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Johnson's Russia List


November 13, 1999    
This Date's Issues: 3622  3623  


Johnson's Russia List
13 November 1999

[Note from David Johnson:
1. Moscow Times: Jonas Bernstein: The Big Lie: Alive and Well.
4. Itar-Tass: Anti-Russia Hysteria Caused by Desire to Forget Kosovo.
5. Itar-Tass: Link Between Operation in Chechnya and next Polls Denied.

7. Laura Belin: Limonov on signature forging/3620.
8. Stanislav Menshikov: correct URL.
9. Washington Times: Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough, Missile terror II.
10. The New Republic editorial: Grudge Genocide.
11. AFP: Camdessus Maintains Hopes For Russia's Future.
12. AFP: Anti-western feeling grows in Russia over Chechnya.
13. Albert Weeks: Denisov on the Russian military.
14. Reuters: Russia fears losing to U.S. on Caspian oil.
15. St. Petersburg Times: Fyodor Gavrilov, Why Do We Long for That Soviet 

16. Segodnya: Spy Story or Historical Espionage? Employee of United States
and Canada Institute Accused of Giving Away Russian Missilemen's Secrets.

17. Moscow Times: Brian Whitmore, As Rumors Fly, Putin Prepares for 2000.


Moscow Times
November 13, 1999 
PARTY LINES: The Big Lie: Alive and Well 
By Jonas Bernstein 

While it was drowned out by the Chechnya crisis and the ongoing Kremlin power 
struggle, a relatively small but significant "blank spot" in Russia's recent 
history was cleared up this week. During an appearance on NTV's new program, 
"Vox Populi," Anatoly Chubais, who ran President Boris Yeltsin's 1996 
re-election campaign, was confronted by a pro-communist audience member. This 
man asked about the June 1996 arrest of two top Yeltsin campaign officials 
who were smuggling $538,000 out of the Russian White House in a 
photocopier-paper box. Where did the money come from, the hostile questioner 
asked, and what was it supposed to be used for? Chubais - ever true to 
himself - evaded the question, but did offer this: "As the Prosecutor General 
of Russia reports in an official letter, the money was transferred to the 
budget of the Russian Federation." 

Most reasonable observers at the time assumed the bucks in the Xerox box were 
a tiny part of the Yeltsin campaign's pool of illegal campaign funds, and 
Russian officials did, in fact, report later that the money had been turned 
over to the government (to go toward building orphanages or something of the 
sort). Back in June 1996, however, Chubais denied that the now-legendary 
Xerox box or its contents even existed. "I am deeply convinced that the 
so-called box with money is a traditional element of a traditional, 
Soviet-style KGB provocation," he pontificated shortly after his victory over 
the arresting authorities - the Presidential Security Service, then headed by 
Alexander Korzhakov. Immediately after defeating Korzhakov, Chubais held a 
press conference to herald the event as nothing less than a "victory for 
democracy" - winning applause (literally) from Western and Russian 

Now Chubais has confirmed that the so-called money inside the so-called Xerox 
box was real. While it might be tempting to thank him for correcting the 
record, it is more likely that he simply forgot about his earlier explanation 
- or assumed that everybody else had. 

Indeed, in watching Chubais and his leftist enemies this week excoriate one 
another and the systems they represent, it was striking how much they 
actually have in common. Such as a fondness for the Big Lie. 

The central role of the Big Lie in Russian politics explains why contemporary 
Russia-watching strongly resembles old-time Kremlinology, with its emphasis 
on reading between the lines. Just take the chronology of Prime Minister 
Vladimir Putin's relations with the Kremlin. In August, Yeltsin declares he 
has confidence in his new head of government and asks "those who go to the 
polls next July to be confident in him as well." The heir to the throne has 
been anointed - apparently. One fine day 2 1/2 months later, Kremlin 
spokesman Dmitry Yakushkin says "the question of a presidential heir does not 
stand now," shortly after which Yeltsin himself calls media claims that he 
has cooled on Putin "lies" and declares his "respect" for the prime minister. 
Several days later, Igor Shabdurasulov, first deputy Kremlin administration 
chief, says that while Yeltsin "is very impressed with Putin's performance," 
Cabinet "changes" may "arise" after December's Duma elections. 

So all this means that Putin is ... what? The head of state could clarify it, 
but he is now on vacation again at a country house just outside Moscow. 

But first place in the Orwell sweepstakes goes to Boris Berezovsky's media. 
Last weekend, they warned in unison that the Fatherland-All Russia bloc has 
dispatched agents to the West to undermine both Putin's reputation and his 
pet project, the Chechen war. This week, these same media charged that 
Grigory Yavlinsky's Chechnya cease-fire proposal has the same nefarious aims. 
At the same time, the Berezovsky media itself published some of the most 
damning material yet on the Chechen conflict - testimony from wounded 
soldiers that up to 70 percent of some Russian units in Chechnya have been 
killed or wounded. On top of this, two Berezovsky-controlled newspapers 
reported Friday that a headquarters for Putin's presidential bid, manned by 
Kremlin insiders, will be set up before year's end. Putin immediately denied 
it, but mission accomplished: Yeltsin, as everyone knows, doesn't like overly 
ambitious heirs. 

The message between the lines? That Putin, barring a systemic upheaval, is 
destined to become yet another ex-heir apparent.And that, until nature takes 
its course, an absent Boris Yeltsin will remain at the helm. 

And that may be the only truth in Russian politics. 



