are like athletes. Their best work requires tremendous
endurance for feats of physical precision, coordination, and ingenuity.
This is why the best surgeons are past their prime by the age of 50.
That's when the strength and control that flows from brain to
fingertips begins to ebb.
At more than 80 years of age, Michael DeBakey of Houston, Texas, is
long past wielding the scalpel as he once could. His mind isn't clouded,
though, and as a cardiological consultant, he has devised a specialty
that's never been thought of before.
DeBakey is the world's expert on the heartbeat of foreign politicians whose
survival is a national interest of the Clinton Administration. You might
say he's more than a cardiological expert. He's the human equivalent of
the pacemaker -- that battery-like gadget which, when implanted in the body,
monitors the natural heart muscle, and gives it an electrical charge
when it falters a beat or two.
When DeBakey visits a politician, you know Washington believes the patient
is so sick, he may drop dead at any moment. And when DeBakey announces the
patient is brimful of health, you know the Houston Pacemaker is at work.
DeBakey's job is to convince men, who claim to be omnipotent, that they
will survive -- because the U.S. Government wants them to. In those circles
where surgeons are terrified of offending their powerful patients, that's
reassuring advice. It's also a powerful reason against resigning, if that's
what the mortally ill politician was thinking of doing, or what his
political opponents were demanding. The Houston Pacemaker isn't for
A few days ago, it was reported that DeBakey had been to Baku, Azerbaijan,
where he met President Gaidar Aliyev. Because the press claimed DeBakey
was there to discuss the establishment of a cardiological clinic, and
apparently omitted to explain how pink Aliyev's condition was, it was
naturally assumed that Aliyev was in danger. By the time Aliyev appeared
last week in a Turkish hospital, it was too late for the Houston Pacemaker
to do his job. Doubt had begun to do its dirty work.
DeBakey has visited Russia many times. On the occasions that have become
public knowledge, DeBakey has pronounced his chief patient, President Boris
Yeltsin's heart to be in the pink of condition. Understandably, although red
is the colour of a healthy organ, that isn't the politically correct adjective
to use. DeBakey has done his adjectival best, though.
What hasn't been revealed is just how many Russian patients would like
the Houston Pacemaker to visit them. Some, like Victor Chernomyrdin, have
already had their cardiological surgery turn out encouragingly. Others
are less worried about missing their heartbeat than losing the attention
of the Clinton Administration. The nice thing about the Houston Pacemaker is
that it's wired in two directions -- to the patient, and to the Situation
Room in the Washington White House.
When presidential candidate Grigory Yavlinsky suffered his cardiological
setback late last year, DeBakey wasn't there to give reassurance. The
Situation Room didn't care. Yavlinsky had to fly to Germany for surgery
instead. The political meaning was unmistakeable -- Yavlinsky's heart is
dead meat in Washington.
Governor Alexander Lebed has at least one of the risk factors for
cardiological disease. He smokes. But he doesn't drink; he appears to love
one wife; and he manages to express the emotions that raise blood pressure
and put strain on the heart muscle, if they are repressed. It's too early
for him to receive DeBakey.
But what about those Russian politicians whose political infarcts
the Clinton Administration has helped bring on -- Yegor Gaidar, Anatoly
Chubais, Boris Fyodorov, Alexander Shokhin, Sergei Kirienko?
It is said that DeBakey's appointment diary mentions more than one of these
names. Which of them is a secret that is darker than a chest cavity.
It would give the game away entirely, if DeBakey were to announce publicly
that he had been consulting these men on their cardiological condition.
It was embarrassing for Gaidar when George Soros recently revealed that
last August, when Kirienko was supposed to be prime minister, Soros and
the U.S. Treasury negotiated with Gaidar over the financial terms required
to save the government. If DeBakey had said, then or since, that Gaidar
was in perfect health, everyone would realize that Gaidar was the man
Washington intended to rule Russia for as long as his heart could be
made to tick.
