This Date's Issues: 3227 •3228
Johnson's Russia List
6 April 1999
[Note from David Johnson:
1. Reuters: Russian horseman fires arrow at U.S. envoy's home.
2. Hamburg's Der Spiegel: Lebed Sees Relations With US Like 'Master and
3. Interfax: Poll: Russian Premier Most Popular Politician.
4. Dale Herspring: Russia and Kosovo.
5. AP: Russian Crisis Pushes US Firms Out.
6. Elizabeth Pond: New book "The Rebirth of Europe."
7. Reuters: Russia investigator accuses central bank. (Yuri
8. The Wall Street Journal: Christian Caryl, The Other Slavic Conundrum.
(Re Janine Wedel's book).
9. Moscow Times editorial: How Long Until NATO Sees It's Lost?
10. Moscow Times: Kevin O'Flynn, Expats Swap Tips, Tales and Trash/.
11. Itar-Tass: RUSSIAN VOLUNTEERS NOT BEING SENT TO YUGOSLAVIA.
12. Itar-Tass: RUSSIAN INDUSTRIALISTS ISSUE APPEAL TO PRESIDENT.
13. CQ Daily Monitor: Sumana Chatterjee, U.S. COMPANIES WORK TO PROTECT
RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA.
14. Frank Durgin: Re: 3113-Cohen. (Soviet collapse).
15. Sovetskaya Rossiya: Youth Protests at US Embassy Moscow Viewed.]
Russian horseman fires arrow at U.S. envoy's home
MOSCOW, April 5 (Reuters) - A man on horseback dressed as an ancient
warrior fired a single arrow bearing a written warning against NATO's
attacks on Yugoslavia at
the residence of the U.S. ambassador in Moscow, police said on Monday.
The man, whom police identified as actor and director Andrei Andronnikov,
escaped on his
horse after the incident, a police spokewoman said.
"Those who act against Slavs by the sword will die by the sword," his
message to the ambassador read. It also warned that the war would finish on
territory of the United States.
Most Russians oppose the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, a fellow Slav,
Orthodox Christian nation.
The spokeswoman said officials had not yet pressed charges over the
incident, which happened
Lebed Sees Relations With US Like 'Master and Dog'
Hamburg's Der Spiegel
5 April 1999
[translation for personal use only]
Interview with retired Gen. Aleksandr Lebed, governor of Krasnoyarsk,
by Joerg R. Mettke; place and date not given: "Fed, Stroked, Beaten"
[Mettke] Aleksandr Ivanovich, can Russia still stop
the NATO attacks against Yugoslavia?
[Lebed] Yes, if it managed to decide on a unified state doctrine on the
events in the Balkans.
[Mettke] Who should formulate and implement it?
[Lebed] The President, if he has any political will at all. And he would
have to announce this position tomorrow, at the latest the day after
tomorrow, to the government and both chambers of Parliament. As long as
it is not yet too late.
[Mettke] What should such a Balkans doctrine by Moscow be like?
[Lebed] First, NATO's actions must be called an aggression without any ifs
or buts. Second, quite as clearly, Yugoslavia must be declared an area of
Russian interests. And, third, the scope of our military aid to
Yugoslavia must be set down.
[Mettke] Do you mean that Russia could have prevented the bombing of
Yugoslavia in time if it had adopted such a tough position?
[Lebed] I am most deeply convinced of that.
[Mettke] For us this rather sounds as if you wanted to join the Serbs with
the Russian Army in the war.
[Lebed] On the contrary. I want to resist the large-scale war in a
manner, because, otherwise, it will spread over the entire world -- above
all, through terrorism and, above all, against the Americans.
[Mettke] At the moment Kosovo Albanians are killed by Serbs, an Serbs are
killed by NATO bombs. How do you want to stop this?
[Lebed] Of course, this has become very difficult now. However, Milosevic
would probably still accept a Russian peace contingent.
[Mettke] And this would then fight for far-reaching autonomy for the
[Lebed] Why not? At least such autonomy as this territory had under Tito.
[Mettke] Who else, apart from the Russians, should participate in this
[Lebed] Everyone who has not compromised himself as an aggressor so far.
all those who show a minimum of understanding for the country and the
[Mettke] Do you understand the Serbs?
[Lebed] Ask the Albanians, who are now fleeing Kosovo in numbers of tens of
thousands, whether their relationship with the Americans has not changed,
and with those semi-crazy people among their compatriots who told them
that the NATO bomb attacks would give them independence.
[Mettke] But the refugees are primarily trying to save themselves from the
brutal ethnic cleansing by the Serbian police forces.
[Lebed] The victims of these confrontations are to be deplored. However, I
would not call this ethnic cleansing.
[Mettke] Do you deny that the Albanians in Kosovo have the right to their
[Lebed] There are dozens such demands in the world. But who would recognize
[Mettke] Bosnia has meanwhile been recognized, just like Croatia -- even by
[Lebed] What kind of states are those that are based solely on US bayonets?
And our recognition was just the recognition of our own weakness. . . .
[Mettke] . . . forced by the sole remaining superpower, the United States?
[Lebed] Quite so. Our relationship with the United States has long ceased
being a partnership. It is the relationship between master and dog: the
dog is fed, sometimes stroked, sometimes beaten. However, it can never be
an ally, an interlocutor.
[Mettke] But it can bite the hand that feeds it. The first Russian
are already on their way to Yugoslavia, even though President Yeltsin has
just stressed that Russia would not get engaged in any military adventures.