MOSCOW. Nov 12 (Interfax) - Head of Russian UES energy corporation
Anatoly Chubais has sharply criticized the peace plan for Chechnya
recently proposed by leader of liberal Yabloko movement Grigory
He told the Moscow press on Friday he was shocked by the proposals.
Chubais said that if implemented, the Yavlinsky plan "will not just stab
the Russian army in the back but help [Chechen president Aslan]
Maskhadov take militant gangsters beyond the boundaries of Chechnya and
hide them from justice."
"The Russian army is reviving in Chechnya, faith in the army is
growing and a politician who does not think so cannot be regarded a
Russian politician. In this case there is only one definition - a
traitor. And Yavlinsky's attempts to justify himself, to say that he was
misinterpreted do not change matters," Chubais said.



MOSCOW. Dec 12 (Interfax) - Krasnoyarsk region's Governor Alexander
Lebed has no intention to support any political party or coalition in
the election campaign for Russia's State Duma. In his Friday interview
with Interfax he said he has no regrets about taking no part in the Duma
election and no wish to support any political forces. 'The election
fight is taking on an ever dirtier character and that bodes no good,' he
Commenting on the fact that Russia's ex-premier and leader of the
'Fatherland - All Russia' election bloc Yevgeni Primakov took part in
opening the festival of the Krasnoyarsk region in Moscow, Lebed said
'This results from our stable good relations. Primakov did a lot for the
Krasnoyarsk region when he was Prime Minister, but his part in the
celebrations does not mean I will support his bloc at the Duma


Anti-Russia Hysteria Caused by Desire to Forget Kosovo.

MOSCOW, November 12 (Itar-Tass) - The anti-Russian hysteria, pumped up by 
some countries on the eve of the OSCE Istanbul summit, is caused by a strong 
desire "to forget and to push aside the Kosovo problem as soon as possible", 
said here on Friday first deputy head of the Russian president's staff Igor 
Shabdurasulov, speaking at the Ekho Moskvy radio. 

"They want to do this very much, but what's to be done, let us start from 
there (Eds: from Kosovo)," the deputy head added. 

He claimed that the fanning up of anti-Russian sentiments is caused by "the 
situation connected with political aspects in various countries or with their 
relations with Russia now". 

These interests, Shadburasulov added, "also make these countries to pursue 
common policy" towards Russia. 

"Regrettably, this present common trend is more negative with respect to 
Russia," he noted. "But we lived through different times. I believe that we 
shall overcome this one too." 

Speaking on Thursday at a meeting of the third committee of the U.N. General 
Assembly, dealing with human rights, representative of the Russian mission to 
the United Nations Alexander Zmeyevsky emphasised that "Russian servicemen 
now risk their lives for the sake of liberating Chechen people from terrorism 
and lawlessness". 

"Arbitrary executions, tortures, mass capture of hostages, rapes and slave 
trade, that is the most crude and mass violations of human rights on which 
the third commission is now centred, were committed too long and with 
impunity in and outside Chechnya," the Russian diplomat noted. 

Following the armed invasion by gangs into Dagestan, Zmeyevsky continued, and 
brutal mass murders of innocent people in Moscow, Volgodonsk and Buinaksk, 
Russia "clearly saw the need to protect democracy as well as law and order in 
the country from 'aggression' of shock forces of international terrorism". 

"We had no other alternative," Zmeyevsky stressed. bur/ 


Link Between Operation in Chechnya and next Polls Denied.

MOSCOW, November 12 (Itar-Tass) - Deputy head of the presidential 
administration Igor Shabdurasulov has categorically turned down any attempts 
to link the anti-terrorist operation in Chechnya with the forthcoming 
elections in Russia. It is blasphemous to link an operation to liquidate 
terrorists and bandits in Chechnya and Vladimir Putin's position on this 
problem with imaginary campaigning connected with the next presidential 
elections, Shabdurasulov said. 

Shabdurasulov noted that the Russian leadership had not set concrete dates 
for ending the operation in Chechnya. "We shall continue the operation as 
long as need be," Shabdurasulov stressed. 

Russia's military command has tightened control over the real situation 
during the operation. A strict order has been issued to give maximum 
assistance to the peaceful population and reduce to a minimum losses among 
army servicemen and casualties among peaceful civilians, Shabdurasulov said. 



MOSCOW. Nov 12 (Interfax) - The correlation of air forces between
NATO and Russia in the west of the country is 7:1 in quantity and 4:1 in
quality, Russian Air Force Commander-in-Chief Anatoly Kornukov has told
"The geopolitical state of the Russian Air Force is depressing," he
He said that at the time of the collapse of the USSR the air force
had a fleet of over 10,000 aircraft. In 1992 Russia inherited 62% of it.
"Calculations indicate that with poor financing the fleet may shrink by
25% more," he said.
The network of airdromes was slashed 50% after the collapse of the
Soviet Union, he said. Besides, 40% of airfields "are in critical
condition and require fundamental repairs," Kornukov said.
He said that a powerful NATO military force is approaching the
Russian border. The combat component of the grouping may be increased
from 48 to 62 ground divisions at the expense of Hungary, Poland, the
Czech republic and Slovakia. The joint NATO air fleet will raise by 17%
and the helicopter fleet 13%. Besides, it is getting 285 well-equipped
To keep the Russian Air Force in due shape, financing should be
raised by at least 10%, Kornukov said. "Under present conditions and in
the foreseeable future Russia's national security and defense cannot be
guaranteed without a strong Air Force formed through the merger of the
old air force and air defense," he said.


Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1999 
From: "Laura Belin" <> 
Subject: Limonov on signature forging/3620

Forgery of signatures on petitions for candidates seeking office has been a
serious problem in Russia, and it wouldn't surprise me if the practice
remains widespread. However, Eduard Limonov is wrong to say that most of the
blocs registered for the Duma elections "have bought a computer database of
citizens' names and signatures for copying by their activists into
registration petitions." (JRL 3620)

Most of the 28 blocs on the ballot did not bother to collect signatures,
because the electoral law no longer requires them to submit 200,000
signatures in order to gain registration. The revised electoral law allows
political parties and movements to submit a monetary deposit instead, which
they will lose if they gain less than three percent of the party-list vote
on 19 December. Most of the tiny electoral blocs took advantage of the new

More detailed information about how specific groups registered for the
ballot can be found in the 12 November issue of "RFE/RL Russian Election
Report" (


Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1999 
From: (Stanislav Menshikov)
Subject: PLEASE POST - error in my message

I am getting messages from JRL subscribers complaining that they are not
able to open my article on Scenarios of the Russian Military-Industrial
Complex on my homepage.

In my posting I inadvertedly made an error in the address. The correct
address is


Washington Times
November 12, 1999
[for personal use only]
Inside The Ring
By Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough
Missile terror II

Outrage is growing inside the Pentagon over the refusal of the Clinton
administration and private peace groups to
condemn ongoing Russian ballistic missile attacks against the Chechen
capital of Grozny. We reported earlier in this
space how Pentagon satellites tracked two short-range missiles that hit a
crowded market and a nearby maternity ward
Oct. 21, killing 143 persons.

Now comes word that the Pentagon has tracked 61 Russian short-range
ballistic-missile attacks on Chechnya since Sept.
30 when Russian military forces began large-scale military attacks on
Chechen rebels.

The missiles have carried high-explosive warheads -- no chemical munitions
have been detected and all originated from
a single base: Russia's Mozdok air base some 60 miles northeast of Grozny.
They included SS-21s and longer-range
Scud Bs. One particularly deadly missile strike occurred early Sunday when
six SS-21 Scarabs were launched and landed in and around Grozny.

The missile attacks on civilian targets are viewed by the Pentagon as
terrorist strikes because of their inaccuracy. The
target circle of a Scud B -- the area where a launched missile is likely to
land -- is 10 city blocks and that for the SS-21
is one block.

A senior Pentagon official told us he is disgusted that not only is the
pro-Moscow Clinton administration silent, but leftist
peace groups are as well.

"Where's Greenpeace on this atrocity? Where's Doctors Without Borders?
Where's the Union of Concerned Scientists?" the official said.

"Why is the Clinton administration silent?" he said. "The National Security
Council knows this. Why is the Clinton
administration saying nothing about people launching ballistic missiles on a
capital? If the United States did this, there would be an outrage."

Strobe Talbott, the deputy secretary of state, has been briefed on the
missile attacks but has done nothing and said nothing
to the Russians to stop it. "Why isn't he saying anything to the Russians to
stop this atrocious outrage?" the official said.


The New Republic
November 29, 1999
[for personal use only]
Grudge Genocide 

"You and I live in the East, not the West," Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin 
jingoistically told a Russian audience recently. "We have to decide for 
ourselves what we want: to get credits to buy lollipops or agree to an 
annexation of our territory from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea." Putin was 
defending the Russian war on Chechnya against Western criticism. It was more 
than a little unsettling to hear the cheap vocabulary of reactionary 
nationalism from the leader of Boris Yeltsin's government--the same 
government that has been protesting for most of a decade that it lives in the 
West, not the East. The long-suffering suits at the International Monetary 
Fund will be interested to hear of the Russian government's loss of interest 
in lollipops.

In truth, Putin's belligerent outburst was nothing but the rankest cynicism. 
It is not lost upon the prime minister that he is profiting politically from 
the atrocity in the Caucasus (he scored a magnificent 29 percent in last 
week's poll about presidential candidates); and it is not lost upon anyone 
else that he is now at the mercy of Russia's generals. The new Russian 
assault on Chechnya has brought together many of the most alarming traits of 
the new Russia, and one of them is the increasingly agitated state of the 
Russian military. The "officer corps of Russia will not stand for another 
slap in the face," the commander of the Russian forces in western Chechnya 
resentfully told a Russian newspaper. He was referring to the Russian army's 
defeat in Chechnya in 1994-1996, when 6,000 Russian soldiers were killed and 
Russian forces were driven ignominiously out of the land of the Chechens by 
warriors straight out of Tolstoy. The Russian generals explain that defeat 
(which also killed 50,000 Chechens) with a stab-in-the-back theory about the 
Russian politicians. The soldiers could have won, but the Kremlin lost its 
nerve. This time, the general in western Chechnya warned, the consequence of 
an order from the Kremlin to "stop the army ... would be a massive defection 
of officers of all ranks from the armed forces, including the generals."

