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Johnson's Russia List


June 6, 1999    
This Date's Issues: 3327 3328

Johnson's Russia List
6 June 1999

[Note from David Johnson:
1. New York Times editorial: The Kremlin Looks West.
2. Ray Thomas: Russia and Yugoslavia.
3. Reuters: EU adopts Russia strategy as first common policy.
4. Michael Kagalenko: Re: Internet monitoring.
5. The Electronic Telegraph (UK): Alice Lagnado, Exodus as thousands flee
from Russian anti-Semites.

6. The Independent (UK): Phil Reeves, War in The Balkans - How Russia moved 
from the sidelines to centre stage.

7. AP: Yeltsin Honors Pushkin's Birthday.
8. Stratfor commentary Where Are the Russians? 
9. Itar-Tass: US Philanthropist to Arrive in Moscow for Charity Work.

10. Itar-Tass: Klebanov Lauds Arms Sellers for Upholding Defence Potential.
11. New York Times: Michael Wines, Among Educated Russians, Relief Is Mixed 
With Suspicion of U.S.

12. Vremya MN: interview with Media-Most general director Igor Malashenko 
under the headline "The Kremlin Seized by Siege Mentality."

13. Jamestown Foundation Monitor: NEWSPAPER CLAIMS TO HAVE GOTTEN HOLD OF

14. Moscow conference on Stability and Peaceful Development in the North 

15. The Economist: Letter from Robert Devane, Yeltsin’s legacy.
16. Itar-Tass: Ivanov Says World Faces Same Problems as Two Centuries Ago.]


New York Times
June 6, 1999
{for personal use only]
The Kremlin Looks West

When the war in Yugoslavia started nearly 11 weeks ago, it threatened to 
rupture relations between Russia and the West. Instead, it brought Moscow and 
Washington closer together as they collaborated on a diplomatic settlement. 
Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin should find ways to build on the partnership. 
The Kremlin's willingness to part company with Slobodan Milosevic and throw 
its influence behind the West's peace terms in Kosovo is one of the more 
hopeful international developments since the end of the cold war. 

The war did not come without a price in overall relations with Russia. The 
NATO bombing angered many Russians, who identified with their Slavic cousins. 
Anti-American sentiment sharply increased across Russia, as did fear that 
NATO, long a defensive alliance, had become a threat to Russia itself and a 
potential factor in Russia's own ethnic conflicts in places like Chechnya. 
The political fallout may be felt for years, as Communists and nationalists 
seek to exploit the resentment in parliamentary and presidential elections. 
They greeted the peace agreement with scorn, and even some of Mr. Yeltsin's 
aides distanced themselves from it. 

But Mr. Yeltsin was not moved by such concerns. There were doubtless many 
reasons, not the least of which was Moscow's desperate need for Western 
financial assistance. The White House will likely look more kindly on 
Moscow's request for additional loans from the International Monetary Fund 
now that Mr. Yeltsin has leaned on Mr. Milosevic. 

But Mr. Yeltsin's action bespeaks a larger vision of Russia's future as a 
democratic society. Mr. Milosevic may be a fellow Slav, but he is also a 
political fossil, just the kind Mr. Yeltsin has dueled with in Russia since 
the last days of the Soviet Union. Mr. Yeltsin recognized that continued 
alliance with Mr. Milosevic's dictatorship was a political and economic dead 
end for Russia. As logical as that decision might seem in the West, it was a 
bold act of leadership in Moscow. 

Mr. Yeltsin has often been a maddeningly erratic leader, but throughout his 
years as President he has fought valiantly against a resurgence of Communism 
in Russia and a revival of cold-war hostilities between East and West. Now, 
with a year remaining in his final term, he has once again edged Russia 
closer to Europe and the United States, and has put in place a new Government 
in Moscow that seems prepared to consolidate that shift. 

Formation of the Government has not been smooth -- it never is in Moscow -- 
but Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin has put economic and foreign policy 
largely in the hands of pragmatic men, many of whom favor further reform. The 
dismissal of Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov last month looks increasingly 
like a wise decision that allowed Mr. Yeltsin to pursue his Balkan diplomacy 
freely and opens the way for renewed economic change. 

All of which affords the White House a chance to bring Russia into closer 
partnership with the West. President Clinton wisely saw the possibilities of 
enlisting Russia's help in Kosovo, and Strobe Talbott, the Deputy Secretary 
of State, skillfully helped turn the opportunity into a joint peace plan. 

The cooperation can be advanced in the weeks ahead. Russian forces are likely 
to serve as peacekeepers in Kosovo, along with NATO troops. Further Russian 
assistance may be needed in dealing with Mr. Milosevic as the war ends. But 
Mr. Clinton should be looking beyond the Balkans for other ways to work with 
Russia and to help Mr. Yeltsin. 