[Lebed] Who will ask him for permission? Bulgarian sympathizers are already
fighting on the Serbian side. Ours will also find their way there.
[Mettke] And the same goes for Russian shipments of weapons?
[Lebed] Quite certainly and en masse.
Poll: Russian Premier Most Popular Politician
MOSCOW, April 2 (Interfax) -- Russian Prime
Minister Yevgeniy Primakov is a strong leader in ratings of the
popularity of Russian politicians, whom 28% of Russians trust as compared
with 24% in November of last year. This is indicated by the results of a
poll conducted among 2,385 Russians on March 22 by the All- Russia Center
for Public Opinion Study, made available to Interfax on Friday [2 April].
Respondents were asked to name the five or six most trustworthy Russian
politicians. Following Primakov are Gennadiy Zyuganov and Grigoriy
Yavlinskiy with 18% apiece. The communist leader's rating dropped from
20% in November, while that of the Yabloko leader grew by 1%. Moscow's
Mayor Yuriy Luzhkov is next at 17% (16% in November), trailed by
Krasnoyarsk region governor Aleksandr Lebed with 11% (17%), ex-prime
minister Sergey Kiriyenko with 6% (3%), leader of the Liberal Democratic
Party (LDPR) Vladimir Zhirinovskiy with 6% (unchanged), State Duma
speaker Gennadiy Seleznev with 5% (6%), former Deputy Prime Minister
Boris Nemtsov with 4% (unchanged), governor of the Kemerovo region Aman
Tuleyev with 3% (2%), leader of the Popular Rule party Nikolay Ryzhkov
with 3% (2%), leader of Russia is Our Home (NDR) Viktor Chernomyrdin 3%
(unchanged), Federation Council speaker Yegor Stroyev with 2% (1%), and
Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka (who was not included in the
poll last year) with 2%. Twenty-six per cent (as opposed to 32% in
November) did not name any politician, and 20% (14%) were undecided. The
margin of error is 2%.
Date: Mon, 5 Apr 1999
From: Dale R Herspring <email@example.com>
Subject: Russia and Kosovo
There has been a lot of talk about Panslavism as a motivating factor
behind Russia's concern with and potential involvement in Kosovo. While
all of us recognize the importance of that factor, I believe it its
importance is greatly exaggerated.
>From my perspective, there are two other factors that are of much greater
significance. The first is Russia's fall from grace, and the second is
the internal disaster facing the country. Russia is not the first country
to see its standing in the international community plumment. The British
have been going through it since the end of the World War II, and even the
French will be the last to recognize it, they have been going through the
There is a problem in comparing the Russian case with what happened in
France and Britain, however. London and Paris have had forty years to
adjust to their new situation in the world. For Russia, the collapse came
almost over night. Then there is the internal situation. The Brits
never had to face such a situation. Many people,this writer included,
worry that Russia could be on the very of breaking up. I hope this does
not happen, but the feeling of frustration on the part of most Russians is
What I am suggesting is that Russian concern with Serbia has less to do
with the human dimension and more to do with their loss of power. The
fact is that they cannot do much about what is going on. They send an
eves-dropping or intelligence ship to the Adriatic. And there are
suggestions that they will send 6 more ships. First, I would like to make
it clear that I have great respect for Russians as sailors. I have been
on their warships and seen them perform. They are first class. The
problem is that the equipment they have to work with is out-dated and in
horrible condition. It doesn't work half of the time. I only hope that if
send these ships to the Adriatic they won't break-down thereby
forcing NATO ships to tow or repair them. Russia's humiliation would be
Finally, I think it is important for us to get through our head that
Russia is much higher on the vital interest list than is the case with
Serbia. The latter will be resolved in on way or another, but Russia is
critical to us. Brent Scowcroft is right in suggesting that we should not
isolate Russia They will act in a sometimes silly and infantile manner,
but I think we should over look as much as possible their comments. In
fact, I suspect that Primakov is among the most "pissed off" of all of the
world's negotiators. Indeed, he has clearly been stuffed by Milosevic and
cannot be happy about it. At the same time, he could be critical later on
once a peace settlement becomes a possibility.
Russian Crisis Pushes US Firms Out
April 5, 1999
By GREG MYRE
MOSCOW (AP) -- Dunkin' Donuts has taken its Boston Cremes back to Boston.
Pizza Hut, unable to capture a large slice of the Russian market, has closed
its Moscow restaurants. And Ben and Jerry's ice cream operation melted away
on the rocky road of Russian capitalism.
Many of America's best known brands streamed into Russia during the early
1990s, drawn to one of the world's largest untapped markets. But Russia's
notoriously difficult business climate combined with last year's financial
blowout has sent dozens packing, and prompted others to lay off staff and
scale back expansion plans.
``The worst case scenarios of what could have happened in a long, cold
Russian winter have not played themselves out,'' said Scott Blacklin,
president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Moscow.
``But if we get to the summer and there is no significant improvement, then I
think we could see deeper disillusionment, which could lead to a serious
bleeding of the American presence,'' he added.
The Americans are by far the largest foreign investors in Russia, with more
than 500 U.S. firms operating here. Their activity peaked in 1996 and 1997 as
Russia's financial markets soared and the economy hinted at growth after
years of depression.
But since the economic crisis struck last August, about 50 members of the
American Chamber of Commerce have left the country.