This is a situation, then, with all sorts of foul historical odors. And the 
wasting of Chechnya--for that is what is taking place before our eyes--is 
something new in the annals of modern atrocity: a grudge genocide, or 
something close. "We're not going to let the brotherhood down," a Russian 
soldier in Chechnya ominously announced on television. "The [Chechens] have a 
blood vendetta. So do we." The objective of the Russian campaign is total 
victory. Chechnya is to remain in Russia no matter how many Chechens have to 
die. Savagery is the Russian strategy: the slow Russian advance into Chechnya 
was prepared by a vicious air and artillery assault. At first the Russians 
pretended that the campaign was designed to prevent the loss of civilian 
life, but Putin admitted on October 31 that there "might have been some 
mistakes" during the bombings. Grozny--the capital of the Chechen republic, 
where the democratically elected government of Aslan Maskhadov sits--is now 
besieged. The Russians have opened and closed and opened the border between 
Chechnya and Ingushetia capriciously, producing 200,000 refugees. On November 
9, Russia banned foreign trade with Chechnya and suspended foreign flights to 
the region, isolating the bloodied republic even more. The area has long been 
too perilous for humanitarian workers, but the reports from the refugees 
describe a terrible slaughter. With the exception of Grigory Yavlinsky, the 
leader of the liberal Yabloko Party, the actions of the Russian government 
have provoked no Russian dissent. And negotiations are out of the question, 
according to the Kremlin. "While he supports terrorists," the Russian prime 
minister said of the Chechen president, "it is unlikely that anyone will talk 
to him." By "terrorists," Putin means Chechens.

"The Chechen people have huge hopes that the United States will use its 
authority to defend human rights." That melancholy sentence was uttered by 
Maskhadov on November 7, as reported by the Interfax news agency. The poor 
president had better reconcile himself to low hopes. For the Clinton 
administration does not defend human rights in big countries. It has 
protested this and that about the Russian depravity in Chechnya: the State 
Department objected that the Russian attacks have been "indiscriminate," and 
also that they violate the Geneva Conventions. But foreign policy, remember, 
is not social work. Also, the Clinton administration has a near-mystical 
belief in the Yeltsin government, even though it is headed by a near-dead 
man. There is no evidence to date that the United States will respond to the 
Russian crime by curtailing any aid or cooperation at all. Is the Russian 
offensive in Chechnya an internal Russian affair? Of course it is, in the way 
that the Yugoslav offensive in Kosovo was an internal Yugoslav affair. But 
this time Milosevic-like deeds by Milosevic's allies will provoke only 
scolding followed by winking. Even if we do live in the West, not the East.


Camdessus Maintains Hopes For Russia's Future

PARIS, Nov 12, 1999 -- (Agence France Presse) Soon-to-retire IMF chief Michel 
Camdessus expressed guarded optimism Friday about the future of Russia.

Russians had reacted dolefully to news that Camdessus, who has been deeply 
involved in International Monetary Fund negotiations with Moscow, was to step 

In an interview with the French Catholic daily La Croix, Camdessus said he 
believed Russia "can still get off on a good footing, provided strong 
figureheads emerge from the December legislative elections and from the 
presidential elections in June 2000."

"What annoys me is that so many people look only at corruption in Russia and 
forget that there are many honest citizens working hard to help their country 
get back on its feet," he added.

"We have to support these people in the face of everything, and that is what 
we are doing," Camdessus said.

Russians said the IMF leader's decision to step down was bad news for Russia. 
Moscow fears a new chief might undermine Camdessus' generous Russia program.

Moscow has run up debts of $17 billion to the IMF since Camdessus began 
guiding Russia's post-Soviet reform efforts shortly after assuming office 13 
years ago. 


Anti-western feeling grows in Russia over Chechnya

MOSCOW, Nov 12 (AFP) - 
Foreign pressure and criticisms over the war in Chechnya have inflamed 
anti-western feeling in Russia, where the vast majority of the population 
unreservedly backs Moscow's bloody military operations there.

Russian newspapers have accused western countries of starting an 
"anti-Russian campaign" and being "provocative", criticising France in 
particular for welcoming the "foreign minister" of the breakaway republic.

"The French have sat down at the negotiating table with the terrorists," the 
daily Izvestia said, denouncing the talks in Paris on Tuesday between a top 
official of the French foreign ministry and Chechenya's Ilias Akhmadov.

Western criticism has amplified in recent days. On Monday, the US accused 
Russia of violating the Geneva conventions by its actions in Chechnya while 
France on Tuesday said the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in 
Europe (OSCE) would exert strong pressure on Russia at its summit in Istanbul 
on November 18-19.

Meanwhile an OSCE representive in Ingushetia said Wednesday that Chechnya was 
not an internal Russian problem.

"The west has no right to preach morality to us over Chechnya. When it suits 
them, they bomb Iraq or Yugoslavia, killing civilians as well as soldiers," 
said Vassili, a 40-year-old Muscovite.

According to an opinion poll by the Regional Politics Institute on Thursday, 
60 percent of Russians said they believed there should be no negotiations 
with the Chechen leaders, and 51 percent said they believed in a military 

Calls for talks by the United States and an offer of mediation by the OSCE 
were rejected by Moscow and raised indignation in the press.

"The US decided that it was time to interfere directly in Russia's internal 
affairs, said Dmitry Gornostaev, a foreign policy commentator for the 
influential daily Nezavissimaya Gazeta, which is close to the Kremlin.

The daily Segodnia, close to Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov, said it was 
"stupefying to see Washington showing concern for international law after not 
long ago it was bombing a sovereign country, Yugoslavia."

The NATO attacks on Yugoslavia last March-April caused strong anti-western 
feeling in Russia, with demonstrations in front of the US embassy and 
threatening statements by political and military officials.

The anger had since cooled, although many Russians still thought that the 
western powers, and the US in particular, were intent on dominating the world 
to the detriment of Russian interests.

Russia began its military operations in Chechnya on October 1, accusing it of 
harbouring Islamic terrorists, charged with staging a bombing campaign that 
killed 293 people in Russia in August-September. Islamists last summer also 
organised two rebellions in the Dagestan republic, which borders on Chechnya 
in the Russian Caucasus.


Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1999 
From: Albert Weeks <> 
Subject: Denisov on the Russian military

Writing on Interfax (JRL #3619), Igor Denisov raises
the question of military involvement in Russian policy-making.
This is a nostalgic question. During the cold War, it was repeatedfly 
alleged by Western Sovietologists that "civilian control 
over the military in Moscow" was a long Soviet and Russian "tradition," 
that this tradition meant that sensible civilians would check the 
brasshats. Alas, a comforting thought. 
But Russian and Soviet history has shown quite the opposite. 
For what is overlooked in this sanguine view of Russian politico-military 
culture is the deeply ingrained Russian penchant (likewise tradition) 
going back centuries of blithely resorting to arms to solve questions
of self-determination relating to Russia's borders or to non-Russian
populations at the fringes. 

How many examples of this intolerant Russian behavior over the past 85
and years before under the tsars, up to and including latterday incursions
the Caucasus, Afghanistan, riverine territory on the Sino-Soviet border, 
the Baltics, Japanese Islands, etc., need to be reproduced
for observers finally to perceive this as a deeply-running Russian
Russian behavior towards Chechnya and Moscow's jealous preoccupation
with the oil pipeline that traverses that tragedy-ridden, largely Muslim 
territory is quite predictable. As are the perennial quests in Chechnya for
Chechen independence that continue to fall on deaf ears just as they did in
both Russian capitals before and after 1917.

It seems to me that it is not a question of "civilian control" in Moscow or
of the military "getting out of hand" at the center. What we are witnessing
is simply the 
long-established Russian, "hyphenated" phenomenon of politico-military 
thinking and collaboration that has colored violent-prone Russian history 
for hundreds of years. And which, sadly, is likely to continue to do so
for many years to come. 


ANALYSIS-Russia fears losing to U.S. on Caspian oil
By Sebastian Alison

MOSCOW, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Russian Defence Minister Igor Sergeyev's claim on 
Friday that the U.S wants a weak Russia and to dominate the Caucasus reflects 
growing Russian anger that the U.S. is winning the race to control Caspian 
oil, analysts said. 

Sergeyev said U.S. and NATO policy towards Russia was of ``weakening its 
international position and ousting it from strategically important regions of 
the world, above all the Caspian region, the TransCaucasus and Central 

Oil and gas are the economic lifeblood of the Caspian basin, and oil exports 
from the region have traditionally moved by pipeline across the Caucasus and 
through Russia's rebel region of Chechnya to Russian ports on the Black Sea. 

This gave Russia effective control over the region. But since the end of 
Soviet power in 1991, the new Caspian states have been trying to secure their 
independence from Russia by seeking new export routes. 

The United States has given them enthusiastic support, to Russia's 
undisguised dismay. 

The U.S. has for years employed a special adviser to the President on Caspian 
energy issues, whose main function is to persuade governments and companies 
in the region of the desirability of building export routes avoiding Russia 
and Iran. 

``One of the key tenets of U.S. energy policy is to prevent dependence of 
Central Asia and the TransCaucasus on Russia, and to allow them independence 
not only politically but economically,'' Stephen O'Sullivan, head of research 
at United Financial Group in Moscow, said. 

``Obviously transport routes are part of this.'' 

He added that U.S. interests in the region included energy and general 
political stability, ``but the political stability is only important because 
energy routes transit the region.'' 


Russia has suffered significant setbacks in recent months. 

At the beginning of the year, Russian crude oil pipeline monopoly Transneft 
effectively lost control of the main crude pipeline running across Chechnya 
from Baku in Azerbaijan to the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk, and was forced 
to close it. 

It attempted to limit the damage by moving oil by rail through Dagestan, 
which neighbours Chechnya, and last month began building a new pipeline there 
bypassing Chechnya. 

But while Azerbaijan has agreed to export a certain volume of oil every year 
across Russia, it has so far failed to agree to commit any extra volumes 
through the new line, making it a potential white elephant. 

In April a pipeline opened from Azerbaijan to the Georgian Black Sea coast, 
allowing Azerbaijan's main foreign producer, a consortium led by BP Amoco, to 
avoid Russia altogether. 

And persistent diplomatic pressure from the U.S. Caspian energy adviser, John 
Wolf, appears to be paying off. 

In a major about-turn, BP Amoco said last month it supported a main export 
pipeline from Azerbaijan and the Caspian which would run to Ceyhan on 
Turkey's Mediterranean coast, a key U.S. aim which incidentally ensures main 
exports will avoid Russia. 

On top of this, the U.S. is also urging that Turkey should receive natural 
gas from Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan by a pipeline running under the Caspian 

Russia sees this as undermining its own project to supply gas by a pipeline 
from Russia running under the Black Sea. 

Analyst Julian Lee of the Centre for Global Energy Studies in London said 
Sergeyev's belief that the U.S. was trying to weaken it was justified. 

``The Russian attitude is very understandable. There is a genuine desire (by 
the U.S.) to make sure that Russia doesn't have a stranglehold over 
hydrocarbon exports from the Caspian.'' 

``This is not necessarily because Russia is a bad business partner, but more 
because the U.S. is keen to see the development of independent states between 
Russia and Iran.'' 

O'Sullivan said no regional country was deliberately looking to keep Russia 
from acting as a regional power, but by supporting other routes they were 
diminishing its influence. 

``U.S. policy is not necessarily opposed to Russia, but it actually does 
oppose Russia because of what it's saying.'' 


