Center for Defense Information
Research Topics
CDI Library
What's New
CDI Library > Johnson's Russia List

Johnson's Russia List


April 5, 2000    
This Date's Issues: 4226  4227   4228


Johnson's Russia List
5 April 2000

[Note from David Johnson:
1. Reuters: Ruined Chechen capital a ``monument to overkill''-US.(Strobe Talbott)
2. Komsomolskaya Pravda: Sergey Kalashnikov, Labor and Social Development Minister:" It's Impossible to Live on Salary Like This"
3. Itar-Tass: Presidential Election Results to Be Published on Friday.
4. Reuters: Russia Communists say election results were rigged.
5. Interfax: Poll: Almost half of Russians trust Putin completely.
6. Itar-Tass: Most Russians Okey Abortion for those who Want No More Kids.
7. Novaya gazeta: Roman Shleinov, Hexagen. Ryazan. But was it FSB or Berezovsky?
8. Bloomberg: Russia's Berezovsky on Putin, Oligarchs, Chechen War.
9. Jamestown Foundation Monitor: WARRING ALUMINUM BARONS TALK PEACE 

10. AP: Effort To Save Chechen Dictionary.
11. Andrei Liakhov: RE: 4225-Hough/Yeltsin.
12. New Council on Foreign and Defense Policy (CFDP) book:Strategy for Russia: Agenda for President-2000.
13. Voice of America: Ed Warner, PUTIN'S PROSPECTS.
14. St. Petersburg Times ROUND TABLE: Which City Will Provide Putin With Team?
15. AFP: Russia Spent 385 Million Dollars on Chechen War.
16. IMF – Russia Should Go It Alone.
17. AFP: 20 million dollars private cash fuels Mir's capitalist 


Ruined Chechen capital a ``monument to overkill''-US
By Elaine Monaghan
April 4, 2000 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States said Tuesday that Russia had fallen 
into a bad old Soviet habit of treating a whole people as an enemy by killing 
so many civilians in its fight against rebel separatists in Chechnya. 

Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott defended the U.S. policy of 
continuing to engage with Russia despite the scale of violence in Chechnya, 
but said the ruined Chechen capital, Grozny, was a ``grotesque monument to 

He told a public hearing the United States did not regard the actions of the 
Russians as war crimes but that he hoped Moscow would see a transcript of the 
discussion -- including comments by two prominent Senators declaring that 
they did. 

Despite the destruction of 400,000 homes and expulsion of 200,000 people, the 
United States has not proposed a resolution of censure against Russia at the 
U.N. Human Rights Commission's six-week annual meeting ending in Geneva on 
April 28. 

It is seeking to censure China and Serbia, however. 

``We want to see an outcome that has the maximum impact,'' Talbott told 
Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Vermont 
Democrat, at the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations. 

Russia's second campaign in Chechnya in eight years had brought out one of 
the worst habits of the Russian and Soviet past -- ``the tendency to treat an 
entire category of people, indeed, of its own citizens, as an enemy,'' 
Talbott added. 

The senators were flanked by blown-up satellite photos of Grozny before the 
Russian bombing campaign that helped bring President elect Vladimir Putin to 
power on March 26, and afterward, in which it looked virtually flattened. 

The United States has urged Russia to investigate allegations of abuses in 
Chechnya which U.N. rights chief Mary Robinson sought to look into during a 
visit last weekend. 

``Unfortunately, Ms. Robinson ... was not allowed to visit all the sites that 
she wanted,'' Talbott said. 

Allegations included torture and beatings at so-called ''filtration camps'' 
supposed to identify Chechen rebels and in some cases, summary executions. 


The U.S.-based group Physicians for Human Rights presented the hearing with 
findings from their survey of Chechen refugees showing 60 percent of 1,140 
interviewees had seen Russian forces commit abuses against non-family 
members. More than 16 percent reported abuses against their own household. 

More than 40 percent of a sample selected at random from a United Nations 
High Commission for Refugees registry of 180,000 refugees witnessed a 
killing. Six percent saw a household member killed, said Doug Ford, appearing 
for the group. 

``Our survey shows a higher level of abuse than the survey we did in camps in 
Macedonia,'' Ford said, referring to abuses reported by ethnic Albanian 
refugees expelled from Kosovo by forces of Yugoslav President Slobodan 
Milosevic last year. 

The Clinton administration has come under pressure to take harsher action 
against Moscow and been accused of double standards because it backed NATO's 
bombing campaign in Kosovo. 

Talbott said there were important differences between the war in Kosovo and 
the conflict in Chechnya but that in differentiating, he was not excusing the 
Russian actions. 

Putin faced a huge challenge deciding whether to repair the damage to 
Russia's standing or to risk further isolation. 

But in setting U.S. policy, it was important to remember a ''struggle between 
the forces of the new and the forces of the old'' was being waged across the 
vast country, Talbott said. 

How Putin answered the many questions about his leadership would be a key 
factor in framing the agenda of U.S.-Russian relations in the months and 
years ahead, he added. 


Russia Today press summaries
Komsomolskaya Pravda
April 3, 2000
Sergey Kalashnikov, Labor and Social Development Minister:" It's Impossible 
to Live on Salary Like This"

The daily interviewed Labor Minister Sergey Kalashnikov, who said: "In our 
country one toils from dawn to sunset and is never able make ends meet. And 
the economy suffers great losses from this: if people save each ruble, 
instead of buying goods, the inflow of money into industry is very slow".

Kalashnikov said that the actions proposed by the Ministry included imposing 
different quotients for raising salaries of state workers teachers, doctors 
and others, on the one hand, and workers in the industry and agriculture, on 
the other hand.

