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

Johnson's Russia List
 

 

May 8, 2000    
This Date's Issues: 4285 Ľ4286 Ľ 4287

 

Johnson's Russia List

#4285

8 May 2000

davidjohnson@erols.com

 

[Note from David Johnson:
1. Reuters: Zhirinovsky says West shows weakness to Love Bug.
2. Interfax: RUSSIA NEEDS RESCUE EFFORTS WITHIN WEEKS - 
SOLZHENITSYN.

3. Nezavisimaya Gazeta: Maria Kalashnikova, RUSSIA'S PEOPLE AND RULING ELITE MILES APART.
4. Ekonomika i Zhizn: LEAVING DEBTS TO OUR GRANDCHILDREN.
5. Reuters: Newly inaugurated Putin gets down to business.
6. Reuters: Text of Putin's inauguration speech.
7. Reuters: Yeltsin's speech at the Kremlin inauguration.
8. Reuters: Russian politicians wait for Putin's plan.
9. Reuters: Muscovites hope Putin can reverse Russian decline.
10. International Herald Tribune: Flora Lewis, The Russians Need Outsiders to Expect Them to Be Responsible.
11. Interfax: RUSSIAN CABINET TO CONTINUE PRIVATIZATION POLICY.
12. Atlantic Council Washington Seminar on Russia's 'Old Believers'
13. Central Asia & The Caucasus (Sweden) publication.
14. Vladimir Voinovich at Kennan Institute.
15. PBS "Frontline" on US-Russia Relations May 9
16. Tom Moore: Liakhov's comments in JRL/4281 re arms control and Cold War.
17. Reuters: Putin was destined for a great career -- teacher.]

 

*******

 

#1

Zhirinovsky says West shows weakness to Love Bug

By Elizabeth Piper

 

MOSCOW, May 5 (Reuters) - Flamboyant Russian nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovksy

poked fun on Friday at the Love Bug computer virus which has crippled

computer systems around the world, calling it yet another example of the

West's weakness.

 

The Love Bug, a virus carried in an e-mail attachment saying ``ILOVEYOU,''

has wrought havoc with more than a million computers and cost over $1 billion

worldwide.

 

``A virus appears on computers in the West with a short phrase 'I Love You'.

That can be decoded as 'From Russia With Love','' Zhirinovsky told reporters,

referring to a film in the James Bond series.

 

Zhirinovsky, who heads what he calls the ``patriotic'' Liberal Democratic

Party (LDPR), said Moscow had paid too much heed to the West.

 

The bug, he said, clearly showed that Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin

would do better to turn his attention to countries such as Iran, Iraq and

Afghanistan.

 

``The West's hot passionate kisses are just false. Even women understand that

when a man kisses her passionately from head to toe he's actually her enemy,

I mean it's love only for a few hours,'' said Zhirinovsky, who has written a

book on sex.

 

Zhirinovksy criticised lenders like the International Monetary Fund for

making a $1 billion Russian credit for this year subject to conditions. He

said leaders in Iran and Iraq had told him they were willing to pay large

parts of Russian debts in return for increased trade and economic

cooperation.

 

``Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan, they want our goods, and will give us their

goods, and give us their money...and we will see excellent economic

development,'' Zhirinovsky said.

 

Zhirinovsky, who has regularly backed Kremlin initiatives despite rambling,

often frenetic speeches against various leaders, said Russia was entering a

new epoch under Putin.

 

``It is the birth of Russia's power,'' he said of Putin, who is to be

inaugurated at the weekend. ``Patriotic power.''

 

******

 

#2

RUSSIA NEEDS RESCUE EFFORTS WITHIN WEEKS - SOLZHENITSYN

 

MOSCOW. May 5 (Interfax) - The new Russian leaders must act quickly

to save the country, Nobel laureate Alexander Solzhenitsyn told the

press in Moscow on Thursday.

The new leaders have failed so far to do anything encouraging or

putting the house in order but efforts to rescue the country must be

made within months and weeks, not years, he said.

"The main fields of our state, national economic, cultural and

moral life were destroyed or pilfered in the past decade. We live

literally among ruins and pretend that this is normal life,"

Solzhenitsyn said.

What he described as pseudo-reforms have impoverished a majority of

the population, he said.

The reforms, their evils should be criticized and disavowed,

Solzhenitsyn said. The authorities must be independent of financial

tycoons, he said.

Solzhenitsyn is worried that nothing is being done to fight

corruption while the whole of the state machine is rotten.

Asked what he thought of President-elect Vladimir Putin, he said

that his action rather than words or appearances must be the criterion.

"We will have this, probably bitter, experience," Solzhenitsyn said.

Solzhenitsyn, a war veteran, said that the Victory Day is also a

Day of Sorrow for the innumerable war dead. "Every country but ours has

a Remembrance Day," he said.

