This Date's Issues: 4543•
Johnson's Russia List
28 September 2000
[Note from David Johnson:
1. Reuters: Albright tells Republicans don't make Russia a foe.
2. AFP: Media-MOST sale would call Putin's free press vow into
3. US Department of State: U.S. policy toward Russia. Secretary of
State Madeleine K. Albright's Opening remarks before the House
International Relations Committee.
4. US Department of State: Text: Gilman Expresses Concerns About
Putin's "Managed Democracy."
5. Los Angeles Times: Robyn Dixon, Fallen, Forgotten Warriors Are
Bitter Legacy for Russia. Military: Citing attention given to lost
submariners, families say soldiers killed in Chechnya merit more respect.
6. Reuters: Putin wants more efficient military spending.
7. Thomas Trout: Still More on Kursk.
8. Celeste Wallander: PONARS publications.
9. Moscow Times EDITORIAL: Harvard Suit Latest Hit to '90s Dreams.
10. Moscow Times: Yulia Latynina, Kremlin Teams on the Warpath.
11. Toronto Globe& Mail: John Helmer, RUSSIA ACCUSES US OF RIGGING
STEEL IMPORT MARKET.]
Albright tells Republicans don't make Russia a foe
By Elaine Monaghan
WASHINGTON, Sept 27 (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright
urged Republicans on Wednesday not to turn Russia back into an enemy because
of concerns about President Vladimir Putin's democratic credentials.
Just weeks before a U.S. presidential election and with Republicans in
control of Congress, Albright faced a fresh barrage of Republican criticism
on Russia and heard concerns about how Putin got elected.
``We cannot recreate the enemy,'' Albright said testimony to the House of
Representatives International Relations Committee, adding that she was ``very
discouraged'' by some of the comments made.
``We are at a crucial turning point. If we see everything in red terms, we
are in trouble,'' she added.
Congressional Republican criticism of President Bill Clinton's Russia policy
came to a head last week with a report saying it had undermined Russia's
transition and discredited America in the eyes of the Russian people.
Representative Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican, said the government
poured cash down a ``rat hole'' by supporting lending billions of dollars to
Russia despite rampant corruption.
Other more moderate Republicans like New York Republican Representative
Benjamin Gilman, the committee chairman, also criticised the administration
for not doing enough.
``Having failed to truly stand up to the massive corruption in the Russian
government, will there be somebody now to call the Putin government to
account for the sake of democracy?'' he said.
At one point, Rohrabacher referred to the Soviet Union rather than the former
one, and was sharply corrected by Albright, a scholar of democratic
transition in the region.
Albright said the Clinton administration was very concerned by some of
Putin's actions but believed that it was best to stay engaged.
But she voiced concern about government pressure on the independent media and
said Russia's economic recovery was still fragile.
``Russia has not yet made a deep enough commitment to reform, approved
anti-money laundering legislation or initiated a truly serious battle against
corruption,'' she said.
This made foreign investors wary and meant Russia's economic prospects were
``still in doubt,'' she added.
She noted in particular a struggle for Media-Most, Russia's only independent
media group whose owner Vladimir Gusinsky says he signed a deal ``at
gunpoint'' to sell his empire to Gazprom.
``President Putin has said a free press is the key to the health of a
society. And we obviously agree,'' Albright said.
``But it will be hard to take this statement seriously if Russia's state-run
national gas monopoly, Gazprom, succeeds in its current effort,'' she added.
REPUBLICANS' REAL TARGET IS GORE, SAY DEMOCRATS
Democrats say the outpouring of criticism against Clinton's Russia policy is
really timed to hurt Vice President Al Gore, who played a pivotal role in it
and is running for president.
California Democrat Tom Lantos defended Clinton's policy, noting that the
Soviet Union started to crumble when President George Bush was in power in
1989. Clinton took office in 1993.
``It was between 1989 and 1992 that Russians had the greatest expectations,
many of them unrealistic,'' of what American could do to help their country,
He was responding to statistics cited by Republican lawmakers suggesting that
Russians had a far less favourable view of the United States than they had 10
Gilman cited concerns that Putin's election had effectively been rigged
because of ``slander'' against his opponents in government-run media, leading
to what he quoted one commentator as saying was a ``velvet coup.''
Albright said Putin was perhaps more instinctively pragmatic than democratic
but that the Russian people had backed him as their leader. She said Putin
understood he needed the West's support to make a success of his country.