He also said that the growth of wages in the production sphere has been 
restrained artificially. The Ministry proposed measures to secure the share 
of wages in the production cost should not be the present-day 7 to 10 per 
cent, but closer to 30 percent. According to Kalashnikov, in most developing 
counties this share is around 60 to 80 percent,

The Minister thinks that salaries of state workers cannot be the same in 
different parts of Russia, because living wages vary by seven to eight times 
in Russia. "In Dagestan or Chuvashiya, state workers have decent living, but 
in Magadan they are almost starving on the same salary", he said. "We 
proposed that the single tariff basis should be preserved, but each region 
should take its own decision how much to pay".

The daily published average figures for monthly wages of various professions 
in Russia. Those who are priced high, are: chief accountants (Moscow) – 
1000-1500 US dollars, lawyers (Moscow) – 1200 US dollars, electrical workers 
(Krasnoyarsk) – 12,000 – 16,000 rubles, aircraft construction workers 
(Ulyanovsk) – 7,600 rubles.

Those, who are priced low, are: hospital attendant (Habarovsk) – 150 rubles, 
librarian (Krasnoyarsk) - 450 rubles, field laborer (Vologda) – 500 rubles, 
teacher (Ulyanovsk) – 600-620 rubles, doctor (Ulyanovsk) – 700 rubles.


Presidential Election Results to Be Published on Friday. .

MOSCOW, April 4 (Itar-Tass) - The Central Election Commission (CEC) will 
approve official results of Russia's March 26 presidential elections on 
Wednesday, CEC chairman Alexander Veshnyakov said at a news conference on 

He said the election result would be published on April 7 in the governmental 
Rossiiskaya Gazeta and in Parlamentskaya Gazeta. 

Under the election law, the new president will take up his post on the 30th 
day after the election. 

The CEC has received voting protocols from all of Russia's 89 republics and 
regions, and from 360 polling stations set up for expatriate voters outside 

The CEC will review complaints by presidential candidates. Veshnyakov said 
the commission would issue a special report on scrutiny of the complaints. 

Veshnyakov said there had been "by an order less" complaints in the 
presidential elections as compared to December parliamentary polls. 

The CEC will review specific details cited in the complaints. Generalities 
stated by claimants are a matter of politics, Veshnyakov stressed. 

He said two presidential candidates, Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky and 
Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, had not addressed any 
complaints to the CEC thus far. 

He said complaints concerned the voting procedure in Dagestan, Tatarstan, 
Saratov and Kaliningrad regions. 

Veshnyakov said the presidential campaign was "more clean and transparent" 
than the race for the State Duma lower house of parliament. 

The turnout was 69 per cent, or seven per cent higher than in the State Duma 

"Such a high turnout testifies to voter trust in the election process,' he 

Veshnyakov praised the performance of election commissions, 60 per cent of 
which sent their returns to the CEC by three in the night of the election day 
and 94 per cent by the post-voting morning. 

He said "incomparably less addresses regarding possible violations in the 
elections" had come to the CEC in the presidential polls. 

Veshnyakov said only the Communist Party's representatives "did not calm 
down" and urged the CEC to provide more detailed voting information from 
Russia's regions. 

He said the election commission did provide the requested documents, but 
"wholesale accusations of violation of election legislation do not do honour 
to those who come up with them". Veshnyakov described the presidential 
election campaign as "more proper", adding that "not all was ideal". 


Russia Communists say election results were rigged

MOSCOW, April 4 (Reuters) - Russia's Communist Party said on Tuesday it had 
proof that the results of the presidential election were rigged in favour of 
President-elect Vladimir Putin. 

The party, led by Gennady Zyuganov, said it would lodge a formal complaint. 

Preliminary results announced by the Central Election Commission put Zyuganov 
in second place with 29.44 percent of the vote, well behind Putin, a former 
KGB agent, who won 52.52 percent in the March 26 election. 

``The election proved that the amount of total falsification has grown (since 
the previous 1996 presidential poll). There were serious violations in 25 
regions, in nine of them complete falsification,'' Zyuganov told a news 

The Chairman of Central Election Commission Alexander Veshnyakov, rejected 
claims of widespread irregularities in the poll, saying Zyuganov should learn 
to lose with dignity. 

The Communist leader also alleged widespread falsification of the election 
results in 1996 when he lost to Boris Yeltsin but at that time he did not 
formally contest the outcome. He later publicly congratulated the victor. 

The Communists said on Tuesday they could prove dishonest tactics by regional 
administrations in Putin's favour as well as blatant tampering with ballots 

Zyuganov said the worst instances of falsification had been uncovered in 
Russia's autonomous regions of Tatarstan, Bashkortostan and Dagestan, in the 
western enclave of Kaliningrad and in the Saratov region on the Volga river. 

Communist officials said they had sent a letter to the Central Election 
Commission, to the chief prosecutor's office and to the two chambers of 
parliament with documents detailing the falsification of the results. 

``We ask to...examine the possibility of declaring invalid the election 
results in specific territories (where the alleged falsification of results 
took place),'' the letter said. 

The Central Election Commission, which is expected to announce the final 
results of the presidential election later this week, said it had not yet 
received Zyuganov's letter. 

``The fact they have sent the letter does not mean it has reached the person 
it was sent to,'' a spokesman for the commission told Reuters. 

Putin's inauguration has been set for May 7. 


