This Date's Issues: 4275
Johnson's Russia ListReturn
to CDI's Home Page I Return
to CDI's Library
29 April 2000
[Note from David Johnson:
1. Nezavisimaya Gazeta: The Last Parade is Coming? All-Person
Celebration of the Victory Day Have Given Way to "Rational
2. Reuters: Envoy confirms US gave Russia draft of ABM changes.
3. RIA Novosti: RUSSIAN DEFENCE OFFICIAL LASHES OUT AT USA'S ABM DECEIT.
4. Bruce Blair: Empty Reassurances: A Critique of the U.S.
Arguments, Presented at Geneva on January 19-21, 2000, that National
Missile Defense Will Be Incapable of Threatening Russia's Strategic
5. smi.ru: Beware of "Social Sphere" and "Political
(views of Denis Dragunsky)
6. Itar-Tass: Russia Needs Structural Reform for Steady Economic
7. Summary of Sergey Dorenko’s Program on Public Russian Television
( DJ: I want to thank Olga Kryazheva for her
invaluable contribution to JRL in recent months. She is leaving
the Center for Defense Information for work at the Eurasia
8. gazeta.ru: No Western Advisors For President. (Interview with
9. RFE/RL: Paul Goble, A New Kind Of Autonomy. (re Russia's
10. Toronto Sun: Matthew Fisher, Moscow's mad about Bure. (hockey)
11. Segodnya: Chechen Accounting System. The Money for After-War
Restoration are Handed Out in Bags.]
Russia Today press summaries
The Last Parade is Coming?
All-Person Celebration of the Victory Day Have Given Way to "Rational
After the Soviet Union collapsed, the number of factors that united the
Soviet Empire has declined year after year. But the victory in the Great
Patriotic war of 1941-45 has remained the memory in the common past, that has
not been reconsidered by most of the post-Soviet republics. The pride for our
victory is common not only to veterans, but also to the after-war
generations. Even in post-Soviet republics, where the Communist ideology has
long been forgotten, unlike in Russia, the Victory day has always been
celebrated. Another approach to history would have been suicide for political
leaders in these countries.
The program of festivities has been gradually transformed. On May 9, a
military parade only takes place in the self-proclaimed independent Mountain
Karabakh. But this may have another reason – on that day in 1992, the
Karabakh Army took the Azeri town-fortress Shusha, which marked the victory
of Armenia in the war against Azerbaijan for Mountain Karabakh.
In Tashkent, the celebration of the 55th victory in the WWII will be marked
by a pompous memorial, which will be devoted to "victims of political
oppressions, who fought for freedom and independence". In the Russian
history, these victims are known as "basmaches", with whom the Red Army
fought in the twenties.
The traditions are preserved only in Russia, in Belarus and in Ukraine. On
the eve of the Victory day, the heads of three Slavic republics will meet in
Belgorod and visit the field Prohorovka, where the greatest tank battle took
place. In Moscow a parade will take place, where veterans from all CIS
republics will participate.
Envoy confirms US gave Russia draft of ABM changes
WASHINGTON, April 28 (Reuters) - U.S. Ambassador to Russia James Collins
confirmed on Friday that negotiators had handed Russia a draft of proposed
amendments to the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty that would allow
the United States to build a national missile defence system.
But Collins, speaking to reporters at a breakfast meeting, declined to
discuss the content of the draft or whether it matched one published in The
New York Times on Friday, saying only that a draft proposal had been handed
over by negotiators.
The newspaper said the document showed Washington wanted 100 missiles at each
of two sites to shoot down incoming missiles from ``rogue'' states such as
North Korea, Iran, Iraq or Libya, a system that would be barred under the ABM
Collins said the U.S. proposal opened the door to a wider defence system but
that the door was ``a very limited one,'' which would never neutralise the
Russian nuclear arsenal.
He did not dispute the basic premise of the draft, which the newspaper said
was handed over by negotiators in January.
``We have been talking to the Russians about a defensive system that is
limited in nature ... which would not violate the fundamental concept of the
ABM treaty,'' he said.
He said the Russians had still not agreed to negotiate changing the
U.S.-Soviet pact, which was seen as a cornerstone of strategic stability but
which Washington says fails to address a new threat from the so-called
But he added, ``On the other hand, they are making clear they are prepared to
discuss the problem of missile threats.''
Asked whether arms talks, which grew more intense this week with a visit to
Washington by Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, had reached the point
where an amended treaty could be signed at a U.S.-Russian summit scheduled
for June, Collins said, ``My own sense is that we are far from ready to do
Although he did not rule out such a development when President Bill Clinton
meets President-elect Vladimir Putin, Collins noted they were also due to
meet at a Group of Eight summit in Japan in July and that they could meet
again before Clinton leaves office next January.
The point of the treaty was to stop either side from building a system that
would motivate other countries to expand their arsenals to challenge it.
Although Washington insists its plans could never neutralise Russia's nuclear
arsenal, Moscow is worried that even a limited system like the one being
considered would put infrastructure in place that would lead to that.
Moscow is offering to cut to 1,500 warheads ahead of talks on START III, a
successor pact to START II, which envisaged both sides cutting warheads to
3,500 by 2007 from about 6,000.