 

*******

 

#3

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

May 5, 2000

[translation from RIA Novosti for personal use only]

RUSSIA'S PEOPLE AND RULING ELITE MILES APART

By Maria KALASHNIKOVA

 

Those post-Yeltsin big shots have repeatedly advocated a

nationwide inventory dealing with the condition of Russian

society and our state as a whole. For its own part, the Agency

of Regional Political Studies (Russian acronym, ARPI) has

published a rather voluminous survey entitled "Russia's Public

Opinion". This survey sums up the results of regional opinion

polls over the 1999 period and early this year. You see, the

entire 10-year rule of Russia's democrats and market-economy

proponents had been reassessed throughout that period. It

turns out that they no longer enjoy any popular trust

whatsoever. The people of Russia, who have become sufficiently

immune toward all kinds of promises, and who no longer harbor

any illusions, apparently have a more sober-minded opinion of

the overall situation at this stage. The afore-said opinion

polls show that nationwide public moods are mostly

characterized by that widespread and persistent feeling of the

people's political alienation. First of all, Russia's citizens

understand only too well that they are unable to influence the

approval of important state-level decisions affecting people's

destinies. In the obtaining situation, any elections

constitute a certain ritual, with this country's population

voting because it has been asked to do this. Consequently, the

main "plot" of the December 1999 State Duma elections, e.g.

the redistribution of that tentative political "spectrum band"

within the centrist framework, was a bit superficial. Luzhkov

and Primakov, who are also considered to be centrists, had no

trouble enlisting the support of apolitical voters,

subsequently losing such votes to Putin and Unity.

Sociologists note that Russian society hasn't witnessed any

political restructuring whatsoever. On the contrary, yet

another redivision of power has taken place, with this

country's voters, who are gradually forgetting the names of

their candidates, failing to notice such developments all the

same.

Speaking of Russia's powers-that-be and institutions of

state authority, that ten-year period of unfulfilled promises

and political irresponsibility has not gone unnoticed. Local

respondents were asked the following question: "Who should be

mostly blamed for the current economic situation?" 42 percent

of the pollees named Gaidar's government, what with another 29

percent blaming Chernomyrdin. Kiriyenko and Primakov are

blamed by seven percent and one percent of the pollees,

respectively. Most respondents don't trust a single public

institution. Incidentally, labor unions are less popular than

any other organization. Only the press and the Church, whose

popularity, nonetheless, keeps diminishing, apparently boast

relatively impressive public-confidence levels. Meanwhile the

people of Russia have started reverting to those traditional

authoritarian concepts, as they once again believe in a "kind

tsar", etc. Consequently, the nation's bigwigs should know

that they have failed to woo the people in an up-to-date and

democratic manner. Moreover, specific opinion-poll results

imply that neither party strives to attain this goal in real

earnest because this doesn't seem to be a very convenient

jump-off position for yet another stage of reforms.

54 percent of the pollees believe that President-elect

Vladimir Putin can improve the national economic situation.

Nonetheless, that barrier of political indifference has not

been overcome, what with all-out apathy and gloomy moods

dominating the scene. The program's authors complain that it's

pretty hard to conduct opinion polls because any nationwide

political discussion is nowhere to be seen. 30 percent of the

entire Russian population don't know anything about their

attitude toward the government's actions, also failing to

think about such an attitude. Various opinion polls dealing

with routine household matters evoke the greatest interest.

For example, 60 percent of all respondents intend to pick

mushrooms in summer, with another 80 percent voicing their

decision to stockpile foodstuffs for the winter season.

Therefore one can safely say that Russia's people and parties

will be disunited. Russian society has distanced itself from

the corridors of power, living all on its own.

 

*******

 

#4

Ekonomika i Zhizn

No. 17

[translation from RIA Novosti for personal use only]

LEAVING DEBTS TO OUR GRANDCHILDREN

 

Every Russian, including newborns and the elderly, owes

foreign countries almost 1,100 dollars. If this debt is divided

only among those who work, with our average monthly wage of

1,830 rubles we will pay it for three years if we do not eat at

all.

 

Forecast of Russia's foreign debts to individual countries

(as of Jan. 1, 2001, $bn)

----------------------------------------------------------------

-

Germany ............ 26.3 Finland .................... 0.6

Italy ............... 6.4 United Arab Emirates ....... 0.5

Japan ............... 4.0 Switzerland ................ 0.4

US .................. 3.8 Australia .................. 0.3

France .............. 3.7 Belgium .................... 0.3

Austria ............. 3.1 Denmark .................... 0.3

Britain ............. 1.7 Portugal ................... 0.1

Canada .............. 1.7 Sweden ..................... 0.1

South Korea ......... 1.4 Former socialist countries..13.5

Kuwait .............. 1.0 Others ..................... 0.8

Spain ............... 0.8 Total ..................... 71.5

The Netherlands ..... 0.6

----------------------------------------------------------------

-

Structure of Russia's foreign debt

(as of Jan. 1 of corresponding year, $bn)

----------------------------------------------------------------

1999 2000 2001*

----------------------------------------------------------------

 

National debt, including 156.6 158.0 158.0

loans from foreign governments ....... 68.9 67.7 71.5

loans from foreign banks and firms ... 36.1 37.8 12.4

loans from international

credit institutions .................. 22.2 19.4 20.0

state treasury bills.................. 27.1 26.7 46.7

loans from the Bank of Russia ........ 2.3 6.4 7.4

----------------------------------------------------------------

* projection

Source: Finance Ministry of the Russian Federation

 

*******

 

#5

Newly inaugurated Putin gets down to business

By Elizabeth Piper

 

MOSCOW, May 8 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin, fresh from a

glittering inauguration ceremony in the Kremlin, gets down to business on

Monday with a trip to the southern town of Kursk to meet war veterans ahead

of Victory Day.

 

Putin, who was sworn in as president amid much pomp on Sunday, was due in

Kursk, scene of the biggest tank battle in history, to meet veterans ahead of

the May 9 holiday when Russians celebrate the end of World War Two.

 

The former KGB spy, who has pledged to make his country great again and to

pay greater attention to the military, is keen to mark Victory Day, when the

military stages parades all over the country.