Poll: Almost half of Russians trust Putin completely

MOSCOW. March 4 (Interfax) - In the view of 48% of Russians, acting
Russian President Vladimir Putin deserves absolute confidence, another
29% think he deserves limited confidence and 9% regard him as not
deserving confidence at all, the All-Russian Center for Public Opinion
Surveys (VTsIOM) informed Interfax on Tuesday.
These data were derived from a representative poll of 2,407 adult
Russians, which was conducted by VTsIOM in late March. The number of
those who were undecided has not been counted and totals the difference
between 100% and the sum of the responses. The statistical margin of
error for such surveys does not exceed 2%.
Similar results were also obtained when the respondents were asked
whether they trust the Russian army - 48% of them place absolute
confidence in it, 24% trust the army partially and 10% take the view
that it does not deserve to be trusted at all.
The same proportion with the church and religious organizations
makes for 38%, 23% and 12% respectively, with the security agencies -
24%, 35% and 18%, with the Russian government - 20%, 43% and 18%, and
with the media - 20%, 47% and 19%.
It is the political parties that enjoy the lowest confidence
rating, for only 7% of Russians believe that they deserve to be trusted
absolutely, 34% trust them partially and 31% do not trust them at all.


Most Russians Okey Abortion for those who Want No More Kids. .

MOSCOW, April 4 (Itar-Tass) -- Most Russians (63.9 percent) polled by the 
Independent research centre ROMIR said abortion is justified if a married 
couple do not want to have more children. 

The survey revealed that only 21.5 percent of the respondents did not approve 
of abortion and 13.6 percent of those polled were uncertain. 

As concerns single women, only 47.1 percent of the respondents said abortion 
was justified, and 30.5 percent of Russian citizens were negative in their 
attitude to aborting pregnancy in such cases, while 21.4 percent of the 
respondents had no clear opinion. 

ROMIR conducted country-wide polls of 1,500 people. Earlier, ROMIR polled 800 
residence aged between 16 and 45 in Russia's major cities. The respondents in 
that poll had family incomes not below the country's average. 

More than one half of the citizen polled (57 percent) had a negative attitude 
varying in degree to the very fact of abortion. One-fourth had no considered 
opinion about the fact that abortion has become routine in the country 
lately. Eighteen percent of the respondents said they approved of the 
wide-spread practice of abortion in this country. 

Young people aged between 16 and 19 are more apprehensive in this respect, 
and citizens aged between 35 and 45 are more tolerant. 

One half of those polled admitted that they regard abortion as nothing short 
of murder, and 32 percent of the respondents opined that abortion was not a 
murder. The remaining 18 percent of those polled were not certain. The number 
of people equating abortion and murder was particularly high in the age 
groups from 16 to 19 and from 35 to 45. The largest number of people who do 
not see abortion as murder was found in the group aged between 25 and 29. 

The main reason for abortion is the high probability of the birth of a sick 
child, according to 74.8 percent of the respondents. If pregnancy poses a 
threat to the woman's health or life, 72.4 percent of those polled said 
abortion was justified. 

Poverty is seen as justification of abortion by 45.5 percent of Russians, and 
the inadequate housing condition by 32.1 percent of the respondents. 

Pregnancy resulting from a fortuitous coitus was seen as a valid reason for 
abortion by 35.6 percent of those polled. The unwillingness to become a 
single parent is seen as valid reason for abortion by 22.6 percent of the 

Twenty-nine percent of those polled said the young age of the parents can be 
seen as a sufficient excuse for abortion. If the parents consider themselves 
to be unprepared for bringing up a child, 17 percent of the respondents would 
recognise this as making abortion necessary. 

About the same number of the respondents, or 16.5 percent believe that 
abortion can be seen as necessary if the family has children already. If the 
father is against the birth, 11.1 percent of the respondents think that 
abortion is possible. The respondents are not inclined to justify abortions 
if the reason is that the baby can impede the parents' career-making. 

According to official statistics for the year 2000, there have been two 
abortions per every birth in Russia. Sixty abortions have been made per each 
1,000 fertile women. In the Netherlands, the number is five and in Britain 12 
per each 1,000 women. One-third of the number of deaths among young women in 
Russia resulted from faulty abortion. 


April 3, 2000
Novaya gazeta
Roman Shleinov
Hexagen. Ryazan. But was it FSB or Berezovsky?
[translation for personal use only]

In our discussions of the Ryazan exercises, Novaya gazeta emphasized in
particular the striking inconsistency of the security service activities and
the illogical character of explanations issued by government officials.
Later, our journalist uncovered evidence which cast even more doubt upon the
official interpretation of events. Based on these facts, we asked specific
questions and expected an official response. Instead, we got a surprisingly
aggressive reaction of government TV. Our version was distorted, framed as a
categorical accusation of the Federal Security Service and was presented as
such in ORT's prime time.

Predictably, the FSB officials jumped to a fight. But they responded not to
the original questions posed by Novaya gazeta, however unpleasant they might
have been, but rather to accusations that were broadcasted by TV but for
which we do not bear responsibility. Therefore, there should have been
someone else, a third player in this game. The one who deliberately altered
emphasis and organized a PR confrontation. And this player was not motivated
to spoil Novaya gazeta's image or to refute the substance of our
publications. He only advertised us, and did it very effectively - this is
not the way to refute information. It seems that his real target was the
reputation of security services.

This is how the situation is viewed by one of the recent chiefs of the state
security system:
-In this story, I would pay particular attention to the one who has the
opportunity to dictate ORT policies and who has a panic fear of FSB. We have
already been witnesses to a show in which some operatives in masks admitted
they had received an order to kill Berezovsky...One cannot rule out that
this time he was also the one who made a simple and a very efficient move.