As events turned out, Gaidar was saved, and Kirienko went down. Now it
should be Kirienko's turn to apply to DeBakey for a cardiological
consultation. Perhaps the two of them met when Kirienko was at Harvard,
trying to convince the American establishment of his political
resuscitation. He should have gone to Houston, instead.
Date: Wed, 20 Jan 1999
From: Elizabeth Reisch <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Rogov at Carnegie
Sergey Rogov, the Director of the Institute of the USA and Canada of the
Russian Academy of Sciences, spoke at the Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace on January 20 about “Troubles in Russian-American
Relations and Prospects for the Year Ahead.” He drew heavily on his
paper, “Washington and Moscow: The Urgency of Restructuring the Russian
Debt,” a full text of which may be found on the CEIP Russian and
Eurasian Program web site:
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 1999
From: "Nicolai N. Petro" <email@example.com>
Subject: Quick note on Novgorod paper
My thanks to all those who have sent me paper requests. Since I will be
out of town for the next three weeks, I have set up an automatic reply
that sends the paper any time the word "Novgorod" appears in the subject
line of the message. If you are writing with comments, please be careful
*not* to put the word "Novgorod" in the subject line, as this will generate
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 1999
From: "Baker, Susie" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: 3019-Landsberg/Russian Want to Leave
In Mitchell Landsberg's article entitled "Russians Want to Leave," he
wrote that 4, 676 Russian children were adopted by Americans in 1997.
According to the State Department website
(http://travel.state.gov/orphan_numbers.html) the number of immigration
visas for Russian children adopted by Americans in FY1997 was 3,816. In
FY1998, 4,491 immigration visas were issued for Russian children adopted
Given that the last few months have seen quite a bit of sensationalized
reporting on the Russian orphanage system, I felt it necessary to address
this. Were the numbers reported differently somewhere else? Was 4,676
reported during the calendar year and not the fiscal year (if they are
different)? Does it include Russian children adopted from other FSU
countries? It would be interesting to know how the numbers add up.
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 1999
Subject: unique language textbook available
From: Beverly Nickles <email@example.com>
Interested Russian language learners can now purchase a textbook specially
designed to improve usage of fundamental Russian language while at the same
time developing vocabulary which enables them to express thoughts related to
religion. The text teaches Biblical and church language while at the same
time acquainting the learner with church-related aspects of Russian history
This unique textbook was written by Tatiana Vladimirova as a result of
several years of teaching interested foreign students on the faculty of
Moscow State's Center for International Education.
The textbook costs the ruble equivalent of $10 and can be purchased at the
Center for International Education in Moscow. For further information call:
(7-095) 125-3261 or (to speak English) 124-1811 or send a fax to 125-4461.
From: "Nick Holdsworth" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Police problems, JRL 3024
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 1999
Re: Police Problems, JRl 3024
The anonymous report in JRl 3024 on January 21st is a cautionary worth
noting. It reminded me of a scam I spotted late one night last year as I
walked back from my Russian teacher's flat near Krasniye Vorota metro
station on Moscow's garden ring.
A man walking toward me dropped a plastic packet containing what looked like
a large number of US dollar bills. As I glanced down at the packet a man
came from behind and swiftly picked up the money. He then tried to persuade
me that this was a "gift from God" and that we should split the money 50-50.
I didn't immediately realise this was just a ruse to tempt me to go off to
some dark corner away from the main street where the "loot" would supposedly
be divided. I argued with the man that this wasn't our money and that what
he was proposing was dishonest. (Looking back I'm amused by my own innocence
and naivity!) I shouted to the other man to try to attrack his attention,
but he studiously ignored me, even though he was making a pretence of
looking for his "lost" money. Eventually I realised something was deeply
fishy and walked away. A few minutes later, having cautiously tailed both
men, I saw them deep in conversation down a side alley. It was clear to me
that they were confederates in a scam which was probably designed to lure a
potential mugging victim off the street with the "50-50 share" of a wad of
cash as the bait. I'm sure I would have ended up with both a lump on my
head and a loss far greater than 8 roubles and a few kopeks reported by
JRL's unfortunate good samaritan.....