RUSSIAN DEFENCE OFFICIAL LASHES OUT AT USA'S ABM DECEIT
Moscow, 28th April: The USA's national missile defence system [antiballistic
missile system - ABM] will be aimed mainly at combating Russia's and China's
intercontinental ballistic missiles. "The Russian military leadership has no
doubts about this", the head of the Russian Defence Ministry's international
military cooperation department, Col-Gen Leonid Ivashov, told RIA today.
He said statements by the US administration and Pentagon that the USA needs
the ABM system to defend itself against the nuclear threat from "rogue
states" and threshold states "are nothing more than a bluff, designed to
confuse the world community about Washington's real plans and intentions in
ensuring its strategic military supremacy over the rest of the world".
The Americans "have simply become obsessed" with the idea of developing
strategic, sea-launched and theatre ABM systems and "modernizing" the 1972
ABM Treaty, Ivashov said. In connection with this he said that the USA
intends the ABM system to defend not only its own territory, but also its
forces based in various regions of the world.
Meanwhile, Ivashov said, the Russian side has several times offered, and is
still offering, to start a bilateral fight with the USA against the threat of
ballistic missiles by setting up a non-strategic ABM system, as permitted by
the 1977 New York protocols, which are an integral part of the ABM Treaty,
but the USA stubbornly refuses to do this. Ivashov recalled that while in the
USA, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov pointed to the need to maintain in
full and unconditionally the 1972 ABM Treaty as the cornerstone of
international security and stability. Ivanov warned that if the USA creates
its national missile defence system and, consequently, tears up the ABM
Treaty, this will lead to the collapse of the entire system of strategic arms
limitation and will definitely spur a nuclear missile arms race and the
proliferation of missiles and missile technology around the world.
Ivashov said if this happens, "Russia will be forced to adjust its policy in
the area of strategic weapons". However, the Russian side will do everything
in its power to prevent a revival of the Cold War and an uncontrollable arms
race, Ivashov said.
Empty Reassurances: A Critique of the U.S. Arguments, Presented at Geneva
on January 19-21, 2000, that National Missile Defense Will Be Incapable of
Threatening Russia's Strategic Deterrent
By Bruce Blair
Center for Defense Information
[Documents referred to are available on The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists
The U.S. position articulated by John Holum (State Department
Senior Adviser for Arms Control and International Security) fails to
properly acknowledge the depth of Russia's concern that the U.S. national
missile defense system will threaten Russia's strategic deterrent and
thereby disrupt strategic stability. If the tables were turned, the United
States would flatly reject the arguments being presented to the Russians.
Mr. Holum properly stated the essence of the theoretical problem
introduced by missile defenses: "For more than 30 years the classic
argument in favor of strategic stability and against the deployment of a
large-scale strategic missile defense system has been based on concerns
that one side might have the ability to make a surprise disarming first
strike against the enemy and then deploy a broad strategic missile defense
system to knock out the enemy's combat resources which had survived the
first strike and were being launched against the assailant."
In his subsequent claims, however, Mr. Holum seriously misstates
the adverse effects of U.S. national missile defense on Russia's strategic
1. Mr. Holum says that the U.S. NMD system is very limited and
could protect only against a threat from a few dozen warheads while Russia
would possess between 1,000 and 2,000 warheads under START III over the
next decade and thereafter. He concludes that these abundant forces give
Russia "the certain ability to carry out an annihilating counterattack on
the other side regardless of the conditions under which the war began."
Comment: In reality, a surprise offensive U.S. strike could, under some
conditions today, destroy all but a few tens of Russian warheads, and
national control over these surviving weapons might be lost. (See later
discussion of estimated numbers of survivable Russian warheads.) In the
future (2010-2015), the size of the Russian force could easily drop below
500 warheads, contrary to Mr. Holum's projection, in which case the
protection afforded by a "very limited" U.S. NMD system would loom much
larger in Russia's estimation.
2. Mr. Holum refers to Russia's constant alert status of its
strategic arsenal and to its perpetuation under START III as grounds for
Russian confidence that they could mount an annihilating counterattack.
Comment: Mr. Holum's observation suggests that Russia's alert posture is a
good thing, when it actually represents a bad thing in terms of its
accompanying risks of mistaken or unauthorized Russian launch. The U.S.
position should seek to reduce, not embrace, Russia's readiness to launch
3. Mr. Holum asserts that the Russian strategic forces that would
survive a U.S. strike could deliver a minimum of a few hundred warheads,
and that their sophisticated decoys would allow Russia to dispense with the
traditional requirement of allocating Russian warheads to the mission of
exhausting the defensive resources to overcome them.
Comment: The U.S. estimate of a few hundred surviving warheads is higher
than Russian planners could estimate. Hamstrung by economic and other
limitations on deploying its mobile sea- and land-based missiles into the
sanctuaries of the oceans and forests, Russia's nuclear forces are sitting
ducks in their garages, silos, and ports. Today Russia struggles to keep
one or two ballistic missile submarines at sea at any time, and one
regiment of land-mobiles missiles hidden in the field. All the rest of
their strategic forces are vulnerable to quick destruction. The surviving
weapons might consist of one submarine (48 warheads for a Delta III or 64
warheads for a Delta IV), and one regiment of SS-25 mobile land-based
missiles (9 warheads). Depending upon the effectiveness of U.S.
anti-submarine operations against Russian boats (a routine activity still
today), and depending upon the extent of disruption of Russian command and
communications, it is possible that a very small number of Russian warheads
would be available to fire at targets in the United States, and that they
could be neutralized by NMD.