The first chance will come later this month in Cologne, Germany, when Mr. 
Yeltsin joins Mr. Clinton and the leaders of Britain, France, Germany, Italy, 
Canada and Japan at the annual economic summit meeting of the Group of Seven 
industrialized democracies. Though Russia's feeble economy makes it an odd 
addition to this group, it belongs there because of its political weight. By 
making Russia a full-fledged member, and working to diminish its economic 
distress, Mr. Clinton and the other leaders can provide tangible benefits for 
Mr. Yeltsin and overcome Russian doubts about the West. Mr. Clinton and Mr. 
Yeltsin, two men headed into the final months of their presidencies, can 
leave an enduring gift to their countrymen if they capitalize on the 
collaboration that began in Kosovo. 


From: (Ray Thomas)
Subject: Russia and Yugoslavia
Date: Sat, 5 Jun 1999 

You report that Chernomyrdin hit back at charges that he had sold out
Belgrade, telling 
Interfax news agency it was "totally absurd" to accuse him of "getting into 
bed with NATO."

"I can tell you word for word what the president said (during their Friday 
telephone conversation) 'thank you very much for all that you have done, I
am satisfied, continue your work,'" he quoted Yeltsin as saying.

Am I alone in thinking that this phraseology of Chernomyrdin encapsulates an
extraordinary acceptance of authority in Russian politics? Tony Blair has
an exceptionally dominant position in British politics, but I can't imagine
that Robin Cook the Foreign Secretary would justify himself to the press in
terms of having satisfied Blair. Would Strobe Talbot justify himself to
the US press in terms of pleasing Clinton?

This matter of acceptance of authority seems to have been absent from the
list discussion of Yeltsin's actions in dismissing Primakov and picking half
of Stepashin's cabinet. The discussion focussed on the short and medium
consequences. It was not suggested that this kind of episode is likely to
be accepted as customary and to become in effect a part of constitutional
law. If this does happen Russia will have to be lucky to avoid being
doomed for the forseeable future to have Tsars instead of presidents, weak
governments, and even weaker Dumas. 

Is it not ironic that you report in the same JRL issue that Yeltsin called
for the country's leading academics to evaluate the progress of Russia's
democratic reforms since the collapse of the Soviet Union? 

I could not help laughing at this declaration. Any such evaluation must
surely start with an appraisal of the actions of Yeltsin himself in bombing
parliament, in abrogating the constitution to make himself a tsar (and
perhaps make his successors tsars), in starting a civil war against
Chechnya, in failing to take responsibility for the disastrous decline in
the Russian economy, apparently not even noticing that literally millions of
Russians have died prematurely as a result, and, as your correspondents
consistently report, devoting his talents to preserving his own position
rather than fostering government.

There is of course little danger that academics in Russia will make the
kinds of appraisal Yeltsin is calling for. One reason is that Russian
academics are struggling to survive. Isn't more research being carried out
on Russia by western social scientists than Russian social scientists?
And even if Russian academics found the resources to make evaluations would
not they also suffer from this acceptance of authority, and fail to point
out that the emperor has no clothes.

I would really welcome evidence contradicting my pessimistic trains of

Ray Thomas, Social Sciences, Open University
Tel: 44-1908-679081 Fax: 44-1908-550401
Post: 35 Passmore, Tinkers Bridge, 
Milton Keynes MK6 3DY, England


EU adopts Russia strategy as first common policy
By Adam Jasser

COLOGNE, Germany, June 4 (Reuters) - European Union leaders endorsed a 
blueprint for building a long-term strategic partnership with Russia on 
Friday, hoping it will warm relations chilled by differences over Kosovo. 

The adoption of the plan at the EU summit in Cologne was the first building 
block of a future common EU foreign policy under the Amsterdam Treaty which 
came into force this month. 

"A common strategy is a quantum leap for EU external relations," Antti 
Satuli, Finland's EU ambassador, told Reuters. 

Finland, which takes over the EU's six-month rotating presidency from Germany 
at the end of the month, has to put flesh on the bones of the strategy which 
is intended to encourage free market policies and pluralist democracy in 

It also aims to bring Russia into Europe's new security architecture and ease 
Moscow's growing frustration that its world power status is being eroded in 
the West's eyes. 

The entry of three former Soviet satellites -- Poland, Hungary and the Czech 
republic -- into NATO and the alliance's air campaign against Yugoslavia 
prompted the harshest anti-Western rhetoric from Moscow since the collapse of 
the Soviet Union. 

Diplomats said the EU hopes to convince Russia that despite problems there is 
genuine will to improve ties. 

"It's a very important signal to Russia," one EU diplomat said. "The strategy 
aims to show EU commitment to develop good relations with Russia." 

Although the strategy does not envisage any major new funding, it aims to 
coordinate all EU programmes and carries a promise of a free-trade pact in 
the future. 

It will also force EU members to speak with a single voice on EU-Russia 
relations. This would include a common front within international lending 
institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, officials said. 


From: "Michael B. Kagalenko" <>
Subject: Re: Internet monitoring
Date: Sat, 5 Jun 1999 

sergei zamascikov <> wrote:
> There is a fundamental difference between intelligence service snooping
> on the Internet and European legal authorities passing legislation
> which
> makes possible authorized inquires by law enforcement agencies( similar
> to phone tapping and intercepting mail.
> And there is still a bigger difference when the FSB on a basis of not
> yet passed legislation asks Internet providers to give full access
> to information without obtaining a court order.
> Indeed, what is disturbing that noone else compalined. Particularly
> taking into account that most of ISPs are JVS with the US companies.