St. Petersburg Times
November 12, 1999
Why Do We Long for That Soviet Salad?
By Fyodor Gavrilov

AT least once a year I ask myself: Who do I hate more - the last Rus sian 
tsar, Nikolai Roma nov, or the founder of the Bolshevik empire, Vladimir Ulya 
nov? In looking for the answer to this question, I am provoked by the yearly 
celebrations that take place on Nov. 8 of the Communist revolution in 
Petrograd, which, I would like to remind you all, took place in the Fall of 
1917. In recent years this date has been fixed in the calendar as the Day of 
Re con ciliation. Alas, there's no reconciliation to be seen.

Although many of the crimes of the Communist regime have been described in 
detail, they have not been judged - neither lawfully or morally. Gov. 
Vladimir Yakovlev (Luzhkov, Nazdratenko, Rutskoi etc.) does not divide people 
into "red" and "white," or so a propaganda leaflet tells us. The pages of 
investigative magazines such as Ogonyok had hardly begun to burn in dacha 
ovens before society was already longing for cheap Soviet sausage, for the 
artists of the so-called "Soviet stage," and for various rituals from Soviet 

Chronological nostalgia for Soviet times (i.e. for a stable way of life) 
began after the formal end of the war of society (of society as a whole or 
just of the active part - this issue isn't quite clear to me) in the Fall of 
1993. It probably began because there was a demand for it, and continued so 
the demand could be met, which is natural in capitalist conditions. The 
innocent "nostalgic" trade lay at the foundation of the current "centralism." 
A material symbol for nostalgia for the "good old USSR" appeared - the 
traditional dish of Soviet cuisine, the "Olivier" salad, a cheap mix of 
pieces of boiled potato and meat, green peas and pickles; this mix is 
garnished with mayonnaise. And, of course, demagoguery.

Every year on Nov. 7, television channels show films about the revolution, 
sometimes anti-communist films, but more often than not pro-communist. Quite 
honestly, I can't understand how we are supposed to eat our dinner in front 
of this Soviet rubbish about Red commissars fighting for the happiness of the 
working people. Don't we feel sorry for the people whom the commissars 
killed? Don't we feel sorry for the commissars themselves, who were executed 
not long afterwards? The situation with anti-communism is somewhat better. In 
Russia, monarchism makes a good final ingredient to the ideological Olivier 
salad: fake aristocracy, operatic Russian orthodoxy, some Cossacks in 
uniforms and with awards from Tsarist times.

All this amoral clowning around on the post-Soviet "Day of Reconciliation" 
hides a bitter fact: the amount of coming to terms with the past is minimal - 
rather it is obvious that it has not yet even begun. To this day, the main 
issues of economic, political and spiritual life in Russia are still 
undecided. Agrarian reform has not been finished, we don't know what to do 
with the "nationals," the proletariat is cold, the intelligentsia is hungry, 
the army is ineffective, the government administration is in chaos, and so 
on, and so on. This is why reading a stenogram from the State Duma in Tsarist 
times makes a strong impression - with rare exception, they discussed there 
the problems that we should be solving today.

Who really led Russia to this dead end? Vla di mir Ulyanov. Who allowed 
Vladimir Ulyanov to begin his experiment? Wasn't it Nikolai Romanov? Which of 
them is guilty, who should we blame more? What we are reconciling ourselves 
with on Nov. 7? After all, to forgive someone you have to understand them, as 
the French say.


11 November 1999
[translation for personal use only]
Article by Stepan Krivosheyev plus report by Aleksey
Makarkin under heading: "Spy Story
or Historical Espionage? Employee of United States and
Canada Institute Accused of Giving
Away Russian Missilemen's Secrets"

Today Russian counterintelligence officers are
increasingly frequently encountering foreign special
services' recruitment of people in
"peaceful" professions -- employees of scientific
establishments and ecological organizations
-- to gather secret information. Candidate of Historical
Sciences Igor Sutyagin, deputy chief of
the Military-Technical Research Department of the Institute
of the United States and Canada,
was charged recently with espionage and divulging state
secrets (Article 275 of the Russian
Criminal Code). Staffers of the Kaluga Oblast Federal
Security Service [FSB] Directorate
Investigation Department, who have instituted criminal
proceedings against Sutyagin,
assume that the academic had been passing secret information
on Russian missile units to
foreign special services for several months.

Igor Sutyagin was detained in his own apartment in Obninsk
at the end of October, at the
very moment when he was intending to travel to Moscow to
work (it is noteworthy that the
academic was to have flown to Italy the next day for some
conference). The Kaluga
counterintelligence officers took him to the local detention
center and greeted Irina, the
academic's wife, when she returned home in the evening, with
words about her husband's
arrest and an offer for her to be present during the search.
She maintains that the three task
force members were particularly interested in her husband's
work records and computer.

The FSB task force members left after packing all the papers
into five large cardboard boxes
and taking with them the computer's system unit and the
academic's personal notebooks and
manuscripts. A few hours later Irina learned that the search
in Obninsk was only the first
part of the operation. Soon after the historian's arrest the
task force members visited an
apartment on Bryansk Street in Moscow, which had been rented
by Josh Handler, a U.S.
ecologist who has been acquainted with Sutyagin for almost
10 years and has repeatedly
turned to him for assistance.

Segodnya's correspondent learned yesterday what happened in
the apartment on Bryansk
Street from a letter received in the editorial office from
Josh Handler himself (it had been
written several days after the search). The U.S. ecologist
maintains that the "agents"
explained to him that they had come to him "in connection
with Criminal Case No. 52"
instituted by the Kaluga FSB Directorate against Igor
Sutyagin. After spending seven hours in
the American's apartment, the counterintelligence officers
took away with them Handler's
personal notebooks, a camera, "120 photographs, developed
and undeveloped films, video
tapes, visiting cards, maps," a portable notebook computer,
and answering machine cassettes
-- the search record left with the academic took up 13
pages. At the same time, so Josh
Handler writes, one of the counterintelligence officers
advised him, on leaving, "not to
approach the embassy."