Furthermore, Mr. Holum's estimate of a minimum of a few hundred
deliverable Russian warheads is not an acceptable number of surviving
weapons from a Russian standpoint, just as several hundred surviving U.S.
forces would not be acceptable to the United States. As a point of
reference, the United States currently requires its strategic forces to be
able to destroy in retaliation to Russian attack the vast majority of the
nearly 3,000 targets assigned to them. (The number of targets in the U.S.
strategic war plan actually grew by 20 percent over the past five years.)
In other words, the United States must be able to deliver about 2,000
warheads in retaliation in order to perform the nuclear wartime mission to
Mr. Holum also errs in presuming that Russian nuclear wargamers and
planners would be less conservative than their U.S. counterparts in their
assessment of the effectiveness of decoys. Risk-averse planners on both
sides credit the opposing missile shields with higher effectiveness than
they deserve, and seek to overcome the defenses by throwing more warheads
at them than the defensive interceptors can possibly engage. The offense
seeks to exhaust the defenses resources. For example, as late as the
1990s, 69 U.S. nuclear warheads were assigned to attack a single
above-ground radar station in the ring of Russian interceptors around
Moscow, even though the Russian interceptors would almost certainly have
failed to destroy many of them. Mr. Holum fails to recognize that if the
Russians employed the traditional tactic of trying to exhaust the
200-interceptor defense envisioned in the plan he presented to the
Russians, they would fall far short of doing so. Their surviving arsenal
would be depleted trying to overcome U.S. defenses, and they would credit
the U.S. defenses with the ability to negate their small retaliatory force.
4. Mr. Holum tries to reassure the Russians that their ability to
launch their alert forces as soon as early warning sensors detect a U.S.
strategic missile strike in progress -- launch on warning -- would make it
highly unlikely that a potential aggressor would ever contemplate
initiating such a strike. He rightly notes that successful Russian launch
on warning could dispatch about a thousand warheads, which would neutralize
the effectiveness of the assault.
Comment: However, Mr. Holum surely knows full well that Russian confidence
in their satellite- and ground-based sensors has declined dramatically over
the past decade. Gaping holes in Russia's early warning network, which the
United States would exploit in wartime, mean that Russia must heavily
discount the feasibility of this quick-launch option, even though they will
strive to exercise it in a crisis.
What is more distressing is Mr. Holum's implicit calculation that
the benefits of Russia's hair-trigger alert stance (which supposedly
relieves their apprehension of U.S. missile defenses) outweigh the
liabilities (inherent danger of mistaken or illicit firing, a risk that is
growing as a result of deteriorating Russian nuclear early warning and
command systems). What is even worse, Mr. Holum's positive view of this
dangerous posture encourages Russia to maintain it indefinitely, when the
most urgent priority today is just the opposite: get Russia, and the United
States, to take their strategic forces off high alert (de-alerting) in
order to buy a larger margin of safety against a catastrophic failure of
command and control.
5. Mr. Holum further argues that in a period of increased
international tension, Russia could disperse additional forces into the
seas and oceans and thus augment considerably Russia's second-strike
Comment: This is partially accurate as far as it goes. Mr. Holum has not
taken several factors into account, however. First, Russia's capacity for
surging forces on short notice in a crisis has declined substantially over
the past decade, for the same reasons that their combat readiness has
declined in normal peacetime circumstances over this period. Second, the
surging of strategic forces would be provocative and de-stabilizing in a
crisis, and the temptation to do so would be greater today because of the
vulnerability of Russian strategic forces in their normal peacetime
configuration. Last, Russians view the resilience of nuclear command and
control as far more decisive than the survivability of the individual
weapons in the field, and their confidence in their command system in its
peacetime or wartime configuration has declined sharply. (For instance,
their deep underground command posts are crumbling and flooding.)
6. Finally, Mr. Holum offers the following reassurance: "...the
tremendous risks associated with initiating a nuclear war under any
circumstances make these theoretical calculations largely irrelevant.
Obviously, neither side could ever contemplate such an assault."
Comment: No, but they nonetheless PREPARE such an assault, and it hardly
needs repeating that both Russia and the United States base their nuclear
policy on each other's capabilities, not on their intentions. The
inconvenient truth is that both sides are planning for the contingency of
all-out nuclear attack. Late in 1999, I visited a Minuteman launch crew in
Wyoming where I observed them going through the motions of launching their
missiles at Russia. Nothing much had changed since my stint as a Minuteman
launch officer in the 1970s. Two young men in their early to mid-twenties
pulling alert duty just as I did, for the same expressed reasons, prepared
to follow the same basic launch procedures that I learned nearly 30 years
ago. Similarly, I spoke recently to a flight crew of a Strategic Command
reconnaissance aircraft who recounted their story of their recent foray
along the northern coasts of Russia to find the holes in Russia's air
defense radar through which U.S. strategic bombers could fly unscathed in
the event of nuclear war.