Perhaps, they did not complain because they are aware of the state
of communication privacy on the West, and therefore correctly
understand that SORM is a belated and half-hearted effort to catch up
with USA. USA currently has in place the network called "ECHELON"
which intercepts, stores, searches and indexes every kind of electronic
communications: FAX, e-mail, telephone, videophone calls, telex,
satellite transmission, microwave links and so on. The existence of
this network has been an "open secret" for quite some time, but it is
hardly ever covered by the USA media. I urge the reader
to peruse those URLS: :

"Australia has become the first country openly to
admit that it takes part in a global electronic
surveillance system that intercepts the private and
commercial international communications of
citizens and companies from its own and other
countries. " :

"EuroParl Rpt on NSA, Trade, & Crypto Controls

A draft ("consultation version") of a report by the European Parliament's
Office for Scientific and Technological Option Assessment (STOA) entitled
the EuroParl's Civil Liberties and Interior Committee.


As expected, a portion of the report highlights the NSA's Echelon
surveillance system, developed and managed in conjunction with its sister
SigIntel agencies from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.
Snippets quoted give the flavor, capturing the tenor of fear common in
European media references to the NSA:

"[...] unlike many of the electronic spy systems developed during the
cold war, ECHELON is designed for primarily non- military targets:
governments, organizations and businesses in virtually every country. The
ECHELON system works by indiscriminately intercepting very large
quantities of communications and then siphoning out what is valuable
using artificial intelligence aids like Memex to find key words."

"[...] Within Europe, all e-mail, telephone and fax communications are
routinely intercepted by the United States National Security Agency,
transferring all target information from the European mainland via the
strategic hub of London then by satellite to Fort Meade in Maryland via
the crucial hub at Menwith Hill in the North York Moors of the UK."

The priority targets of this surveillance system are selected by the
participating intelligence agencies -- only one of which is European --
on the basis of their individual military and political interests, notes
STOA. "Whilst there is much information gathered about potential
terrorists, there is a lot of economic intelligence, notably intensive
monitoring of all the countries participating in the GATT

Finally, to the person who suggested including spurious keywords into
e-mail to overwhelm snooping software: don't bother. Below is Usenet
posting by the noted civilian cryptographer Bruce Shneier

" Newsgroups: sci.crypt,,alt.privacy
From: (Bruce Schneier)
Subject: "Interesting Stuff" Checkers at the NSA
Message-ID: <>
Organization: Chinet - Public Access UNIX
Date: Thu, 19 May 1994 17:40:15 GMT

This is from a flyer that NSA people have been


Information Sorting and Retrieval by Language or Topic

Description: This technique is an extremely simple, fast, completely
general mathod of sorting and retrieving machine- readable text according
to language and/or topic. The method is totally independent of the
particular languages or topics of interest, and relies for guidance
solely upon exemplars (e.g., existing documents, fragments, etc.)
provided by the user. It employs no dictionaries keywords, stoplists,
stemmings, syntax, semantics, or grammar; nevertheless, it is capable of
distinguishing among closely related toopics (previously considered
inseparable) in any language, and it can do so even in text containing a
great many errors (typically 10 - 15% of all characters). The technique
can be quickly implemented in software on any computer system, from
microprocessor to supercomputer, and can easily be implemented in
inexpensive hardware as well. It is directly scalable to very large data
sets (millions of documents).

Commercial Application:

Language and topic-independent sorting and retieval of documents
satisfying dynamic criteria defined only by existing documents.

Clustering of topically related documents, with no prior knowledge of the
languages or topics that may be present. It desired, this activity can
automatically generate document selectors.

Specializing sorting tasks, such as identification of duuplicate or
near-duplicate documents in a large set.

National Security Agency
Research and Technology Group - R
Office of Research and Technology Applications (ORTA)
9800 Savage Road
Fort George G. Meade, MD 20755-6000
(301) 688-0606

If this is the stuff they're giving out to the public, I
can only imagine what they're
keeping for themselves.

Bruce Schneier
Counterpane Systems For a good prime, call 391581 *
2^216193 - 1"

If you are _really_ concerned about the security of your e-mail,
use the prograpm called PGP ("pretty good privacy") and/or
anonymous cypherpunks remailers.


The Electronic Telegraph (UK)
6 June 1999
[for personal use only]
Exodus as thousands flee from Russian anti-Semites
By Alice Lagnado in Moscow 

AN upsurge in anti-Semitism has revived the exodus of Russian Jews to 
Israel, with thousands emigrating in hope of a life without bombs and 
neo-Nazi slogans.

Nearly 8,000 left for Israel in the first three months of 1999 alone, more 
than double the number who left during the same period last year. They have 
left a country in which violence against Jews is becoming ever more common. 
This year, bombs have exploded near Moscow's two biggest synagogues and 
synagogues have been vandalised. The economic crisis that engulfed Russia 
last August has given many Jews added impetus to leave, not only because it 
has made the future bleaker but also because it has been exploited by 
anti-Semitic groups looking for someone to blame.