 

Putin, who became president on Sunday in Russia's first democratic transfer

of power, vowed to unite the nation and take care of the country he inherited

from Boris Yeltsin at a Kremlin ceremony soaked in symbolism.

 

In a sign that Putin wanted to start work immediately, he named 42-year-old

Mikhail Kasyanov acting prime minister just hours after the ceremony ended.

 

Kasyanov, the outgoing first deputy premier and finance minister, is almost

certain to be nominated for parliamentary approval and to win it. He is well

known in the West as a financial expert and foreign debt negotiator.

 

At a cabinet meeting, Putin also told ministers after they formally resigned

that he hoped most would stay on.

 

VOWS TO UNITE RUSSIANS

 

``I consider it my sacred duty to unite the people of Russia and to gather

citizens around clearly defined tasks and aims and to remember, every minute

of every day, that we are one nation and one people,'' he said in a 10-minute

acceptance speech crowning his meteoric eight-month rise to power.

 

Putin, 47, was all but unknown until Yeltsin made him premier last August. He

won the presidential election on March 26, three months after Yeltsin

resigned and made him acting president.

 

At Sunday's evening reception in the state Kremlin palace, Putin told a room

full of politicians that Russia should not await any miracles.

 

``We will not promise any quick miracles, but we are ready to undertake our

work professionally and efficiently,'' he said.

 

The inauguration appeared to galvanise a rare unity among Russia's

politicians.

``We saw a new man from a new generation who thinks in concrete, concise

fashion and who understands why he became president,'' Mikhail Lapshin of the

Agrarians, no natural ally of Putin's, told private NTV television.

 

Putin, whose leap to the Kremlin was aided by his tough stance on breakaway

Chechnya, earlier on Sunday also praised Russia's troops, saying they

continued the best tradition of ``bravery and heroism'' shown by Soviet

troops in World War Two.

 

Chechen rebels attacked a Russian column and staged acts of sabotage in an

apparent bid to ruin Putin's inauguration day.

 

The rebels planted bombs under railway tracks and shot at military

checkpoints in Chechnya but failed to stage any large-scale operations as

Moscow feared.

 

*******

 

#6

TEXT-Text of Putin's inauguration speech

 

MOSCOW, May 7 (Reuters) - Here is the text of Vladimir Putin's speech

delivered on Sunday at his inauguration as Russia's new president in a

ceremony at the Kremlin.

 

(Text translated by Reuters and BBC Monitoring; about 850 words)

 

Respected citizens of Russia, dear friends, I am addressing you today, you in

particular, because you have entrusted me with the highest post in the

country.

 

I am aware that I have undertaken a huge responsibility and I know that the

head of state in Russia has always been and will always be responsible for

everything, for everything that is happening in the country.

 

On leaving the Kremlin, the first president of Russia, Boris Nikolayevich

Yeltsin, made remarks which many would remember. He reminded us of those

words today. He said and repeated in this hall today: take care of Russia.

 

This is how I see my main task as president. I will expect my colleagues to

fulfil this duty as well. I am hoping that my fellow compatriots and all

those who hold dear the destiny of their fatherland will help in this

patriotic affair.

 

I also want to thank my supporters today, all those who voted for me during

the election. You expressed your support for the first steps that were made.

You believed that together we could change life for the better.

 

I am deeply grateful to you for this but I understand that your support is

only an advance to the authorities as a whole and, of course, to myself, who

is assuming office as the country's president.

 

I appeal also to those who voted for other candidates. I am convinced that

you voted for our common future, for our common goals, for a better life, for

a flourishing and strong Russia. Each one of us has his own experience, his

own views, but we must be together. We have to do a great many things

together.

 

Today is truly a historic day. I wish to focus attention on this once more.

In actual fact, for the first time in the entire history of our state, for

the first time in Russian history, supreme power in the country is being

transferred in the most democratic and most simple way: through the will of

the people - legally and peacefully.

 

The transfer of power is always a test of the constitutional system, a test

of its strength. It is true that this is not the first test for us. Clearly

it is not the last one.

 

However, we have gone through this trial, this stage, with dignity. We have

proved that Russia is becoming a truly modern democratic state. The peaceful

succession of power is the crucial element of the political stability we have

dreamed of, to which we have aspired and which we have sought.

 

The movement towards a free society has not been easy. There have been both

tragic and bright stages in our history. The establishment of a democratic

state is a process still far from completion.

 

However, a great deal has already been done. We must safeguard what has been

achieved, maintain and develop democracy, ensure that the authorities elected

by the people work in their interests, defend Russian citizens everywhere,

both inside and outside our country, and serve the society. This is my

convinced firm position. I have defended it and intend to continue defending

it.

 

For today's solemn event we are gathered here, in the Kremlin, a place which

is sacred for our people. The Kremlin is the heart of our national memory.

Our country's history has been shaped here, inside the Kremlin walls, over

centuries. And we do not have the right to be heedless of our past. We must

not forget anything.

 

We must know our history, know it as it really is, draw lessons from it and

always remember those who created the Russian state, championed its dignity

and made it a great, powerful and mighty state.

 

We shall preserve that memory, and we shall preserve that tradition through

the ages. We shall hand down to our descendants all that is best in our

history - all that is best.

 

Respected citizens of Russia, we believe in our strength, in our ability to

really transform and transfigure the country. We have common goals. We want

our Russia to be a free, prosperous, rich, strong and civilised country, a

country of which its citizens are proud and which is respected in the world.