With all due respect to Mr. Holum, the Russians are not consoled by
his sincere belief that neither side would ever contemplate initiating a
nuclear strike. The Russians pay more attention, to put it mildly, to the
fact that if a launch decision were made right now in the White House and
Pentagon, the order could be carried out within about two minutes. Those
young men in their launch centers would validate the order, retarget their
missiles (overriding the 1994 Clinton-Yeltsin de-targeting pact in
seconds), and send the launch signal to about 2,000 strategic warheads
which would immediately fire out of their silos. About ten minutes later,
another 400 warheads would break water from the U.S. ballistic missile
submarines on launch-ready alert at all times.
April 27, 2000
Beware of "Social Sphere" and "Political Lysenkovism"
By Victor Bezborodov
In a few days, Vladimir Putin will be all-powerful legitimate master of the
Kremlin and of the country. The people do not yet understand what and how he
will be doing. However, there are individuals who are trying to write optimal
development scenarios. Like writer Denis Dragunsky. That's what he thinks
about the current situation:
"Uncertainty is what I am afraid of - no, sad about. And considering the
latest appointments made by Putin ahead of his inauguration - like making
Andrei Illarionov his economic advisor - the recent tendency demonstrates
that Putin will conduct severe liberal policy. That's what both generates
both fear and joy. I want Russia to be in the company of the world's
developed countries. In this sense, certainly, only liberal policy can lead
to success. However, what frightens me is that any consistent implementation
of liberal policy means tightening the belt. Hence the Putin-inspired
enthusiasm will gradually diminish.
At this stage, consistent implementation of liberal policy may lead to
serious consequences, far more serious than the Gaidar liberalization. You
lost your bank account? Prices rocketed? Garbage! Now, a great many people
can move from one sphere of economy to another.
Russia faces a bunch of problems now. Putin knows too well there is no way
back. There is a way forward, it is clear, it is painful, and it is effective
only in the long-run perspective. People in the US live by a brilliant rule:
"live now, pay after". Only a very rich country can afford it. And we are up
to the ears in economic bullshit. We will have it the other way round: "pay
now, live after". The progressive and liberal Gref-Illarionov will lead us
along this painful, yet well-studied and well-checked way. But there is a
danger ahead. A man can invent a good program with some third way, whereby
economy can be boosted with some "ingenious idea", like, making cows give
diamonds. And there is a danger that if the leadership gets enchanted with
political Lysenkovism, with some inventive concept, nobody will be able to
predict where it may take us. Yet, "people's academician Lysenko" does not
cruise around the Kremlin. There is another danger - to get excited with easy
money, fast money. What if Russia gets an order to build some banana-cutters
for some banana republic - for 100 billion bucks! This is dangerous.
And here is something more likely to happen - they can get excited with "the
social sphere" Ineffective industries will not be rehabilitated, inefficient
factories will not be auctioned, the regions that must be economically
restructured, will be supported with budget money. People will get mad, under
the slogan: "Wanna eat - pay!" But where to get the money from? A retreat
will be a most dangerous thing. I hope Putin does not stagger like Yeltsin
staggered, back in 1992. The brief shock caused by genuine liberal reforms
will be far more serious than that caused by the Gaidar reforms. I have
talked about that.
As for domestic politics, freedom of speech guarantees, human rights
guarantees. There is no other way here, too. Larisa Bogoraz once said if
somebody took away your purse in the street, this is not an abuse of your
human rights, this is hooliganism. Men died in the war - but this is a
special issue. Observance of human rights on the combat ground is another
Nobody attempts to persecute freedom of speech. Many media denounce Putin,
often indecently. But nobody is bullying them. Nobody shut them down,
although Putin has many levers on hand to crush the media. I do not see any
violation of freedom of speech. I can say like that policeman: "When you're
shot dead, come report to me!"
In a Western country freedom of speech is restricted by private citizens'
law-suites. If you write something libelous or slanderous about somebody, you
will get fined, so that you'll be collecting money from all your relatives
and friends. We like to imagine idealized pictures, but people are sitting
everywhere. "Kommersant-Daily" was officially warned - so what? . If the
authorities attempt to close them down - this is an altogether different
thing. So far, there is no sign that our general course is changing".
Russia Needs Structural Reform for Steady Economic Growth.
ALMATY, April 28 (Itar-Tass) - Russia's economic recovery will be stable if
there is serious structural reform. This view was expressed to Itar-Tass
during conversations by members of leadership of international financial
organisations participating in the Eurasian economic summit in Almaty.
Russia's economic recovery is largely a result of two very important factors
-- the price rise on oil and the devaluation of the rouble, said Johannes
Linn, the vice-president of the World Bank. He said this cannot last forever,
so it is important that Russia should carry out reforms that would attract
both domestic and foreign investors.
Linn said it is necessary first of all to create a favourable climate for
investment, particularly into small businesses, and to ensure competition
wherever there is the sway of monopoly structures.
The vice-president of the World Bank that believes Russia should also enhance
effectiveness of state management system and that financial relations between
the centre and the regions should be improved. He believes it is important to
bring the social safety net in keeping with the demands of time, as poverty
It is not doubted in international financial circles that there is an
awareness in Moscow of the need for reform. Linn said it is hoped that
Vladimir Putin's government, when it is fully formed and embarks on its
duties, will promptly take steps in this direction. Otherwise Russia should
not expect new credits from the International Monetary Fund.