Your publications were used to concoct a bill of indictment, with emphasis
on its electoral aspects. Predictably, such an attack was publicly condemned
and everybody heaped scorn on you, but in the meantime the story about
security services' role in the terrorist acts was spread all over the
country. And the condemnation [of you] was so emotional and devoid of
substance that the mass audience reacted predictably: if there is so much
noise around it, then the story must have some truth to it...

At the same time, the authorities were persuaded that your publications have
a purely electoral aim, and this put FSB into a difficult position. They
were pressured both from below and from above with demands for an immediate
and decisive reaction <...> They had to counterattack without being given
time to analyze the situation.

By the way, you also fell prey to this trick and went too far in your
further publications on this subject, by trying to respond to the FSB
counterattack provoked by the official media. The one who set you against
each other succeeded in hitting two targets in one shot. First, he added
fuel to allegations against security services and damaged their reputation,
and then he was most active in refuting the charges, pretending that he does
great favor to the authorities.

Boris Berezovsky does not need to fear criminal prosecution any more, at
least for the time being. The only source of his concern are the FSB
internal resources. By a rather simple move, he enabled himself to remind
the authorities of his favors when it will be appropriate. If this won't
work, he will be able to give publicity to the most obvious lies which he
forced upon the FSB when the latter had to defend its reputation. Meanwhile,
it is virtually impossible for him to be caught with incriminating evidence
in this story, because he did everything by other people's hands.


Russia's Berezovsky on Putin, Oligarchs, Chechen War: Comment

Moscow, April 4 (Bloomberg)<
-- The following are comments by Boris Berezovsky, a deputy in the 
Russian State Duma, former executive secretary of the CIS, and one of 
Russia's so-called oligarchs, on President-Elect Vladimir Putin, oligarchs 
and the Chechen war. 

The comments were carried on Russian news agency Interfax. 

On Putin: 

``Putin is continuing democratic power in Russia. He must demonstrate that 
Russia's new democratic system can be effective. He is a reformer with a 
strong will, which is necessary in order to strengthen Russia. But it does 
not mean that we will get a dictatorship. 

``Putin is not in love with power. All of Russia's previous prime ministers 
wanted to become presidents. (Former Prime Minister Sergei) Stepashin even 
cried when he was dismissed. Putin is the only person who was not dying for 

On Putin's victory in President elections: 

``The Russian people have always been full of respect towards absolute power. 
We can like or dislike a tsar, but we will always respect a candidate named 
by him. It makes no difference that a lot of people in Russia don't like 
(former President Boris) Yeltsin, they retain the psychology of slaves. In 
spite of the fact that in summer 1999 everyone was sure that (former Prime 
Minister Yevgeny) Primakov would become Russia's next president, nobody 
actually wanted him. It was my personal task to anticipate this and help the 
society. My instrument was the ORT channel. We were smarter than our 
competitors were. 

On oligarchs: 

``It is impossible to distance oligarchs from power. That is how the modern 
society is made. If he eliminates one oligarch, others will come.'' 

On speculation he financed attack on Dagestan to provoke a new war: 

``This is an absolute delirium and an hysterical campaign against me. 

``Russian special services could not be involved in last autumn's explosions. 
I don't know any FSB official smart enough to carry out such an operation. 
They are awkward and usually make a lot of mistakes. I am also not sure that 
Chechens did it. What was their reason to hurt themselves by such an action? 

On the Chechen war: 

``Putin is already making his first mistakes in the Chechen campaign. I have 
already told him that it is high time for the war to be over. We should have 
started negotiations three months ago, when everybody was feeling that Russia 
is going to win. If we continue to struggle, we will eventually sustain 
defeat. And a new complexity will emerge.'' 

On Putin's relations with the West: 

I think the West will be happy with Putin, especially Germany. It is typical 
for Russian-German relations. We either kill or kiss each other. Obviously no 
one wants to go to battle, so let's embrace each other.'' 


Jamestown Foundation Monitor
4 April 2000

While President-elect Vladimir Putin promised during the election 
campaign that Russia's "oligarchs" would cease to exist as a class, 
the situation in the country's aluminum sector suggests that this was 
little more than campaign sloganeering. Reports over the weekend 
indicated that the two rival financial-industrial groups competing for 
the control of the aluminum industry--one led by Roman 
Abramovich, director of the Sibneft oil giant, the other by Oleg 
Deripaska, head of the Siberian Aluminum company--reached an 
agreement to end hostilities. According to other reports--as yet 
unconfirmed--the two sides have gone further than a simple 
cessation of hostilities and agreed to form a giant aluminum holding. 
If formed, such a holding would control 7-11 percent of world 
aluminum production, depending on the estimate (Nezavisimaya 
gazeta, Moscow Times, April 4). The issue of war and peace in the 
aluminum sector has a strong political subtext, given that two major 
rival political power brokers, Boris Berezovsky and Anatoly Chubais, 
stand behind Abramovich and Deripaska, respectively.

The latest "aluminum war" broke out in early February, when firms 
connected to Sibneft's Abramovich and Berezovsky's automotive 
firm, LogoVAZ, bought controlling shares in the Bratsk, Krasnoyarsk 
and Novokuznetsk aluminum smelters which were held by Britain's 
Trans-World Group and long-time aluminum king Lev Chernoy. 
According to press reports at the time, the "Berezovsky-
Abramovich" group's acquisitions gave it effective control over an 
estimated 60-70 percent of the country's aluminum production.

However, the group remained vulnerable in two areas--access to 
alumina, the main component in aluminum, and to electricity. So 
while companies linked to Abramovich and Berezovsky were able to 
get a controlling share in the Achinsk Alumina Plant, Deripaska's 
Siberian Aluminum managed to get a controlling stake in the 
Nikolaev Alumina Plant, located in Ukraine, which supplies the 
Krasnoyarsk aluminum plant with two-thirds of its alumina needs. In 
addition, Krasnoyarskenergo, the company which supplies electricity 
to the Krasnoyarsk aluminum plant, raised its rates last week by 49 
percent. Krasnoyarskenergo is a subsidiary of United Energy 
Systems, Russia's electrical power grid, which is headed by 

But while Siberian Aluminum--and its de facto political sponsor, 
Chubais--were able to thwart a total victory by the Berezovsky-
Abramovich group, they were apparently worried that the latter was 
ready to roll out its biggest weapon--Russian Public Television 
(ORT), the 51-percent state-owned television channel which 
Berezovsky is widely believed to control. An unnamed official at 
Abramovich's Sibneft was quoted today as saying that Siberian 
Aluminum wanted "to avoid a media war" (Moscow Times, April 4). 
The apparent result was a peace agreement--or, at least, a cease-

It is unclear how far the cessation of hostilities has gone. A deputy 
director of the Krasnoyarsk aluminum plant said over the weekend 
that Siberian Aluminum and Sibneft officials had met and reached 
an agreement to merge their aluminum operations, and some 
Berezovsky-controlled media today also reported the merger as a 
done deal (Nezavisimaya gazeta, Russian agencies, April 2). Other 
media, however, suggested that what had been reached was simply 
an agreement to live together, not an official marriage, and that a 
merger was unlikely, given that Deripaska would never agree to play 
second fiddle to the Berezovsky-Abramovich group, which has more 
shares in all the constituent enterprises (Segodnya, Kommersant, 
April 4).

Whatever the case, the latest maneuvers in the aluminum sector 
have direct political implications. Specifically, they raise new doubts 
over Putin's promises to reduce the influence of the oligarchs over 
Russia's political life. Indeed, according to one account, Putin 
recently met with Chubais and Deripaska after Abramovich asked 
the then acting president to help mediate the aluminum conflict, 
after which Putin urged Deripaska to make peace (Segodnya, April 
4). If this account is true, it suggests that Putin has decided to 
adopt, at least for the time being, the approach that his 
predecessor, Boris Yeltsin, took toward the oligarchs. Yeltsin's 
strategy involved playing referee for the warring financial-political 
clans and playing them one off against the other. In September 
1997, for example, after a vicious mud-flinging contest in the media 
sparked by a series of disputed privatization auctions, Yeltsin 
brought together six of the country's top tycoons in the Kremlin and 
asked them to quit fighting. Yeltsin, like Putin today, stressed during 
that period that the state is "above" the oligarchs and there must be 
one set of rules for everyone. The oligarchs, of course, retained 
their customary privileged positions in the corridors of power, and 
some remained more equal than others.

While it is too early to say whether Putin will go with the status quo 
or try to overturn the oligarchic order, the evidence so far suggests 
that no revolutions are likely. First Deputy Prime Minister Mikhail 
Kasyanov, for example, said yesterday that the government 
considers the various deals which have taken place in the aluminum 
sector "fully legal"--that is, not in violation of Russia's antimonopoly 
laws. He also said that the government "in every way welcomes the 
amalgamation of companies and the formation of holdings with the 
international weight of a Gazprom"--Russian's giant natural gas 
monopoly (Russian agencies, April 3). Kasyanov is widely viewed as 
the front-runner among the likely candidates for the post of prime 
minister in Putin's new government.


Effort To Save Chechen Dictionary
April 4, 2000

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - A world away from the conflict in Chechnya, Johanna 
Nichols is engaged in a Chechen battle of her own.

Nichols, a Slavic languages professor at the University of California at 
Berkeley, is racing to compile a Chechen-English dictionary.

Chechnya became virtually independent in 1996, when Russian forces withdrew 
after being fought to a standstill by separatists. But Moscow sent in troops 
last September after Chechen-based militants invaded the neighboring republic 
of Dagestan.

War, poverty and chaos have killed many and scattered Chechen speakers. Said 
Nichols: ``The language is not going to survive for long if this continues.''

Chechen and Ingush, which Nichols also studies, are part of a language family 
that may go back 8,000 years in the Caucasus.

``Each language has something unique and distinctive to offer. In addition, 
the Chechen culture, which is closely bound up with the language, is 
interesting and potentially valuable for humanistic studies,'' Nichols said.

For instance, social standing in Chechen culture comes from showing courtesy 
and respect, rather than wealth - customs wrapped in language, she said.

``It's kept the society coherent and strong for centuries,'' she said.

Working with a Chechen colleague and about a dozen graduate students, Nichols 
spends up to several hours each day cataloging the language.

New computer software helps her sort and store Chechen words. She also must 
keep up to date on what's happening to the 1 million or so people who speak 
the language.

``We're trying desperately to get a lot of information together,'' she said. 
``Dictionary-making is not anything that can be done in a great rush.''

So far, Nichols has collected about 2,000 words. She hopes to maintain a 
permanent electronic dictionary that will continue for some time and publish 
a smaller version sometime this summer.

Nichols happened upon Chechen 20 years ago while studying in Russia and 
``instantly realized that it was of interest to science.''

Nichols knows of only three Chechen dictionaries, two in Russian and Chechen 
and one small English-Chechen dictionary and phrase book.

Peter Ladefoged, a professor emeritus at UCLA and member of the endangered 
languages committee of the Linguistic Society of America, lauded Nichols' 
efforts to preserve the Chechen language.

``I think, really, if we want to know what's possible for a human language we 
need to study all the languages that there are. So many of them are just 
dying very rapidly that unless we study them now we won't be able to do so,'' 
he said.

On the Net:

Chechnya (from Japan-based Slavic Research Center):

Nichols' Ingush site:


Date: Tue, 04 Apr 2000 
From: "Andrei Liakhov" <> 
Subject: RE: 4225-Hough/Yeltsin

Having spent last week in Moscow, I can confirm that Jerry is right up to a
point - "Yeltsin" thinks that he rules, however Putin now is spreading his
wings and there are no visible levers which are capable of constraining him
one way or the other. All the insiders in Moscow agree on one thing - that
even though Putin may be under "Yeltsin" (read: the Family) spell now it
remains to be seen how long this spell will last or how die is the cast. An
extremely knowledgeable insider told me last week that the attempt to refer
the question of Yeltsin immunity to the Consitutional Court was a test shot
before the battle begins......


Date: Tue, 04 Apr 2000 
From: "Alexander Belkin" <> 
Subject: Agenda for President-2000

Dear David --
For your and your subscribers concern:  Moscow-based NGO Council on Foreign
Defense Policy (CFDP) published a book "Strategy for Russia: Agenda for
President-2000," based on series of round table discussions held by the CFDP
last fall and winter.  The book will be presented in Moscow on Friday,
April 14
at the Moscow Arbat Hotel (12, Plotnikov Pereulok).  Meanwhile it is available
at the sites of the CFDP (<> and Vagrius
Publishers (<>  Those concerned please
contact Council's executive office at the phone numbers (095) 206-8728/30.
Best regards,
Alexander Belkin
Deputy Executive Director


Voice of America

INTRO: Russia's new president-elect, Vladimir Putin, 
is not saying what he intends to do, other than 
strengthen the state and continue free-market 
policies. Some people, noting his firm support of the 
war in Chechnya, fear authoritarian tendencies. 
Others point to his record of economic reform as 
deputy mayor of St. Petersburg. During a recent 
briefing at the Center for Strategic and International 
Studies in Washington, two analysts of the Russian 
economy discussed the challenges ahead for President 
Putin. V-O-A's Ed Warner reports.

TEXT: Who is Vladimir Putin, asks Bill Thompson of 
the Economist Intelligence Unit, which forecasts 
business conditions around the world. He says there 
are many versions of Russia's newly elected president. 


Everything you read about Putin is true: the 
people who say he is authoritarian, the people 
who say he is a democrat, the people who say he 
is a statist, the people who say he is a 
reformer. It is all true because it is my own 
view that Putin basically embodies within 
himself many of the contradictions of post-
Soviet Russian society, and that is part of his 

// END ACT // 

But the president will soon have to define himself, 
says Mr. Thompson, and that will disappoint some of 
his supporters. He is expected to declare himself in 
favor of economic reform because there really is no 
alternative. Massive foreign investment is needed, 
but without reform foreigners will not take the risk.

Of course President Putin is yet to be tested, says 
Mr. Thompson. Under pressure, he could rise to the 
occasion or sink. His big job will be to confront the 
business elites who profit from the present 
unproductive, highly subsidized monopolies.

Because of an ill and indisposed Yeltsin, Mr. Thompson 
says Russia has had a six-year succession crisis along 
with economic and political uncertainty. These 
conditions have encouraged a predatory capitalism: 


In that environment, a rational agent heavily 
discounts the future benefits of any long-term 
undertaking. And if you discount the future 
heavily enough, then asset stripping is more 
sensible than investment. Capital flight, too. 
The very predatory features of Russian 
capitalism reflect the mentality which says 
everything may change. We have to steal as much 
as we can today and ship it abroad because there 
may be no tomorrow. 

// END ACT //

Mr. Thompson says President Putin must work to 
civilize this business environment.

That environment may already be improving, says Laza 
Kekic, also an analyst of the Economist Intelligence 
Unit. He says most western businessmen chose to wait 
out the economic crisis of 1998. They downsized their 
firms and laid off a large part of their work force. 
But now they are getting active again:


Most businesses are not expecting any great 
reformist leap forward, whether it be in the tax 
code, accounting standards, even in protection 
of property rights. But the key feature is most 
businesses think they can live with this. Most 
of them actually have a very good experience 
with their Russian labor force, and most of them 
get along with their Russian partners.

// END ACT //

Mr. Kekic says he is cautiously optimistic because 
Russia is enjoying modest economic growth and is 
making surprising technological progress in such 
fields as software and microbiology.

He says President Putin could be undermined by the war 
in Chechnya he so avidly supports. But his selection 
to succeed Mr. Yelstin was made with great care. Mr. 
Yeltsin wanted to see his legacy as a reformer, 
however imperfect, carried on by his successor. Time 
will tell if he made the right choice. 


St. Petersburg Times
April 4, 2000
Which City Will Provide Putin With Team?

Will Moscow or St. Petersburg provide the majority of members in Putin's 
governmental team?

"At present, the St. Petersburg team will probably dominate, because it 
provides natural support for the new president. However, the formation 
process of Putin's government will, I think, drag on for some time. I don't 
expect any radical steps for rearranging the government in the near future. 
There will probably also be no major changes in the cabinet after Putin's 
inauguration. Therefore it is difficult to judge from today's team what the 
government will be like when Putin is officially sworn in as president."

Sergei Mikhailov

Analyst, the Russian Political Center

"It is difficult to determine what a Moscow team is. And there are at least 
two Petersburg teams: one is associated with Chubais, and the second with the 
FSB. It seems the FSB [ Federal Security Service] team will dominate. But it 
is possible that this will not happen immediately - the process of forming 
Putin's government will probably drag on for one or two years. For the near 
future it seems to me we will have one of the variants which is being 
discussed at the moment, with Mikhail Kasyanov as prime minister and Alexei 
Kudrin deputy prime minister, at least for a period of time. This variant 
will essentially be a compromise between all the teams."

Vladimir Pribylovsky

Head of the information center Panorama

"I think that the new government line-up will consist of people who Putin 
knows well, and with whom he has worked in the past. Accordingly, these will 
be mainly representatives of the Petersburg team. This concerns not only 
government structures, but probably the whole management of the country. As 
for Kasyanov, who is favored for the post of prime minister, I think that 
here alternatives can be found."

Leonid Kiselman

Head of the Center of
Social Processes Study
and Forecasting (St. Petersburg)

"By the number of people making their first appearance on the political 
scene, of course the St. Petersburg company will predominate.

As for the determination of leading posts, the Petersburg team will probably 
take controlling positions. But the 'work horses' of economics will be people 
from Moscow. For example, Kasya nov or Alexander Zhukov, or perhaps the dean 
of the University of Economics, Yaroslav Kuzminov. I think that Zhukov, who 
has previously been out of public view, will come to the fore. In my opinion, 
he will be entrusted with solving serious problems and will thus become one 
of the informal leaders. Changes in the government line-up will take place 
before and after the inauguration. Not many people have noticed, but these 
changes have already started. It is true that, for the moment, they have 
taken place [through] replacing ministers in various major government 

Mikhail Delyagin

Director of the Institute of Globalization Studies

"In my opinion, Putin will without a doubt have a technocratic government. 
His style of management does not allow for the existence of alternative power 
centers, and so no politicians who have their own constituency, or 
connections with elites, will join the cabinet. The prime minister will be 
chosen from one of the variants that already exists: Kasyanov, Kudrin, Gref, 
or perhaps Zhukov. In time, I think, many new figures will appear, although 
the structure that the government will take is still not apparent. At the 
same time, some consistency will probably be preserved. The government will 
be comprised of the Petersburg team. This is logical - Putin has got used to 
relying on people whom he knows well. The process of forming the governmental 
structure will go on until candidates for the post of prime minister are put 
forward by the president for examination by the State Duma. After this, the 
prime minister will be confirmed fairly quickly - by May 20, say - after 
which the line-up of the government will be formed by the beginning of June."

Vyacheslav Nikonov

President of the Politika Fund


Russia Spent 385 Million Dollars on Chechen War

MOSCOW, Apr 4, 2000 -- (Agence France Presse) Russia has spent six billion 
rubles (210 million dollars) on the Chechen war in the first three months of 
the year, ITAR-TASS quoted First Deputy Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov as 
saying Monday.

Moscow had earlier announced that it had spent 174 million dollars on the 
campaign last year, bringing the total reported financing for the six-month 
war effort to 384 million dollars.

Russia's' forecast expenditures in the 2000 budget amount to some 855 billion 
rubles (worth 32 billion dollars at the time the budget was planned).

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has already warned Moscow that it would 
permanently suspend its assistance program should any foreign aid go to 
financing the heavily criticized Chechen campaign.

Kasyanov in the ITAR-TASS report failed to specify what revenue Russia used 
to finance extra military expenditures.

The IMF in July approved a 17-month 4.5-billion-dollar line of credit for 
Russia, but the program was suspended last year shortly before the campaign's 
start in September. 


April 4, 2000
IMF – Russia Should Go It Alone 
By Olga Proskurnina and Pyotr Ivanov

The acting Chairman of the International Monetary Fund Stanley Fischer 
arrives in Russia on Tuesday and is due to meet Putin’s team of economists. 
On the eve of Fischer’s visit, Mikhail Kasyanov reported on the record-high 
growth of Russian industry. Both made it clear that Russia should not rely on 
IMF loans. 
Stanley Fischer together with his IMF and World Bank’s colleagues are
attend a seminar organized by Yevgeniy Yasin’s research center. Evgeniy Yasin 
is the leading theoretician of Russia’s course of reforms. 
The first two days of the visit that officially starts on Wednesday 
April 5th will be spent attending in the seminar and third day will comprise 
of close circle discussions. Fischer is due to hold talks with top government 
officials and, probably, with Vladimir Putin. 
ITAR-TASS reported that, prior to his departure from the USA, Fischer 
said he did not know whether Moscow would develop a new program to recommence 
cooperation with the Fund or would attempt to preserve the old program that 
was approved in the summer of last year but was later suspended due to 
political reasons i.e. the war in Chechnya. 
According to Fischer it would be preferable for the Russians to 
rewrite their own program independently rather than try to adjust it to the 
Fund’s strict requirements. 
Anyway, said the acting Chairman of IMF, Russia should be ready to 
observe plenty of requirements necessary for any program, such as revision of 
taxation policies, reorganizing the bank system, regulating the state 
expense. From now on IMF will very strictly demand that Russia observes IMF 
program requirements. 
The newly appointed Chairman Horst Koehler, who will assume his 
responsibilities in May, has already announced the ‘preliminary actions’ that 
Moscow must fulfill in order to reestablish cooperation with the Fund. 
According to Fischer, the election of a new Russian president and the 
almost simultaneous replacement of the IMF Chairman would surely influence 
the atmosphere of relationships between Russia and the IMF, though in the 
long run the development of those relations will be defined by the contents 
and implementation of the economic programs. 
Gradually, the structural goals will become the priority, and not the 
easily negotiable macroeconomic indices, said Fischer. Fischer stressed that 
Russia still faces a number of structural goals in the spheres of business 
development, improvement of the investment climate and the legal system. 
Russia’s First Vice Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov spoke 
approximately in the same spirit after his Monday meeting with Vladimir 
Putin. According to Kasyanov, Russia’s present macroeconomic indices are even 
better than those previously coordinated with the Fund. However, this 
improvement is obviously caused solely by the soaring world oil prices, but 
the acting prime minister preferred not to mention that fact. 
Russia’s industrial growth in the 1st quarter of 2000 (in comparison 
with the 1st quarter (the same period last year) of 1999 increased by 13%, 
the rate of inflation was only 4.1%; instead of the forecasted budget deficit 
of 1.46% there is was a surplus of 0.7%. In the first three months of 2000, 
the hard currency reserves of Russia’s Central Bank have grown by $2.6 
billion (to $15.1 billion). The Central Bank’s growth of reserves will allow 
the state to pay off the external debt in time ($1 billion in April and $1.25 
billion in May), which would undoubtedly please IMF. 
However, Kasyanov’s report on Russia’s successful economic growth was 
not exactly designed to impress Fischer, but rather to please Putin, who is 
now in the process of forming a new government, and Kasyanov hopes to take a 
high post. As for Russia’s relationship with the international financial 
institutions, Kasyanov had to admit that the present economic success ‘would 
hardly lay the foundations for reconsidering Russia’s creditworthiness’. 
To achieve this goal, the government will have to prove to the world 
community that it can increase the amount of cash payments amongst the 
natural monopolies or completely abolish barter practices in the regions. 
Moreover, Kasyanov believes the government should not launch any major 
privatization projects before the end of the first half-year: The IMF and the 
long-expected investors must be sure that the 1st half-year’s income growth 
is not caused by the manna from heaven (i.e. high crude prices) but by the 
daily hard work of the government. 


20 million dollars private cash fuels Mir's capitalist conversion

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan, April 4 (AFP) - 
Two cosmonauts sped towards Mir on Tuesday, fuelled by 20 million dollars of 
private cash from businessmen eager to give the Soviet-era space station a 
new capitalist lease of life.

Nine minutes after launch, the Soyuz TM-30 spacecraft carrying Russian 
cosmonauts Sergei Zalyotin and Alexander Kaleri was safely in orbit, on 
target to dock with Mir 0633 GMT Thursday, flight control said.

Tuesday's launch marked the first time private sector money has financed a 
manned flight to Mir, a milestone that has gone down badly with Moscow's 
partners in the International Space Station (ISS).

That massive station's multi-billion dollar construction has already been 
delayed because of Moscow's financial worries.

Mir's Russian operator Energiya has set up the MirCorp to manage the 
14-year-old space station's 60-million-dollar annual budget. The 
Amsterdam-based consortium includes US venture capital outfit Gold and Appel, 
who found the funds for Tuesday's flight.

The task of Zalyotin and Kaleri is to plug the holes in Mir through which air 
is slowly leaking and pump in fresh oxygen supplies being carried by the 
Soyuz craft.

The money men meanwhile will continue to hunt out commercial projects which 
could extend the career of the mothballed Soviet-built station, which was to 
have made a fiery re-entrance into the Earth's atmosphere this summer.

The Russian team's mission has been extended from 45 days to 60, but could 
last up to 90 days if the firm that manages Mir, Energiya, can raise 
additional funds.

"This flight is very important for us," Energiya chief Yury Semyonov told the 
crew shortly before lift-off. "You are giving a second lease of life to the 
space station," he said.

Energiya deputy chairman Nikolai Zelenshchikov said the current mission would 
enhance rather than hurt the ambitious ISS project grouping Canada, Japan, 
Russia, the United States, and the 11 members of the European Space Agency.

"A study of systems on Mir after 14 years in orbit will allow us to better 
ensure the success of the International Space Station," he told AFP.

Mir would still be able to stay in orbit if the cosmonauts fail to find the 
leak since it is regularly resupplied with oxygen, he added.

The pride of the Soviet space programme launched in 1986, Zelenshchikov said 
it was still "capable of functioning for two or three more years."

Speaking before lift-off, flight engineer Kaleri said: "Once onboard Mir, we 
will be able to depressurise it and carry out repair work, because the 
station has been uninhabited for a long time.

"We are also going to conduct a number of scientific experiments and a space 
walk," he added.

"One of the experiments consists of perfecting a technique of reducing the 
onboard temperature, which is currently 28 degrees Celsius (82.4 degrees 
Fahrenheit)," said Zalyotin.

However, a lack of cash had forced the cancellation of a number of scientific 
experiments, he added. MirCorp chief Jeffrey Manber said the firm needs to 
find 40 million dollars to keep Mir in orbit to year's end.

Projects to date have included shooting a movie in space, although 
contractual haggling spiked a US-Russian bid to shoot "The Last Voyage" 
aboard Mir for 206 million dollars.

Manber also hopes to bring corporate sponsorship, the Internet and even 
tourism into the space age. "Space tourism" comes with a hefty 20-40 million 
dollar price tag.

The reconversion is a remarkable development in Mir's chequered career, 
marked by a string of incidents in 1997 including an onboard fire and a 
near-fatal collision with a cargo craft.

Its main computer shut down at least four times, leaving its occupants 
spinning through space in total darkness.

But it was also on Mir that the majority of space flight records were set, 
including the space endurance record of 437 days set by Valery Polyakov in 



Return to CDI's Home Page  I  Return to CDI's Library