Pinchas Goldschmidt is Moscow's Chief Rabbi, he said: "People have been 
attacked in the street for wearing skullcaps and there have also been 
bombings. There are catcalls, graffiti and anti-Semitic leaflets. This makes 
people feel less comfortable." Alexander Parnakh, a Jewish translator at 
Interfax, the Russian news agency, said: "Quite a few people want to leave 
the country and Jews have an added incentive. If you see young men with 
swastikas that's enough to make you start thinking about it." 

This year has seen a catalogue of attacks on Jewish institutions. In 
February, police arrested a neo-Nazi, Pavel Drozdov, for making a video of 
himself as he made an anti-Semitic speech with a fake synagogue burning in 
the background. In March, a synagogue in Siberia was vandalised. Swastikas 
were daubed on the walls along with the letters RNE, which stand for Russian 
National Unity, the most prominent neo-Nazi group which is gaining ground 
fast in the depressed Russian provinces.

On May 1, the Jewish sabbath and a national holiday, a bomb went off next to 
the Choral Synagogue in central Moscow while 50 people were inside attending 
a service. On the same day, another bomb exploded at the back of the Marina 
Roshcha Synagogue, which was also damaged by bombs in 1998, 1996 and 1993. A 
synagogue in Russia's far east was vandalised twice in the same month.

Except for the attack on the Siberian synagogue, no one has claimed 
responsibility for the attacks. Even the mayor of Moscow, who is not Jewish, 
was attacked in leaflets dropped in Moscow postboxes claiming he was a Jew 
and promoted Judaism. "And this man wants to become President of Russia," the 
leaflets concluded.

Prominent Jews said the bombs were aimed at them and missed their target only 
because the synagogues have stepped up security recently. Officially, Russia 
is far from politically correct in its attitude towards anti-Semitism; it 
only recognised the Holocaust in 1994 and the Duma, Russia's parliament, is 
renowned for its anti-Semites. Last autumn Albert Makashov, a Communist MP, 
angered Jews when he publicly blamed Russia's problems on Jews.

"This is political anti-Semitism on the part of the Communist Party. The 
biggest culprit is Gennady Zyuganov [leader of the Communist Party]," said 
Rabbi Goldschmidt. Russia's 1.5 million Jews have become a particular target 
in the wake of the economic crisis which left thousands jobless and without 
hope. "The worsening economic situation has embittered people and they are 
looking for the guilty ones," said Grigory Aksenfelt, a former doctor who 
helps out at the Choral Synagogue.

Jews have been scapegoats since tsarist times when Russians talked of the 
"Jewish conspiracy", an idea which is still espoused by monarchists and 
neo-Nazis. High-profile Jews are often said to be part of a conspiracy of 
"evil robber barons" by anti-Semites and the most famous of these, the 
billionaire Boris Berezovsky, reinforces prejudices with his reputation as a 
man who runs his business in the style of an Italian Mafia godfather and 
wields considerable influence over the ailing Russian president.


The Independent (UK)
6 June 1999
[for personal use only]
War in The Balkans - How Russia moved from the sidelines to centre stage
By Phil Reeves 

Already it seems long ago. The Russian warship, steaming indignantly to the 
Adriatic. The attempted rocket grenade attack on the US embassy in Moscow. 
The TV pictures of Russian shop workers mopping filthy floors with the Stars 
and Stripes. 

The start of the Balkans war was seen as concrete proof of what Russians had 
long known at heart: that their voice was no longer heard, that Nato called 
the shots in Europe, bypassing even the United Nations. They were angry and 
offended, but powerless. 

Less than three months on, the picture has somewhat altered. General doubts 
in Europe about Nato's capacity for successful unilateral action will also 
add sinew to Russia's long-term campaign to stop it from expanding further, 
for example into the Baltics. We will hear more of the argument from Moscow 
that the Organisation for Co-operation and Security in Europe is the proper 
instrument for organising European security, and that Nato's role should be 

"Nato's unwillingness to send ground troops to Kosovo has already sent a 
powerful message," wrote Robert Hunter, former US ambassador to Nato, in 
yesterday's Los Angeles Times. "A Russia asked to rescue Nato from its own 
limitations is also a Russia better able to challenge Nato's ambition to be 
the key arbiter of European security for the 21st century." 

It may not be a blazing victory, but it is no small achievement. It has come 
at a turbulent time, when Russia is weak on every front. It has a crippled 
economy and a sick president who owes his political survival chiefly to the 
venality and incompetence of his opponents. Curiously, the only people 
oblivious of this success are the Russians themselves: a weary Viktor 
Chernomyrdin returned to Moscow this week to a chorus of angry allegations 
that he had capitulated. 

In the end, Nato and Moscow needed one another in equal measure. No matter 
how much anti-Nato rhetoric they spouted, the Russians knew they had 
eventually to get involved or lose out. Boris Yeltsin's advisers know the 
economic penalties of further isolation from the international community. And 
they had some serious political issues to consider, tapering into the biggest 
question of all: the next occupant of the Kremlin. 