Unlike the fate of Captain Nikitin or the journalist Pasko,
the affair of the arrest of Igor
Sutyagin and the search of the U.S. ecologist's apartment
has not elicited such a fuss.
Surprisingly, even the historian's colleagues at the
Institute of the United States and Canada
do not comment too readily on his being detained and
charged. They declared in a telephone
conversation with Segodnya's correspondent that Igor
Sutyagin had worked at the institute
since 1988 and mainly tackled problems of nuclear
disarmament. Admittedly, the institute's
staffers are sure that there was no secret information in
the documents to which the
academic had access, but our correspondent was told by the
Kaluga FSB Directorate that,
according to the available information, the historian had
been passing information about
missile units -- information containing state secrets -- to
foreign special services.

I do not know what Vladimir Vaseltsov, the Russian
academic's attorney, thinks about this: In
a telephone conversation with our correspondent he declined
to comment, declaring that
"such a conversation may harm the defendant's interests."
Josh Handler is sure, in turn, that
"they want to do the same thing to him (Sutyagin -- editor's
note) as they did to Nikitin and
Pasko: They select someone who had too many contacts with
Western people and who does
interesting work and try to stop this work." Retired
high-ranking counterintelligence officers,
who wished to preserve their anonymity, are sure that the
arrest of Sutyagin is nothing but
an attempt to obtain from him the information necessary to
bring a charge against the
American, for whom preventive restrictions have not yet been
prescribed. [Krivosheyev

[Makarkin report] The Russian Academy of Sciences Institute
of the United States and
Canada was founded in 1967 by Academician Georgiy Arbatov,
who headed it right up until
1995, when he was replaced by Doctor of Historical Sciences
Sergey Rogov (Academician
Arbatov now holds the post of honorary director). The
institute is one of the main centers
that draws up recommendations for high-ranking state
structures relating to questions of
domestic, foreign, and military policy and problems of the
economic restructuring of the
Russian national economy.

The institute employs 243 people, including 172 scientific
associates, of whom one is an
academician, 36 are doctors of sciences, and 75 are
candidates of sciences. There are retired
officers of the special services among the institute's
employees. For example, KGB Colonel
Radomir Bogdanov, now deceased, who earlier held the post of
the KGB's resident agent in
India, was for many years the institute's deputy director.

The institute's academics conduct military-strategic
research in close cooperation with
representatives of the Russian Armed Forces. This sphere of
research includes study of the
U.S. approach to the problem of using armed forces and
policy in the sphere of disarmament
and of conventional and nuclear arms limitation. The
institute's specialists also study the
political role of armed forces, military doctrines and
blueprints, international aspects of
various military actions, questions of NATO expansion, and
measures to maintain stability.

The institute's employees prepare materials for state
structures in the form of memorandums
or analytical reports (they differ in the volume and depth
of "immersion" in a topic).
According to some data, some of the institute's employees
work with "closed" information.
Until the early nineties most of the institute's scientific
output had varying degrees of secrecy
or confidentiality, but the situation has changed since then
and the number of classified
documents has fallen substantially.


Moscow Times
November 13, 1999 
As Rumors Fly, Putin Prepares for 2000 
By Brian Whitmore
Staff Writer

With rumors swirling around Moscow that he is about to be sacked, Prime 
Minister Vladimir Putin reiterated Friday that he will run for president in 

Also on Friday, Putin met with Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov, one of the 
Kremlin's most bitter enemies, to discuss Russia's political situation and 
the 2000 federal budget, Interfax reported. It was the second time in as many 
days that Putin had met with Luzhkov, who together with former Prime Minister 
Yevgeny Primakov heads the opposition bloc Fatherland-All Russia. 

Primakov publicly expressed support for Putin on Friday and said somebody was 
"trying to create a smoke screen to carry out certain steps" against the 
prime minister, Interfax reported. 

The developments could indicate that yet another political shake-up is 

Putin's announcement that he plans to run for president is a repeat of a 
pledge he made in August when President Boris Yeltsin named the sullen ex-KGB 
spy as his fifth prime minister in 17 months - and his preferred successor. 
Then, however, Putin was clearly speaking with Yeltsin's blessing. Now, the 
president's sentiments are less clear and Putin's position looks increasingly 

A political unknown when Yeltsin plucked him out of obscurity three months 
ago, Putin has since seen his popularity soar - mostly on the wings of the 
military campaign he has orchestrated in Chechnya. Putin now enjoys strong 
support among the military and security services, and polls show him as 
Russia's leading presidential candidate. 

But recently, Moscow has been rife with speculation that Putin has fallen out 
of favor with Yeltsin - who has fired four prime ministers since March 1998 - 
and will soon be sacked. Some press reports suggested that Putin was simply 
becoming too popular for the mercurial Yeltsin, who jealously guards his 
power. Others claimed that Western governments were pressuring Moscow to end 
the war in Chechnya, a move that would seriously undermine Putin's 
credibility and public standing. 

Last month, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Yakushkin said it would be "premature" 
to consider Putin as Yeltsin's successor. 

Speculation about Putin's imminent demise increased Thursday when the Kremlin 
made a surprise announcement that it was ready for peace talks in Chechnya - 
and apologized to Chechen civilians for "mistakes" that were made in the war. 
At the time, Putin was away in Izhevsk celebrating the 80th birthday of 
Mikhail Kalashnikov, the inventor of the AK-47 assault rifle. 