Media-MOST sale would call Putin's free press vow into question: Albright
WASHINGTON, Sept 27 (AFP) -
US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on Wednesday said the sale of
Russia's leading private media company Media-MOST to natural gas giant
Gazprom would call into question President Vladimir Putin's pledges to
support a free press.
"Nobody is going to believe that the Russian goverment is committed to media
freedom if the independent television is under government control, and make
no mistake, Gazprom ownership of the TV is government control," Albright said.
Albright told a Congressional panel that Washington was committed to working
with Putin and other Russian officials to more fully develop respect for the
importance of press freedom in a democracy, but said the controversial sale
would be a setback.
"President Putin has said a free press is the key to the health of a society
and we obviously agree," she told the House International Relations Committee.
"But it will be hard to take this statement seriously if Russia's state-run
national gas monopoly, Gazprom, succeeds in its current effort to gain
control of the nation's largest independent TV network."
On Tuesday, Putin pledged himself to a free press and ruled out intervening
in the controversial battle for the anti-Kremlin Media-MOST whose sale is now
stalled amid recriminations and accusations from its owner and prospective
Putin, known to be unhappy with Media-MOST's coverage of the war in Chechnya
and some of the satirical programmes on its NTV television channel,
"considers it wrong to meddle in a conflict between two commercial
organisations," his spokesman Alexei Gromov said.
Gromov said Putin believed that in order to preserve freedom of speech in
Russia, the mass media must be truly independent.
Media-MOST owner Vladimir Gusinsky, who has been highly critical of Putin, is
facing fraud charges but Media Minister Mikhail Lesin had offered to drop the
charges if he sold to Gazprom.
Gusinsky's company is heavily indebted to Gazprom and has been negotiating a
shares-for-debt swap because it is unable to meet the payments.
The gas behemoth won a court order freezing the media outlet's shares after
accusing Gusinsky of taking its prime assets offshore, failing to pay debts,
and reneging on an agreed sale of 773 million dollars in cash and debt
Gusinsky maintains the deal is null and void because he signed under duress.
Albright said the future of Russia's independent media under Putin would be a
key test to his commitment to ballot box rule, noting that while the
situation had vastly improved since the fall of the Soviet Union, recent
examples of harrassment of the press, including Media-MOST, raised concerns.
US Department of State
U.S. policy toward Russia
Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Opening remarks before the House International Relations Committee
Washington, D.C., 9/27/2000
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
Secretary Albright: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and Members of the
Committee. I can't thank you enough for your gracious remarks. There is no
greater honor than to represent the United States, and I thank you very much
for your kind remarks at the beginning, and I hope we can end up that way,
This may, in fact, be my final time, and I have to say I will miss these
opportunities. We don't always agree, but the American people can always
count on this Committee to be forward-looking and to approach important
foreign policy issues in a bipartisan spirit.
And I am sure those qualities will be in evidence this morning, as we talk
about what I think is a very crucial issue: the United States policy towards
Since the Cold War's end, America has pursued two fundamental goals with
Russia. The first is to make the world safer, through cooperation on weapons
of mass destruction and security in Europe. And the second is to encourage
Russia's full transition to a free-market democracy.
On both, we have moved far in the right direction. But it is not surprising,
given Russia's past, that neither goal has been fully accomplished within the
space of a single decade. Our focus now is on how to achieve further gains.
And through our mutual efforts on arms control, the United States and Russia
have set the stage for further reductions in our strategic nuclear arsenals,
to as much as eighty percent below Cold War peaks.
Since 1992, our assistance has helped to deactivate more than 5,000 former
Soviet nuclear warheads. We have also helped to strengthen the security of
nuclear weapons and materials at more than a hundred sites; and purchased
more than sixty tons of highly enriched uranium that could have been used by
terrorists or outlaw states to build nuclear weapons.
Throughout this period, fighting proliferation has been the top priority in
US-Russia relations, and we have made considerable progress. But Russia's
overall record on nuclear and missile exports remains mixed. We will continue
to be frank with Russian leaders in stating our expectations, and we will
take appropriate actions based on their response.
More broadly, our security cooperation in Europe and elsewhere has proven
steady, despite periods of stress. Many predicted that our differences with
Russia would lead to disaster--first on NATO enlargement, then on Bosnia, and
later on Kosovo. But today, the NATO-Russia partnership is active, and the US
and Russian troops serve side by side in Bosnia and Kosovo.
These and other examples of cooperation contrast sharply with the Cold War
years. But here again, problems remain.
We believe that the new and democratic Russia should support democratic
principles, at home and abroad. And so, we have objected strongly to Russia's
support for the regimes in Baghdad and Belgrade.