They will have been acutely aware that a worsening economy and rising 
anti-Nato sentiment delivers more dividends to the communists and 
nationalists than anyone else. Although they tried hard to join the massed 
voices of outrage, Russia's "democratic" pro-market groups have been 
struggling to recover lost ground since last August's economic crisis. Given 
their generally pro-western stance, their protests over Nato's air campaign 
had an unconvincing air. 

For the elite, installing a new president who will protect their interests 
(and turn a blind eye to their sins) is hard enough in a society which 
regards the ruling classes with profound resentment. With parliamentary 
elections approaching in December and the presidency coming up next year, 
they could ill afford to do anything that would further favour their 

Among ordinary Russians anti-Nato sentiment will linger for years, hampering 
Moscow's ability to rebuild its relations with the alliance. But, as 
relations with the West slowly settle down, Moscow will demand more say, more 
respect for its interests and for the authority of the UN. Its position is, 
as ever, weakened by its need for Western dollars. But, for now, Russia will 
hope to be heard. 


Yeltsin Honors Pushkin's Birthday
June 5, 1999

MOSCOW (AP) -- President Boris Yeltsin, marking the 200th birthday of 
Russia's most revered poet, on Saturday awarded the first Alexander Pushkin 
medals for achievements in culture and science.

``It's a medal of his essence, for the soul, for the heart,'' Yeltsin said at 
the Kremlin ceremony, grinning broadly.

Turning pensive, he added: ``Last night, as a kind of preparation, I decided 
with a clear head at two in the morning to read Pushkin.''

``It turned out not to be so simple. We were given (Pushkin) in the first 
grade, and everything was easy. But in fact, there is so much intelligence, 
so much creativity,'' he said.

Yeltsin gave the award to 18 recipients in science, culture and the arts.

The ceremony was timed to coincide with Sunday's 200th anniversary of the 
birth of Pushkin, by far Russia's most respected writer and possibly its most 
revered figure. He died in a duel in 1837 at the age of 37.

Russia has been awash for months in billboards, television programs, 
mementos, plays, ballets and operas celebrating Pushkin's works.

Recipients of the award, which was created by a Yeltsin decree earlier this 
week, included singer Irina Arkhipova, artist Boris Yermolayev and Vladimir 
Zaitzev, director of the National Library in St. Petersburg.

Earlier, Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin and Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov laid 
flowers at a monument to the poet in Moscow's Pushkin Square.

``For us, Pushkin is Russia, the Russian language, its culture,'' Stepashin 
said. ``He is our contemporary and the contemporary of that fine and 
mysterious, tender epoch.''

Luzhkov said, ``We pay the tribute of respect and love to a great poet. We 
bow our heads to Pushkin as a great citizen of Russia.''


Stratfor commentary Where Are the Russians?
June 5, 1999

A mystery is growing by the hour. Where are the Russians and what are they 

Let’s review what has happened. Serbia rejected the Rambouillet accords on 
two basic issues. First, they rejected the idea of a total withdrawal of all 
Serb forces from Kosovo. Second, and much more important, they objected to a 
heavily armed foreign presence under the control of NATO in Kosovo. The G-8 
agreement differed from Rambouillet on the second critical point. The Serbs 
accepted the idea of a peacekeeping force and to the withdrawal of the bulk 
of their forces. NATO agreed that the peacekeeping force would be under UN 
command and that it would not exclusively consist of NATO forces.

This shift was the essence of the G-8 agreement. Serbia did not trust NATO’s 
intentions. The agreement that the occupation force would be under UN control 
meant that Serbia would not lose sovereignty over Kosovo. The presence of 
Russian troops, coupled with UN command, was designed to guarantee the Serb 
position. It is important to remember that the G-8 agreements were negotiated 
between NATO and Russia. NATO’s concessions were not made to the Serbs but to 
the Russians and the Russians, in turn, were the guarantors of Serb interests 
under the agreement.

Under the current negotiations, NATO is representing G-8 as the Rambouillet 
Accords with a formal, but not real, concession to the UN. In other words, 
the Bonn agreements negotiated with Russia are being treated as essentially 
formal and without meaning. Two mysteries emerge. First, why are the Russians 
permitting this to happen? Second, what did Chernomyrdin tell Milosevic to 
cause him to accept this agreement? The Russians appear to be giving NATO its 

As we said at the time, the fall of Primakov severely weakened Serbia’s 
strategic position. Indeed, we predicted a Kosovo crisis on January 4 
precisely because of Russia’s split with the West over Iraq. Russia has 
always been the key for us. At this point, it appears that Russia has 
essentially abandoned its support for the Serbs. Since Russia has not 
received any clearly visible quid pro quo from NATO for abandoning Serbia, 
one of two possibilities exist. One, there is a quiet understanding that will 
unfold in the coming weeks and months and Strobe Talbott’s mission to Moscow 
had to do with that agreement. Second possibility, is that the Russians are 
biding their time, smarting under NATO’s attempt to redefine the G-8 
agreement as Rambouillet, and things will get tense during the week. Either 
is possible, but we tend toward the first explanation. Primakov’s fall left 
Serbia in an impossible geopolitical situation.