Putin's spokesman, Mikhail Kozhukhov, said Friday "there is no reason" for 
the prime minister to be removed. He also said Putin expected to remain prime 
minister until the end of Yeltsin's term. 

But Alexander Zhilin, a well-connected political and military analyst for the 
weekly newspaper Moskovskiye Novosti, said powerful Kremlin insiders, 
including tycoon Boris Berezovsky and Yeltsin's daughter Tatyana Dyachenko, 
fear and distrust Putin and are scheming to get him sacked. 

The newspaper Kommersant, which Berezovsky owns, ran a front-page story 
Friday describing in detail how Putin is putting together a campaign staff 
that includes Kremlin and government officials. 

Analysts said the report looked suspiciously like an attempt by Berezovsky to 
sabotage Putin by making his presidential ambitions clear to the notoriously 
jealous Yeltsin. 

Putin said Friday that he was indeed planning to run for president, although 
he denied that he was using government resources or personnel in his 

"There can be no election headquarters within the government," he was quoted 
as saying by Interfax. "As for my presidential candidacy, I was asked the 
question on my first day of work in the government and I said yes. As you 
know, I do not go back on my word." 

Putin's lack of support among Russia's powerful financial-industrial groups 
and his inability to influence the country's lucrative state-owned 
enterprises make him particularly vulnerable. 

This was starkly illustrated in September when Putin was unable to prevent 
the firing of Dmitry Savelyev, head of Russia's state-owned oil pipeline 
company, Transneft. Savelyev was ousted in a much-publicized coup 
orchestrated by First Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai Aksyonenko, a Berezovsky 
ally, while Putin was out of Moscow. 

"Putin is prime minister only on paper," said Nikolai Petrov of the Moscow 
Carnegie Center. "He is playing a largely symbolic role and is not really a 
strong independent player. This was clearly demonstrated by the situation 
with Transneft. He would be easy to replace." 

Putin, however, has been trying to fight back by courting Russia's military 
and security services. 

"Putin has turned to the military and security services for support," 
military analyst Alexander Pikayev said. "He is limited in his political base 
and doesn't have the complete support of the Yeltsin administration." 

Putin vowed Friday to provide more money to Russia's cash-starved armed 
forces to make them more powerful and effective, Itar-Tass reported. Putin 
already increased military spending by $387 million for this year and his 
2000 budget calls for another increase of $1 billion. Next year, Russia's 
proposed military budget will be $5.57 billion. 

And the military - at least the part that is active in Chechnya - has 
responded in kind. 

"I would say that [Putin] is today a symbol behind which many people march. I 
am in the first rank, without a doubt," Reuters quoted General Vladimir 
Shamanov, who commands Russia's forces in the Caucasus, as saying. "All 
Russians are sick of the fact that Russia is humiliated, insulted and asking 
for handouts." 

"A large part of the military establishment sees Putin as a guarantee that 
the war in Chechnya will continue, that the military budget will increase and 
that Russia will take a more assertive stand abroad,'' said Pikayev. ''For a 
long time the military has been dissatisfied with what it sees as Yeltsin's 
weak foreign policy. Putin's style and behavior contrast with this sharply.'' 

Meanwhile, relations between Putin and Fatherland-All Russia - the Kremlin's 
chief political opponent - seem to have warmed considerably. 

Earlier this week, NTV television suggested that Putin could join forces with 
Primakov and Luzhkov if fired. 



MOSCOW. Nov 12 (Interfax) - Leader of Fatherland-All Russia
coalition Yevgeny Primakov regrets having agreed to become prime
minister in autumn 1998 and has not decided whether he will run for
president next year.
He said he accepted the Cabinet offer after declining it five
times. "Evidently my common sense failed me and I was taken away by
emotion," he admitted in an interview with Moskovsky Komsomolets
published on Friday.
Primakov said he was undecided about the 2000 presidential race.
However, in his opinion age is no obstacle. "I am 70 and I do not
conceal it. I want to wish all young people to live to this age and
remain energetic," he said.
To prove he had no presidential ambitions at the time of his
premiership, Primakov said that two weeks after appointment President
Boris Yeltsin invited him to "think about strategic matters" and said he
saw Primakov "at the highest post in the country."
"I answered that I was not ready for the conversation. Was not
ready and did not want to have it," Primakov said.
He sharply criticized Yeltsin's entourage. "He [Yeltsin] is under
the influence of the one-sided information which he is getting from his
inner circle. This information is not objective," Primakov said.
In his opinion, when he was prime minister "the presidential
administration purposefully worked" against him. On his relationship
with administration chief Alexander Voloshin Primakov said: "Voloshin is
a person who, it seems to me, has largely harmed the country because he
concentrated on the task of setting the president against the prime
minister. By the way, he was reprimanded for that in my presence by
Boris Yeltsin. But unfortunately, it did not end at that."
Asked about his relationship with Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, the
other key figure in Fatherland-All Russia, Primakov said they are
developing an increasingly friendly relationship as they come to know
each other better and as their political partnership develops.
He denied assumptions that Fatherland-All Russia may collapse after
the Duma elections. "I don't think it will be so. Fatherland-All Russia
is strong in every sense," he said.
Primakov gave a generally positive assessment of the Cabinet of
Vladimir Putin. "Though there are weaknesses in the efforts of the
cabinet, of course, especially in the economy and social life. But what
Putin is doing in Chechnya is generally correct," he said.



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