This was also made plain by John Olding-Smee who heads the IMF's second
European department. He said the programme of credits to Russia along the IBM
lines will be resumed when a programme of structural reform is agreed upon
between the Fund and the new Russian government and the government starts
implementing it. He said so far there had been no changes in the IMF position
from the time of first deputy managing director Stanley Fischer's recent
visit to Moscow.
Public Russian Television (ORT)
Sergey Dorenko’s Program
Saturday, 22 April, 2000
[Summary prepared by
Olga Kryazheva, Research Assistant
Center for Defense Information
The foreign mass media and politicians take Maskhadov too seriously. It seems
like he works according to their orders. Dorenko stated that in reality
Maskhadov is not in charge of anything. Vladimir Putin made a proposition
if Maskhadov surrenders and helps find Basayev and Khattab, he will be granted
amnesty. Putin stated that “we are ready to negotiate” only if more then 200
hostages, including foreign nationals on Chechnya territory, are released and
the fighters responsible for Dagestan attack and terrorist operations on
territory of Russian Federation are found and conveyed to Russian authorities.
He said that Maskhadov is being used but he is also a criminal and all Russian
laws are applicable in his respect. Being a criminal, he can use amnesty if he
is willing to cooperate. Dorenko stated that amnesty promised to Chechens is
illegal and unfair. How can a bandit who killed Russian soldiers be pardoned?
What kind of country would grant an amnesty to a criminal who killed its
Dorenko stated that Russia remains deaf to the complaints of Russians in
Karachayevo-Cherkessia. There are 42% Russians, mainly Cossacks, who feel very
uncomfortable on the Karachayevo-Cherkessia territory and see immigration to
Russia as the only way to improve their position and living conditions.
Russians are trying to send their kids to Russia to study and then follow
National cleansings, violence, and murders of Russians occur in
Karachayevo-Cherkessia frequently. According to the senior citizens of the
region, the youths do not know where to put their energy; they don’t have jobs
and engage in criminal activities. Women don’t feel secure; men get drunk and
fight. Dorenko noted that the press is not allowed to report from
Karachayevo-Cherkessia without official permission of the authorities. Dorenko
concluded that the government ignored Chechnya just as it does
Karachayevo-Cherkessia, and that resulted in the ongoing war in Chechnya.
Russia is paying for this neglect with lives of its soldiers.
The current Public Opinion Foundation survey shows the following results for
the leading five politicians who are trust the most. 52% trust and 19%
Putin; 25% trust and 56% distrust Zyuganov; Tuliyev has 21% of trust and 7% of
distrust; followed by Primakov, who received 21% of trust and 11% of distrust;
19% trust and 8% distrust Shaigu. On the same question of trust to the power
structures, Public Opinion Foundation reports that 27% trust and 28% distrust
the government, whereas 17% trust and 44% distrust the Duma.
An announcement that Russia should expect a tremendous economic growth was
last week. “Believe to understand!” Foma Akvinsky used to say. So Andrey
Shapovalyants and Victor Khristenko believe. Shapovalyants presented factors
that showed the continuous economic development. As an opposition to
Shapovalyants and Khristenko, Anatoly Chubais stated that the situation in the
power industry is complicated and supported by Vyakhirev, who said that there
is and will be no money in Gasprom for another three years. Dorenko questioned
Shapovalyants’ and Khristenko’s belief in economic growth.
Next followed an interview with Gregory Yavlinsky. He briefly discussed
Dorenko’s question on the future of Yabloko party. The party decided to work
according to the citizens’ interests and develop the country’s democratic
future. Today the process of integration of the party's regional offices into
one powerful party is going in its full capacity. Yavlinsky stated that
Yabloko is the only political structure that has public support. After the
elections the party raises new questions and summarizes the elections results.
Investigating the results of the recent presidential elections, it concludes
that in many regions, especially in Saratov region, the results differ from
official. Yavlinsky emphasized that currently the creation of the Executive
Council and coordination on the St. Petersburg elections are the most
issues for the party. The party also works on protecting citizens’ interests
and rights, finishing the Chechnya war, and developing the country’s economy,
and decreasing unemployment. Yavlinsky noted that party is willing to
compromise and in the future may integrate with SPS, whereas the Unity might
integrate with KPRF. However, Yabloko will never become the president’s party.
As for St. Petersburg, Dorenko said that the situation seems to be very
dramatic for the democrats. According to Yavlinsky, people that vote in St.
Petersburg are misinformed. In the governor’s elections Yabloko will support
its candidate Igor Artemyev. He is familiar with situation in the city and has
experience working in the administration. Artemyev will be able to improve the
city’s situation with prices for housing, telephone, water, and will improve
the city’s crime scene.
Last week twelve deputies of the Kursk Oblast accused the governor Alexander
Rutskoy of corruption. Rutskoy believes that deputies accusing him are those
who were displeased with Rutskoy’s activities and ruling. He is being
persecuted due to his control over the oblast government illegal activity.
Besides Rutskoy, his subordinates and two of his brothers are also accused of
corruption. The regional elections in Kursk Oblast will be held in October
year; and this is when Rutskoy will feel the results of the current regional
policy. Dorenko’s staff noted that every governor is “a god and a tzar” in his
own region. Currently, the government of Kursk Oblast conducts vast staff
cleansings and changes employers every three month. Both sides seek Putin’s
support in solving this dispute.