Financial services were the hardest hit, and those leaving tended to be
smaller firms. Larger companies that have already invested big sums in Russia
are still trying to weather the storm.
Under Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, the political climate has stabilized.
Still, critics say the government still hasn't come up with a coherent plan
to reverse the economic decline.
In a survey of Chamber of Commerce members, almost two-thirds said they have
suffered ``significant losses'' due to the crisis and more than half said
they have laid off workers.
American food franchises have been among the most high-profile entries into
the Russian market, and their mixed fortunes demonstrate both the risk and
potential of doing business in Russia.
When Dunkin' Donuts announced it's withdrawal earlier this month, it cited
sales that swooned 50 percent after the crisis.
But Dunkin' Donuts, like Pizza Hut and Ben and Jerry's, had only a few
outlets in Russia. Its departure was mostly symbolic and there is by no means
a shortage of American fast food.
McDonald's, for example, has 46 restaurants in Russia, and its Pushkin Square
site in downtown Moscow remains the busiest McDonald's anywhere in the world,
serving 20,000 customers a day.
McDonald's business slumped about 5 percent to 10 percent immediately after
the crisis, but it's been steadily returning, said Glen Steeves, the head of
McDonald's in Russia.
``We've always taken the long-term view that this is going to be a tremendous
market,'' said Steeves, though the crisis did lead the company to review its
McDonald's opened 19 new restaurants last year, but only one so far this year.
McDonald's has invested more than $130 million in Russia, and purchases 75
percent of its supplies locally, including beef. That has protected it
against the collapsing ruble, which has hammered American firms that must
import their supplies in dollars, and sell their wares in rubles.
A Big Mac in Russia now costs the equivalent of $1.35, significantly less
than in the United States.
American enterprises run the gamut from oil companies to computer firms to
law offices, and all face problems in a country with a shaky banking system,
a choking bureaucracy and a Byzantine tax and legal system.
Microsoft's software is a big hit in Russia -- but it's not nearly as popular
as the pirated versions that sell at a fraction of the price.
Bill Gates visited Russia and noted that according to official figures,
Russians were scooping up computers in large numbers -- yet weren't
purchasing the software needed to run them.
Why should they? The pirate market in Russia is so efficient that Windows 98
software was available at kiosks throughout Moscow days before it was
formally launched in the United States.
Meanwhile, oil giants such as Mobil and Exxon have invested hundreds of
millions of dollars to extract oil from some of the harshest landscapes in
But that has proved child's play to the far more complex task of securing
needed legislation from the Communist-dominated parliament.
Almost all companies ran into trouble when Russian banks were gridlocked
shortly after the August crisis. With no access to their cash, many
businesses had to fly executives to London and other European capitals simply
to pickup briefcases full of dollars, which they hand-carried back to Russia.
While the overall climate remains difficult, a handful of U.S. companies have
found a silver lining in the crisis.
``Several of our competitors have been knocked out of the market,'' said
Michael Adams, an investment officer with Global Partner Ventures, which
converts military industries into private civilian companies. ``Our projects
are getting more attention now than before.''
Date: Mon, 5 Apr 1999
From: Elizpond@aol.com (Elizabeth Pond)
Subject: new book, "The Rebirth of Europe"
Dear David, My new book, "The Rebirth of Europe," published April 1 by
Brookings, might be of interest to List readers. Clearly it does not focus
on Russia as such; it portrays instead the overall dynamic of heartland
Europe in the post-cold-war era, including the euro, EU "deepening" and
"widening," and solution of "the German question." I wrote the book because
I was distressed by the widespread misunderstanding about Europe in US
Two chapters in the book that List readers might like to look at
especially are the one on Poland (Present at the Rebirth) and the one on
Ukraine (Absent at the Rebirth). Both explore Europe's dividing/connecting
lines to the east and seek answers to the question of why Poland is doing so
well, Russia and Ukraine so poorly, in the new era.
INTERVIEW-Russia investigator accuses central bank
By Adam Tanner
MOSCOW, April 5 (Reuters) - A top Russian investigator said on Monday the
central bank was covering up evidence from an investigation into possible
wrongdoing and that the economy suffered from the lack of means to oversee
"The central bank is hiding information," Yuri Boldyrev, deputy head of the
State Audit Chamber which monitors government activities, told Reuters in an
interview. "This is a violation of the law."
The Audit Chamber opened an investigation into the central bank's activities
after a sharp devaluation of the rouble and near collapse of the banking
system last August.
A spokesman at the central bank who declined to be named said the bank had
acted within the law, and officials of the Audit Chamber told a news
conference earlier this year they had not discovered any major violations.
But Boldyrev said the Russian government, at a high level, had permitted the
bank to operate without proper controls and speculate on the market ups and
downs which it often foresaw.
"It's like playing blackjack when then dealer has the right to change the
rules during the game, he can look at your cards, and he doesn't randomly
draw cards, but takes whatever cards he wants. That's how our central bank
works, without any controls," he said in the interview.
"It is allowed to make commercial profit from the game, allows uncontrolled
spending on themselves of that part of the profit that they want," he said.
Russia's chief prosecutor revealed only recently that the central bank had
diverted some of its reserves into an offshore account. The central bank has
said it set up the account to protect reserves against foreign creditors.
"We need to know exactly how much in resources the central bank had and on
what path these funds went," Boldyrev said. "The most simple thing they could
have done was to give information at the right time without transferring
money if the central bank knew ahead of time what it was to do."