Russia has an obligation to observe UN Security Council sanctions against
Iraq. And we look to Moscow to show its friendship for the people of
Yugoslavia, by supporting the desire they have just so clearly expressed for
new leadership and a place in Europe's democratic mainstream.
The United States is also engaged with Russia on economic matters, where we
have encouraged openness, reform, and an all-out fight against corruption.
Compared to the financial crisis of two years ago, the Russian economy is
doing well. President Putin's policies have been aided by high oil prices and
improved levels of domestic investment.
But the current recovery is fragile and built on a very narrow base. Russia
has not yet made a deep enough commitment to reform, approved anti-money
laundering legislation or initiated a truly serious battle against
corruption. As a result, foreign investors remain wary, and Russia's economic
prospects are still in doubt.
Mr. Chairman, I don't know how many Members of this Committee have visited
both the old Soviet Union and the new Russia, but I can assure you, there is
a startling contrast.
In the old days, Russians had no meaningful right to vote, worship, speak,
travel or advocate change.
Now, they vote regularly and speak freely. And with our help, they are
beginning to develop the legal structures required for the rule of law. And
over the past eleven years, more than 65,000 NGOs have come into being.
But in recent months, the future of independent media has emerged as a
revealing test of President Putin's attitude toward democracy. Several
incidents of media harassment have prompted many to believe that a broad
campaign is underway to intimidate or co-opt the media.
President Putin has said, "a free press is the key to the health of a
society." And we obviously agree. But it will be hard to take this statement
seriously if Russia's state-run national gas monopoly, Gazprom, succeeds in
its current effort to gain control of the nation's largest independent TV
Experts agree that, after the disruptions of the last decade, there is a
widespread desire among the Russian people for leaders who will create a
stronger sense of order and direction within society.
As a result, "order" has become the big buzzword in Moscow: "poryadok." And
Russia's new leaders are trying to instill a greater sense of it in Russian
The big question, however, is whether they have in mind "order" with a small
"o," which is needed to make Russia function; or "Order" with a big "O,"
which translates into autocracy.
This is a fundamental choice that only the Russians can make. Their
leadership is perhaps more instinctively pragmatic than democratic, but it
appears to understand that Russia cannot succeed, economically, unless it
establishes and maintains close ties with the democratic West.
Our job is to make clear that economic integration and democratic development
are not separable. If the Kremlin wants one, it must proceed with the other.
This makes sense from our point of view, and also from Russia's. Because most
Russians want to see order established in their society through the full
realization -- not the repression -- of democratic practices and rights.
To support this aspiration, the Clinton-Gore Administration has worked hard
to develop relationships with Russians that extend far beyond the leaders in
Moscow. We have done this through our meetings with local officials and
entrepreneurs in places such as Novgorod and Sakhalin, through international
exchanges, and our support for independent media, trade unions and the NGOs.
We have also shown support for Russian democracy by speaking out against
violations of human rights in, among other places, Chechnya.
Since the fighting began in Chechnya more than a year ago, the United States
has been consistent in calling for a political solution to the conflict, and
in pressing Russia to allow a credible international presence to investigate
Tragically, Russia still has no apparent strategy for bringing this war to an
end, or for reassuring the Chechen population about its future under Moscow's
rule. Clearly, a new approach is warranted.
Mr. Chairman, I think both Democrats and Republicans, from the Executive
Branch and on Capitol Hill, can take pride in the steps we have taken to help
Russians build a democratic future.
It should not be surprising that neither our efforts, nor those of Russia's
strongest reformers, have succeeded overnight. After all, Communism was a
seven-decade forced march to a dead end, and no nation went further down that
road than Russia.
It is beyond our prerogative and power to determine Russia's future. But we
can work together, on a bipartisan basis, to explore every avenue for
cooperation with Russia on the fundamental questions of arms control,
nonproliferation and regional security.
We can reach out to the people of Russia and help them strengthen their
democratic institutions from the ground up. And we can back our words and our
interests with resources, so that the next President and Secretary of State
will have the funds they need to lead -- not only toward Russia, but around
Mr. Chairman, whether one serves as a Cabinet Secretary or as a Member of
Congress, we are all acutely aware that we only occupy temporarily the chairs
of responsibility in American government. But we know, as well, that
America's responsibilities are permanent. And we all do our best, in the time
allotted, to serve well our nation and its people.
As I have said, it has been my privilege during the past seven and three
quarter years to combine my service to our great country with that of the
Members of this Committee.