Last week the Federal Council fired the chief prosecutor Yury Skuratov.
Dorenko repeated the episode when Skuratov apologized to the prostitutes that
“he was unable…” and concluded that Skuratov is a big loss for Luzhkov.
Dorenko presented an episode on Odessa drug users. There are two
clinics in Odessa where drug users have to spend two weeks to get rid of
physical addiction. After two weeks in the clinic, patients have to go through
psychological rehabilitation, but not all of them complete it. Many go back to
taking drugs. Many voluntarily start treatment only when they find out that
they are HIV positive. Dorenko reported that a non-traditional rehabilitation
camp is located in Shiryayevo village in Odessa suburbs. The head of this camp
Alexander Bodan went through 20 years of prisons, tuberculosis, and drug
addiction. Today he is a teacher and the doctor for many young drug users. The
camp helps users to get rid of both physical and psychological addiction
not by means of medicine, but by “forces of nature.”
April 28, 2000
No Western Advisors For President
In and interview with Gazeta.Ru, the president's economic adviser Andrei
Illarionov claims that in order for Russia's economy to continue to grow,
international oil prices must continue to fall and the Ministry of Finance
must cease distributing credit and issuing GKOs.
Gazeta.Ru: Is it safe to say that Putin is interested in liberal
economic ideas? Do you fear that in the wake of growth a slump will follow?
Illarionov: I don't think one can speak of it as an interest. In reality it
doesn't appear so, at least not as far as I can tell. If there is something
Putin is interested in, it's a strictly prudent approach to the economy. I
would say his approach is well considered and careful.
Gazeta.Ru: Do Russian leaders plan to meet well-known Western economic
advisers in the near future?
Illarionov: First of all I think advisers is the wrong word. People who met
with Boris Yeltsin for an hour for years afterwards to called themselves
advisers to the Russian president. In truth even those hour-long meetings
were little more than five people and an interpreter answering questions like
“have you been enjoying your stay in Russia? Then they would suggest which
course of action would be preferable for the president to take, at which the
conversations broke down. The title adviser to the Russian president somehow
left a deep impression on Westerners. The fact of the matter is there never
were any Western advisers, nor is it likely that there will be any soon. To
be rightfully called an adviser one must meet the president relatively
frequently to discuss significant matters and at least offer concrete advice.
And the president's schedule simply makes it impossible for regular meetings
with foreign economists.
It would be more accurate to speak of Western experts, not advisers. After
all experts come to Russia almost weekly. Just this week for example Chile’s
former labor and social minister, author of Chile's pension reform Jose
Pinyera visited Moscow; then there was Lawrence Kotlikoff a professor at
Boston University and author of the recent economic work, ‘Intergenerational
Accounts’ in which he presents a theory for pension reform in countries with
established social programs.
Also visiting were Roger Douglas, New Zealand’s former Finance Minister, and
Graham Scott, New Zealand’s former Treasury Secretary. Who led a successful
reform of their country’s government service. Social economists consider
their programs to be exemplary in the history of reform. Their experience is
of great value to us and we're taking heed. But we're going to make decisions
Gazeta.Ru: At one of the seminars held by the Center of Strategic Planning
you said if Russia doesn't adopt suitable economic politics, not only will
the country fail to catch up with China’s production levels, it won't even
surpass the Chinese province of Guandun. Why do you think this is so?
Illarionov: We have to admit that because of years lagging behind, unless
something extraordinary happens, we'll never grow economically larger than
China. And that means we'll never be economically larger than the tenth
largest country in the world. In terms of GNP, we're restricted to being
among the top twenty countries. But if our economic policies prove to be
unsuitable, we'll soon drop to the top thirty. And if we use only third-rate
policies we'll find ourselves around fortieth place. The laws of economics
Gazeta.Ru: According to statistics, in the first quarter of 2000, at 5.8% the
growth of the GNP was unprecedented in the past several years. Do you think
this rate of growth will continue?
Illarionov: A lot has been said about the growth recently. The main causes
are generally considered to be the effect of devaluation and the high world
oil prices. But I don't think this is the case. Over the past 10 years the
ruble has dropped in value no less than 40 thousand times. From August 1998
to April 2000 it lost 4.2 times its value. The question arises; if a
four-fold devaluation was responsible for considerable economic growth, why
was a 10 thousand fold devaluation cause the economic downfall of 1998? Oil
was priced high not only in 1999 and 2000, but also in 1996, and 1993, but
then the economy did not improve.
Oil was priced at its lowest in late autumn of 1998 and spring 1999, the very
time when the economy's decline was at its slowest. Sergei Glaziyev said at
that time that the average monthly growth rate was 20-40% of the annual rate,
and I agreed with him. So it follows that the fastest growth was when oil
prices were at their lowest, and the growth rate is significantly slower when
prices are high. 36 of the 42 oil-producing countries enjoyed economic growth
in 1998 when oil prices were low. The other 6 countries, Russia among them,
experienced economic decline.
Therefore, lower oil prices are beneficial to oil producing nations’
economies. In truth a reason for the post-crisis growth was a considerable
decrease of economic pressure upon the government; relief of the tax burden
and government spending and the essential liquidation of the budget deficit.