He said top central bank officials earn up to $15,000 a month with a personal
spending budget of another $15,000. They also have the right to obtain
long-term loans at low interest rates.
Information on such loans is one area the Audit Chamber would like to
investigate but is not getting information, Boldyrev said.
Russian President Boris Yeltsin, by contrast, earns $400 monthly. Boldyrev
said his own salary was about $260 a month.
Boldyrev, who said he would run in a parliamentary election due next
December, said the central bank's activities had hurt the economy overall.
"The central bank is a hindrance to the development of the economy," he said.
"The central bank does not have the stimulus to create a stable financial
The Wall Street Journal
April 5, 1998
[for personal use only]
The Other Slavic Conundrum
By CHRISTIAN CARYL
Mr. Caryl is the Moscow bureau chief for U.S. News & World Report.
Russia is a titanic mess. How it managed to fall so far is a puzzle that
will occupy the pundits for decades to come. But the U.S. foreign-policy
establishment is already hotly debating one particularly thorny
question: Namely, how much of the mess was America's fault? It's a
question that seems particularly germane at a moment when Russia has
just received a new lease on life from the International Monetary Fund
-- under the peculiar circumstances of a NATO-led war against a country
that enjoys Russian support.
Official Washington, of late, has replied in no uncertain terms that
"Russia was never ours to lose." If only it were that simple. Obviously
Russians must bear the primary responsibility for their own mistakes
(or, to be precise, those of their leaders). Yet the fact of the matter
is that the West had plenty to win in Russia -- which was precisely why
we spent the better part of the past decade pouring billions of dollars
into the place while studiously overlooking some of its most obvious bad
habits. The stakes were high, and for good reason. A democratic,
peaceful and prosperous Russia would have been the crowning achievement
of a tortured century that began with yet another, albeit far less
Janine Wedel's admirable new book, "Collision and Collusion"
(St.Martin's Press, 286 pages, $27.95), is not only about Russia.
Strictly speaking, it is a study of Western aid programs to the
countries of the former Soviet bloc in the postcommunist era. As Ms.
Wedel shows, this was not a trivial effort. By her count the
industrialized countries committed $80 billion in various kinds of aid
to these countries. Much of that money consisted of so-called grant aid
(mainly technical-assistance projects designed to give Easterners
urgently needed know-how), and it is this piece of the pie that she
Her task is not an easy one. This was a gargantuan and in some ways
utopian undertaking, the biggest planned knowledge transfer in recorded
memory. It ranged from power-lunching suits from Harvard who supervised
the biggest privatization effort in history (in Russia) to earnest
tree-huggers who gave Hungarian friends advice on cleaning up the
environment (and, perhaps more important, on fund-raising and lobbying).
It was a process inescapably marked, as Ms. Wedel puts it, by successive
phases of "triumphalism," "disillusionment" and "adaptation" -- in other
words, by all-too-human alternations of euphoria, mutual exasperation
and sober acceptance of real-world limits.
Some of her discussion is a bit on the technical side, more about
procedures than principles, but Ms. Wedel, an anthropologist who
moonlights as a journalist, is good at conjuring up the sense of
adventure and psychological complexity that ensued as West and East got
to know each other up close. She carefully charts the misunderstandings
and cultural collisions as Western aid-givers tried to impose their own
terms of reference on societies they were usually poorly equipped to
understand. Much of this discussion, while illuminating, is aimed more
at policy wonks than at lay readers.
It is the fourth chapter of this book, about Russia, that should be
declared obligatory reading. Ms. Wedel shows how officials in the
Clinton administration, in the early 1990s, made the fateful decision to
channel aid to a key sector of Russia's economic reform program -- the
gigantic and ambitious program of privatization -- via a small coterie
of Kremlin civil servants around the "young reformer" Anatoly Chubais.
The reformers ultimately succeeded in transferring the lion's share of
the state-owned economy into private hands, but they did so using
methods that were overtly corrupt. (The auctions for some of the most
lucrative companies were won, at fire-sale prices, by the same banks
that ran the auctions, for example.)
On the U.S. side, the Clinton policy makers bypassed the usual public
bidding process in the name of "national security," awarding consulting
contracts to a select group of Harvard economists with contacts to the
Chubais circle. Ms. Wedel wonders whether "the strategy of focusing
largely on one group" furthered "the aid community's stated goal of
establishing the transparent, accountable institutions so critical to
the development of democracy and a stable economy."
In fact, rather than broadening ownership and creating a new middle
class, Chubais-style privatization boosted a tiny group of business
tycoons into positions of unparalleled dominance -- with all the
distorting effects that became so vividly obvious in the financial
collapse last August.
Ms. Wedel argues, convincingly, that the lack of accountability on both
sides ultimately compromised all those involved. Today, Mr. Chubais is
perhaps the most hated man in Russia -- and the favoritism shown him by
his Western backers has blackened their reputations among Russians,
perhaps irrevocably. Aid, it would seem, can hurt as well as help. It's
a lesson that readers of this excellent book would be well advised to
April 6, 1999
EDITORIAL: How Long Until NATO Sees It's Lost?