 

During the past few months, both in Moscow and during meetings in the Russian

regions, I have sensed your understanding and your support, and very often

from people, from the most ordinary people, in the squares and streets of our

towns I have heard very simple words, but words that are very important to

me. They said: we believe you, we are counting on you.

 

Don't deceive us. I can assure you that in my work I will be guided only by

the interests of the state. There may well be mistakes but I can promise you,

and indeed I do promise you, that I will work openly and honestly. I consider

it my sacred duty to unite the people of Russia, to gather citizens around

clearly defined tasks and aims and to remember, every minute of every day,

that we are one nation and one people. We have one common future.

 

*******

 

#7

TEXT-Yeltsin's speech at the Kremlin inauguration

 

MOSCOW, May 7 (Reuters) - Following is the text of former President Boris

Yeltsin's speech at the inauguration of Vladimir Putin as Russia's new

president in the Kremlin on Sunday.

 

The speech was broadcast live on Russian television. (Translation by Reuters

and BBC monitoring, about 450 words):

 

Respected participants in this solemn ceremony, dear Russian citizens.

 

I congratulate you on a historic event in the life of the country. A new

Russian president has officially entered office. I wish Vladimir

Vladimirovich Putin success in implementing the difficult duties of a

president with dignity. I wish all the Russian people happiness and

prosperity.

 

Today is one of the most emotional days in the life of each Russian citizen,

especially in the life of presidents. We must build a new Russia. To do this,

a new generation of statesmen and politicians, who firmly adhere to the

values of democracy, is coming. It will be easier for them. They are much

less than us bound by habits of the past. They handle old dogmas with more

courage and come out victorious.

 

For me, this day is also very special and very emotional, although, to be

honest, I did not expect it to be.

 

Yes, we wrote the history of the new Russia from scratch, by trial and error,

so to speak. There were many demanding trials and difficulties. But now we

all have something to be proud of. Russia has changed. It has changed because

we guarded it like the apple of the eye and resolutely defended our most

important achievement - freedom.

We preserved a deserving place for Russia in the world community. We did not

let the country slide into dictatorship and prevented discord. We paved the

way for people to live normally. Successes on this path is a matter of time

and intense work. Taking place today, for the first time in a century, is a

legal transfer of powers from one head of state to another.

 

Of course, this is not easy, but we can be proud that this is taking place

without coups d'etat, putsches or revolutions. It is taking place peacefully,

respectfully and with dignity. This is possible only in a free country, which

has stopped fearing not only others but itself too, its own power, having

freed its own citizens and given them liberty.

 

This is, of course, possible only in a new Russia, which has taught people to

think and live freely. Respected Russian citizens.

 

>From today, the official countdown of the presidency of Vladimir Putin

begins. I pass on to him not only the symbol of the president's power. The

most important thing he is receiving is the responsibility for the future of

the country and all Russians. This is why, today, I want to wish you,

Vladimir Vladimirovich, success and good luck.

 

Russians remember you and, together with them, you will move forward. These

words are sincere, they come from the bottom of my heart. I cannot do it any

other way because I lived through it all myself. Your goal is to live up to

these hopes. I want to repeat the words which I told you some time ago: look

after Russia.

 

*******

 

#8

ANALYSIS-Russian politicians wait for Putin's plan

By Ron Popeski

 

MOSCOW, May 7 (Reuters) - Vladimir Putin's inauguration as president on

Sunday cast him as a hero basking in acclaim, but Russian politicians and

their constituents will now be waiting for concrete results with the economy

and post-Soviet reforms.

 

Putin was sworn in at a glittering Kremlin ceremony carefully staged to

underscore his role as a leader of a new generation in sharp contrast with

his predecessor Boris Yeltsin, whose frailty was blatant in a brief speech.

 

The new president avoided concrete promises in his address in the Kremlin's

newly-renovated St Andrew Hall, pledging to ``unite the people of Russia and

to gather citizens around the clearly-defined tasks and aims and to remember,

every minute of every day, that we are one nation and we are one people.''

 

Within hours, he had got down to business at a cabinet meeting and nominated

Mikhail Kasyanov as acting prime minister. Putin also expressed hope that

most members of his outgoing administration would remain in place.

 

Kasyanov, the outgoing first deputy premier and finance minister, is almost

certain to be nominated for parliamentary approval and to win it. His

nomination was an indication that Putin would leave the economy, buoyed by

high world oil prices, to Kasyanov and tackle other matters himself.

 

The swearing-in and inaugural cabinet meeting, carefully stage managed for

television, will have held little interest for many Russians who fled the

city on a holiday weekend to tend gardens at country homes which help them

make ends meet.

 

Many have exhibited far more passion this week at the abysmal standing of

Russia's ice hockey team, all but eliminated from the world championships on

home turf in St Petersburg.

 

But the solemn nature of the ceremony staged in the Kremlin, symbol of power

and historical pride -- appeared to galvanise a rare unity among politicians

-- for however short a period.

 

CEREMONY CALMS POLITICAL PASSIONS -- FOR NOW

 

``We saw a new man from a new generation who thinks in concrete, concise

fashion and who understands why he became president,'' Mikhail Lapshin of the

Agrarians, no natural ally of Putin's, told private NTV television.

 

He said it reminded him of 1950s Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev urging

communist party leaders to get down to work and deal with clearly established

tasks.

 

Some were nonetheless quick to seek clarification of Putin's programme, which

remained vague throughout his election campaign and is still being drafted by

a Moscow think-tank.

 

Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov, a distant second in the March election,

urged Putin to announce his policies quickly. He told Interfax news agency

his first measures should help pensioners whose savings were wiped out in

post-Soviet turmoil.