Prior to the crisis, the budget deficit was 7% of the GNP and now it is zero.
The tax burden was 35% of the GNP and now it is 33%. At the beginning of
last year it nearly reached 30%. Government spending before the crisis
constituted 11% of the GNP; at the start of last year, 33 to 34%, later
rising to 35%.
Moving on: to support the artificial rise of the ruble, Russia had to borrow
immense sums from foreign countries. Russia's debt grew by $15-20 billion
annually (in 1998, by $30 billion) for the sake of the ruble.This meant, in a
purely economic sense, that the Russian economy was subject to implicit
After collection of the NDS, money goes to into the budget - this is explicit
and clear taxation. With the help of rising ruble, a system was created
whereby exports were taxed. These taxes when go to the importers and banking
system with the help of currency stabilization in Russia. This is so-called
implicit taxation. According to our estimations, the level of subsidization
in spring-summer 1998 was 9% of the GNP. A tremendous sum! As soon as the
devaluation stopped, this came to an end and the government ceased drawing
money from the private sector. Additionally, Russia has received no credit
from the IMF for the past year and a half, with the exception of $640 million
in the summer of 1999.
The fact remains that the economic burden placed upon the government and
consequently upon the economy has been significantly reduced, and thus the
economy has recently gained vitality and has begun to grow. Remember how much
talk there was last year in the autumn, that the growth potential was being
pushed to its limits, that it would end any minute. But it didn't end! And
why? Because there is no more budget deficit, nothing owed to the IMF, there
were no new GKO's till the last moment. And the general volume of taxes and
government spending in relation to the GNP has greatly decreased.
If only partially implemented, the economic policies which we have spoken
over the course of many years have shown in the past year and a half that
they could and did lead certainly to several things. We spoke of those
things: if government spending is cut, if taxation is cut and the deficit
liquidated, there will be a rise in the economy; and if these politics are
applied on a wide and even greater scale, the rise will be quick and stable.
Russia: Analysis From Washington -- A New Kind Of Autonomy
By Paul Goble
Washington, 28 April 2000 (RFE/RL) -- The Russian government has extended
extra-territorial cultural autonomy to that country's one million gypsies, an
arrangement that will almost certainly benefit them but one that could call
into question Moscow's commitment to territorial autonomy for other small
Earlier this month, the Russian Ministry for Federation and Nationality
Affairs publicly announced the creation of a special federal
national-cultural autonomy arrangement for Russia's gypsies. This was the
final step in a process that began in November 1999 and that was legally
registered by the justice ministry in March 2000.
This kind of autonomy, ministry officials pointed out, is not like the
territorial autonomy enjoyed by many other groups. It does not give the
gypsies control over any particular territory but it does strengthen their
rights by establishing a special council under the federation and
For a group like the gypsies who live dispersed in relatively small groups
across the entire Russian Federation, such an arrangement is a major step
forward. Up to now, the gypsies have been subject to discrimination in Russia
as in many other countries. They do not have a single school or newspaper in
their own language, and their past suffering has often been ignored.
Consequently, the establishment of a special council gives them a chance to
speak out in defense of their national interests. And that is what they did
last week. Their leaders attacked gypsy stereotypes in the Russian media and
the failure of the Russian government to acknowledge the murder of gypsies in
Nazi concentration camps.
Even if that is all this council is able to do, this opportunity to speak out
will be welcome in a group that has seldom had much of a chance to do so on
an official level. But the provision of this new kind of extraterritorial
autonomy for one group raises the possibility that Moscow or someone else
might come to see it as an option for still other groups.
The territorial autonomies within the Russian Federation are the product of a
decision taken by Vladimir Lenin and the Bolshevik Party before the 1917
revolution and institutionalized by Joseph Stalin after that time.
Indeed, the Soviet commitment to territorial autonomy was defined by
opposition to the conception of extraterritorial cultural autonomy advanced
by Austro-Hungarian Marxists Otto Bauer and Karl Renner.
In the early years of the 20th century, Bauer and Renner sketched out a
system whereby individuals would enjoy national rights regardless of their
place of residence rather than only in places where they had a majority of
Such an arrangement appealed to many dispersed groups, including the Jews of
tsarist Russia, but it was opposed by Lenin and others who saw it both as
unwieldy administratively and as a threat to the unity of the working class.
And as a result, the communist authorities always opposed the idea of
extraterritorial cultural autonomy for any group, and the Russian Federation
until now has continued that Soviet-era opposition.
Now, however, Moscow has extended precisely that kind of autonomy to the
gypsies, and other widely dispersed groups may come to see that as a goal for
themselves, especially if they are not one of the nationalities enjoying even
the limited rights of territorial autonomy now.
But the extension of extraterritorial cultural autonomy to the gypsies could
have another consequence for non-Russians in the Russian Federation, one that
could threaten the rights and privileges they now have.
In 16 of the 22 non-Russian autonomies inside the Russian Federation, the
titular nationality forms less than half of the population, and in some cases
vastly less than half. That has angered many Russians, and at least some of
them might see an extraterritorial arrangement as a way of reducing
At the very least, this possibility is likely to provoke debate both in
Moscow and in non-Russian regions, one in which ideas born at the turn of the
last century may structure new thinking about arrangements at the beginning
of this one.