This scam is obviously well known in Moscow as some months later, while
waiting for my driver to collect me at Sheremetyevo airport, a couple of
guys tried the same trick on me. This time I simply smiled and walked
My advice is to be very sceptical of any apparent injustice on the streets
of Moscow and keep your wits about you at all times.
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 1999
From: Mark Jones <email@example.com>
Subject: [Fwd: L-I: Workers movement in Russia]
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: L-I: Workers movement in Russia
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 1999 01:29:15 +0300
From: "Elena" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The struggle is going on in Yasnogorsk a small town in Tula region where
the workers from YMZ (Yasnogorsk machine-building plant) sacked the
administration and took over the power at the plant and in the town last
September. Two of the workers leaders were accused by the regional
administration (led by CPRF member Vasily Starodubtsev) of organising mass
unrest and were arrested in December. Since that time the workers have been
The local authorities did not dare to use police against organised workers
and tried to persuade them to stop the strike promising new appointments and
payoff of the delayed wages. In December around 4,000 workers were paid. In
January both leaders were set free and a new director was appointed by the
owners of the plant. But that has not stopped the strike. The newly
appointed directors could not enter the administration building, they were
not let in because there was no authorisation from the Workers committee.
At their general meeting the workers decided to fight to the end. They want
to be the masters of their plant and their town. "We don't want to be slaves
anymore",- they say. "Revolution is what we really need". They do not
recognise any private owerns or shareholders and are determined to keep the
control over the plant and the town in the hands of the Workers committee
led by 35 years old moulder Andrei Guan-Tin-Fa.
The first steps have been made to get support and solidarity from other
plants and set up a Tula regional strike workers committee. Yasnogorsk
workers are backed by local bus drivers and discussing now together the
further measures to be taken.
Yasnogorsk is just one of the examples of the workers self-government in
Russia. In Vyborg, Krongshtadt and other places plants and towns are now
under control of the workers committees.
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 1999
From: "Jerry F. Hough" <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: 3024-Lanskoy/Will etc.
The debate about culture in Russia misses the point. Surely
there are cultural differences in Russia and even more important there is
the lack of a capitalist infrastructure--government regulation, a well
functioning banking system, etc. But so what? Everyone knew that in
1991, and the reform should have been built to take account of reality,
not to assume a culture and infrastructure that did not exist. One of
the reasons that the state has a major role in the early stages in in late
industrializing countries (as the great Russian economist Alexander
Gershchenkron insisted) is that it doesn't have a strong managerial class
(the historians say "bourgeoisie" in the Russian case) and it does not
have reliable banks. That was the insight of Nikolai II and his
advisers and the tragedy of Russian economic reform is that it did not
look at early Russian experience.
In fact, the Russian economic actors have been rational actors
responding to the incentive structure that was established for them. As
Gordon Tullock, the great conservative co-founder (with James Buchanan)
of public choice analysis, emphasized, corruption is the rational
response to anarchy. He says the two are synonymous. It is irrational
to exchange for or buy an item if you can steal it. In addition, the
privatization of exporting industries meant that all rational actors
concentrated their efforts on gaining control of these resources so that
they can obtain hard currency. It would have been irrational to
concentrate on industries to produce for people where the returns would
have been less.
When people like Wills and Sachs say the problem is culture, they
are saying that the problem is not Wills and Sachs. In fact, Sachs
helped set up the incentive structure and Wills endorsed it. One can
understand why they want to spin things the way they do, but Russia will
never improve until Russians and the IMF begin to take their own rational
actor analysis seriously, until they understand where the incentive
system of the IMF leads rational actors, and until they think about how
to establish incentives that lead in fruitful directions. The secret of
Chinese reform is not that they have a modern Western culture, but they
have established a beautiful set of incentives. Surely Russia does not
have corruption because of a lack of a Western culture, for the most
corrupt were the most Westernized. But let us not criticize.
Economists say that everyone--including economists--should follow their
own self-interest, and it is for non-economists to insist that incentive
systems be set up that do not give them the incentive to be corrupt.
New York Times
January 21, 1999
Reducing Russian Dangers
No investment in American national security has paid higher dividends
than the $2 billion Washington has spent over the last eight years to help
Russia and other former Soviet republics dismantle nuclear, biological and
chemical weapons. President Clinton was right, in his State of the Union
address Tuesday night, to call for significantly increased spending on such
Congress, including members who oppose other foreign aid to Russia,
should approve this White House request in full.
There is no longer any threat of Russia's deliberately attacking the
United States. But Moscow's still-formidable stocks of nuclear bombs,
nuclear ingredients and biological and chemical warfare agents pose a
different kind of danger. Much of this material is inadequately secured,
and the workers guarding it are paid poorly or not at all. That creates an
unacceptably high risk that some material could be sold to potential
aggressors like Iraq, Libya, North Korea or Serbia. Many Russian weapons
scientists are also unemployed or unpaid and vulnerable to foreign
Some of the $4.5 billion the Administration is requesting for the next
five years would be used to speed the safe disposal of bomb plutonium and
chemical and biological weapons stocks, and further improve security at
Washington would add new defenses against smuggling by helping Russia to
establish better border controls and export monitoring. There would also be
an expansion of efforts to re-employ scientists in civilian work.
During the cold war, the United States spent trillions of dollars to
deter Russia from using its nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.
It would not take much more than $10 billion to eliminate most of the
risks from those weapons today.
Date: Wed, 20 Jan 99
From: "Nanette Lowe"<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: job posting for Eurasia Foundation
The Eurasia Foundation, a grantmaking organization fostering economic
democracy in the NIS has the following 2 positions available in its
DC headquarters office.
Program Officer for private sector programs
The program officer will be responsible for grantmaking, program development,
and evaluation of grants in business development, business education, and
economic education/policy. Requirements include: a degree (preferably at the
graduate level) in a relevant field, work or study experience in the NIS, 3-4
years experience with NIS technical assistance programs, and Russian language
fluency. Some travel required.
The field accountant will be responsible for coordination and liaison of
accounting data between it DC headquarters and field office located in the
former Soviet Union. Candidate must have an accounting degree, or
Field experience and Russian language skills a plus. 50% Travel to NIS
Salary commensurate with experience, good benefits. Please send resume and
salary requirements to: The Eurasia Foundation attention: Nanette Lowe Human
Resources Manager, 1350 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036, or
email@example.com EOE, NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE
Russia: Analysis From Washington -- The Internationalization Of Kaliningrad
By Paul Goble
Prague, 20 January 1999 (RFE/RL) -- A Nordic Council visit to Kaliningrad,
the non-contiguous portion of the Russian Federation on the Baltic Sea, is
likely to mean both less and more than some of the initial media coverage
in that region has suggested.
It is likely to mean less in that virtually all participants are
committed to avoiding any suggestion that such sessions will point to
independence for this formerly German territory seized by Stalin at the end
of World War II.
But it is likely to mean more because growing ties between Kaliningrad
and the Nordic countries are likely to become a model for other Russian
regions to follow. And to the extent they do, the Kaliningrad sessions
could thus promote the kind of regionalism that Russian Prime Minister
Yevgeny Primakov has pledged to fight.
On Tuesday, a delegation of parliamentarians from the Nordic Council
countries -- Finland, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, and Denmark -- arrived in
Kaliningrad to participate in discussions with officials and political
leaders in that Russian region.
The sessions this week, the first between the Nordic Council and
Kaliningrad, are taking place under the terms of a framework agreement
between the Nordic Council, on the one hand, and the Baltic countries,
Saint Petersburg oblast, and Kaliningrad, on the other. And they are slated
to focus on security, ecology, investment, and education.
Precisely because the Nordic countries played a key role in helping
Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to recover their independence from Moscow,
some in both these countries and elsewhere have suggested that Nordic
involvement with Kaliningrad could have a similar impact there.
But such suggestions are almost certainly overblown. Few in Kaliningrad
appear to be interested in independence. And even fewer in the Nordic
countries are interested in promoting it.
In contrast to the Baltic states, Kaliningrad has no tradition of
independent statehood that might be reestablished. And despite the small
"People of Koenigsburg" movement at the time of the collapse of the Soviet
Union, both the officials and population of this oblast overwhelmingly see
their territory as part of Russia.
At the same time, the Nordic countries have been careful not to do or
say anything that might be seen as promoting the idea of Kaliningrad's
independence. All of them oppose the kind of instability that such a step
would entail, and many of them see a Russian presence on the Baltic as a
useful counterweight to German power.
But if the Nordic Council visit does not point to such radical outcomes,
this internationalization of Kaliningrad nonetheless has three important
consequences not only for Kaliningrad but for the broader region as well.
First and most immediately important, expanded international
participation in the economic and political life of Kaliningrad could help
that region overcome the economic, ecological, and health crises that have
intensified there since the end of the USSR.
Cut off from central Russia by the independence of Lithuania and
Belarus, Kaliningrad which was a major port has seen its economic prospects
decline precipitously. It is one of the most polluted places in the world.
And its population suffers from a variety of health problems, including a
rising number of AIDS cases.
And neither the oblast itself nor Moscow is in a position to provide the
kind of assistance that would allow the region to recover. Perhaps the
Nordic countries can help without the potentially negative political
resonance that assistance from Germany, Poland, or some Western countries
Second, this Nordic visit, in conjunction with other institutional
developments such as the establishment of a Nordic Council information
bureau in October 1997, may lead other Russian regions -- particularly St.
Petersburg and Karelia -- to seek expanded ties with Nordic countries.
Such ties between regions of different countries are part and parcel of
European political development. Across the continent, the rise of
supranational institutions and cooperative groups has had the consequence
of making the regions within countries more rather than less important.
Up to now, this European trend has not had much impact on the Russian
Federation both because European institutions have not focused on that
immense country and because many in Moscow and the regions tend to view any
such cooperation as the first step toward slipping out from central control.
And third, the Nordic Council meetings in Kaliningrad are likely to be
important as a test of the intentions of Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny
Primakov's promise to "root out" any separatist tendencies in his country.
If Primakov and his government view Nordic involvement in Kaliningrad as
entirely normal and hence welcome, the meetings there this week are likely
to help Kaliningrad and other Russian regions to modernize, integrate, and
overcome their various problems.
But if Moscow reacts in a negative way and attempts to prevent the
development of the kind of ties that other regions in other countries have
with foreign states, then that decision will almost certainly give a very
different content to the internationalization of Kaliningrad and thus
provoke what most of those involved want to avoid.
January 22, 1999
Lebed's Power Tested in Mine Dispute
By Kirill Koriukin
Krasnoyarsk Governor Alexander Lebed may lose another valuable asset to
the region's powerful industrial elite he tried to take on after winning
Hundreds of Lebed supporters held a rally in Krasnoyarsk on Thursday to
back their governor in a dispute over the Borodinsky open pit mine, the
largest in Russia. Lebed wants the region to control the mine, while
Anatoly Bykov, the influential head of the Krasnoyarsk Aluminum Factory, or
KrAZ, has apparently made other arrangements for Borodinsky.
Rallies are not the only unusual weapon in this economic dispute. A
local businessman involved in the Borodinsky battle recently challenged
Lebed to a fistfight in televised remarks. The war of words and deals is
getting ugly because Lebed is frustrated by having lost some battles to
Last month, the head of Krasugol, the state holding company that owns
the mine, transferred to another local firm the right to collect a 42
million ruble debt from Borodinsky. The firm, called the Krasnoyarsk Fuel
Company, or KTK, promised to supply Krasugol mines with fuel in exchange
for being allowed to collect the debt.
KTK is affiliated with the Tanako group, controlled by Bykov. Last week,
it sold the debt to another company, based in the neighboring region of
Novosibirsk. Now the Novosibirsk firm, which Tanako representatives refuse
to name, can try to bankrupt Borodinsky and grab its assets. Insiders
speculate that the firm is a Tanako affiliate.
A bank linked to Tanako has already filed a bankruptcy suit against
Krasugol over a 600,000 ruble debt.
Adding to Lebed's frustration is the fact that he helped Bykov set up
KTK, the main intermediary between the region's coal mines and power plants.
According to Lebed's office, the debt transfer took place after Lebed
agreed with Anatoly Chubais, CEO of the utility monopoly Unified Energy
System, that the region's major power supplier, Krasnoyarskenergo, would
pay Borodinsky's debt.
An enraged Lebed demanded that the right to claim the debt be returned
to Krasugol by Friday and that KTK be banished from Krasnoyarsk. Local tax
officials searched the offices of KTK and Borodinsky. Lebed also demanded
to see the chiefs of Borodinsky, Krasugol and KTK, but they had all left
On Thursday, Lebed told the rally in front of his office building that
the debt transfer would prevent Krasnoyarsk residents from receiving their
salaries and pensions.
Tanako spokesman Sergei Borisov argued that the money could not be spent
on salaries anyway, since it had to be used to pay the mine's debts.
The dispute over Borodinsky could actually degenerate into a fistfight.
After Lebed used profanity as he lashed out at KTK chief Marat Saitov in a
recent televised speech on regional television, one of Saitov's partners in
KTK, a former boxer like Lebed, said he wanted to fight it out with the
governor in the ring.
"It's good that it's only a boxing match at this point, not something
else," said Misak Nashkaryan, director of the Krasnoyarsk TV station.
The loss of the mine is likely to cost Lebed the support of the local
miners' trade union and, by extension, miners' votes, said Marina Ionova,
chief analyst with the investment company Aton.
Late last year, Lebed lost another dispute to Bykov as KrAZ managed to
retain control of the Achinsk Alumina Combine, the main supplier of raw
materials to the plant.
Lebed is putting on a brave face, but he is fighting a losing battle,
"When Lebed tried to pressure local businesses, they immediately made
mincemeat of him, and this is only the beginning," she said. "He is not
playing on his own turf."
Electronic Telegraph (UK)
21 January 1999
[for personal use only]
Yeltsin's daughter in bugging scandal
By Marcus Warren in Moscow
A BUGGING scandal erupted in Moscow yesterday with allegations that the
tycoon Boris Berezovsky had been spying on President Yeltsin's daughter,
Police raiding the offices of a Moscow security firm apparently linked to
the businessman discovered compromising material on top Russian
politicians, including files on "the family" and "Tanya", a newspaper
reported. Moskovsky Komsomolets also quoted from taps of telephone
conversations in which the firm's head allegedly tells Mr Berezovsky he has
information about "Tanya".
A pager message from Sergei Sokolov, the manager of the firm, Atoll, to
Mr Berezovsky is quoted as saying: "Boris Abramovich, we have a proposal
about the information interesting you on 'Tanya'." According to the phone
taps, Mr Sokolov also confirms having information on Natasha, supposedly
Tanya Yeltsin's best friend.
Moskovsky Komsomolets gave no clue as to what the information consisted
of. In the past it has accused Mr Yeltsin's daughter of buying a castle
abroad, which she has strongly denied.
The influence, or lack of it, that Mr Berezovsky wields over Mr Yeltsin
and his family is still one of the more intriguing mysteries of Russian
political life. Mr Berezovsky and his enemies have an interest in
exaggerating his hold over the Yeltsins.
In the past he does appear to have enjoyed close links with Tanya, the
only other member of the family actively involved in politics.
Nevertheless, Mr Berezovsky's power has declined since many of his Kremlin
allies were dismissed and his business empire was hit by the economic crisis.