 

Financial tycoon and parliamentarian Boris Berezovsky, close to Yeltsin's

administration, told Interfax Putin ``must choose a strategy for the economy,

political life and state development.''

 

``Boris Yeltsin has accomplished a historic task,'' he said. ``The task Putin

has to tackle is strategic.''

 

Putin said during the campaign that he found election promises repugnant and

would make no pledge he could not keep.

 

His statements during and since have been confined to creating a strong

post-Soviet Russia, defeating Chechen separatists and establishing a

``dictatorship of law'' and business opportunities with a level playing field

for all.

 

He also staged diplomatic coups, persuading parliament to ratify the START-2

nuclear disarmament pact and conferring publicly with the prime ministers of

Britain and Japan.

 

But some commentators suggested Putin might lack the skill to overcome

Russia's deep financial and social problems and forge a consensus with both

politicians and the competing business interests that played such a role in

the Yeltsin era.

 

``He needs political will, imagination and skill and perhaps in two or three

years he can begin to turn around living standards. But this is going to take

a long time,'' Tom Graham of the Carnegie Endowment think tank told Cable

News Network.

 

``A big question mark is whether Putin has the political skill to forge this

consensus at more than abstract level in terms of concrete practices and

programmes.''

 

*******

 

#9

Muscovites hope Putin can reverse Russian decline

By Gareth Jones

 

MOSCOW, May 7 (Reuters) - Muscovites said on Sunday they hoped newly

inaugurated President Vladimir Putin would bring order and prosperity to

Russia after years of upheaval and poverty, but they acknowledged he faced a

daunting task.

 

Most people quizzed by Reuters on a bright but blustery day in the Russian

capital said they liked and respected Putin, a 47-year-old former KGB spy

whose inauguration took place in the tsarist splendour of the Grand Kremlin

Palace.

 

``I like him very much. He is clever, energetic, young. We have great

expectations that he can change our life for the better,'' said retired

teacher Maria Afanasyeva.

 

``But we had similar hopes of Boris Yeltsin and they proved ill-founded,''

she added with a sad smile. ``Maybe we Russians are too trusting. It is very

easy to deceive us.''

 

Yeltsin, now 69, rode to power a decade ago amid high hopes that he would

turn the country into a prosperous democracy. Russia remains a democracy, but

millions have been plunged into poverty and corruption is rife at all levels

of society.

 

Putin became acting president after Yeltsin, his patron, resigned on December

31 after recurrent bouts of illness and amid allegations of corruption in his

entourage. Putin won a resounding victory in the March 26 presidential

election.

 

KGB PAST WORRIES FEW

 

Muscovites did not seem particularly concerned about Putin's shadowy past in

the KGB, but conceded that they still knew little about their new president,

who was virtually unknown until Yeltsin appointed him as prime minister last

August.

 

``It is good that Putin has a KGB past. We need a strong hand and he should

be able to restore order,'' said Afanasyeva.

 

Law student Katya Teterevyatnikova agreed. ``I voted for Putin, though I

don't really know much about him. I guess it was because I like the way he

looks, young and fit.''

 

She said she was only worried that Putin might decide to move Russia's

capital from Moscow to his home city of St Petersburg, the tsarist-era

capital. Some politicians have mooted such a possibility in recent days,

though the expense involved makes such a move very unlikely.

 

Viktor, 55, said he thought Putin would restore national unity following the

collapse of the Soviet Union and the confused, stop-go reforms which followed

under Yeltsin.

 

``Putin has made a good start. He has started to unite the country again.

Yeltsin was responsible for breaking things up,'' he said as he took his dog

for a morning stroll.

 

``I like the fact that the oligarchs like (Boris) Berezovsky have suddenly

gone quiet. They have withdrawn into the shadows,'' said Viktor, who declined

to give his family name.

 

In Yeltsin's declining years, powerful businessmen like Berezovsky reportedly

wielded considerable influence in the Kremlin, contributing to an atmosphere

of intrigue and unaccountability which helped erode the president's

popularity.

 

Putin has vowed to combat corruption and to build a state based on the

``dictatorship of the law'' where none enjoy special privileges. It is still

not clear how he will do this.

 

PUTIN SEEN AS MAN OF ACTION

 

But for now, Russians seem ready to give Putin the benefit of the doubt and

to dwell on his positive points, notably -- for them -- his tough stance on

rebel Chechnya.

 

``He is a man of action and few words,'' said Mikhail, a white-haired man in

his late 50s. ``We have to hope he will do the right things.''

 

``I really admire your Margaret Thatcher,'' he added, referring to the

British former prime minister whom the Soviets dubbed the Iron Lady. ``Now if

Putin can govern like her, Russia really will be on the path to recovery.''

 

Student Denis Rusakov, 18, said he was worried about being called up to the

army and being sent to fight in Chechnya.

 

``I hope Putin will introduce a professional army instead of one based on

conscription,'' he said.

 

But he added that he did not think Putin's election would change things so

much. ``In this country, we have got used to getting by without our

politicians. I don't think they can make much difference.''

 

******

 

#10

International Herald Tribune

May 5, 2000

[for personal use only]

The Russians Need Outsiders to Expect Them to Be Responsible

By Flora Lewis

 

STOCKHOLM - When a group of eminent international experts met here last week

to discuss ''The Future of Russia,'' the outlook offered was glum. Nobody,

including the Russians present, really expected the crucial next two or three

years to bring the deep reforms considered necessary to put the country on

the track to recovery.

