This Date's Issues: 3231•
Johnson's Russia List
8 April 1999
[Note from David Johnson:
1. Moscow Times editorial: West Passes Up Chance For Peace.
2. Itar-Tass: Lukin: Mediation Between 3 Parties in Kosovo Needed.
3. Itar-Tass: Russia Expert: Use of Apaches by NATO To Worsen Crisis.
4. Financial Times (UK): RUSSIA: Diluting the power of oligarchs.
5. Summary of Michael McFaul's presentation at CSIS (3/31/99)
(The Russian Political Scene Before the Elections).
6. USA TODAY: Ariel Cohen, IMF funds now would reward Russia for
7. Institute for Public Accuracy: INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES ON THE
8. Edward Lozansky: Concert on April 9 in Washington.
9. AP: Russian Business Paper To Debut.
10. Moscow Times: Melissa Akin, Duma Votes to Restrict Sex-Related
11. Reuters: Russia stresses U.N., not NATO, in lead on refugees.
12. NTV: TV Interviews Sergey Karaganov on Kosovo Situation
(Kmember of the Russian Presidential Council).
13. Moskovskiy Komsomolets: Kompromat on Top Officials Seized From
14. RFE/RL: Floriana Fossato, Russia: Moderate Politicians Worried
By Internal Consequences Of Kosovo.]
April 8, 1999
EDITORIAL: West Passes Up Chance For Peace
The West was probably right to call the Yugoslav government's unilateral
cease-fire offer a sham and a public relations stunt. But that does not
necessarily mean the offer should have been turned down. By refusing to even
entertain negotiations with Yugoslavia, the West has, in essence, already
opted for sending in troops.
>From the start, NATO has bluffed and blundered its way through the Balkans,
and now it finds itself backing into a ground war in Europe - slowly,
inexorably and without any one real consensus as to why.
The logic of the situation - like that of Vietnam or Chechnya, to name two
similarly infamous superpower Waterloos - is such that you either stop or go
Slobodan Milosevic offered NATO a chance to stop. His government said it
would stop all military and paramilitary operations against "the terrorist
organization KLA," would work with the United Nations to help Albanian
refugees return to Kosovo, would enter into international negotiations about
the future of the province, and would even consider an amnesty for the KLA.
Much of this is grossly cynical. Yugoslavia continues to refuse to
acknowledge its persecution of Albanian civilians. And who would not grimace
at the sight of Yugoslav Deputy Prime Minister Vuk Draskovic talking of how
welcome those Albanians will be back in Kosovo - when just days earlier
Serbian forces killed some and packed others into trains and trucks headed
for points foreign?
But if it is cynical and manipulative, few in the West are in a moral
high-ground position from which to find fault.
Is it any less cynical for NATO to harangue Belgrade about the Albanians,
while it lets one of its own, Turkey, persecute Kurdish citizens? Or for
Washington to complain of Milosevic as an "aggressor" - when it was NATO that
broke off talks with Milosevic and began bombing?
By now there is blame and stupidity enough on all sides. So it is useful to
set aside the name-calling and demonization - and then, it becomes hard not
to agree with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, who was almost alone in
hailing the Yugoslav cease-fire as "a chance for the establishment of
long-sought peace in Kosovo, which must not be missed."
A chance, and a slim one. But why not accept it? If Milosevic were to
disappoint - which is quite likely, but not nearly as certain as Washington
so smugly insists - NATO would have lost nothing, because it could always
NATO would not even consider stopping. In so doing, NATO willingly doomed
itself - and all of us - to go forward. Now it is only a matter of time.
Lukin: Mediation Between 3 Parties in Kosovo Needed
MOSCOW, April 6 (Itar-Tass) -- Vladimir Lukin,
head of the Duma committee for international affairs, believes that
"mediation between three conflicting parties -- Kosovo Albanians,
Belgrade and NATO" is needed for the settlement of the Balkan conflict.
He told journalists about it on Tuesday [6 April].
In his opinion, negotiations should be held not with Bonn or Brussels,
but with Americans, who are "real masters of NATO," while talks between
Moscow and Belgrade alone will not bring any results.
Speaking about prospects of the development of the situation in the Balkan
Peninsula, Lukin said there were two ways, and "both are developing." The
first way is "the toughening of the war." Lukin believes, however, that
NATO has reached a deadlock. The fact that NATO began to use anti-tank
helicopters, which was not planned before, is evidence of its critical
The second way is more acceptable, in his opinion. It provides for "the
creation of a contact group and the holding of real talks with the three
Russia Expert: Use of Apaches by NATO To Worsen Crisis
MOSCOW, April 5 (Itar-Tass) -- The United States's
adding its 24 Apache assault helicopters to the NATO force attacking
Yugoslavia will aggravate the situation in Kosovo, said Mikhail Kremer,
president of the Russian Military Expert Collegium.
He said in an interview with Itar-Tass on Monday [5 April] that the
Pentagon's decision to send the helicopters, along with 2,000 US troops,
to Yugoslavia-neighbouring Albania is bound to send more people fleeing
"The assault helicopters will undoubtedly influence the situation. This
will lead to a qualitative change of the tactic of waging the combat
action and an increase in losses, in the first place, among the civilian
population," Kremer said.