I listened to your statement very carefully, Mr. Chairman, and to yours,
Congressman Gejdenson, and I would like to say that I am very glad to have an
opportunity to talk about US-Russia relations. I didn't come to thinking
about US-Russia relations when I began to sit behind this sign. I have spent
my entire adult life studying Russia, the Soviet Union, and then Russia
again. I have taught about it, I have thought about it, and I welcome the
opportunity to discuss it.
And I would hope that you would see from my statement that the Clinton-Gore
Administration has not seen Russia through rose-colored glasses. We have been
very realistic and we have dealt with something that has never been dealt
with before: of how you deal with a former adversary that had an empire, and
help to manage the devolution of that empire -- to turn that -- to not
recreate an adversary.
I am very pleased to have the opportunity to answer your questions on this
US Department of State
Text: Gilman Expresses Concerns About Putin's "Managed Democracy"
(Committee chair wants more visible support for "true democracy")
Representative Benjamin Gilman, chairman of the House International
Relations Committee, told a Committee hearing September 27 that the
United States should be concerned about "several issues" regarding the
Russian Presidency of Vladimir Putin.
Among his concerns, Gilman said, are Putin's rise to the presidency
from "obscurity ... the sources of his current support; and his
intentions for Russia's foreign policy, in particular toward the
Gilman said that the United States "must be very cautious before
accepting Putin as 'a man we can do business with,' as our President
recently put it. We need to start listening to those in Russia who
truly support democracy and reforms," he said.
Following Gilman's statement, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright
responded to his concerns and to questions from Committee members.
Following is the text of Gilman's statement:
U.S. House of Representatives
International Relations Committee
September 27, 2000
GILMAN EXPRESSES CONCERNS ABOUT PUTIN'S "MANAGED DEMOCRACY"
SAYS WE MUST WORK WITH THOSE "IN RUSSIA WHO TRULY SUPPORT DEMOCRACY"
WASHINGTON (Sept. 27) - U.S. Rep. Benjamin A. Gilman (20th-NY),
Chairman of the House International Relations Committee, made the
following statement today at a full committee hearing on U.S. policy
toward Russia featuring Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright:
This morning's hearing is focused in large part on the past and
current activities of Vladimir Putin, the new President of Russia.
We need to be concerned about several issues regarding Mr. Putin: his
rise from obscurity to the highest levels of power; the sources of his
current support; and his intentions for Russia's foreign policy, in
particular toward the United States.
Madam Secretary, within Russia there are voices of brave people who
are truly dedicated to democracy and political and economic reforms.
They are warning us that Mr. Putin is not who he would have us believe
We all know, of course, that he has spent much of his life as a career
KGB agent, but we also need to look more closely at how he rose to the
presidency. He rose to the position of Prime Minister at a time when
former President Boris Yeltsin was searching for someone who could
ensure his safe departure from office.
Indeed, after Putin won the presidency, his very first action was to
grant Yeltsin immunity from any prosecution. Additionally, we should
note the manner in which Mr. Putin won that election. It was an
election Yeltsin and Putin timed to the disadvantage of his opponents.
It was an election in which the government-run media blatantly
slandered Putin's opponents. Stories are now emerging in Russia's
independent media about massive vote rigging for Putin in the
That is the same independent media now being intimidated by the Putin
government. As one commentator said, the election was nothing more
than a "velvet coup," manipulated to such an extent that it simply
handed power from Yeltsin to Putin.
But there is much more than that which should concern us. Those
surrounding Putin and former President Boris Yeltsin -- including the
Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky -- created a brand new political party
late last year.
This new party had almost no known political platform, but it
benefited from the same kind of Kremlin support Putin later enjoyed.
That new party won a considerable number of seats in the Russian
parliament and immediately joined the Communists in excluding
reform-minded parties from leading positions in that body.
Now we are hearing reports that those around Putin, many of them
former career KGB agents themselves, would like to create another new
party. This potential new party would have a more left-wing face, but
would really be controlled by the Kremlin. As one courageous Russian
journalist has said, Vladimir Putin and his supporters are now trying
to create a "managed democracy" in Russia. But, again, there is even
more that is puzzling about this new President and his government.
Recently, we have witnessed what would appear to be a growing
disagreement between Mr. Putin and Mr. Berezovsky. Berezovsky has,
over the years, played a central role behind the scenes in the Yeltsin
and Putin governments, and has made tremendous profits out of the
privatization process in Russia.
But now, Berezovsky is publicly criticizing the Putin government and
complains that he is under some pressures from it.
However, at the same time, he and his associates have received quiet
support from the Putin government for extremely lucrative business
deals that promise them even greater wealth.
Madam Secretary, I believe that all this points to one thing: we must
be very cautious before accepting Putin as "a man we can do business
with," as our President recently put it. We need to start listening to
those in Russia who truly support democracy and reforms.
Over the past several years, I have made my concerns about Russia
policy known to you and your department and to the President in
correspondence, in public articles, and in hearings on our Russia
policy held by this Committee. While Vladimir Putin's rise to power
certainly stems from the situation in Russia over the past few years,
I am concerned that United States policy toward Russia has also
contributed to his rise to power. Let me explain why I believe that.
Russians who are truly interested in democracy and reforms have warned
that our policy -- a policy that continued to support Boris Yeltsin
while corruption flourished around him -- would not result in either
democracy or reforms in Russia.
Our State Department personnel have stated -- and testified before
Congress --that they tried to warn our policymakers as early as six
years ago that the policy toward Russia had to change. Their warnings
A clear sign that our policy was flawed was our support for the IMF's
decision to loan billions of dollars to the Russian government while
billions and billions more were being shipped out of Russia to foreign
bank accounts, month after month, year after year.
Yet, nobody in the Administration seemed willing to call the Yeltsin
government to account for its corruption. Instead, a few perfunctory
statements were made and a rather small program was designed to advise
Russians on crime and corruption.
Having failed to truly stand up to the massive corruption in the
Yeltsin government, will anybody now call the Putin government to
account for the sake of democracy? The independent media in Russia,
the one major source of information about government corruption in
that country, is now under attack.
What is being said to Russian government officials -- what is being
done by our United States officials -- to halt that intimidation and
protect freedom of the press? Today, Madam Secretary, we hope you will
give us some insight into how we got to this point in our relationship
with Russia and where we go from here. Madam Secretary, let me say
just one thing outside of the scope of our hearing today. With regard
to your proposal for a new Under Secretary for Law Enforcement,
Security and Terrorism, I have long-held concerns regarding the
performance of State's INL office in fighting drugs.
Regrettably, I note that there are too many unknowns about increasing
the role of the State Department in law enforcement matters, and
increasing bureaucracy doesn't guarantee better coordination. We ought
not to tie the incoming Administration's hands in this area.
Testifying at the hearing was the Honorable Madeleine K. Albright,
Secretary of State.
Los Angeles Times
September 26, 2000
Fallen, Forgotten Warriors Are Bitter Legacy for Russia
Military: Citing attention given to lost submariners, families say soldiers
killed in Chechnya merit more respect.
By ROBYN DIXON, Times Staff Writer
NOGINSK, Russia--In the town of Verkhoturye in the Ural Mountains, two
families grieve for sons who died for the Russian military, neither of them
yet recovered and buried.
Yevgeny Lyubimkin disappeared at age 20 in the 1994-96 Chechen war,
while his neighbor across the street, Ivan Nefyodkov, died at 19 on board the
nuclear submarine Kursk, which sank in the Barents Sea in August.
It took less than two weeks for Russian authorities to announce big
compensation payments for the families of the dead crew members aboard the
Kursk. But it took five to six years to bury the bones of 10 unknown soldiers
who were killed in the early part of the first Chechen war and finally laid
to rest here Monday, 32 miles east of Moscow.
Russian President Vladimir V. Putin, a determined proponent of the war
to defeat separatist rebels in Chechnya, was not there to mourn Monday, nor
was Defense Minister Igor D. Sergeyev. The most senior official present was
Col. Gen. Valery L. Manilov, first deputy chief of the armed forces' general
To Yevgeny's mother, Galina Lyubimkin, 49, the official indifference to
soldiers who died or went missing in Chechnya is hurtful, particularly in
comparison with the response to the Kursk tragedy.
Though she does not believe that her son was among the 10 anonymous
soldiers buried Monday, or the 56 to be buried in coming days, she came to
mourn and scatter earth into the graves along with dozens of other mothers of
men missing in action.
Some of the coffins contain only a few unidentified fragments of bone.
These were men who died terrible deaths that left their remains badly charred
and unsuitable for DNA testing. Most perished in burning tanks and armored
As the coffins were lowered, the notes of Russia's provisional national
anthem died away amid the sobbing of mothers.
Anna Pesetskaya, a member of the presidential commission on missing
soldiers and POWs, said during the service that many mothers still hope their
sons are alive.
"There are mothers here who have gone through all of this war but who
are still looking for their sons," she said.
The public grieving over the Kursk tragedy, however, reopened the wounds
of those who lost loved ones in Chechnya.
Already, officials at the school in Verkhoturye where submariner Ivan
Nefyodkov spent two years are discussing the possibility of renaming the
school after him.
"My son was at that school his whole life, from A to Z," said Galina
Lyubimkin, upset that Yevgeny's fate did not attract such notice.
Her family also was bitterly hurt by news of the $26,000 in compensation
granted to the Nefyodkov family and other survivors of the Kursk victims.
The standard payment for the death of a contract soldier is 3,600 rubles
($129.50), plus 750 rubles ($26.90) for each immediate family member. For
soldiers missing in action, such as Yevgeny Lyubimkin, families get 400
rubles ($14.40) a month.
"My heart aches because this boy from the Kursk was a soldier and a
warrior. But the way our sons are treated, it makes us wonder who our sons
are. Aren't they soldiers too? Aren't they warriors, that they get treated
this way?" Galina Lyubimkin said Monday.
One reason for the disparity is Putin's personal involvement in the
compensation package for the Kursk victims. The president was savaged by the
Russian media for remaining on a Black Sea vacation during the rescue attempt
mounted for the sub, but after his belated return, he tried to undo the
damage by meeting with bereaved relatives and promising generous
Although there have been questions in the Russian media about the
differences in compensation, Russian officials have brushed them aside. The
government minister in charge of the Kursk compensation payments, Deputy
Prime Minister Valentina Matviyenko, said recently that it is wrong to
compare the Kursk compensation package with what is paid in the deaths of
servicemen killed in action.
In January 1995, a local government official called the Lyubimkin family
to tell it that Yevgeny had been killed in the storming of the Chechen
capital, Grozny, on New Year's Eve 1994 and that his body was on the way
But the body never came.
"We still have hope that maybe he's still alive. We'll keep waiting
until the day we die," his mother said.
The compensation disparity has already caused ill feeling between her
and neighbor Alevtina Nefyodkov, Ivan's mother.
"I am so sick and tired of people around me looking at my family with
envy," Nefyodkov said in a phone interview Monday. "I'm not to blame for the
fact that I got treated better than the Lyubimkins. People really shouldn't
envy me. Do they really think this money will replace my son or bring him
Valentina Epifanov, 42, from the Sverdlovsk region in the Urals, was
also at the burial service Monday. She spent 2 1/2 years in Chechnya with her
husband searching for her son, Alexei.
"After the Kursk, we realized that our sons are nobody to the military.
They're just meat," said Epifanov.
She and her husband went to Chechnya in January 1995 after a Russian
journalist phoned to say he had met Alexei, who was a prisoner of the Chechen
side. In 1997, some Chechen fighters told the family that Alexei had been
killed by a Russian warplane.
"We dug the body up with our bare hands," Epifanov said. "It was lying
in a rut in a barren field with dirt piled on top of it. But it was
impossible to recognize him."
After an analysis, they learned that the body was not Alexei's.
"I don't believe he's dead. I'll never reconcile myself to that. Even if
all the unidentified bodies are buried, I'll still be waiting for him because
I still believe he's alive," Epifanov said.
According to official figures, just under 4,000 men died in the 1994-96
war. About 600 are still listed as missing, including 264 whose remains at
the military morgue in Rostov-on-Don have not been identified.
In the present war, which has continued for nearly a year, about 2,700
servicemen have died, although the Soldiers' Mothers Committee estimates the
casualties in both wars to be almost three times the official toll.
As dirt was shoveled over the coffins in Noginsk on Monday, the armed
forces' Manilov told journalists that there can be no end to the war until
the last Chechen rebel is killed.
"The people know that they must take it [the war] for as long as it
takes to destroy the bandits," he said.
But support for the war is declining, and for the mothers of the dead
and missing at the ceremonies Monday, the conflict is offensive and
"It's an outrageous war, a reckless war. No one needed it," said Olga
Melnikov from Stavropol in southern Russia, whose 18-year-old, Andrei,
disappeared in August 1996 when Chechen fighters defeated the Russians in a
huge battle in Grozny.
"Our sons were just written off. But today, the sun is shining for
them," she said.
Alexei V. Kuznetsov of The Times' Moscow Bureau contributed to this
Putin wants more efficient military spending
September 27, 2000
By Ron Popeski
MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin told top security officials
Wednesday the Russian military could create more efficient armed forces only
if it was more efficient in spending the ``colossal'' sums allocated to it in
Putin was addressing the increasingly influential Security Council at a
session which was to have been devoted to the sensitive issue of establishing
Russia's military priorities.
In the event, the agenda was shifted to military construction and the broader
debate put off until November to allow more time to settle differences
between military branches.
Putin, speaking a month after the sinking of the nuclear-powered submarine
Kursk underscored the sad state of military equipment, made it plain he
demanded more rational use of funds.
``We spend colossal sums of money on the military...And we also allow the
military budget to be blurred and sidetracked by questions which have no
direct link to military readiness of the army or to providing for its
needs,'' he said in televised comments.
``We have no right to solve military tasks strictly on the basis of people's
enthusiasm and heroism. We cannot any longer simply provide for the army's
needs without also providing training with high technology and modern
But he warned against simply cutting expenditure as a matter of principle.
``Our army must be modern and flexible and mobile, battle ready,'' he said.
``When I say that we should be better organized, this does not mean that we
should proceed with straightforward cuts of the armed forces and other
DEBATE ON NUCLEAR, CONVENTIONAL FORCES
Debate has been proceeding for months about where to make cuts in the
dilapidated post-Soviet army, with rifts opening over the balance between
nuclear and conventional forces.
Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev has proposed cutting the size of the armed
forces by almost one third by 2003. This would mean removing between 350,000
and 400,000 people from forces now totaling about 1.2 million.
Plans to downgrade the role of the Strategic Rocket Forces, which control
Russia's land-based nuclear arsenal, have sparked a row between Sergeyev,
their former commander, and his chief of staff, Anatoly Kvashnin, who wants
to give priority and more money to conventional forces.
As the meeting got under way, Russia announced the second test-firing in as
many days of a Topol-M supersonic missile, heralded by the military as the
country's nuclear missile shield in the 21st century.
The Topol-M, referred to as SS-27 by NATO, was fired from a mobile missile
launcher in Plesetsk in northern Russia to its target on the distant
Kamchatka peninsula in the far east, Interfax news agency reported.
Putin was criticized for a passive approach in the initial stages of the
Kursk disaster, and as the rescue operation for its doomed crew proceeded,
Russia sought foreign help to find deep-sea diving teams with proper training
The president promised that there would be more money for the military. His
finance minister said defense and security would be among the areas to
benefit from any increased budget revenue from better oil prices and improved
Putin was quoted by Interfax news agency as telling the Security Council that
the discussion on establishing military priorities had been complicated by
objections from heads of various military sectors.
The last full discussion in July, which generated such serious differences,
had taken two months to prepare, he said, and the forthcoming discussion
would be no easier.
The Security Council groups senior ministers and security aides. It has
gained in influence since Putin took charge of the Kremlin and only a full
meeting like the one planned for November can take binding decisions.
Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2000
From: Thomas Trout <email@example.com>
Subject: Still More on Kursk
I have been following all of the exchanges on how the allegation that the
sinking of the Kursk was caused by a collision with a "foreign submarine"
could be cleared up if only an inspection of the U.S. and British submarines
that were in the area could be conducted.
To begin I agree that such an inspection would not be practical within the
security requirements surrounding submarine operations, including
examination of the external hull. In this regard, note that any meaningful
inspection would need to look at the entire hull--above and below the
waterline--since obviously submarines operate submerged and could collide
with any part of the hull--stem to stern, sail to keel. Once the entire
hull is the prospective subject of inspection the security issues multiply
considerably. This is much more than anechoic surfaces. It simply is not
Beyond that, however, is how silly is the premise of this inspection.
First, collisions at sea, however dangerous and damaging, do not of
themselves induce explosions of weapons. Just this year the U.S. Navy has
had an unusual number of collisions among combatant (as well as
non-combatant) vessels. No explosions. Indeed, while I have not done the
research, I cannot think of a single instance of an explosion induced by
collision at sea between warships including collisions such as that of the
ECHO that steamed directly into the broadside of a (U.S. or British?)
destroyer in the Mediterranean. Perhaps your readers can prove me wrong.
In fact, weapons do not work that way (that is the ones that a ship carries
to use against the other guy). They are designed to work only after they
leave the ship, unless something goes wrong in preparing them for launch.
One would have to believe that a fully armed warhead was activated in the
tube precisely at the time of contact even to entertain that idea. I submit
that torpedoes are not normally carried in their tubes that way either.
