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Johnson's Russia List
13 September 2000
[Note from David Johnson:
1. Moscow Times: Simon Saradzhyan, Report: Borodin and Family Took
2. AFP: Safin Russia's new tennis hero.
3. Tom Moore: Response to Albert Weeks in JRL #4503. (Re US policy
4. gazeta.ru: Putin Shares Communists’ Parliamentary Dream.
5. Reuters: Gorbachev in Berlin sees risks for Europe.
6. Reuters: Putin signs doctrine on ``information security''
7. The Independent (UK): Patrick Cockburn, Bid to assassinate Putin
at summit 'was foiled by agents'
8. Obshchaya Gazeta: Pavlovskiy Uses Internet To Attack Putin
9. Reuters: Cent. Asian conflict about drugs more than faith.
10. Moscow Times EDITORIAL: Putin Not Ready for His Close-up.
11. Reuters: Russian prosecutors bid to revive Nikitin spy case.
12. US Department of State: U.S., Russia Joint Statement on United
September 13, 2000
Report: Borodin and Family Took Over $25M
By Simon Saradzhyan
Geneva authorities believe former Kremlin property chief Pavel Borodin and
his relatives received more than $25 million in kickbacks from a Swiss
company hired to renovate federal buildings, a newspaper reported Tuesday.
Swiss investigating judge Daniel Devaud sent a letter to Prosecutor General
Vladimir Ustinov telling him of evidence that Borodin and his relatives took
the money from Swiss company Mercata Trading and Engineering, Segodnya said.
Devaud asked Ustinov in the July 19 letter to assist him in collecting
further evidence against Borodin, his family and Mercata chief Viktor
Officials at Devaud's office confirmed by telephone Tuesday from Geneva that
a letter had been sent to Ustinov on July 10 and the Prosecutor General's
Office acknowledged having received it. Neither office would say what the
Swiss investigators, who have been investigating alleged kickbacks by Mercata
and Swiss firm Mabetex for two years, announced in June they intended to
charge Stolpovskikh. In January, they issued an international arrest warrant
for Borodin, who now acts as secretary of the Belarus-Russia Union's
executive committee on money-laundering charges.
The Swiss are investigating whether bribes played a role in Borodin's
decision in the mid-1990s to dole out lucrative contracts to Mercata for the
renovation of the Kremlin Palace hall, the headquarters of the State Audit
Chamber and former President Boris Yeltsin's plane.
In his July letter, Devaud asks the Prosecutor General's Office if Borodin,
Stolpovskikh or several other people f including Borodin's daughter
Yekaterina Siletskaya and her husband, Andrei Siletsky f have been convicted
in the past.
The letter inquires whether Russian prosecutors possess evidence that those
suspects have any connections to organized crime.
Devaud also asks for precise details about how the Kremlin came to hand
contracts over to Mercata.
Swiss law enforcement have already determined the Kremlin paid $492 million
to Mercata for renovations and a first tranche of $115 million was
transferred in 1997, according to the letter.
About $21 million of that tranche was sent by Mercata to a company called
Lightstar Voltage Systems in March 1997 as a commission fee for helping
secure the Kremlin renovation deal.
Lightstar is registered on the Isle of Man tax haven and is owned by
Stolpovskikh, according to Devaud.
Lightstar then transferred $10.26 million of that sum to a middleman, who
forwarded it to Borodin-owned Somos Investments.
The same scheme was used when Mercata received another $114 million later in
1997, according to the inquiry. About $18.24 million out of that second
tranche was transferred in October 1997 to Lightstar Voltage Systems, which
then wired $4.5 million to Somos.
Another $5.68 million from that payment wound up at the United Overseas Bank
in Switzerland in an account for Borodin's Panama-based Amadeus Foundation.
About $5.10 million went to an account held by the Tornton Foundation and
owned by Siletskaya at Hoffman Bank.
Borodin could not be reached for comment Tuesday. He has in the past
repeatedly dismissed as unfounded the allegations that he took kickbacks.
Prosecutors themselves have never acted on the international arrest warrant
and the Swiss have repeatedly accused Russian prosecutors of dragging their
The Prosecutor General's Office said Tuesday it is examining the information
in the faxed letter it received from Devaud.
"We are actively working on this [matter]," said an official who asked not to
He said, though, the Prosecutor General's Office would only respond to Devaud
after receiving an original f not a fax f of the letter.
The Prosecutor General's Office also said in a statement Tuesday that some
issues raised by the Swiss "need correction" and the case will be discussed
when Swiss Federal Prosecutor Valentin Roschacher visits Moscow "in the near
future," Interfax reported.
Safin Russia's new tennis hero
MOSCOW, Sept 12 (AFP) -
The new crown prince of Russian tennis Marat Safin scaled the heights of
sport winning last weekend's US Open but he very nearly packed in the sport
after a string of poor performances earlier this year.
"I thought about quitting tennis in Indian Wells (the Tennis Masters Series
played in March). Now I have won the US Open," Safin said in an interview
published Tuesday in the Russian daily Sport Express.
"Its been a long way. I'm thinking about becoming number one in the world. I
have a big chance," he added.
Safin, 20, thrilled Russian tennis fans with his straight-set victory over
Pete Sampras in the US final, a triumph many have eagerly attributed to his
introduction to the game at a Moscow tennis club.
Born in January 1980, the infant Safin took his first tentative steps on the
road to Flushing Meadows when he watched his mother Rosa's practising at her
He started his own training programme at the tender age of five along with
another future star of Russian tennis, Anna Kournikova, who was a member of
the same club.
Later Safin's parents sent the boy wonder, aged 13, to a special tennis
academy in Valencia, Spain, where he developed his champion's pedigree under
the watchful gaze of former director of Spanish women's tennis Maria Pasqual.
His first title came in 1997, when Safin won a challenger tournament in
Espino, just months before he turned a professional.
Safin's first ATP Tour experience came in November of the same year, in the
Kremlin Cup held in his home town of Moscow, where he failed to become the
star of the show, suffering a first round defeat.
However, this early setback did nothing to deter the 17-year-old who
proceeded to gain in stature as a championship player from match to match.
He won his first ATP title less than two years later, beating Briton Greg
Rusedski in the final of an ATP Tour event in Boston in 1999.
The following year, seeded sixth at the US Open championship, Safin played a
near perfect match in the final against 13-time Grand Slam record holder
Sampras to reach the pinnacle of world tennis.
Safin outplayed a helpless Sampras 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 in one hour and 38 minutes
of near-exhibition tennis, making 37 winners and only 12 unforced errors, at
the same time never dropping his serve and only having to face two break
points during the entire match.
The triumph of the homegrown tennis star was greeted with rapture across
Russia where tennis fans continued to celebrate 48 hours after his historic
News bulletins on all television channels were dominated by reports on the
young Russian's dazzling victory over Sampras the tennis icon.
Even Russian President Vladimir Putin joined in the celebratory mood, firing
off a message of congratulation to Safin within hours of his straight sets
"Your excellent performance proved that a new tennis star has risen. We are
proud that today's triumphant player is our compatriot," Putin said in a
message released by the Kremlin.
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2000
From: Tom_Moore@armed-services.senate.gov (Tom Moore)
Subject: Response to Albert Weeks in JRL #4503
Albert Weeks' invocation of Utkin's new book in response to the
remarks of Condoleeza Rice quoted by The Sunday Times are a foggy
attack on the belief that something new must be done regarding US
policy on Russia.
Aside from praise for Utkin, the remarks attempt to demonstrate that
Rice is some kind of reactionary out to return to the dark days of the
Cold War. Utkin does note, in powerful and accurate detail, the level
to which mistakes have been made. Rice does want the Republican
Party to once again occupy the White House and to steer US policy in a
new direction. But to say that Rice is wrong and that "[she] is
living in the past" and "[that] her get-tough-with-Russia line is
counterproductive and will only make things worse" has less to do with
Utkin and more to do with Mr. Weeks' agenda.
To understand Rice's remarks, it will be useful to examine the Bush
administration's record on transition. Many criticized it for not
acting quickly enough to get aid to the FSU just before and after the
breakup, but its slower, reasoned approach to a new world (in which I
might point out no one is yet sure how to proceed) looks better now.
Yes, hindsight is 20/20, but the empirical record built over the last
years suggests two things: That George W. Bush and Rice are right to
question IMF assistance and that they are not some sort of
We cannot conclude that Rice is ready to return to a time of
pronounced suspicion and fear of Russia. Let us not forget that it was
the Bush administration (in which Rice served) who first broached the
subject of observer status for the Soviet Union in the IMF in 1990 and
reversed US opposition to its membership in EBRD. The Bush
administration also waived Jackson-Vanik in 1990 and again in 1991 to
free up more aid in CCC and Eximbank credits.
In April 1992, the Bush administration announced the FREEDOM Support
Act (Freedom for Russia and Emerging Eurasian Democracies and Open
Markets, now Public Law 102-511) which authorized an earlier
commitment for a $12 billion increase in US funds to the IMF-for all
states but intended mainly to support the FSU (a controversial
provision which was not politically popular because while essentially
not a new outlay nor a measure that would increase the budget deficit
it did need an appropriation and could therefore be counted by some
Members of Congress as foreign aid).
Also, to their great credit, in structuring aid President Bush and NSC
staffer Rice made sure that focus was not directed solely on
Russia-witness the numerous initiatives in 1991 on the Baltics.
Bush did not get time to develop a more comprehensive record on regime
transition. In contrast, starting at Vancouver in 1993, Clinton did
and the new president made a policy change. Favoring the idea that
the faster privatization occurred the quicker democracy could be
consolidated in Russia, aid targeted at speedy privatization was
boosted from $20 million to $60 million. This resulted in the now
famous blitzkrieg mentality adopted by Yeltsin in his sweeping reforms
of privatization laws and formal state procedures for the conversion
of the massive Russian industrial sectors.
For all our efforts beyond the years 1990 to 1993, what have we
purchased? The answers to this question have shaped the Rice agenda
on IMF aid. It is not out of hatred or fear of Russia (the kind which
Utkin talks about and Weeks implies) that we have come to question
assistance, for it was fundamentally out of a desire to help Russia
that this dilemma came to pass.
Headlines (and especially words like "ice maiden") betray the reality
of what is at issue here. Relations are changing between Russia and
the United States, and our assistance to Russia ought to be included
in that debate about how things should change.
September 12, 2000
Putin Shares Communists’ Parliamentary Dream
Alexander Kornilov, staff writer
The Central Election Committee’s bill for reforming electoral requirements
for the State Duma came as a very unpleasant shock for the lower house’s
small parties and factions. The planned legislation means that by 2002, the
Communist Party and pro-Putin Unity faction could be the only parties left
in the Duma.
At a meeting with representatives of the Duma’s party factions on Monday,
the head of the Central Election Committee’s Alexander Veshnyakov admitted
that the electoral legislation reform to be implemented this autumn would
most likely entail a number of significant amendments to the current
regulations currently in force.
One of the most significant amendments, currently being elaborated, is the
proposal to increase the percentage of votes a party requires in order to
gain representation in the lower house. Under the present regulations, a
party or a bloc must win 5% of the vote in parliamentary elections in order
to gain representation. Reportedly, the government wants the 5% barrier
increased to at least 7%.
On September 11 Alexander Veshnyakov met with the representatives of all
the Duma parties, factions and blocs. He had both good news and bad news.
The apparently good news for some deputies Duma deputies was that the draft
legislation for reform of electoral legislation, currently being drawn up
by the Central Election Commission, does not contain any proposals for a
major overhaul of the structure of the lower house (Duma), thus the State
Duma will continue to include deputies voted on the so-called party lists
along with the one-mandate constituency representatives.
However, Veshnyakov did not say a word about the ratio. Under current
legislation, 50% of the lower house deputies are party representatives, and
the other 50% are the one-mandate constituency deputies. At the end of last
month, there was speculation that the proportion of part list deputies
could be reduced to a third, or even done away with entirely. Indeed, some
politicians, notably senators (members of the upper house, the Federation
Council), have long been calling for various degrees of reduction and even
abolition of the party-list representation. Their argument is that
single-mandate deputies are well known in their constituencies and are
responsible for promoting the interests of his/her constituents. Besides,
single mandate deputies, a.k.a. independent deputies, are less dependent on
party discipline thus to some extent are more flexible. But, the so-called
party lists deputies are not elected by constituents. Electors vote for
parties or blocs who then choose who will fill the seats they have won in
the Duma. The majority of the party deputies are thus completely unknown
entities to the electorate.
However, Veshnyakov’s comments on Monday suggest that no significant
changes to the structure of the lower house are being planned.
The presidential administration has discussed the possibility of decreasing
the number party-list representation in the lower house to 150 mandates, or
one-third of deputies’ seats and apparently come to the conclusion such a
measure could harm the pro-Kremlin Unity faction, whereas the Communists
and Luzhkov-Primakov’s ORV (Fatherland All-Russia) could well benefit.
Having cheered the deputies up a bit, the CEC chief switched to the bad
news. He informed the party representatives that the 5% of the overall
party-list vote required to win representation in the lower house would
most likely be increased to 7%.
This news alone was a bitter pill for the smaller parties to swallow, but
more was to come.
Veshnyakov announced that the draft bill on electoral reform would contain
clauses concerning parties’ participation in the election process.
CEC Chief declined from revealing the details of these novelties saying
only that a bill on political parties is currently being elaborated.
According to information at Gazeta.Ru’s disposal, those amendments are
connected with the toughening of the Justice Ministry’s requirements
concerning the organizations and movements wishing to participate in
Veshnaykov did reveal that there would be a clause stipulating a fixed
minimal number of party members. Also, there will be a clause requiring
each party or bloc to have a minimum number of regional offices. This would
be prohibitively expensive for many parties.
These new requirements, which will undoubtedly be passed, will have
potentially fatal consequences, not only on the scanty parties like Kedr
(environmentalists’ movement), Women of Russia and the Beer Lovers Party.
The Liberal Democrats (or LDPR), headed by the notorious Zhirinovsky, and
even Yavlinsky’s Yabloko and the Union of the Right-wing Forces (or SPS)
will face a fight for survival.
In other words, all parties and movements will be forced to undergo tough
Thus the current prognosis for the State Duma of the next 4th calling, to
be elected in 2003, is that a maximum of three political parties will win
In the last parliamentary elections in November 1999, Yabloko, led by
Grigory Yavlinsky, gathered 5.93% of the vote and Zhirinovsky’s LDPR,
5.98%. If the barrier is increased, and there is not a serious turn-around
in voter trends by 2003, neither of those parties will be represented in
the lower house.
Even the Union of the Right- Forces (SPS) could be left out in the cold. In
1999 SPS gathered 8.52%. It is unlikely that in 2003 SPS will win so many
votes for Sergey Kiriyenko has left the movement to become the presidential
envoy to the Volga Federal District …
Besides, if ‘undesirable’ parties do actually win just over 7% of the vote,
it is very possible they would be deprived of their rightful
representation. There is weighty evidence to suggest that in November’s
parliamentary elections and the presidential elections in March, the
presidential administration effectually implemented methods of reallocating
‘inconvenient’ 1 to 3 percents. Considering there has been practically no
effort on the part of the authorities to investigate the evidence, it is
difficult to imagine that such practice would be abandoned in 2003.
Thus, it looks like the only survivors will be the Communist Party, which
in December 1999 gathered 24.29% of the part-list vote, the pro-government
Unity, which gained 23.32% in 1999 and Fatherland-All-Russia (OVR). Last
December OVR gathered 13.33%.
Even OVR could loose a significant portion of its electorate won as a
result of the advantages of so-called administrative resources. OVR was
backed by the regional leaders of Tatarstan, Bashkortostan and the Mayor of
On cannot exclude the possibility that there will be only two parties
represented in the next Duma. There is speculation that Unity could ‘take
What is more, the next Duma elections could be held as early as December
2001, a year after the new electoral laws come into effect.
So what was the reaction of the party functionaries to the proposed
reforms? The LDPR, SPS and OVR leaders were so taken aback by the news that
they had difficulties to give any distinct comment.
Sergey Ivanenko of Yabloko said that the party and its faction in the Duma
resolutely oppose any artificial reduction of the number of political
parties represented in the lower house and oppose an increase in the
percentage required to win representation. He said all the novelties,
should they be implemented, would have a negative influence on Russian
parliamentarism and the formation of a new political system.
Unity representatives declined from commenting. Only Sergey Reshulsky,
Communist Party coordinator asserted that he and his colleagues fully
support the CEC’s initiatives, but they would prefer the Duma entrance
requirement to be raised to 15% instead of 7%.
In other words, Communists are firmly in favour of a two-party Duma. “ A
Duma, consisting of a party in power and a party of constructive
opposition,” as they put it.
And who would argue that Valdimir Putin is against implementing that
Gorbachev in Berlin sees risks for Europe
By Mark John
BERLIN, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, in
Berlin for the 10th anniversary of the treaty that ended Germany's Cold War
division, warned on Tuesday new enmities could yet stop east and west Europe
Urging Europe's leaders to pursue the vision of a united ``greater Europe''
which inspired him to surrender Soviet claims on former Communist East
Germany, he warned that plans to expand the European Union eastwards could
still be derailed.
``We swept away the old divisions but new ones are emerging,'' he told an
audience that included ex-Chancellor Helmut Kohl, a leading architect of
Gorbachev warned that efforts to develop a common European defence structure
must take account of fears in Washington and Moscow that Europe was
determined to forge ahead on its own.
``A security policy without U.S. participation cannot be stable,'' he said.
``And there can be no stable democratic Europe without Russia, let alone
Signed in Moscow on September 12, 1990 by the four states that occupied
Germany after World War Two -- the United States, Russia, Britain and France
-- and the governments of West and East Germany, the so-called ``Two Plus
Four Treaty'' paved the way for reunification a few weeks later on October 3.
Gorbachev's willingness to pull nearly 400,000 Soviet troops out of the
former Communist East Germany and allow Germany to remain in the NATO western
defence alliance was the crucial sacrifice that made the Treaty possible.
``We all had the feeling that a new era was beginning for Europe. As Helmut
Kohl remarked, we finally managed to break the vicious circle,'' he recalled.
West Germany handed Moscow billions of marks of grants and interest-free
EU plans to extend membership to around a dozen mainly central and east
European countries came into question this month when German EU Commissioner
Guenter Verheugen appeared to suggest Berlin should hold a referendum on the
The country's opposition leapt on the comment as evidence Chancellor Gerhard
Schroeder was testing the water for a reversal of his support for enlargement
-- something Schroeder categorically rejected.
Verheugen has since admitted carelessness in airing a personal view and said
the enlargement timetable was not threatened.
Aside from Gorbachev, the event was addressed by Hans-Dietrich Genscher, the
former West German foreign minister whose negotiating skills were seen as
crucial to the Treaty.
Genscher, a member of the liberal Free Democratic Party which hosted the
event, said Germany should remember the Berlin Wall would not have fallen had
it not been for uprisings against Communism in Poland, Czechoslovakia and
Both men devoted large sections of their speeches to Kohl, who did not
himself speak but who was warmly applauded as he took his seat at the front
of the Berlin theatre venue.
Rarely seen in public and a controversial figure within his Christian
Democrats since admitting last year to accepting undeclared, and thus
illegal, campaign funds while chancellor, Kohl acknowledged the applause and
Putin signs doctrine on ``information security''
MOSCOW, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Russia's Security Council said on Tuesday
President Vladimir Putin had approved a sweeping document setting out
guidelines on information security, and one official said it could herald
changes in liberal media laws.
The Kremlin's advisory but increasingly influential Security Council drafted
the doctrine last June, and it said Putin had now signed the document into
force. The council brings together key ministers, top parliamentarians and
The four-part document, presented to Russian reporters by council official
Anatoly Streltsov, was unveiled amid a heated debate on freedom of expression
and media ownership nine years after the fall of communism.
Many journalists have accused Putin's administration of keeping in check
media critical of Kremlin policies.
Interfax news agency said Putin signed the document last Saturday. The
Security Council released highlights on Tuesday and said the 46-page document
would be published in full later.
The doctrine said citizens had a constitutional right to secure and use
information. The government was obliged to explain the basis for its policies
on ``socially important events in Russia and abroad while ensuring the access
of citizens to open state information resources.''
It also provided for upholding Russia's ``spiritual renewal'' and ``moral
values, traditions of patriotism and humanism'' as well as the country's
``scientific and cultural potential.''
The state undertook to develop information technology and Russian mass media,
computer techniques and telecommunications and to protect information sources
from illegal access.
Streltsov, quoted by Russian news agencies, said wire-tapping by security
services was common in other countries and could only be conducted within the
confines of the law. It was not immediately clear whether any mention of
wire-tapping or control of the Internet was made in the doctrine.
He said the doctrine was intended to establish the status of both Russian and
foreign news organisations operating in the country.
But changes would probably be required to the country's law on mass media,
adopted in the early 1990s and entrenching broad liberal values initially
championed by former President Boris Yeltsin, as well as other legislation.
The Independent (UK)
13 September 2000
Bid to assassinate Putin at summit 'was foiled by agents'
By Patrick Cockburn in Moscow
An attempt to kill the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, during a conference
in the Crimea last month was foiled by security agents tipped off by foreign
secret services, the head of Ukraine's security service said yesterday.
Leonid Derkach, the head of the Ukrainian service, gave few details of the
assassination plan but the Russian leader's bodyguards confirmed that they
knew about a would-be attempt on his life while he was attending a summit of
former Soviet states in the Crimea, which is part of Ukraine. Mr Derkach said
earlier that four people from Chechnya and several others from the Middle
East had been involved in the plot.
Mr Putin was able to attend only the first day of the summit on 18 August
before he had to return to Moscow in the aftermath of the sinking of the
Kursk nuclear-powered submarine in the Barents Sea.
As with the sinking of the Kursk, the Russian government was unable yesterday
to give a clear picture of what had happened. Both Russian and Ukrainian
security services would only confirm there had been a plot, which they had
dealt with effectively. Mr Putin is an obvious target for Chechen separatists
because he is the architect of the year-old war in Chechnya.
The Russian security agencies have had singularly little success in bringing
to book those responsible for many acts of violence across the country,
including the bomb explosions in Moscow and other Russian cities, which
killed more than 300 people a year ago. Federal prosecutors now say that a
bomb placed in an underpass near Pushkin square in Moscow, which exploded on
8 August killing 12 people and injuring 108, was probably planted by somebody
settling a business dispute. At the time it was widely assumed the bomb had
been planted by Chechens.
Vladimir Zinchenko, the deputy head of the Interior Ministry's department for
economic crimes, was quoted as saying that evidence was accumulating against
businessmen "whose interests are concentrated at Pushkin square". He was
presumably referring to gang wars between the different groups that control
stallholders selling cheap goods in the underpasses.
The sheer number of state security agencies in Russia also makes it easy for
them to deny knowledge of or responsibility for any particular event. Three
months ago, for instance, Russian forces in Chechnya sent in helicopters and
armoured vehicles to arrest Ruslan Alikhadziyev, the moderate speaker of the
Chechen parliament, but now deny they ever held him or know where he is.
Chechen rebels claim he has been tortured to death.
In a separate development, Yevgeny Adamov, Russia's Minister for Atomic
Energy, said yesterday there was no reason to raise to the surface the Kursk
The Kursk has two nuclear reactors, which shut down automatically when the
front end was ripped apart by an explosion. Immediately after the disaster,
the navy said it would raise the Kursk, which is in 350 feet of water. Mr
Adamov said that might be more dangerous than leaving it where it was.
Pavlovskiy Uses Internet To Attack Putin Critics
September 9, 2000
[translation from RIA Novosti for personal use only]
Article by Karen Gazaryan: "The Campaign Expert Is Dreaming of a
Massive 'Purge,' but Can He and His Own 'Russkiy Zhurnal' Survive It?"
A few days ago, Gleb Pavlovskiy used his
Russkiy Zhurnal Web site to announce the urgent need for a purge of the
political elite and to specify that "we have only two or three months
left" to do this.
Myths are essential components of Russian politics. The Effective
Policy Fund is one of them. This myth essentially suggests that
political campaign manager Gleb Pavlovskiy can influence everything
around us. In truth, Pavlovskiy and his team are only masters of
virtual pseudopolitics. Their charming pseudopolitical pastimes include
the Russkiy Zhurnal Internet site. It is self-described as "a daily Web
publication on culture, politics, and society."
The pages of this publication are steeped in the Internet culture.
Compliments, arguments, and insults are common. Authors revel in
delivering verdicts, accusing each other of incompetence and even of
dishonesty, and doling out ridicule and praise.
Why did Russkiy Zhurnal Editor-in-Chief Gleb Pavlovskiy want to open
this can of worms? Why did he need this kind of all-encompassing
publication? Apparently, for the same reason that the Central Committee
needed an ideological department, which, as we know, also did not confine
itself to policy issues. Its authority extended to Yulian Semenov's
debates with Bulat Okudzhava and to Chakovskiy's polemic with Sofronov.
Russkiy Zhurnal has its own Semenov--Sergey Bolmat. Other names on its
"honor roll" include Lev Anninskiy, Mikhail Gasparov, and Yefim Etkind.
Bakhtin and Lotman seem to be the only names missing from the list, and
probably only because those men are dead now. The liberal
intelligentsia of the 1960s and the highbrow professors who were raised
on those authors know nothing about Pavlovskiy except that he "made"
Putin. They associate Putin with the KGB and the severe penalties the
members of the intelligentsia are certain to face in a year or two. If,
however, their own heroes are working for Pavlovskiy's publication, can
the present situation be that bad?
Dr. Jekyll's transformation into Mr. Hyde is visible on the Russkiy
Zhurnal Web site. The artless inclusion of sardonic references to
Gusinskiy and Media-Most, combined with crudely stretched and false
historical analogies, in an article about the mechanization of the labor
of Karakalpak farmers, for instance, is repugnant. Regrettably, this is
true of most of the entries on the Russkiy Zhurnal site. Completely
unknown authors exhaust themselves in debates and disagreements, foaming
at the mouth as they try to drown their opponents in a flood of
arguments. Ivan Davydov, one of Russkiy Zhurnal's regular contributing
authors, for example, began one article with some gibes at Yevgeniy
Kiselev. Then he moved on to a lightning series of attacks on the
competition--the "Polit.ru" political Web site--and spat square in the
face of a colleague, Sergey Varshavchik, who had dared at some point to
defend Kiselev. He then spent a long time smearing mud all over Gleb
Pavlovskiy's opponent Igor Kvasha, and finished with an impromptu report
to the readers that the public could expect another new Internet project
from the Effective Policy Fund soon. Is this anyone's idea of
Pavlovskiy's Russkiy Zhurnal features the works of a multitude of
inexperienced amateurs with an obvious shortage of talent. That is why
he has to take care of the "special effects" himself (in fact, his
organization could easily be called the "Political Effects Fund"). A
few days ago Pavlovskiy stunned his readers with the following
announcement: "The regime already knows that it has been abandoned by
its own elite.... I think this is the time for some kind of public
initiative for the renewal of the elite.... This should entail some
kind of purge of the political elite in the capital.... We are clearly
entering a period of extensive long-range plans for governmental
construction, demanding the consolidation of the society and the
regime.... The political team will need a new roster soon. We have
only two or three months left to do this."
It is indicative that Pavlovskiy used the word "purge," which was
once a term favored by the heads of punitive agencies, right after the
President's tirade against disloyal politicians and media in Vidyayevo.
The President took advantage of the "Kursk" disaster to attack his
critics. This probably means that members of the political elite soon
will be graded on their compatibility with our Chief Executive. Putin's
coworkers are experienced in this variety of "politics." It also means
that the "virtuals," represented by Pavlovskiy and his associates, might
be let loose in the near future.
ANALYSIS-Cent. Asian conflict about drugs more than faith
By Sebastian Alison
ALMATY, Sept 12 (Reuters) - A little-noticed war that claimed nine more lives
on Monday in remote southern mountains in Central Asia has more to do with
the lucrative drug trade than with Islamic militancy, observers said on
And the conflict between rebels and government troops in the ex-Soviet states
of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, they said, is likely to rumble on for quite
The Kyrgyz and Uzbek governments, engaged in the latest outbreak of fighting
since early August, say the rebels are militants from the Islamic Movement of
Uzbekistan committed to overthrowing Uzbekistan's secular President Islam
They also say the rebels are hiding in mountains in a third former Soviet
state, Tajikistan, at a point where the borders of the three countries meet,
although Tajikistan denies this.
But participants in a conference in Central Asia's largest state, Kazakhstan,
said religious extremism was less of a factor in the conflict than control of
lucrative drug smuggling routes.
``Drugs are the only resource in Kyrgyzstan,'' said Chinara Zhakypova, Kyrgyz
regional director of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting. ``Religion
may be a reason for the fighting, but if so it's in second or third or fourth
place, behind drugs.''
Afghanistan, to the south of Tajikistan, is a major opium producer and much
of it is thought to be smuggled through former Soviet Central Asia to Russia
and Western Europe.
Opium is the easily-processed raw material of heroin.
OPIUM BY THE TONNE
The Tajik-Afghan border is patrolled by over 10,000 Russian guards, who in
the last two weeks reported seizing and destroying over a tonne of raw opium.
But much more is thought to get through, and the valuable trade is worth
Fighting broke out in the same area last year. The obscure conflict attracted
wider international attention after four Japanese geologists working in
Kyrgyzstan were kidnapped by rebels, though they were later released safely.
The violence faded in autumn with the return of snow, making the remote
region imaccesible, but resumed this year as soon as the passes were open
General Khusain Berkaliyev, head of Kazakhstan's border troops, told the
conference the region's armies, especially Kyrgyzstan's, were better prepared
after last year's fighting.
``They learnt important lessons from last year's events and their tactics are
better,'' he said.
But despite this, Kyrgyzstan says 29 of its troops have died so far this year
compared with just 23 in the whole of 1999.
Smaller numbers of Uzbek forces have also been killed. The exact number of
rebel dead is unkown, but put in the hundreds.
Despite the troops' increased readiness, Berkaliyev said he saw no solution
to the problem.
``Yes, I think it's possible,'' he said, when asked about the prospects of
the conflict dragging on for several years.
Zhakypova was even more pessimistic.
``This is a war with no rules,'' she said. ``Sadly, I see it as a long-term
Western diplomats in Kazakhstan say Central Asia is an ideal place for drug
cultivation and smuggling precisely because the world pays it so little
But as instability becomes a way of life, foreign powers are taking more
Russia says it is prepared to offer Uzbekistan military assistance to defeat
religious extremists, although the Uzbeks have denied asking for help.
And the United States military invited journalists last Sunday to watch 250
U.S, Kazakh and Turkish paratroopers jump from four aircraft at the start of
a major military exercise.
The exercise, CENTRASBAT 2000, unites U.S. troops with the Kyrgyz, Uzbek,
Kazakh and Russian armies as well as those of Mongolia, Turkey and Britain.
It is now in its fourth year.
Major Joe LaMarca of the U.S. army said there was no significance in the fact
the exercise was being held at a time when violence in the region had
But the presence of foreign troops could be a sign that big powers are
acknowledging local problems in a remote part of the world may become a major
international issue in future.
September 13, 2000
EDITORIAL: Putin Not Ready for His Close-up
Larry King gets all the great stories. Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan's
love letters to his wife. How married TV personalities Maury Povich and
Connie Chung juggle the dual challenges of work and family. Psychic Sylvia
Browne discussing life "on the other side." And right there in the middle,
none other than Russian President Vladimir Putin himself, fresh from his
crowd-pleasing flip on the judo mat and ready to charm a guileless American
Resplendent in his now-famous pink shirt, King hadn't even made it to the
first commercial break before Putin started playing it cute during the Sept.
8 interview. Asked what happened to the Kursk nuclear submarine, Putin
answered simply: "It sank." And smirked. (In fairness, some press reports
described it as a "coy smile.")
With 118 dead sailors on the bed of the Barents Sea, one would have thought
that a "downcast glance" or a "sad shake of the head" would have been among
the more appropriate range of potential expressions. Public relations isn't
exactly rocket science. But Putin can't get even the most obvious gestures
right. His image makers must have taken the night off.
They may have also been absent on Aug. 22, the day that Putin addressed the
families of the Kursk sailors in the port town of Vidyayevo. The transcript
of the president's meeting with the distraught, grieving relatives reads like
a bad novel. It reveals a commander-in-chief who is ill-prepared, uninformed
and inherently void of empathy. At certain moments he is positively boorish f
sometimes using unprintable language in what may have been a misguided
attempt to appear a swashbuckling man of action but just comes across as
The smirking and swearing are tiny, disposable moments, of course, but they
say a lot about Putin's respect, or lack thereof, for his electorate. A
president whose first instinct upon being reminded of a colossal national
tragedy like the Kursk disaster is to respond with a smug, off-the-cuff
remark is not in possession of proper leadership skills, let alone an
adequate moral makeup.
Putin caught up late in the game on "Larry King Live" with a stirring paean
to "human beings" and their "good intentions," but his embarrassing
performance at Vidyayevo f where he couldn't even guess within ballpark range
how much Russian military officers earn f shows a man who is profoundly out
of touch with his country. For better or worse, leadership is based on
gesture. If Putin can't even master the smallest details, how can he manage
the big picture?
Russian prosecutors bid to revive Nikitin spy case
September 12, 2000
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian prosecutors will ask the Supreme Court Wednesday
to reopen the case of Alexander Nikitin, an anti-nuclear activist acquitted
of espionage charges.
It is the latest twist in a case which has run since the former navy captain
was arrested in 1996 by the FSB security service, the successor agency to the
Nikitin was accused of high treason after he made public information about
radioactive pollution in the Arctic Sea through the Norwegian environmental
The case has attracted international attention.
Nikitin was acquitted by a St Petersburg court last year. The Supreme Court
upheld that ruling, but Russia's Prosecutor General's Office will Wednesday
seek a review of the decision in the Supreme Court's Presidium -- its highest
``Tomorrow, the 13th of September, it will be the 13th court I go to,''
Nikitin, who spent 10 months in custody after his arrest, told a news
``I am not superstitious, but I do not know what will happen tomorrow.''
Frederic Hauge, president of Bellona, said the case should be thrown out once
and for all, especially after last month's sinking of the Kursk nuclear
submarine in the Barents Sea, which killed all 118 crew.
``I hope the presidium puts an end to this now. We need open information to
prevent future accidents,'' Hauge said.
Nikitin provided Bellona with information about the safety system for ``third
generation'' naval nuclear reactors -- similar to that onboard the Kursk --
and for passing on details of Soviet nuclear submarine accidents.
Prosecutors say this amounted to high treason, while Nikitin and Bellona say
the information was of environmental importance and was not subject to
Russian secrecy laws.
Wednesday's hearing was scheduled for early August, but was postponed when
one judge said he had not had enough time to prepare for the case.
The U.S. State Department said at the time the prosecutors' appeal gave ``the
appearance of political manipulation of the legal system.'' It said law
enforcers might be harassing government critics.
The Kremlin says prosecutors are independent. ^
US Department of State
11 September 2000
Text: U.S., Russia Joint Statement on United Nations Reform
(Albright, Ivanov statement Sept. 7) (1,140)
United Nations - U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and
Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov issued a joint statement
September 7 during the Millennium Summit, reaffirming their
governments' commitment to work closely together on efforts to reform
the United Nations.
The statement highlighted several areas of cooperation, including:
Security Council - Seeking ways to improve "the Security Council's
ability to prevent international crises, or resolve them when they
occur." Supporting "the creation of a broader, more representative
Peacekeeping - Strengthening the UN's peacekeeping capacity and
improving the UN's ability to plan and deploy peacekeeping missions.
Development - Promoting "coordinated and sustainable UN approaches to
the problems of development."
UN Reform - Supporting the streamlining of the UN Secretariat and
other needed reforms.
Combating "Uncivil Society" - Furthering the UN's role in coordinating
international efforts to fight terrorism, organized crime, and illicit
Natural and Technological Disasters - Examining ways "of integrating
information and networking technologies into a strategy" for
international cooperation in responding to disasters; promoting the
development of a global disaster information network.
UN Financing - Promoting consensus on "revisions to the UN regular
budget and peacekeeping scales of assessment."
UN System - Supporting the streamlining of the UN system and better
coordination among the components of the system.
Following is the text of the U.S.-Russia joint statement:
September 7, 2000
JOINT STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE RUSSIAN
FEDERATION AND THE SECRETARY OF STATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The Russian Federation and the United States of America jointly
reaffirm their commitment to work closely together on efforts to
reform the United Nations. They welcome the Secretary General's report
on the Role of the United Nations in the 21st Century and look forward
to working with all Member States to increase the UN's efficiency, and
strengthen its capacity to meet the challenges of the next century.
UN Security Council - As the organ with primary responsibility for the
maintenance of international peace and security, the UN Security
Council must work constantly to enhance its potential for the
prevention and settlement of conflicts. The creation of a broader,
more representative Security Council should be pursued on the basis of
general consensus, and with a view to ensuring maximum efficiency and
effectiveness of Council operations. The Russian Federation and the
United States will work together to seek ways of improving the
Security Council's ability to prevent international crises, or resolve
them when they occur.
UN Peacekeeping - The UN's effectiveness in promoting international
peace and security depends on its ability to rapidly and effectively
implement Security Council mandates. Taking into account the work of
the Secretary General's Special Panel on Peacekeeping Operations, the
Russian Federation and the United States will cooperate to strengthen
the UN's peacekeeping capacity and to improve the UN's ability to plan
and deploy peacekeeping missions, and to promote cooperation with
regional structures in keeping with the UN Charter. They consider it
important to enhance the efforts aimed at operationalizing the system
of stand-by agreements for military components of peacekeeping
operations and establishing a similar system for civilian police and
other civilian experts, and are prepared to make their contributions
UN Reform - To respond effectively to the challenges it faces, the UN
Secretariat must be streamlined and focused. Continuous efforts are
needed to ensure that the organization's resources are directed toward
achieving the primary goals of the membership, and that activities
that no longer further priority objectives are discontinued. The
Russian Federation and United States will promote these objectives, as
well as UN personnel practices that are in keeping with the goal of an
efficient, flexible Secretariat.
UN Role in Development - To be an effective force in resolving issues
of global international development, the UN must make use of its
comparative advantages relative to other multi-lateral organs, and
must work in close cooperation with the Bretton Woods Institutions and
other relevant structures. The Russian Federation and the United
States will work to promote coordinated and sustainable UN approaches
to the problems of development.
UN Role in Combating "Uncivil Society" - The UN has an important role
in facilitating multi-lateral coordination to fight terrorism,
organized crime, and illicit drug trafficking. The United Nations
should seek to establish a collective front to combat terrorism on the
basis of existing universal antiterrorism conventions and those
currently under consideration. Continued efforts should be made to
implement the UN Declaration on Crime and Public Security. The Russian
Federation and the United States pledge to work together to further
these efforts, as well as to promote an expanded UN role in addressing
international trafficking in narcotics.
UN Role in Responding to Natural and Technological Disasters - The UN
is positioned to play an expanded role in coordinating responses to
natural and technological disasters. To realize this potential, the UN
must examine ways of integrating information and networking
technologies into a strategy to enhance international cooperation in
this field. The Russian Federation and the United States pledge to
support these efforts, as well as to promote the development of a
global disaster information network.
UN Financing - The Russian Federation and the United States will work
to promote consensus among the UN membership on revisions to the UN
regular budget and peacekeeping scales of assessment. They are in
favor of measures to broaden the UN's base of contributions and lessen
the Organization's excessive dependence upon a single contributor,
with a view to establishing a stable, up-to-date and equitable
financial foundation for the UN in the next century. In this context
they believe that steps are needed to adjust the UN's peacekeeping
scale of assessment methodology to better reflect the role of all
Member States, and particularly the special role and responsibility of
the Permanent Members in peacekeeping financing.
UN System - The Russian Federation and the U.S. recognize the need for
improved coordination among the components of the UN system, each of
which bear responsibility to ensure that its activities remain
focused, and keep pace with the evolving priorities of the membership.
In this connection, they would welcome efforts by the
Secretary-General to formulate action-oriented recommendations on ways
to streamline the UN System, prevent duplication and overlap, and to
enable the UN to respond in a more efficient manner to global
In keeping with the themes of the UN's Millennium Summit and
Millennium Assembly, the Russian Federation and the United States
express their readiness to work collectively with all Member States to
achieve the goal of a stronger United Nations.
7 September 2000 New York