"In its turn, such an escalation will displace from homes an additional
many thousands of Kosovo's Albanians, to whom any humanitarian aid of the
NATO peacemakers will be of help," he said.
The Apache helicopter was originally designed for forefront action.
After an extensive workup, it emerged assigned to a new mission a key
weapons against tanks and armoured personnel carriers.
Apache is armed with a 30 millimetre gun which fires 625 shots a minute and
has a munition set of 1,200 shells, and can carry up to 16 suspended
anti-tank missiles or 76 non-guided missiles for ground targets.
The helicopter's maximum speed is 365 kilomtres and hour and range 482
kilometres, extended to over 1,000 kilometres in flight with suspended
Apache carries a protection system against such missiles with infrared and
ultraviolet guidance as French Mistral and the American Stinger.
The Yugoslav air defense system has about 1,000 launchers to fire
Soviet-made S-75, S-125, S-200, Kub, Buk and Tor anti-aircraft missile
systems, and 2,000 anti-aircraft guns, which Russian experts say enable
it shoot down most of the Apache helicopters within days of their
invasion in Yugoslavia.
Financial Times (UK)
8 April 1999
[for personal use only]
RUSSIA: Diluting the power of oligarchs
Few believe arrest warrants for two of Russia's most powerful businessmen
were prompted solely for legal reasons. John Thornhill and Andrew Jack report.
Two questions have resounded in Russia throughout the ages: who is to blame?
and what to do?
But in recent years, a third question has been added: who benefits?
As Moscow digested the news that arrest warrants had been issued against two
of the country's most powerful "oligarchs" - Boris Berezovsky and Alexander
Smolensky - that last question rang out again.
Few were prepared to accept the moves against the two tycoons, who have been
so closely associated with President Boris Yeltsin's regime, were prompted
solely by legal considerations. Vladimir Ryzhkov, parliamentary leader of the
moderate Our Home is Russia party, said the whole judicial process in Russia
had become politicised as a result of the current scandal surrounding Yuri
Skuratov, the country's top law officer, who has himself been accused of
moral - if not criminal - wrongdoing.
"Now whenever there is a criminal case, initiated by the prosecutor general,
the question will always arise: who benefits from the political point of
view?" said Mr Ryzhkov. It is an indication of the political flux in Moscow
that it is difficult to discern the answer.
On the face of it, Yevgeny Primakov, Russia's prime minister, would appear to
be the biggest beneficiary. Not only is the move against Mr Berezovsky
politically popular. It also eradicates the influence of one of the Kremlin's
most pervasive power brokers and rivals of Mr Primakov. Intriguingly, Mr
Yeltsin's press secretary denied the president had any prior knowledge that
the arrest warrants had been issued.
The attack on Mr Berezovsky also shows the prime minister's campaign against
corruption is turning serious. Mr Primakov appears intent on restoring the
authority of the state and dismantling the power of the seven oligarchs, who
financed Mr Yeltsin's re-election campaign and then reaped the economic
benefits. Yet it is hard to view the charges of financial manipulation
levelled against Mr Smolensky, chairman of SBS-Agro bank, in the same light.
Indeed, the accusations raise questions about the integrity of Mr Primakov's
In the aftermath of the financial crisis in August, the central bank backed
Mr Smolensky and pumped millions of roubles of soft credits into his troubled
bank to keep it afloat.
The son of Gennady Kulik, one of the most senior members of Mr Primakov's
cabinet, also works as deputy chairman of SBS-Agro bank.
Moreover, some of Russia's other "oligarchs" retain considerable influence.
Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who controls the giant Yukos oil group, even
accompanied Mr Primakov on his aborted trip to Washington last month. In
spite of vociferous complaints from minority shareholders in Yukos about
abuse of investor rights, Mr Khodorkovsky clearly remains a player in the
Vladimir Gusinsky, head of the Media-Most television and banking empire, also
appears to have reached an accommodation with the news powers-that-be.
His control of the NTV television station will make him a highly influential
figure in the run-up to the parliamentary elections in December.
Though seriously weakened by the financial crisis, Vladimir Potanin, head of
the Interros financial-industrial group, is struggling to salvage his
business empire. The last of the two oligarchs, Mikhail Fridman and Pyotr
Aven, of Alfa Bank, appear to be having more success in reviving the fortunes
of their financial-industrial group.
Tempting though it is to sound the death knell for Russia's "oligarchy", it
would clearly be premature to do so.
The oligarchs' strength was built on the weakness of the government.
In spite of Mr Primakov's best efforts, the country's continuing economic
convulsions are only further eroding the state's powers, leaving plenty of
room for big business to wield its influence.
Date: Wed, 7 Apr 1999
From: "Jeffrey Thomas" <JThomas@CSIS.ORG>
Subject: Summary of Michael McFaul's presentation at CSIS (3/31/99)
The Russian/Eurasian Program at the Center for Strategic and International
Studies and the International Foundation for Election Systems are jointly
sponsoring a Russian Election Study Group (RESG) to monitor and analyze the
candidates and parties participating in Russia's upcoming parliamentary and
presidential elections. The following is a summary of a presentation by
Michael McFaul, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment and Assistant
Professor at Stanford University, who opened the first session of the RESG
on March 31.