April 28, 2000
Moscow's mad about Bure
By MATTHEW FISHER
Sun's Columnist at Large
MOSCOW -- Alexei Yashin, the spoiled millionaire and sometime hockey
superstar, awaits word today from an arbitrator in New York whether his
reward for refusing to honour his US$3.6- million contract with the Ottawa
Senators will be to have his global suspension lifted so he can play for
Russia at the World Hockey Championships in St. Petersburg.
If Pavel Bure hadn't arrived from Florida three days ago, Yashin's uncertain
fate might have been big news in Russia. As it is, the nation's gaze is
solely fixed on the Russian Rocket, and that, as hockey fans the world over
know, is the dashing Bure, not the reclusive, perpetually dazed-looking
The arrival of the NHL's top goal scorer at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow
on Tuesday morning attracted more attention than anything Boris Yeltsin or
Vladimir Putin have ever got up to. Several hundred photographers clamoured
for a chance to take Bure's picture, even after being told - this being one
of the most corrupt countries around - they would each have to pay those
running the affair 150 Yankee greenbacks for the privilege.
Such was the frenzy of expectation at the hero's return from the New World
that even that notoriously gray dowager, Izvestia, plastered Bure's image on
the front page under a headline which read, "No single player can win the
world championships. Not even me."
In the transcript of a press conference spread over two pages and
accompanied by another picture of the the handsome lad and his mother, Bure
frowned at a question posed in English, good-naturedly accused journalists of
fabricating the story that he and Anna Kournikova, the world's highest paid
second-rate tennis star, were engaged to be married and said he didn't know
if he would have time for the teen heartthrob, who is presently in Moscow,
because he had so many other friends he wanted to see.
Other than the usual platitudes about how proud he was to play for his
country and how disappointed he was that his Florida Panthers were eliminated
in the first round of the NHL playoffs, Bure had little to say about hockey
except that he hopes to play in a "troika" with New York Ranger Valeri
Kamenski and Chicago Black Hawk Alexei Zhamnov.
Bure is everything Russians adore in their public figures. He swaggers. He
delivers cryptic one-liners. He loves to party. Yashin, on the other hand, is
almost as ill-at-ease in Russian as he is in English. While the Senators'
superstar was on strike in Switzerland this winter, the achievements of Bure,
who pulled a similar contractual stunt on the Vancouver Canucks last winter,
were followed closely in Russia where every one of Bure's 50-plus NHL goals
was shown on national television and his antics with Kournikova attracted
Like almost every NHL player who has offered an opinion, Russian hockey
heavyweights such as Vladislav Tretiak, the legendary goaltender, have been
severely critical of Yashin for not honouring his contract with Ottawa.
Although keen to have Yashin in harness at the championships, hardcore
Russian hockey fans who seldom earn more than $80 or $100 a month are
astonished that Yashin is so greedy that instead of playing for the millions
of dollars he had agreed to he wanted $6 or $7 million more. So were parents
of boys training at the Red Army's famed hockey school in Moscow.
Judging by the published comments of Russian hockey officials this week,
they expect the arbitrator will dismiss Yashin's appeal as groundless and
that he will be banned from the world tournament. What stuns Russian hockey
insiders is that their national federation and Yashin's legal representatives
only got around to testing Yashin's eligibility at the last minute although
he had loudly declared his intention to play in St. Petersburg many months
Whatever happens with Yashin's appeal against the NHL's global suspension,
Russians have already received the present they wanted. Pavel Bure will play
hockey on home ice for the national team for the first time in a decade.
Russia Today press summaries
April 28, 2000
Chechen Accounting System
The Money for After-War Restoration are Handed Out in Bags
Yesterday's sitting of the government presidium, which was considering
measures to restore the Chechen economy, started with Vladimir Putin's
statement that "there is no bandit power in the republic, and no band
formations. Now the government has "no other goals in Chechnya, but to
provide normal living". For this purpose, works on restoration of the "fuel
and energy system, health care and education is necessary" and "all actions
should be absolutely transparent" –Putin said.
Then the government made a demonstration of its transparency by forcing
journalists out of the meeting hall. It was, in fact a closed government
sitting. The news conference, which was scheduled after it, was replaced by
several questions, asked to deputy premier, responsible for restoration in
Chechnya, Nikolay Koshman.
It was decided that 7.5 billion rubles budget money would be spent for
restoration of Chechnya. So far, 680 million rubles have been spent on this.
Nikolay Koshman assured that proper control on spending this money was
secured. So far, it has been provided by the Finance Ministry Control and
However, the repetition of the 1995-96 situation, when the money allocated
for restoration was misappropriated by Chechens, who were "loyal to the
federal center". According to the Counting Chamber, about seven billion
rubles were stolen in Chechnya in 1995-96. Hundreds of criminal lawsuits have
been filed. And most of them have not been closed yet. But the government did
not learn anything from this lesson.
Nikolay Koshman said the money will go to Chechnya from the State Treasury
department in Mozdok. The money will then be brought to Chechnya in cash and
distributed between military commandants and heads of administration.
According to Koshman, "commandants and town majors keep their own accounting
books where all expenses are listed".
The number of the Chechen population is not even roughly known now. Thus,
this kind of accounting does not look appropriate. Probably, the money will
be stolen, as before.
Web page for CDI Russia Weekly: