This Date's Issues: 4226 • 4227
Johnson's Russia ListReturn
to CDI's Home Page I Return
to CDI's Library
5 April 2000
[Note from David Johnson:
1. Reuters: Ruined Chechen capital a ``monument to
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
7. Novaya gazeta: Roman Shleinov, Hexagen. Ryazan. But was it FSB
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. gazeta.ru: 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
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
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,''
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.
RIGHTS GROUP REPORTS WIDESPREAD ABUSES IN CHECHNYA
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
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
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
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
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
-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.
``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
``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
WARRING ALUMINUM BARONS TALK PEACE AND MERGERS.
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,
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
By MICHELLE LOCKE
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
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
``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,''
On the Net:
Chechnya (from Japan-based Slavic Research Center):
Nichols' Ingush site: http://ingush.berkeley.edu:7012
Date: Tue, 04 Apr 2000
From: "Andrei Liakhov" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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" <email@example.com>
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,
at the Moscow Arbat Hotel (12, Plotnikov Pereulok). Meanwhile it is available
at the sites of the CFDP (<http://www.svop.ru>www.svop.ru) and Vagrius
Publishers (<http://www.vagrius.com>www.vagrius.com). Those concerned please
contact Council's executive office at the phone numbers (095) 206-8728/30.
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.
// THOMPSON ACT //
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:
// THOMPSON ACT //
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:
// KEKIC ACT //
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
"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."
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."
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."
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
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."
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
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
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
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
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
"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