 

A remarkably lucid, articulate Russian woman said her greatest fear was not

anti-democratic forces but that those considered liberals who are now more or

less in charge will fail to face the urgent problems and will lose all

credibility in the population for the ideas and values of liberalism.

 

The conference was organized by the InterAction Council, a club of former

heads of government whose honorary chairman is the former German Chancellor

Helmut Schmidt.

 

Politicians and the invited experts objected that there was too much

pessimism. Some new, carefully selected statistics were provided to show that

the downward slide is over and the turnaround has begun. That has been a

recurrent theme for at least the last five years, a point that nobody had the

unkindness to mention.

 

It was as though to be politically correct, anywhere, requires an assertion

of optimism for Russia. There has to be hope, even if it turns out to be

difficult to justify on a close look at where things are going.

 

Vladimir Putin, the newly elected president, is seen as pragmatic, energetic

and efficient. Some complain that he is such a patient, willing listener that

he gives no clue as to his reactions. He has always been a No. 2, an

accepting underling. He is hard to know, which invites the question whether

there may not be much more there beneath the surface.

 

He lived for a number of years in East Germany, as a KGB agent who also

traveled to the Federal Republic, so he has some personal experience of the

West.

Regardless of his personality, which leaves an ambiguous, almost neutral

impression, Mr. Putin faces a straightforward, mind-boggling dilemma which

his cool manner may help him to address but which is almost beyond logic. He

must make some very basic, far-reaching, emotional as well as

power-challenging changes in the way Russia runs, and quite soon, while

acknowledging that the interests which support him and the foreign powers

which worry about how to deal with him want, above all, stability.

 

This is reasonable, and delicate. Nobody wants Russia to blow. Despite the

romantic violence of a few extremists, the whole idea of revolution as

solution is finished. Revolution provokes troubles, it doesn't ease them.

Perhaps, if we can take a long enough view, this awareness might be

considered a beneficial ultimate result of the Bolsheviks.

 

There is wide and strong conviction, among both Russians and foreign experts,

that Russia certainly will not revert to a Communist regime, despite the

sturdy survival of Communist Party organization and the loose, flimsily

articulated structure of other parties. But the demise of communism does not

assure by any means that a vigorous democratic system will take its place.

 

There will need to be, according to Russian analysts, an end to what they

call ''the fusion of power,'' that is, the merger of capital and control so

that each reinforces the other and prevents the evolution of real

self-government, real market operations.

 

Even some of the most basic laws are missing. It is pointed out that the very

idea of property - that is, essentially land - was only introduced in 1785.

Before that, everything belonged to the czar.

 

Yet the development of a healthy, viable Russia that can make a satisfactory

member of the world community is so urgent for all concerned that the hope

takes on conviction.

 

It will no longer do to accept the one-man system and deal with Russia as

though only the leader counted. Involvement with the rest of the world is

necessary at all levels, in all parts of this vast country.

 

We cannot predict just what it is going to do, but the time has come to deal

realistically and objectively, neither demonizing Moscow nor sugarcoating the

relationship. The burden of effort falls ineluctably on the Russians

themselves. They need and deserve not patronizing condescension or blind

indulgence but the respect of being expected to live up to their

responsibilities.

 

******

 

#11

RUSSIAN CABINET TO CONTINUE PRIVATIZATION POLICY

 

MOSCOW. May 5 (Interfax) - The Russian Cabinet will continue the

privatization policy, State Property Fund head Igor Shuvalov told the

ORT channel on Thursday.

"Over 30,000 state-run unitary enterprises can be transformed into

companies whose shares will be offered for sale," he said.

On the other hand, "all-out privatization is not on the agenda any

more and is not likely to be," Shuvalov said.

The proposed sale of the stock of Lukoil, Rosneft, Slavneft and

ONAKO oil companies is not designed to improve the budget revenue, he

said.

Rather, the goal is to change the structure of the capital in those

companies while the budget is indeed in good shape, as the Cabinet is

saying, Shuvalov said.

All the same, a higher budget revenue would do no harm, he said.

The state intends to be "an active player working for higher prices

of oil shares on the Russian and foreign markets," Shuvalov said.

"We propose to sell small packages of shares in those companies

while keeping control in the state's hands for the benefit of both the

state and the companies," he said.

 

*******

 

#12

From: Wayne Merry <ewmerry@acus.org>

Subject: Washington Seminar on Russia's 'Old Believers'

Date: Fri, 5 May 2000

 

Washington Seminar on Russia's 'Old Believers': The Atlantic Council of the

United States invites you to a discussion on "Russia's 'Old Believers': A

Traditional Religious Community in the New Russia", on Monday, May 15, 2000

from 3:30 - 5:30 p.m., in The Atlantic Council Conference Room, 11th Floor,

910 17th Street NW (west side of Farragut Square, between I and K Streets).

Russian Orthodox Church reforms in the mid-17th Century created a rift in

Russian society persisting to this day. After 350 years of opposition, the

Old Believers remain resilient in their communities and their faith across

Russia (and in parts of the US). This program will examine the Old

Believers as an aspect of post-Soviet Russia's society and human rights

development. Panelists: Elena Smilianskaya, Moscow State University and

Kennan Institute Scholar, and Richard A. Morris, Adjunct professor, REESC,

University of Oregon, Eugene. For further information, please telephone

(202) 778-4990.

 

******

 

#13

Date: Wed, 03 May 2000

From: Susan Gilman <taganai@mail2.gis.net>

Subject: Central Asia & The Caucasus (Sweden)

 

Dear Johnson List Members:

 

˘Central Asia & The Caucasus÷ (Sweden), issue No. 2 (2000) has just been

published and is in the process of being mailed. This issue takes a

compelling look at the relationships between the Central Asian and

Caucasian States and the West; and examines prospects for their future

relations. We have an impressive group of contributors to this issue

including:

 

* Dr. Ariel Cohen, leading analyst with The Heritage Foundation

(USA), who examines U.S. interests in Central Asia and the Caucasus

and the challenges ahead,

* The Honorable Alikbek Dzhekshenkulov, First Deputy Foreign Minister

of Kyrgyzstan, looks at the role of the West in the Central Asian

Region,

* while the Honorable Murat Laumulin, First Secretary of the

Kazakhstan Embassy in Germany (Ph.D. History), takes a

retrospective look at KazakhstanĂs relations with the West during

the 1990s.

 

Also included are insightful examinations of:

* Japan and Central Asia's partnership written by Irina Komissina,

senior scientific researcher at the Russian Strategic Research

Institute and,

* The Israel-Turkey-Azerbaijan Triangle: Present and Future by Anar

Veliev of the TURAN Analytical Information Agency (Azerbaijan).

 

A sampling of other articles from this issue includes:

 

* The Role of Central Asia and the Caucasus in the CIS Economy

* The Formation of Regional Cooperation Models in GUUAM

* The Central Asian States and the Economic Cooperation Organization

* On Two Sides of the Border: Georgia and Chechnya

* The Karabakh Conflict: Is There A Way Out?

* Islamophobia and Religious Legislation in Daghestan

* Power Engineering in the Armenian Economy

* The Turkmen Model of Democracy

* Jews in Azerbaijan: Past & Future

* Approach to Tamerlane: Tradition & Innovation

* Interviews with Vladislav Ardzinba, President of Abkhazia and with

Tamaz Nadareishvili, Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the

Abkhazian Autonomous Republic

 

We are confident you will find this issue of ˘Central Asia & The

Caucasus÷ absorbing and thought provoking in its analysis of this

increasingly important region.

 

˘Central Asia & The Caucasus÷ is published bimonthly in Sweden by the

Central Asia and The Caucasus Information and Analytical Center and

edited by Dr. Murad Esenov.

 

Published in Russian since 1995 ˘Central Asia & The Caucasus÷ is

distributed in 35 countries and is one of the premier journals examining

the regions of Central Asia and the Caucasus. The English language

edition debuted in February and already counts amongst its subscribers

some of the world's leading research institutes and researchers,

libraries and, governmental and non-governmental organizations.

 

To those of you who have already subscribed, we thank you. To those who

would like to subscribe please use the attached order form in which you

will also find price information. Should you wish to place an order

please return the form to me and I will process it immediately.

 

If you have any additional questions or should you have any difficulties

opening the attached file, please feel free to contact me.

 

We look forward to receiving your order.

 

Sincerely,

Susan Gilman

Director, Sales & Subscription Services

Central Asia & The Caucasus (Sweden)

Taganai@mail2.gis.net

 

******

 

#14

Date: Fri, 05 May 2000

From: "JOSEPH DRESEN" <DRESENJO@WWIC.SI.EDU>

Subject: Vladimir Voinovich at Kennan Institute

 

The Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies is pleased to invite you

to a seminar with guest speaker

 

Vladimir Voinovich

writer, Munich, Germany,

and former Fellow, Woodrow Wilson Center

(Among the works by Vladimir Voinovich translated into English are:

"The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin", "The

Ivankiad", "Anti-Soviet Soviet Union", "Moscow 2042", "The Fur Hat" and

others.)

 

on

 

"Russia: Anticipating the Strong Hand"

 

Wednesday, May 10, 2000

2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

 

Conference Room, 5th Floor

The Kennan Institute

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

The Ronald Reagan Building

1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

 

If you need directions, please call us at (202) 691-4100

 

Seating is on a first come, first served basis. Please bring picture

identification to get through the Wilson Center's security procedures.

 

******

 

#15

Subject: PBS "Frontline" on US-Russia Relations

From: JensenD@rferl.org (Donald Jensen)

Date: Sun, 7 May 2000 1

 

Dear David,

 

Readers of the Russia List may be interested in viewing the PBS Frontline

program , "The Return of the Czar," to be broadcast Tuesday evening, May 9

(Frontline usually airs between 9 and 11 pm in major US markets, so readers

should check their local listings). The program is an overview of US-Russia

relations since the fall of the Soviet Union, with footage shot in Russia and

expert commentary.

 

The tv documentary is in collaboration with National Public Radio, which is

going to run a six part daily series with the same title beginning Monday

May 8

on Morning Edition. Anne Garrelts will host and may excerpt parts of the tv

program.

 

Regards,

Donald N. Jensen

Associate Director of Broadcasting

RFE/RL

Prague, Czech Republic

 

*****

 

#16

Date: Fri, 05 May 2000

From: Tom Moore [Washington hand]

Subject: Liakhov's comments in JRL No. 4281

 

I would like to respond to Mr. Liakhov's comments in JRL No. 4281,

dated May 3, 2000.

 

[The views expressed here are my own entirely and do not represent

the views of my employer and are only for the purposes of debate. ]

 

I have observed, both in testimony before Congress and in informal

talks with those interested in the area of arms control, that there is

a common thread woven into the fabric of both sides' positions. Mr.