US Philanthropist to Arrive in Moscow for Charity Work.

MOSCOW, June 5 (Itar-Tass) - U.S. financier and philanthropist George Soros 
is arriving in Moscow on June 6 to continue his charity work in Russia. 

The founder and the head of a network of charity funds, Soros will meet the 
participants in the Pushkin's Library project on June 7. He has provided 100 
million U.S. dollars to support this project and plans to launch two new 
programmes in the years to come. 

They envisage the publication of a 100-volume collection of Russia's best 
literary works and the provision of books in the Russian language to 500 
libraries in CIS states, East European countries and Mongolia. 

During his stay in Moscow, Soros intends to attend a party at the Pushkin 
Fine Arts Museum to sign an agreement with the inter- regional association 
Siberian Accord. He is also invited to a ceremony at the Bolshoi Theatre 
where he will be awarded a gold Pushkin medal established in the initiative 
of Academician Dmitry Likhachev with the support of the Institute of Russian 
Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences. 


Klebanov Lauds Arms Sellers for Upholding Defence Potential.

MOSCOW, June 5 (Itar-Tass) - Vice-Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov lauded 
Rosvooruzheniye, Promexport and other companies engaged in military-technical 
cooperation with foreign countries for their efforts to maintain the high 
potential of the Russian military-industrial complex. 

Klebanov, who is in charge of the defence industry, spoke after a meeting 
called by Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin on Saturday to discuss problems 
facing the defence sector. 

"Rosvooruzheniye, Promexport and other such companies are the backbone which 
supports the Russian military-industrial complex," he said. "We have to grow 
flesh on this backbone now." 

He called on these companies to "work eve more efficiently." Klebanov noted 
that the value of export contracts signed by the military-industrial complex 
at least doubles that of domestic contracts and defence enterprises preserve 
their potential mainly due to export operations. 


New York Times
June 6, 1999
[for personal use only]
Among Educated Russians, Relief Is Mixed With Suspicion of U.S.

MOSCOW -- When Genrikh Borovik was running the Novosti news agency's North 
American operations from New York in the late 1960s, he was a tough critic of 
the Vietnam War. His friends back in the Soviet Union saw it a bit 
differently: "America was a role model," he recalled last week. "There were 
plenty of emotions, sure. But at the same time, people said, 'Nevertheless, 
America is a very free place."' 

Thirty years and 180 degrees later, Borovik is a playwright and television 
anchor in Moscow, and a man with some sympathy for the United States' 
decision to join the war against Yugoslavia. 

And now he defends America to friends who believe the United States is bent 
on world domination -- and that Russia was its unwitting ally in the Kosovo 
peace accord. 

"Certainly, people would be much more satisfied if the bombing would stop," 
Borovik said. "But to Russians, the logic in 'We'll stop bombing if you leave 
your own country' is very difficult to understand." 

Those same conflicting senses -- relief that the war appears near its end 
mingled with suspicion of what many Russians see as the desire of the United 
States to impose its will on the weak -- were threads than ran through a 
conversation about Kosovo on Saturday with several well-educated Muscovites. 

Gathered at a dacha some 20 miles south of Moscow to celebrate St. Helen's 
Day -- observing saints' days has become something of a revived tradition 
here, following the end of Communist rule -- they alternated between 
penetrating comments on the accord and caustic comments about the United 
States' role in it. 

Lena Budnik, 45, a physicist at a Moscow institute, repeated what has become 
a cliche in some Moscow newspapers and journals: that the war over Kosovo was 
initiated by the Pentagon so that the U.S. military could test its advanced 
technology weapons. 

And she expressed puzzlement that Russia and Yugoslavia would agree to what 
she called "the NATO variant" of a peace plan. All that said, she 
nevertheless praised the Russian negotiator in the Kosovo peace talks, former 
Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin, as "a life saver." 

"Our side is not happy with this. The foreign minister has said he's not 
happy. But the fact that the bombing will be ended is already good," she 

Ms. Budnik mirrored what Borovik, the playwright, said is the prevailing view 
among Russians these days. 

"What is bothering people is not only that there is killing in Yugoslavia, 
but people understand that maybe the whole thing is happening because the 
U.S. is trying to show the world the new order for the 21st century," he said 
in an interview Friday evening. "People think the United States is the owner 
of the world." 

Another Russian at the dacha party, was Vadim Obertyshev, 42, is a successful 
businessman married to an American. He seemed to share Borovik's view of the 

"It's simply that the world is set up in such a way that the strong beat up 
the weak," Obertyshev said. "There's a double standard and the strong are 
always right." 

Obertyshev cast the peace negotiations as something of a diplomatic stage 
show -- a play in which "the main thing is for everyone to come out with 
their head held up high, and that's more or less what happened." 

"The West understands that it can't keep rubbing Russia's face in the dirt," 
he said, and so Russia occupied a central role in the talks. But "if they 
didn't want to agree," he added, "then Chernomyrdin wouldn't have been able 
to do anything." 

The visitors to the dacha were unanimous that Russian troops should go to 
Kosovo to enforce any final peace agreement, if only because the Serbs who 
remain there need a sympathetic hand. 

"There are always two sides in these things. There are the Serbs as well, and 
since the Serbs trust Russia, there should be Russian troops," said Alexei 
Knizhnikov, 39, an ecologist who is Ms. Budnik's brother. "We shouldn't rush 
to try to solve the problems of Kosovo. It doesn't matter at whose expense 
all this was agreed on, as long as we stop the bombing.' 

Obertyshev was insistent that the peacekeepers should be under United Nations 
command, and -- like most Russians and their media -- paid scant heed to the 
plight of the Kosovo Albanians driven from home by Serbian forces, focusing 
instead on the loss of Serbian lives. 

"NATO took on too much in this conflict," he said. "All of this should not 
have been started -- the bombing. It should have been decided by principles 
of the U.N." 

Perhaps NATO might have been justified had Yugoslav President Slobodan 
Milosevic invaded another country, he added, echoing another common view 

"He could have been influenced in hundreds of other ways," he said. "But to 
send hundreds of innocent people to the grave for nothing?" 


June 4 press summaries

Vremya MN publishes an interview with Media-Most general director Igor 
Malashenko under the headline "The Kremlin Seized by Siege Mentality". He 
explains why relations between the Kremlin and the NTV channel have worsened 
lately. He points out that "we have a dangerous situation in which 
unmotivated decisions are made. Not only society as a whole, but even 
informed people like you and me do not understand their logic. We understand 
this logic as it was interpreted in the Itogi program. We know from history 
that attempts to limit the decision-making process to a very small group of 
people always have a terrible result. The probability of an error grows 
dramatically. And if inside this group there are enough people, maybe not 
politically innocent but inexperienced, such a probability increases even 
more. These mistakes pose a threat not only to this group, but to the whole 


Jamestown Foundation Monitor
4 June 1999

leading Russian daily newspaper claimed today that it had gotten hold of a
plan for keeping Yeltsin in power after 2000: unifying Russia with Belarus
and turning the Russian Federation into something resembling a
confederation. "Today in the Kremlin they might be thinking: The more
large-scale the changes in the state system, the better. Better for
postponing elections, both parliamentary and presidential, better for the
creation of 'objectives' preconditions for Yeltsin remaining master of the
Kremlin after 2000." The newspaper gave no indication of how and where it
came across this plan (Kommersant, June 4).

The paper asked three notables to comment on the confederation
possibility--former Kremlin administration chief Sergei Filatov, former
deputy Kremlin administration chief Aleksandr Livshits and an anonymous
former presidential adviser. All three said that they think that the idea of
Yeltsin remaining in power after 2000 is a bad idea. Livshits and the
anonymous former Kremlin official both said that they never heard the idea
of using a confederation to secure Yeltsin a third term discussed while they
were in the Kremlin, and Livshits said it was unlikely to happen. Livshits
added, however, that it was impossible to imagine Yeltsin going into

Most interestingly, Filatov, who played an important role in Yeltsin's 1996
presidential race, said that the idea of a confederation was discussed then
as one way of keeping Yeltsin in the presidency. He said it ended up being
unnecessary because Yeltsin's main opponent, Gennady Zyuganov, proved to be

The report also cited former Kremlin administration chief Valentin Yumashev
as recalling that the first word that Yeltsin uttered after his 1996 heart
bypass operation was "Ukaz!" ("Decree!"). The head of state immediately
signed a decree handing his powers as head of state, which had been
transferred to then Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin for the duration of
the surgery, back to himself (Kommersant, June 4).

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Stepashin met with Belarus leader Alyaksandr
Lukashenka today in Minsk. Stepashin promised to apply maximum force to
completing the work on a "full-scale" treaty uniting Belarus with Russia.
"It is time to move from words to deeds," Stepashin was quoted as saying.
For his part, Lukashenka thanked Stepashin for focusing on relations with
Belarus and said that the new Russian government would continue former Prime
Minister Yevgeny Primakov's approach toward bilateral relations (Russian
agencies, June 4).

reporting concerning The Family has clearly not been motivated solely by
journalistic considerations, it is also clear that the Kremlin is taking
direct control of the main levers of state financial power. This state of
affairs seems to suit some, including privatization architect Anatoly
Chubais, who in the end managed to get some of his allies appointed to the
cabinet. During a press conference yesterday in Yekaterinburg, Chubais--who
now heads United Energy Systems--praised Yeltsin's recent actions, saying
the president had made a "risky but very competent maneuver" first in
picking a "political" government (Primakov's) following last August's crisis
and then replacing it with a "professional" one (Stepashin's). Chubais said
he believes that the new government has a "good future" and insisted that it
was picked not by "oligarchs," but by Yeltsin himself. Chubais said that
Yeltsin had yet again demonstrated his ability to "mobilize" in difficult
situations, and that the president was in full possession of his faculties.
Asked by reporters about the fact that some members of Right Cause, the
center-right coalition of which Chubais is a top member, view Stepashin's
government in a negative light, Chubais answered that the coalition will
"support" the government while not considering "its own" (Russian agencies,
June 3).