The Russian Political Scene Before the Elections
The communist-capitalist divide in Russian society has largely disappeared.
The last presidential election was primarily a contest between two broadly
defined groups of candidates * communists and nationalists on one hand and
pro-market liberals on the other. Today, there are virtually no pro-market
and pro-western candidates on the Russian political stage. In addition, two
new types of candidates have emerged as serious contenders * managers (such
as Yuri Luzhkov) and protest candidates whose principal appeal is a
rejection of the status quo without a return to communism. In this altered
political environment, the oligarchs will play a diminished role in the next
elections and a lower voter turnout will help the Communist Party.
The strengths and weaknesses of five of the most prominent
candidates/parties vying for office in this new political environment are
- solid electoral base (18-20%)
- solid regional organization with strong regional leaders
- strong parliamentary representation, both in Moscow and the regions
- the Kosovo crisis helps the communists by generating anti-Western
- unable to expand their electoral base (support has remained at 18-20%
- internal divisions threaten the party's unity
- Zyuganov personally is a weak candidate, lacking charisma and strong
- few financial and administrative resources (such as allied banks and media
The Communists could nominate Primakov as their presidential candidate
before the parliamentary elections to lock him into a commitment. This
would help them with their leadership problems and give them added support
from the electorate. However, given his mounting popularity, Primakov may
not want to associate himself with a party so soon.
- solid and loyal electorate base (8%)
- no serious competition for that electoral base (Yabloko is the only
serious democratic opposition)
- neither the party nor its leaders have been tainted by past government
- significant regional presence (only the communists have a stronger one at
- unable to expand their electoral base
- the party has an image of being big talkers without actually doing much
- Yavlinsky looks and acts like a young liberal reformer
- limited financial and administrative resources
Yabloko needs a very strong showing in the parliamentary elections to place
Yavlinsky in position to perform well in the presidential election the
- offers an attractive alternative platform that is neither communist nor
liberal, but a mixture of market reforms, state support, nationalism, and
strong managerial expertise).
- strong financial base
- strong administrative support (including Luzhkov's own media empire)
- strong ties to regional leaders (especially to mayors)
- has not been tainted by past governmental involvement
- may be identified with the status quo because of his central position as
the mayor of Moscow
- disliked by many non-Muscovites who resent Moscow's prominence in
national politics and economics
- Moscow's economy could run into serious trouble if Russia's financial
crisis worsens, tarnishing his image as a strong and competent manager
- many enemies in the national media
- neither Luzhkov nor his Fatherland Movement have experience running in
- charismatic, a good speaker, and widely seen as a strong hand at a time
when one is needed
- firmly associated with the protest vote
- appears somewhat erratic at a time when voters may want stability
- the elite will rally against him
- few financial or administrative resources
- lacks a strong record as governor of Krasnoyarsk
- as prime minister, he does not have to run in the Duma elections to
position himself as a presidential candidate
- strong popular support and widely credited with preventing political
upheaval in 1998
- strong financial and media support
- generally seen as a "stability" candidate
- most political powers see him as harmless, especially since he is
probably too old to run in 2004
- widespread support for his stance in the Kosovo crisis
- no national organization and little regional support
- age may hinder his ability to campaign
Zhirinovsky/LDPR * Although Zhirinovsky and the LDPR have been fading from
political prominence for the last few years, the Kosovo crisis gives them an
opportunity to increase their public support.
Gaidar, Nemtsov, Fyodorov/Just Cause * low probability that they will
surmount the 5% barrier in the parliamentary elections
Wednesday, April 7
IMF funds now would reward Russia for anti-U.S. behavior
By Ariel Cohen (email@example.com)
Drug addiction is terrible. So is an addiction to someone else's money. In
both cases, the worst thing you can do is hand over more to the addict.
That, however, is precisely what is about to happen in Russia, where a
delegation from the International Monetary Fund is supposed to meet today
with Moscow officials to hash out details of a plan that would give Russia
billions of dollars in additional loans.
More IMF loans to Russia means more money for a country that has become a
financial junkie. IMF bailouts amounting to $27 billion since 1992 have
failed. Russia has defaulted on most of its foreign loans since its August
ruble crisis, and it threatens further default on its debt if the IMF does
not provide the new credits. Its promise to do better if only given more
of what it craves, coupled with a history of repeated failure, is
chillingly similar to the earnest vows of other addicts desperately in
need of a fix.
Amazingly, the Clinton administration supports this handout despite
Moscow's saber rattling over Kosovo and the Russian Navy's menacing
deployment in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.
The United States should not be fooled. Any new credits or other largesse
almost certainly will be wasted - or worse. We already know that up to $50
billion of Russian Central Bank reserves, including IMF loans, were
siphoned off to secret offshore accounts.
Additional funds now only would prolong Russia's economic agony, postpone
its day of financial reckoning and perpetuate the poor conditions under
which Russian and foreign businessmen must work. New credits also would
effectively reward Russia for its anti-U.S. positions on international
security issues, most notably its opposition to the ongoing NATO
Biting hands that feed
It's time for some tough love. Americans do not need to turn their
hard-earned tax dollars over to the IMF to be disbursed to a corrupt
Why, Washington should ask, should Russia's debt be forgiven when it
continues to support Slobodan Milosevic and his marauding bands? Why aid
Moscow as it continues to send ballistic-missile and nuclear technology to
states such as China and Iran? Why reward it for going against the will of
the United Nations to support Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq with illicit
And why, Russia's leaders should be asked, are they spending billions of
dollars modernizing Russia's strategic-weapons arsenal while millions of
Russians are impoverished and hungry?
The goal of U.S. policies, and of the IMF money, should be to help Russia
integrate into the global economy and international community. But, like a
drug addict, Russia has to help itself, too.
Release ties to past
Russia must come to grips with the twin legacies of its Soviet past: a
superpower ambition, with its reflexive hostility toward the United
States, and a costly military-industrial complex that still survives. Both
undermine economic reform and Russia's integration into the global
Russia's attempts to be the Soviet Union's successor as a superpower, and
therefore a U.S. challenger, puts it on a collision course with the West
over such major issues as Kosovo, Iran and Iraq. Playing geopolitical
games forces Russia's leaders to maintain a large military at great
expense to impoverished taxpayers.
Great power aspirations also entice Russia's leaders to attempt alliances
with China, India and Iran. These don't ease Russia's dire economic
straits, but do make Western decision makers rightly suspicious.
Washington must tell Moscow that as long as it continues to assist U.S.
foes and remains recalcitrant in its opposition to vital U.S. interests,
it is unfair to the American people for the United States to help Russia
continue its addiction to IMF loans.
Ariel Cohen is senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation in
Institute for Public Accuracy
915 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045
(202) 347-0020 * http://www.accuracy.org * firstname.lastname@example.org
2 P.M. Eastern Time -- Wednesday, April 7, 1999
ON THE NATO BOMBING
ROBERT GREENBERG, (919) 962-7550, (919) 929-0563, email@example.com
Assistant professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of the forthcoming "Language and
Ethnic Identity in the Former Yugoslavia," Greenberg said today: "Milosevic
is looking for an exit strategy, with the cease-fire proposal and the
possibility of the U.S. soldiers being released. We just don't seem to want
to deal with him. I don't see the benefit of continuing to risk killing
Yugoslav civilians and to risk losing any of our pilots. We should have some
sort of resumption of negotiations; it's an opportunity to cooperate with
the Russians in finding a way out... Rambouillet was a take-it-or-be-bombed
deal. That is not giving diplomacy a fair chance to succeed."
DMITRI GLINSKI VASSILIEV, (202) 483-6855, DGlinskiva@aol.com
Dmitri Glinski Vassiliev is a research associate at George Washington
University and co-author of the forthcoming "Market Bolshevism: The Tragedy
of Russia's Reforms." He said: "The bombing of Yugoslavia has endangered
U.S.-Russian relations in a way unprecedented since the early 1980s. Polls
show that 92 percent of Russians condemn the bombings, and 70,000 young
people have registered as would-be volunteers for Yugoslavia. U.S. actions
have given a big boost to militant anti-American politicians in Russia. They
may win the December elections and unseat Yevgenii Primakov's moderate
reformist government that has been trying to abstain from an open
confrontation with NATO. The American-led operation against Yugoslavia is an
egregious violation of international law. The Clinton administration and its
allies have arrogated the authority of the virtually defunct United
Nations. The aggravation of the humanitarian disaster as a result of the
bombing undermines the claims that Cold War institutions could be converted
to humanitarian purposes."
ROBERT WEIL, (914) 339-5932 [till Friday], or (831) 684-1310, firstname.lastname@example.org
Author of "Red Cat, White Cat: China and the Contradictions of 'Market
Socialism'," Weil said about Chinese Premier Zhurongji's current visit to
the U.S.: "There is apparently real outrage in China, as there is in Russia,
about the bombing of Yugoslavia. They've been concerned about what they see
as U.S. bullying -- a throwback to the 'great power' of the past, which the
Chinese have a long history with. Broadly, the Chinese resent the drift of
U.S. policy with Albright's 'we're the indispensable nation' view of the
U.S. using force to pursue its global interests. Specifically, they're
concerned about the U.S. intervening in a sovereign state while citing
humanitarian reasons... The Chinese are also concerned about the missile
defense systems in Asia that they see as threatening their strategic
For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020 or (202) 332-5055; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
From: Lozansky@aol.com (Edward Lozansky)
Date: Wed, 7 Apr 1999
Subject: Concert on April 9 in Washington
You are invited to Russia House on Friday, April 9 at 7.15 pm for a concert
of Zurab Tsiskaridze, baritone. Program features Russian, Georgian, Italian,
and Spanish songs, arias and romances.
Address: 1800 Connecticut Avenue, NW. Metro Red Line Dupont Circle.
Admission $10. Students and Senior Citizen $5.
For reservation and additional information call 202-986-6010.
Russian Business Paper To Debut
April 7, 1999
NEW YORK (AP) -- The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times of London and
the Moscow Times announced plans Wednesday to launch a Russian-language
business newspaper for the Russian market.
The yet-to-be-named publication is to debut in August, publishing Tuesday
A staff of 20 Russian reporters and editors will staff the newspaper, which
also will draw content, translated into Russian, from The Financial Times and
The Wall Street Journal.
The newspaper will be owned one-third each by Dow Jones & Company, publisher
of The Wall Street Journal; Pearson PLC, publisher of The Financial Times;
and Independent Media, publisher of The Moscow Times and the Russian editions
of Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, and Men's Health magazines.
Distribution of the new business newspaper will center on Moscow and St.
Petersburg at first, with the expectation the paper will eventually become a
national daily, the three companies said in a joint statement.
``Russia poses some unique challenges and opportunities that require a unique
response -- and that's what this venture is,'' said David Bell, chairman of
The Financial Times Group. ``Joining forces both with Independent Media and
Dow Jones & Company is an effective and relatively low risk way of creating
the best business newspaper for Russia.''
Karen Elliott House, president of Dow Jones' international group, said, ``We
think this new venture positions Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal to
take advantage of the vast potential of Eastern Europe's largest market,
while maximizing our chances for success.''
Leonid Bershidsky, 27, the business editor of the Moscow Times, was named
editor of the new publication. Derk Sauer, CEO of Independent Media, will be
managing director and publisher.
Tony Robinson, former Moscow bureau chief for The Financial Times, will serve
as consulting editor, overseeing the newspaper's use of Wall Street Journal
and Financial Times news content on a day-to-day basis.
Wall Street Journal Europe editor Frederick Kempe will serve as supervisory
The joint venture will be overseen by a six-person board of directors, with
two representatives each from Independent Media, Pearson and Dow Jones.
April 8, 1999
Duma Votes to Restrict Sex-Related Materials
By Melissa Akin
Furious at the "unpunished" rise of smut in post-Soviet Russia, State Duma
deputies voted Wednesday to ban pornography.
The deputies also approved the imposition of strict government control over
sales of sex-related products and television broadcasts of erotic material.
The Duma, parliament's lower house, passed the legislation 234 to 121 on a
third and final vote. The bill, "On state defense of citizens' health and
morality and increased control over trade in products of a sexual nature,"
now goes before the upper house for approval. It must then be signed by
President Boris Yeltsin to become law.
The bill's sponsor, Deputy Stanislav Govorukhin, said that without
regulations, the country's trade in sexually oriented materials, which he
said grew by 80 percent last year, "goes completely unpunished."
"This is how all civilized countries in the world live," said Govorukhin, a
film director who heads the Duma committee on culture. "But our law will be
It bans altogether "pornographic" publications and broadcasts "whose aim is
the naturalistic, cynical depiction and/or description of sexual acts with
minors, violent acts of a sexual character, and sexual acts connected with
abuse of a dead body or committed with animals."
Under the bill, sex-related publications and other products can no longer be
sold in metro stations, kiosks and other public places, but only in
"specially designated locations." Minors are banned from buying or selling
The measure may make inroads on the increasingly acceptable practice of
providing graphic depictions of human anatomy in print media and on
Television and radio broadcasts of erotic programs would be allowed only
between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. Broadcasters would also have to warn viewers before
broadcasting programs with erotic content.
"When this law goes into effect, we won't see it on television, and we won't
see it for sale," Govorukhin said. He went on to list popular publications
whose content might be altered. "Not MK, not Megapolis Express, nor magazines
such as Kult can print it and sell it in open packaging."
In an earlier debate on the same bill in Oct. 1997, two deputies fell into a
dispute over the relative quality of domestically and foreign-produced
condoms. Embarrassed by television coverage of the incident, the lower house
banned the media from their chamber.
Wednesday, deputies took up the bill just an hour after an appearance by
Prosecutor General Yury Skuratov, who apparently was recently shown on state
television - with a forewarning - in bed with two prostitutes.
"Tell me, do you consider a videotape of a highly placed bureaucrat having
sex with two prostitutes pornography or erotica?" asked Liberal Democratic
Party deputy Alexei Mitrofanov.
"Damn," Govorukhin answered, knocking a bottle of mineral water off the
podium. "Pardon the unparliamentary expression."
Russia stresses U.N., not NATO, in lead on refugees
By Anthony Goodman
UNITED NATIONS, April 7 (Reuters) - Russia, which has condemned NATO's
attacks on Yugoslavia, asked the U.N. secretariat on Wednesday to make it
clear to the media that the U.N. refugee agency, not NATO, was in charge of
coordinating aid for Kosovo refugees.
A short time later, the United Nations circulated the text of a recent
exchange of letters in which NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana offered
assistance to the Geneva-based U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR),
Sadako Ogata, and she accepted it.
Citing the importance of "retaining the civilian and humanitarian nature of
the aid operation in order not to unnecessarily expose the front-line states,
the relief workers on the ground and the refugees themselves," Ogata welcomed
Solana's proposal that NATO members would provide support through the
civil-emergency department at NATO headquarters.
Speaking to reporters after closed-door Security Council consultations,
mainly on other issues, Russian ambassador Sergei Lavrov complained about a
newspaper report that he said "entirely distorts the picture."
He said the report "makes it look as if not (that) NATO offered its assets to
UNHCR but that UNHCR was asking NATO for help" in dealing with the hundreds
of thousands of refugees from Kosovo who have flooded neighboring countries.
"Second, it said that UNHCR asked for military help, which is not the case,"
It was also "entirely wrong" to say that "from now on NATO takes over from
the UNHCR as coordinator of the humanitarian assistance," said Lavrov.
"Actually, it is the other way round," he said, citing the exchange between
Solana and Ogata.
"The U.N. made it clear that they accept this offer of assistance on the
understanding that UNHCR is in the lead," Lavrov added.
"So we suggested that the United Nations secretariat makes things clear to
the media," he said....
TV Interviews Sergey Karaganov on Kosovo Situation
April 5, 1999
[translation for personal use only]
Studio interview with Sergey Karaganov, member of the Russian
Presidential Council, on 5 April -- live or recorded; from the "Hero of
the Day" program presented by Sevtlana Sorokina
[Svetlana Sorokina, presenter] Hello, the "Hero of
the Day" programme is on the air. We are sorry but today [5th April]
again we will be talking about the war in Yugoslavia. To all appearances,
another stage is looming in the Yugoslav conflict, and we will have to
speak about this issue today and for a long time to come.
Our studio guest today is Sergey Karaganov, a leading Russian political
analyst, head of the council for foreign and defence policy, member of
the Presidential Council.
Good evening, Sergey Aleksandrovich. First of all, could you clarify what
this council is, what its functions are and what it can do.
[Karaganov] The council for foreign and defence policy is a public
made up of about 115 people as individuals. This organization has been
around for seven years and has played quite an active role in
[Q] Are your opinions heeded and taken into account?
[A] There have been instances when our documents have been implemented
down to the letter. I am talking about our recommendations. [Omitted: the
council to get together soon to discuss the Yugoslav crisis and Russian
political line; Karaganov refused to make conjectures about today's
meeting the Russian prime minister had had with power-wielding ministers
so as not to spoil the game]
[Q] Do you think that up to now our government's diplomacy has been
[A] So far I believe - and I know a lot about what has been offered by
the West and almost everything about what has been offered by us - the
government has been sticking to a very correct line. So far we have been
building up muscles and more and more people are turning to us with every
passing day. And if before only 3 per cent of a solution to the Yugoslav
crisis were thought to depend on Russia, now this figure has gone up to
40 per cent and soon will reach 60 per cent. [Omitted: Karaganov is
sceptical about recent sabre-rattling by Russian military officers, he
said this is their job]
[Q] What I am worried about is the fact that after looking for a
national idea for a long time, we seem to have found it in defending the
interests of the Serbs. Strange, is it not?
[A] If looking at the Serbs we have realized how vulnerable we are and
will start sorting out our problems, this will be our salvation. But if
we opt for sorting out other people's problems to the detriment or at the
expense of Russian problems, or for saving the West or saving the Serbs
at Russia's expense, then this will be our undoing. We are quite close to
a very dangerous threshold because we are falling to pieces but if we get
directly involved in this situation, we will be finished off.
[Q] Now about the situation in Yugoslavia proper. It is absolutely clear
now that a humanitarian tragedy has taken place. Hundreds of thousands of
refugees are trudging along those roads and nobody is able to feed them
or provide with basic necessities. There is confusion about the main
causes. Has this mass exodus been provoked by the air strikes or by
ethnic cleansing which is being carried out at an accelerated pace and
insufficiently covered in the media?
[A] We can argue indefinitely about primary causes. [Omitted: Karaganov
quotes different theories; all nations use internment when at war]
What is at issue now is not who is to blame. The problem is how to end
this; second, how to end this with the least possible damage to Russia,
and third, how to end this in such a way that NATO would not dare ever
again to make such odd, irresponsible and senseless moves. And optimally,
we may strengthen our internal unity indeed if we realize that weakness
and irresponsibility breed irresponsibility on the opposite side.
[Omitted: Karaganov does not believe ground operations in Yugoslavia are
>From the military point of view, the air strikes, as far as I know, have
proved nearly pointless. They have not destroyed virtually anything by
bombing and have started attacking civilian targets, which is simply
outrageous. But all in all, people should realize that if NATO pushes its
way in there, there will be another Afghanistan. Nobody would wish this
Afghanistan upon NATO but it will get bogged down there and will have its
own Afghanistan. [Omitted: this generation does not know what war is
like; humanitarian aid should be given not by governments but by people
and society; Karaganov is sceptical about Russian volunteer movement]
[Q] Eventually, the war machine will make a turn and hostilities will
stop in Yugoslavia. This must happen one day, after all, each war ends in
talks and peace. What shape will Yugoslavia take after everything that
has happened in this country?
[A] First of all, the destruction and the damage that has been inflicted
are not that great.
[Q] But look at the outflow of the population!
[A] There have already been huge human in- and outflows in that region
in Bosnia-Hercegovina when Serbs and Croats were expelled. Well, some
people will settle down elsewhere, others will return. Clearly,
peacekeepers will be needed. It is another matter, on what conditions
this problem should be solved. It seems there are plans to invite us to
do peacekeeping partly under the NATO aegis. This is not to our advantage
at all. But if, for instance, a peacekeeping operation should unfold
under the OSCE aegis where Russia should play an absolutely key role,
thereby saving the reputation of our Western colleagues, shall we say,
rather than driving them into a corner...
[Q, interrupting] I would say saving the reputation of the OSCE.
[A] Saving the reputation of the OSCE and the situation in Yugoslavia.
Well then, troops will have to stay there for a very long time. They will
have to separate, solve humanitarian problems and, fundamentally,
preserve Yugoslavia's integrity and, naturally, sovereignty, albeit
partial sovereignty, because international troops are international
troops. This is a solution and it is achievable in principle. There will
be two countries de facto but a single country de jure.
[Q] There were reports today, which were later denied, claiming that
Kosovo Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova might come to Moscow. I believe
that all rumours have some grounds, and if he came to Moscow, how
important would this visit be?
[A] There are certain forces behind Rugova in Kosovo and in the West.
The West is now desperately seeking a way out of this situation. Mind
you, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has made two telephone calls in
the last three days, one to the president [Yeltsin] and the other to the
prime minister [Primakov]. They are looking for a solution. Perhaps,
Rugova and the forces behind him or associated with him can become a
political cover for resolving this conflict. Now everything is very
unclear. I think that there will be no solution in the near future simply
because NATO is not ready yet to admit its mistake. But the view that a
mistake has been made is becoming stronger within.
[Q] You are following television stations such as CNN and other
channels, the information sources aimed at Western viewers. A lot has
been said that their reporting is biased. Is this so?
[A] CNN's reporting is one-sided but it is still semi-objective. Your
reporting is more objective, or objectivist, because it is difficult to
define what to be objective is. As for the Western information that
people receive from television screens, it is outrageously biased. It is
a war. And apart from blood, war means a great lie. Officials, most of
whom I know very well and even respect as professionals, have been
uttering disgusting lies. It is simply unbearable to listen to them. They
are lying like military propaganda officers. There is a war and the West
does not get impartial information. [Omitted: humanitarian aid discussed,
it will go to both Serbs and Kosovo people in Montenegro; Russia should
not rely on IMF credits indefinitely as desire to help Russia is
[Q] Summing up our conversation, could I say that in your view, what is
the most important now is the state's patience and the implementation of
very thoroughly thought-out policies, when we have virtually to wait for
the above 40 per cent to turn into 60 per cent of our weight in
[A] In addition to this, we need the government's stability and support
for the government from society. We must realize that we are on the verge
of an abyss. [Omitted: concluding remarks]
Kompromat on Top Officials Seized From Lisovskiy Offices
27 March 1999
[translation for personal use only]
Report by Yelizaveta Mayetnaya and Yekaterina Sazhneva: "Lisovskiy
Had Contingency Files on Everyone. Even Tatyana Dyachenko"
Yesterday morning [26 March] a General Prosecutor's
Office operational investigations group conducted a number of searches of
well-known businessman Sergey Lisovskiy's apartment, office, and dacha on
the instructions of Skuratov's deputy Mikhail Katyshev. Incidentally, the
businessman himself was not home during the search -- he has been
sunbathing in Cyprus for four days now. Criminal proceedings have been
instituted against Lisovskiy under Article 137 (violating privacy).
The search of the Premier-SV offices began at five in the morning. It
was led by Russian Federation General Prosecutor's Office investigator
Nifantyev. In the words of eye-witnesses, everything was done very
correctly. Lisovskiy's staff asked the officers what precisely they were
interested in, offering to help them in their search. But the
Prosecutor's Office staffers would not explain the purpose the the search
to them. In the presence of witnesses they took three diskettes, an
address book, and a notebook from the drawer of a desk in Lisovskiy's
office. There was also a substantial pile of money in the desk, but they
did not even try to count it. "This does not interest us," the officers
said. "His tax problems have nothing to do with us."
According to an official General Prosecutor's Office report, Lisovskiy was
found to have a large quantity of material incriminating many well-known
state officials. The documents they found included intercepts of
telephone conversations, analytical memorandums on specific individuals
and members of their families, information about operations involving
bank accounts and property, and a great deal else besides. The
unauthorized collection of such data is a crime, in the general
Prosecutor's Office's view.
According to our sources' information, kompromat on virtually the entire
former Presidential Staff -- Yumashev, Sysuyev, Savostyanov -- and even
B.N. [Yeltsin's] beloved daughter Tatyana Dyachenko was seized from
Lisovskiy. Other "celebrities" who turn out to have been monitored by the
well-known businessman include Chubays and Nemtsov, Moscow Mayor Luzhkov
and his deputy Resin, VGTRK leader Shvydkoy and his deputy Lesin, and
Metropolitan Kirill. As our sources claim, Lisovskiy's files contained
nothing original only on Primakov, Skuratov, and Stroyev.
"I very much doubt that Lisovskiy himself carried out all this
detective work or ordered anyone else to do it," the businessman's lawyer
Anatoliy Kucheren believes. "The suspicious thing is that if the General
Prosecutor's Office had serious grounds for the searches, why were they
only carried out yesterday? The investigating bodies knew very well that
Sergey Lisovskiy had gone abroad. He was detained at Sheremetyevo-2 for
several hours the same day and then allowed to go. Maybe the calculation
at the Prosecutor's Office was that if they made a big noise about their
searches Lisovskiy would take fright and not return to Russia."