Liakhov too touches this theme. The "lost direction" to which Liakhov

refers does exist, though it leads to different conclusions than those

he infers, and certainly poses new questions regarding both Russian

and American nuclear arsenals. My thinking is that this direction is

not so dangerous nor should it be considered so for Russian interests.

 

Mr. Liakhov writes that

"[this] same `lost direction' syndrome is evident in the

USA in the debate on amendments to the ABM Treaty (which

was one of the pillars of the Cold War equilibrium) and

shows the same growing feeling of increase of threat to the

USA in the post Cold War world which is really surprising

as the collapse of the USSR was expected to produce exactly

the opposite result."

 

Maybe one of the most tiresome phrases uttered by political leaders

today is "With the end of the Cold War." Surely, the Cold War has

ended, so we must look beyond its end. The Cold War has left intact

arms control treaties applicable to the strategic calculations of the

Soviet Union and the United States, not Putin's Russian Federation and

the next American president. What these treaties, and indeed those

negotiators, never anticipated was that the world they knew would

cease to exist in a mere three to four decades. The confusion

resulting from the end of the Cold War has, I believe, touched off a

flurry of (useful) argument over how big the US arsenal should be and

to what extent we can lower our number of weapons before a reliable

deterrent capability is no more. That problem has been increased by

several orders of magnitude in Russia, where problems of simply

securing the stockpile from theft and degradation plague an already

demoralized military and society.

 

My observation is essentially this: If the Cold War is over, then

why do we labor on under its policies and calculations in the area of

arms control? If the Cold War is over, why does Russia look at US

plans to build a limited missile defense system (which is not aimed at

defending America from Russian attack, nor could it) against rogue

states as a sign of aggressive intent? The "increase of threat"

referenced above does not come from Russia, and the United States has

repeatedly said so. My question here would be: If Russia does not

want the United States to treat it as a threat, then why do they

threaten retaliation when America tries to defend itself?

 

What American thinking does in fact reflect is that the nuclear

genie is out of the bottle (another Cold War legacy) and that states

other than Russia and the United States are developing systems capable

of threatening both the United States and Russia. The question for

both Russia and the United States in not whether an imbalance exists

between them, but whether our shared fate of a nuclear world can best

be regulated by a preexisting framework based on arrangements made 30

years ago.

 

I suppose you could argue that the legacy of arms control is the

peace dividend, and that we must protect it. Yet, again, those

agreements did not anticipate the undoing of the order they

protected-a bilateral, nuclear world that no longer parallels reality.

 

Mr. Liakhov also states that it would be "extremely short-sighted"

not to take into account Russian views in this new world. The fact

the United States has committed to building a missile defense system

or that it has offered membership in NATO to former Warsaw Pact states

does not mean that it has ceased to consider Russia an important

player on the international scene. Indeed, and unfortunately, we may

both still be thinking too much on what the other's calculation will

be. What it may mean is that Russian views are now part of a larger

global community, and that there are other voices and views that we

must now consider, and that there are others with developing weapons

programs against which we must defend ourselves.

 

This direction may not be "lost" but merely new, and new questions

of purpose and power are coming to the fore. We must be sure to what

ends our arsenals and agreements are directed, and this is a natural,

though new, part of the present international situation. It is not a

sign of US "imperialist hung[er]" or its desire to act as some kind of

balancer state. As our relations with Russia change, so should our

treaties with it.

 

******

 

#17

Putin was destined for a great career -- teacher

By Elizabeth Piper

 

MOSCOW, May 7 (Reuters) - Vera Guryevich said she always knew Vladimir Putin

would have a great career, but the former KGB spy's school teacher said on

Sunday she never expected him to become Russia's president.

 

Guryevich watched Putin, one of her proteges, become Russia's president in a

glittering Kremlin ceremony where he vowed to unite the nation and take care

of the country to fanfare and much applause.

 

``It's difficult to believe that one of my pupils has become president of the

country. But I always knew he would have a brilliant career,'' Guryevich, a

short white-haired woman, told RTR state television before she left for the

ceremony.

 

``He always had that kind of explosive character, he was irrepressible, he

was always on the move. At first I couldn't imagine how he would use his

energy. I watched him and wondered what would he do with it,'' she said,

beaming from ear to ear.

 

Putin, who studied in Russia's second city of St Petersburg, said in a book

based on extensive interviews that he was so keen to be a spy he walked into

the KGB's local headquarters as a wide-eyed schoolboy to ask for a job.

 

Putin said his offer of service was rebuffed but he pursued his dream of

becoming a spy when he left school and studied law in his native St

Petersburg.

 

Three of his classmates in Russia's imperial capital were also shown on RTR

watching Putin's half-hour long inauguration ceremony.

 

``He looks relaxed, yes, he looks good,'' they said to each other, as Putin

swore a short oath of office and took a military salute on an ancient square

in the Kremlin.

 

``Whenever I listen to him speaking, I can close my eyes and it is as if he's

speaking in the classroom,'' said Irina Filippova, who studied with him in St

Petersburg.

 

She said he had always been one of the smartest members of class and was

always conscientious and hardworking.

 

``He was always neat and I can't remember a time when he did not wear a

tie,'' she said, sharing what was clearly a common joke among the friends.

 

Pavel Vinogradov said Putin was a bit of a joker, something which may

surprise those used to watching the steely former spy in television

interviews.

 

``He had a subtle sense of humour and irony,'' Vinogradov said. ``And I can

still see it in his interviews.''

 

******

 

Web page for CDI Russia Weekly:

http://www.cdi.org/russia


 

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