Another leading Russian figure gave his assessment of the Stepashin
government yesterday. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn said that it is "not yet clear
whether Stepashin controls his government, whether he will be given enough
power or whether he will be blocked at every turn." The Nobel Prize-winning
writer said that his view of the previous Primakov government was
"exceptionally positive," calling it "the first normal government in eight
years" that "slowly began to pull the country out of the abyss." Primakov's
dismissal, Solzhenitsyn said, was due to "intrigue-mongering schemes" and a
"crime." "There's somebody behind the scenes here today who is doing
something absolutely uncontrolled with our government and with the entire
course of life," he said, adding that Russia's present political system was
barring "Russia's path toward development" and pushing to disintegration. 

Solzhenitsyn repeated his critique of two years ago, saying that Russia has
"no democracy," but is instead ruled by an "oligarchy" consisting of "some
200 top members of the executive, legislative and judicial branches, and
financial tycoons" (Russian agencies, June 2).


Date: Fri, 4 Jun 1999 
From: "LINKS London Office" <> 
Subject: Moscow conference

Dear David Johnson,
Bruce Clark has suggested that we send you an e-mail outlining a conference
we are holding in Moscow on tuesday 8 June that will discuss issues facing
the North Caucasus. We would be grateful if this could be distributed via
your group list of interested people.
Many thanks
Richard Chambers

+ACI-Stability and Peaceful Development in the North Caucasus+ACI- is the
theme of a
one-day conference being organised in Moscow on Tuesday 8 June 1999. The
conference will consider the present situation in the region and the
prospects for creating the right conditions to resolve the current political
and economic problems.
Participants will include members of the Federation Council and State Duma
of the Russian Federation, representatives of Federal structures and the
governments of the North Caucasus republics and a number of local and
international experts on the region.
Amongst those taking part will be Nobel Peace Prize winner, Mikhail
Gorbachev. The President of the Republic of North Ossetia, Alexander
Zasokhov, will also be attending alongside a number of other political
leaders from the North Caucasus.
The conference is organised jointly by the Russian NGO +ADw-ADEPT+AD4-, the
International Foundation for Socio-Economic and Political Studies
Foundation+ACI-, and the London-based NGO +ADw-LINKS+AD4-. It will be
chaired by
Muharbek Aushev, the Chairman of the Group of North Caucasus MPs in the
Russian State Duma.
The contact person for the International Media is Richard Chambers at LINKS.
Telephone: +-44 7887 575792 or +-44 171 930 2001.
Alternatively contact ADEPT in Moscow on +-095 971 2827 or 292 8916.
The conference will open at 10.00am at Dom Soyuzov, Dmitrovka Str 1, Okhotni
Riad, Moscow.


The Economist
June 5, 1999
[for personal use only]
Letter from Robert Devane
Yeltsin’s legacy 

SIR—You are off-beam in your interpretation of Boris Yeltsin’s politics and 
its implications for Russia (“Boris Yeltsin’s latest gamble”, May 15th). His 
decision to sack the Primakov government was a thoroughly thought-out move 
prompted by the cabinet’s reversion to an autocratic form of administrative 
governance, and the resulting dangerous gathering of momentum in favour of 
communist-turned-nationalist forces. To suggest that Mr Yeltsin’s decision 
was “rash, foolish and pointlessly vindictive” is to miss the essence of his 
political mission for the rest of his term in office. 

Mr Yeltsin’s presidency has had its ups and downs but it is during its final 
year that his legacy will be determined. He understands that he can claim a 
place in history by setting Russia irreversibly on a path towards democracy 
and a market-based economy for the 21st century. The Primakov government was 
the greatest threat to that mission since 1993. Among other failings, it had 
made the Communist Party the “party of power”, had brought relations with the 
West to a post-Cold-War low, and allowed national and ethnic tensions to 
reach ominous highs. It had also failed to use its influence to stop Slobodan 
Milosevic’s policy of confrontation. 

Mr Primakov was no pillar of stability; under him stability had come to mean 
“no hope for improvement”. Once the immediate crisis of last autumn was over, 
his usefulness had expired. Mr Yeltsin’s decision to sack him was courageous. 



Ivanov Says World Faces Same Problems as Two Centuries Ago.

MOSCOW, June 5 (Itar-Tass) - On the threshold of the 21st century the world 
is facing the same moral problems that Russian poet Alexander Pushkin wrote 
about two centuries ago -- the fight between good and evil, the diktat of 
force, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said. 

"We, Russian diplomats, remember and are proud of the fact Alexander 
Sergeyevich Pushkin was our colleague and worked 12 years at the Russian 
Foreign Ministry," Ivanov said as he laid flours at a memorial plaque on the 
building that used to house the Moscow archive of Russia's Collegium of 
Foreign Affairs. 

He said poetry and diplomacy intertwined in the poet's life. Speaking about 
the situation in Yugoslavia, Ivanov stressed that the Balkan issue has 
reached great dimensions and is a direct result of NATO's aggression. 

"Everybody sees the hopelessness of attempts to solve regional problems as if 
from scratch, neglecting history," he said. 



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