The leadership of the U.S. military is haunted by the idea that Yugoslavia
will become another Vietnam. They wonder how airstrikes can possibly stop
door-to-door terror and ethnic cleansing - what exactly do you bomb, any
suspicious-looking group of three or more people? They worry about killing
or displacing civilians. They wonder how bombing Yugoslav Serbs will effect
NATO peacekeeping efforts in neighboring Bosnia. They look suspiciously on
U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's argument that "losing" Kosovo
would have a "domino effect" throughout the Balkans - an argument that
smacks of the Cold War in its grand, and flawed, geo-strategic thinking.
They see no long-term vision for the Balkans - and wonder what the U.S.
national interest was in waging war on another continent. And they note
that a tool box filled with other diplomatic instruments, from economic
sanctions to international tribunals against Yugoslav President Slobodan
Milosevic, has gone ignored.
Defenders of the NATO bombing argue that NATO's authority was on the line,
and that the Serbs had to be stopped in their ethnic cleansing of the
Kosovo Albanians. It is a seductive argument - how long can one stand
silent and witness killings?
But consider that unused tool box. The United States could have cajoled or
bullied Russia into being more constructive in the Balkans. It could have
sought UN input. Instead, U.S. President Bill Clinton - a man who decades
earlier had evaded his call to serve in the military in Vietnam - casually
opted to start a Balkan war. The White House had already bombed three
nations in six months - Afghanistan, Sudan and Iraq - and, like an
incompetent handyman who uses a hammer for every task, found the cruise
missile the most congenial of tools.
Should the bombing continue? Should NATO send in ground troops? It is
ironic that the chaos and violence the bombing has fostered now provide an
argument for widening the war - in the name of restoring order.
If bombing campaigns are necessary to prop up NATO as an international
force, then NATO is not worth that price and ought to be disbanded. If
bombing is supposed to check ethnic cleansing, then it isn't working.
Sending in ground troops has more logic - troops can police this mess in a
way bombers can't. But it is a dangerous logic: Would troops be
peacekeepers in Kosovo, or combatants bent on capturing Belgrade?
In Vietnam, the alternative to escalation was recognizing defeat. So it is
in Yugoslavia: The defeat is already there - the bombing was always a bluff
- and now the only question is how many lives, how many days or months or
years, will be wasted until it is acknowledged.
April 6, 1999
Expats Swap Tips, Tales and Trash
By Kevin O'Flynn
Want to sell a second-hand Pierre Cardin suit? In dire need of advice on a
hotel room in Nizhnytaigar? Looking for a shop that sells foreign foods
like Marmite spread?
The Expat List has the answers. Set up just under a year ago by Nicholas
Pilugin, president of Wordsmiths Communications, the free e-mail exchange
distributes messages from English speakers in Moscow who want a way to
exchange information and discuss issues of living in Moscow and Russia.
It has grown from its initial 200 subscribers to more than 1,000, and
Pilugin now offers three different lists, including one for French
speakers. As expatriates tend to do, the expat listers have formed their
own little online subculture - a blend of whining, information requests,
want ads, heated opinion and gossip.
"I've found an apartment, helped a destitute friend, and bought good,
cheap wine thanks to the Expat List," wrote one lister in an e-mail
But along with the usefulness of the list comes sharing your cyberspace
with people you wouldn't normally share your last cookie with.
"Many of the people who regularly contribute to the list - who comprise
only a tiny fraction of the total audience - are a total pain," wrote the
same lister, who perhaps not surprisingly didn't want her name associated
with the list. "If it weren't occasionally useful, I'd unsubscribe in a
second and be done with the angst, anger and idiocy."
Pilugin thinks it's a mistake to see the overheated or eccentric posts as
a view into the expat psyche. "There is a great silent majority," he said.
"There are people who just want to lurk. ... You can't look at a list and
see it as a representational sample of the expat community."
And a good thing, too, for the Expat List is not a peaceful place. Flames,
or abusive e-mails, fly back and forth with regularity.
You never know what the response will be. One eager subscriber recently
sent a message looking for a friend named Beverly he thought might be in
Moscow. Soon a reply popped up in his mailbox from the friend - who's now a
"Yes, I'm 'Beverly,'" Bertram wrote, "although as my name suggests much
has changed since we last met. ... I've finally found the courage to
embrace a side of me that had been locked away for far too long."
Other replies can be far harsher or mocking, though Pilugin hovers behind
the scenes trying to keep order. Certain rules apply: No commercial
messages (though want ads from individuals are fine) and no obscenity.
Offenders can be banned by Pilugin.
"I'm not trying to be a policeman. In every society, whether it's virtual
or real, there's got to be rules," Pilugin said. "If I just took an
attitude of everything goes, it would be chaos."
Doug Steele, owner of the late Hungry Duck bar, was banned after a series
of messages on bagels split the list audience between those who thought
them hilarious and those who found them annoying. Having served his time in
the penalty box, however, Steele has returned. Listers saw his side of the
story about the Hungry Duck's closure and related political pressure
before the tale was reported in newspapers.
Those disinclined to have a steady stream of chatter invading their
mailbox can sign up for the digest, which goes out a few times a day. The
raw list can be a bit overwhelming, with up to 200 messages a day.
"Probably one out of three are completely legitimate requests or answers
for the intended audience," wrote lister John Dabba. "Thirty-three per cent
is a pretty good result for a free service. ... And if I don't like what I
read, I can delete it. Free speech at its best!"
To subscribe to the Expat List, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with
"subscribe expat" as the message. To receive the digest only, send
"subscribe expat-digest" as the message.
RUSSIAN VOLUNTEERS NOT BEING SENT TO YUGOSLAVIA
MOSCOW, April 5 (Itar-Tass) - Lieutenant General Viktor Isaichenkov,
deputy head of the Spiritual Heritage movement, refuted on Monday in an
interview with Tass the reports of some mass media organs on the
alleged sending of volunteers to Yugoslavia by their movement and on
their arrival in Belgrade.
"This is somebody's joke. Of course, we neither sent anybody to
Yugoslavia, nor intend to do anything of the sort," Isaichenkov said.
He explained that Yugoslavia had not appealed to Russia, or "to some
specific organisations which can make decisions" to help them by
sending volunteers. This is why no one is going to send people there,
especially those without special training.
The movement believes that at present Yugoslavia needs moral,
humanitarian and military-technical assistance, and not Russian
volunteers, most of whom, not being professional military men, will
become just "cannon fodder."
"Only adventurists can assume responsibility for sending people there,
who have not passed a proper check-up from the point of view of their
mental health, physical condition and morale, and our organisation will
never do anything like that," Isaichenkov said.
He admitted at the same time, that the central headquarters of the
Yugoslavia Defence Committee headed by him, which was created within
the framework of the left-wing patriotically-minded People's Patriotic
Union of Russia, is "registering the volunteers." This is the last of
the spheres of work for the assistance to Yugoslavia, he said. The most
important thing for them now is "moral support for the Yugoslav nation,
as well as the organisation of humanitarian assistance and denunciation
of the NATO aggression," he said.
RUSSIAN INDUSTRIALISTS ISSUE APPEAL TO PRESIDENT
MOSCOW, April 5 (Itar-Tass) - The directors of about 30 major Russian
enterprises on Monday adopted an appeal to the president of Russia and
all responsible politicians.
"Political inadequacy of Russian authorities may lead the country to a
disaster, to the triumph of the blackest mutations of old ideologies,"
the appeal said.
The directors called for restoring the strong vertical of presidential
power based on an alliance with the new responsible elite of Russian
society, primarily with the community of people who have managed to
ensure the stable operation of the country's major industrial
The appeal said that authorities should make a sharp turn towards
building new public and economic relations which industrialists call
Issued ahead of the impeachment hearings in the State Duma slated for
April 15, the appeal may be interpreted as a statement against
impeaching the president and scrapping the presidency as such.
"Weak power at such a crucial moment will be void of historical
justification," the appeal said.
The document was signed by the general director of the Krasnoyarsk
aluminium plant, Alexei Barantsev; the general director of PO
Elektrosila, Ravil Urusov; the general director of OAO Sibtyazhmash,
Pyotr Lusnikov; the board chairman of the Oskol metallurgical mill,
Alexander Ugarov; the general director of Lebedinsky ore-dressing
plant, Igor Sokruto; and others.
The full text of the appeal is available on: www.rolit.ru
CQ Daily Monitor
April 5, 1999
[for personal use only]
U.S. COMPANIES WORK TO PROTECT RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA
By Sumana Chatterjee, CQ Staff Writer
Apr. 05, 1999 - As the nation focuses on the fighting in Yugoslavia, some
U.S. businesses are watching Russia's reaction and the fallout from the
current rift over NATO's intervention.
Hoping to head off policies that would threaten their interests,
businesses with a stake in Russia are quietly preparing what they call
educational campaigns to highlight the economic and security ties between
the U.S. and Russia.
In the coming months, business groups will urge the Clinton
administration and Congress to support international loans to Russia and
resist imposing broad sanctions to block the transfer of weapons technology
The businesses look beyond current Russian nationalist rhetoric to the
potential for Russian economic overhaul and continued adherence to security
agreements. "We are more worried about the general dynamics in Russia than
the current security crisis," said Tanya Shuster, senior adviser on Russian
issues at the Commerce Department.
Despite the uncertain situation, "American companies are still in, as
best they can be," said Kay Larcom, senior vice president of the
U.S.-Russia Business Council, a nonprofit group representing 250 companies
with investments in Russia.
Advocates for American business in Russia will watch how Congress reacts
to recent International Monetary Fund loans and U.S. aid to Russia. In
addition to U.S.-backed loans, Russia also receives U.S. aid: about $1
billion in food and humanitarian assistance this year, $390 million for
programs aimed at reducing Russia's military threat to the West, $235
million for nuclear safety and $170 million for democracy and free-market
Some lawmakers have complained about U.S. support of IMF loans to
Russia, arguing that Russia has not made the financial and infrastructure
improvements needed to ensure economic stability. They also point to
billions of dollars the U.S. has poured into the Russian economy, only to
see stalled reforms and continued weapons exports.
Russian support for Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is likely to
fuel more congressional animosity. But business lobbyists will argue that
American businesses could be among the victims of cuts in assistance.
IMF financing puts pressure on Russia to adopt the financial and tax
system changes sought by foreign investors, Larcom said. U.S. aid for
free-market and democratization programs creates a better business climate
in Russia, she added, by encouraging the rule of law and Western-style
Larcom and others shy away from the term lobbying, preferring to
describe their role as educating lawmakers about the benefits of supporting
Russia. Some lawmakers have "more of a superficial or 'CNN-knowledge' of
what's going on in Russia," Larcom said.
Satellite launch issues. The U.S. satellite launch industry, which has
embarked on joint ventures with Russia, is watching developments there and
on Capitol Hill carefully. The industry expects House International
Relations Committee Chairman Benjamin A. Gilman, R-N.Y., to introduce
legislation that would impose sanctions on companies that provide Iran with
sensitive missile technology. While ostensibly focused on Iran, the U.S.
industry says the legislation would target Russian companies that provide
60 percent of Iran's arms.
Congress passed but President Clinton vetoed a similar bill last year.
Since then, the administration has twice sanctioned Russian companies.
Iran's successful test of a medium-range missile in July left both the
administration and Congress concerned about Iran's potential to hit Israel
and Saudi Arabia. Although the test missile was based largely on North
Korean technology, Russian scientists played a part in its creation and
have contributed to work on other missiles, administration officials said
at the time.
Industry officials are waiting to read Gilman's legislation, but already
are urging the administration and Congress not to punish companies not
contributing to weapons proliferation.
At a recent bilateral gathering in Washington, U.S.-Russia Business
Council President Eugene Lawson called for a "more focused look at the
individual entities that may be indeed in violation of any proliferation
understandings, so as not to impede future large-scale U.S.-Russian
cooperation by penalizing an entire sector." The conference occurred
despite the last-minute cancellation of Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny
Primakov's visit to the United States.
The industry now is waiting to see how events in Russia evolve and when
Gilman will introduce his bill. But during the next few weeks, its
lobbyists will press lawmakers to oppose sanctions that may target the
industry's Russian ventures.
Launch quotas another target. The satellite launching industry also is
working behind the scenes to win relief from a current quota on Russian
U.S. companies, including Lockheed Martin Corp., have worked with
Russian firms to tap into the approximately $35 billion annual worldwide
market for launching services. In 1993, Russia agreed to comply with
internationally accepted missile proliferation rules and was allocated 16
launches. Lockheed Martin and Russia's Energia have launched a series of
satellites and now want the quota system ended. By year's end, Russia's
quota is expected to be filled.
The U.S. companies argue that U.S. security would be enhanced by lifting
the quotas, because that would eliminate an economic incentive for the
Russians to take their technology know-how elsewhere in violation of
From: email@example.com (Frank Durgin)
Date: Mon, 5 Apr 1999
Subject: Re: 3113-Cohen/
On JRL #3112 of March 27 you posted a piece from The New York Times
by Stephen Cohen in which he wrote: "I think a strong case can be made
that by 1991 the system had turned out to be remarkably reformable,
certainly much more so than Western experts had thought. And the
Soviet system did not collapse but was abolished by Mr. Yeltsin and
I fail to see how anyone could disagree with that statement. It
was clearly the bad blood between Yeltsin and Gobachev that
brought the USSR tumbling down, not economics. The Union was
destroyed by Yeltsin's machinations and maneuvering to settle old
scores with Gorbachev, not economics.
That there was a progressive decline in the rate of growth of the
soviet economy is beyond dispute. But If one buys the proposition
that the slowdown in the Soviet growth rate precipitated the Soviet
collapse, one has to ask why slowdowns of even larger magnitudes, not
only in Japan and Germany, but also here in the US, failed to
precipitate collapses. It might also be noted that, in contrast to the
US and Western Europe, growth in the Soviet economy, while slowing,
never turned negative.
The decline was as follows:
GDP Rates of Growth (%) according to US Government Experts. (From
Gregory and Stuart(1990 pp. 139ff)
There were many factors contributing to that slowdown
a) A slowdown in the rate of increase of the workforce.(exogenous)
Ceteris paribus a slowdown in the rate of increase in any economy's
workforce will have negative effect on its growth rate. Following
are the rates of growth of the work force.
--------- negative 4%
Growth of total work force
b) A decrease in number of hours worked per week. (Policy choice)
If the work force works fewer hours it impacts negatively on growth
Average number of hours worked per workday fell as follows: 1913-
58.5; 1945-1955 basic work week consisted of 6 eight hour days 48
hours in all. Sunday was the common rest day for most workers. 1955-
47.8; 1976- 40.7; 1987 40 hours.
D) An increase in vacation time.(policy choice) This clearly has a
negative impact on growth rates. Vacation time in terms of number of
workdays per year 1945-1955 12 days (i.e, two weeks); 1958 - 18.5
days; 1964- 19.3 days ; 1968- 20.9 days; 1977- 21.6 days ; 1983- 22
days, 1987- 22.5 days.
D A slow down in the rate of growth of investment.(policy choice)
Investment grew at a rate of 9.1% per annum during the period
1955-1965; 6% during the period 1966-1970; 5.4% during the period
1971-1975; 4.3% 1976-1980; 4.2% 1981-1983 and 3% 1984-1987.
In addition, over the years, there was an increase in the volume of
services, a category that the Soviets did not include in their
conception of GDP. This is a factor that is recognized as having
played a large role in the slow down in productivity and growth in the
The Soviet collapse was triggered, not by economics, but by a
three day drinking spree Yeltsin embarked on with Ukrainian
leader Leonid Kravchuk and Belarussian leader Stanislav
Shushkevich at a hunting lodge in the Belarussian Belovezhskaya
Pushcha nature reserve in december of 1991. The only unresolved
question is which drink in the Viskuli bathhouse was it that
triggered their agreement to dissolve the Union. In any case,
Yeltsin conveniently disposed of Gobachev and the three of them
emerged as proud heads of their own sovereign states.
Youth Protests at US Embassy Moscow Viewed
1 April 1999
[translation for personal use only]
Article by Andrey Maslakov, dated 24-28 March: "Novinskiy Bulvar"
Negative feelings in the wake of news of NATO
bombing raids on Yugoslavia have given way to positive feelings about the
"bombardment" of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.
No matter that these endless rallies, during which the embassy is
pelted with bottles and rotten eggs, are having no effect on the general
course of events in the Balkans. That is not the most important thing.
The main point of these events is that young people are proving to be an
active force today.
I have been walking about the square every day and have not believed
my eyes. Young people, whose indifference to politics, moral decline, and
complete apathy [pofigizm] have been mentioned time and time again by all
the big-mouthed politicians of the present age, have spontaneously -- I
repeat, spontaneously! -- gone to the U.S. Embassy to express their
feelings about the current events in the Balkans.
These were not the half-frozen, half-drunk "democratic" masses. Here the
crowd presented a united front. The OMON [Special-Purpose Police
Detachment] officers, standing in a tight cordon along the embassy's
soiled facade, felt its power and during the first day did not even dare
to detain the most active bottle-throwers.
Anti-American feeling reached unprecedented levels during these days. At
seemed as if the days of the Cold War and the "iron curtain" had
returned. Those young people who, to use their expression, used to "get
off on" anything foreign are now no less enthusiastic about smashing
embassy windows and destroying billboards with pictures of cowboys and
the American flag on them. But what has brought the young people out onto
the streets from the quiet lecture theaters and warm apartments? What has
made them all gather here? What indeed? The person who can provide an
answer to this question will gain control of the majority of young
people. Are they just letting off steam? I would like to think not. In
the past few days, the crowd's mood has been marked by a hitherto unseen
awareness. The people knew why they had come out onto the street. And
expressed this in completely unambiguous slogans:
"Bottles today, missiles tomorrow!" "Yankees, Go Home! "S-300's for Serbia!"
Are they hooligans? Is this a unique opportunity to throw bottles "at
Americans"? But on Sunday, when after the provocation involving shots
being fired from a jeep the OMON cleared the square and forced the
rallying people onto the opposite sidewalk, the number of young people
carrying placards did not decrease at all. If anything it actually
Almost anyone who has had anything at all to do with politics in the last
few years has talked a lot about the indifference of young people to
politics and has tried with all means at their disposal to overcome this
indifference by forming more and more new organizations. It is unlikely
even that state bodies know how many youth parties, leagues, groups, and
associations of various kinds there are at present in Russia. But, as
usual there was no progress.
But now the young people have stirred. You would think that people would
strike while the iron is hot. But no. No one, not one major political
figure went to see the young people as opposed to visiting the embassy.
Or, almost no one -- which does not alter the general picture.
You get the impression that all the talk of it being "necessary to
enlist the support of young people" is simply mantric whining.
During the first few days, the crowd was prepared to listen to any leader.
Then the young people learned to amuse themselves -- there were tedious
speeches during many of the rallies on Saturday which they regarded as an
annoying distraction. After that any idea, any slogan that was served up
to them could have really set fire to the crowd. Any apart maybe from
orthodox communist ideas -- all the Anpilovites' modest attempts to chant
their favorite "So-vi-et Un-i-on!" were drowned out by the crowd's
simultaneous roar of "Ziveli Srbija! Ziveli Rusija!" ["Long Live Serbia!
Long Live Russia!"].
But no one presented any ideas. And the crowd remained a crowd. Though
it had the right slogans and a fighting spirit and was united and ready
for anything, it nevertheless remained a crowd.
But no. There was one leader, albeit a very peculiar one -- Vladimir
Volfovich Zhirinovskiy. It might well appear to the untrained eye that
the fuehrer of the most liberal and most democratic party in Russia had
simply taken his place among the rallying brotherhood outside the embassy
-- there Zhirinovskiy is in the crowd at lunch time and there he is again
in the evening, this tireless liberal democrat, only this time he is
signing up volunteers. Zhirinovskiy's tactics met with some success on
the first day -- his LDPR [Liberal Democratic Party of Russia] was
cheered on. The Serbs who were present that day outside the embassy
looked on Vladimir Volfovich as a messiah. It seemed that it would not
take much for him to rival Slobodan Milosevic's popularity.
Without doubt this was a fairly good advertisement for Zhirinovskiy, but, as
they say, he overstepped the mark. During yet another rant on Saturday,
Vladimir Volfovich -- now dressed in a reproduction NATO colonel's
uniform -- suddenly started talking nonsense:
"Guys, these policemen who are presently surrounding us are on our side.
They are protecting all of us. Protecting us in accordance with the
Constitution. Making sure that nothing, God forbid, happens to you...."
This was said at the point when the crowd's "defenders" -- dressed in
civilian clothing and wearing egg-shaped helmets -- were wielding clubs
and pulling the particularly determined bottle-throwers out of the
crowd.... Did the guys outside the embassy need a commentary?
We will find out how much of the youth vote Vladimir Volfovich has
captured during these past few days in December or a little earlier. But
this is not the point. You see the opposition has made no capital at all!
Not one of its leaders appeared in the square during the first two days.
For some reason we always thought we knew our young people very well and
could even pass comment on some of their shortcomings.
It has turned out that we know nothing about them.... Forget the
outcome of the vigil outside the U.S. Embassy -- they have told us this
Will we draw any conclusions?...
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