We have learned that Lisovskiy called his office yesterday and reported
that he would be returning to Moscow on Monday [29 March] and would hold
a news conference on this subject.
Russia: Moderate Politicians Worried By Internal Consequences Of Kosovo
By Floriana Fossato
Prague, 7 April 1999 (RFE/RL) -- Leading moderate politicians in Moscow --
staggered by the intensity of Russians' emotional response to NATO air
strikes on Yugoslavia -- say the conflict poses dangerous implications for
the country's internal political situation.
They say they are also concerned by the widening gulf between Moscow and the
West -- particularly the United States -- over the issue.
NATO began air strikes two weeks ago and says they will continue until
Belgrade ends a crackdown on the ethnic Albanian majority in Serbia's Kosovo
province. NATO also insists that Belgrade allow international peacekeeping
troops into Kosovo.
In response to the air strikes, Russia froze most defense cooperation with
NATO and -- in what is widely seen in the West as a provocative move -- sent
an intelligence-gathering ship to the Adriatic to monitor the conflict. The
State Duma also recently commemorated the victims of what it called the "NATO
aggression" with a minute's silence. Protestors have staged anti-western
rallies outside the U.S. and British embassies in Moscow. In one incident,
gunmen tried to fire a grenade launcher at the U.S. embassy.
Russian economist and former reformist prime minister Yegor Gaidar recently
went to Belgrade -- along with two other liberal politicians -- in an
unsuccessful effort to mediate a peaceful end to the conflict.
Gaidar says NATO's actions have, so far, failed to achieve their goal. At the
same time, Gaidar argues, the air strikes have greatly enhanced the
opportunities for Russia's Communist and nationalist forces to grab hold of
power in the not-so-distant future. He recently told RFE/RL that he does not
think Western officials understand the risk.
"What is going on has a very serious and negative influence on Russian-U.S.
relations. I am afraid this [outcome] can be a long-term one. If today's
tendency continues, [I think] it could inevitably bring the restoration of
the Cold War -- in a different form, not as in the '60s. Russia [now] is
different. The world is different. But the creation of relations like during
the Cold War [is possible,] with a Russia that is afraid of the world, of
NATO, of America, has missiles, a mobilized economy, is friendly with
authoritarian and rogue regimes, helps them with technologies, helps them
create nuclear weapons."
Many Western observers, however, say Russia's desperate economic situation
and its appeals for western financial support place severe limitations on its
ability to influence NATO actions and could restrain Russian officials.
Gaidar disagrees and says the analysis is mainly the result of wishful
"What is the illusion now [in the West]? It is that Russians have plenty of
problems on their own -- small salaries, pensions that are not paid, [while]
foreign policy issues are always of secondary importance for any society." A
moderate Russian politician who wishes to remain anonymous told our
correspondent in Moscow that the West is wrong if it thinks "Russia's present
authorities can be contained on the basis of good behavior in exchange for
The politician -- who held a top cabinet job until last year's financial
meltdown -- says much of the Russian reaction over Yugoslavia is not
rational. He says logic and rational behavior are being overtaken by feelings
of frustration and humiliation that Russia is now feeling toward the West.
Andrei Kozyrev was Russia's foreign minister after the breakup of the Soviet
Union and has been a State Duma deputy since being replaced at the foreign
ministry by Yevgeny Primakov, who is now prime minister.
Kozyrev says the current anti-NATO and anti-U.S. outbursts in Russia are
falling on extremely fertile soil. He says it is easier for Russians to blame
the outside world for what is going wrong instead of sorting out the real
reasons for the country's problems.
"The Russian government has managed in the last three or four years to
restore a Soviet-world outlook, where on the one side there is Moscow and on
the other all the democratic countries. I think this obviously is a happy
hour for our corrupt bureaucracy, as [it was] with the Soviet bureaucracy. We
are re-creating an international situation in which nobody asks anymore if
there is corruption or not [in Russia], if the economy is managed in a
qualified way or not, if there are or are not economic reforms. Now the talk
is already about building up a pro-war camp against imperialism."
According to Kozyrev, this situation has been slowly building during the last
few years and has emerged now -- in all its force -- not by chance.
"This situation did not start today. Anti-NATO hysterics have been inflated
in the last three years. Anti-Western lines of argument have increased. We
dropped the postulate of partnership as a [kind of] safeguard in foreign
policy, and we adopted the postulate of the so-called multi-polar world. This
means basically [creating] an anti-imperialistic front."
Kozyrev agrees with Gaidar and other moderate Russian politicians who say the
crisis in Yugoslavia plays mainly into the hands of Russia's Communists.
Academic Yuri Ryzhev -- who served until recently as Russia's ambassador to
France and who enjoys widespread respect in Moscow -- spoke late last month
on the tenth anniversary of the first multi-candidate election in the Soviet
Union. He said the Russian view of the world has not changed fundamentally in
the last decade.
"It is hugely difficult to change the economic, political and mental outlook
of society. What happened in the last 10 years is due not only to the
mistakes made by authorities -- if we don't count Chechnya -- but on the
absolutely deformed consciousness of society." Ryzhev said that the Russian
outlook has, in his words "been deformed not only by 70 years of Soviet
power, but [also] by the militarist, super power-like consciousness of the
last 300 years."
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