Second, even leaving aside the reality that a collision of sufficient impact
to sink a ship would most likely damage BOTH ships significantly (and also
leaving aside the double-hulled construction of the Kursk which would alter
the result of impact--leave that to the naval engineers), another ship in
proximity of an explosion as massive as that which the Russians themselves
acknowledge tore the Kursk apart, would not have been able to escape its
effects. The published reports indicate an elapsed time of 2 minutes and 15
seconds between the first and second explosion--the second being the one
that sank the ship. Any submarine close enough to collide with Kursk (one
would assume that this vessel would be operating at a relatively slow speed)
would be able to engage damage control procedures, accelerate and clear the
area in 2 minutes and 15 seconds. Pick a speed and do the arithmetic.
There would be more than just superficial damage. Under such conditions, a
submarine would surface. No reports of surfaced submarines have been made.
Instead, the boats in question appear to have returned to port within a
normal span of time.
Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2000
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Celeste Wallander)
Subject: Re: 4542-Herspring-Blank/Ware
For JRL readers who may not receive PONARS publications or who may not know
to find them in connection with Steve Blank's reference to our latest policy
memo by Mark Kramer, you can find all memos posted on our website at
In addition, hard copies of all the memos, plus working papers, conference
reports, and the like, can be obtained by getting on our distribution list.
Email either Melinda Richards (email@example.com) or Heidi Penix
(firstname.lastname@example.org) with your contact information.
September 28, 2000
EDITORIAL: Harvard Suit Latest Hit to '90s Dreams
The West's 1990s romanticism of adopting Russia as a younger brother and
steering it down a road of reforms took another blow this week.
The U.S. government sued Harvard University on Tuesday, saying it had failed
to properly supervise two advisers tasked with assisting Russia in its
transition to a market economy.
Prosecutors say the two men, Andrei Shleifer and Jonathan Hay, misused their
positions at a Harvard program by seeking personal financial gain.
The government wants back the more than $40 million that it sunk into the
Harvard Institute for International Development program, and if it wins will
be awarded triple damages, or $120 million.
Shleifer and Hay, who with their wives invested hundreds of thousands of
dollars into the very market they were helping form, maintain that there was
no conflict of interest in their activities.
Whether the advisers acted to the letter of the law f as they claim f remains
to be seen. But they certainly did not act within the spirit of the law.
The advisers and Harvard were given the solemn duty of advising the Russian
government on how to establish Western-style capital markets. In that
capacity, they should have taken every precaution possible to ensure that
their actions f both personal and professional f would be perceived as
The unfortunate impression that could be left in the minds of Russians is
that the United States, purporting to selflessly offer its support, had
actually just turned out to be a greedy older brother.
The U.S. lawsuit could be a bid to show Russia that only two men at Harvard
were at fault and that the government had had only the best of intentions.
But Russia no doubt has abandoned any illusions that the West is simply a
caring relative. The West's support has left Russia with billions of dollars
in debt to lenders like the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and
the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Like Harvard, all three institutions already have their own tales of woe in
Russia. The Swiss are investigating whether part of a $4.5 billion IMF loan
was funneled abroad. The World Bank has seen hundreds of millions earmarked
for special projects disappear without fulfilling the goals. And the EBRD has
filed lawsuits against several Russian companies to recoup millions of
dollars in debt.
Harvard is just the latest backlash from the West's lofty plans that ran
afoul f and it will probably not be the last in this brotherly relationship.
September 27, 2000
INSIDE RUSSIA: Kremlin Teams on the Warpath
By Yulia Latynina
The government's fight for NTV television continues. And last week it
appeared that the main person authorized to wage the fight was Alfred Kokh,
head of Gazprom-Media. Kokh explained publicly that the government was ready
to overpay by $70 million for NTV. "The deal was super-advantageous for
Gusinsky," he complained. But for some reason, Media-MOST head Vladimir
Gusinsky didn't want this super-advantageous deal. And the government so
intensely wanted to overpay Gusinsky for his business that it promised in
written form to let him out of prison f if, that is, he sold the government
his shares in the media empire. But the government carelessly left its
fingerprints on the papers.
What is happening in the fracas over NTV and Gusinsky clearly illustrates
certain features of the fight for influence over President Vladimir Putin.
The Kremlin now houses at least three different teams: the team of
presidential Chief of Staff Alexander Voloshin; the security service, or
Chekist, team; and the team of St. Petersburg liberals. These three teams are
waging war not only against enemies of the Kremlin, but among themselves f
and for the right to cook Gusinsky's goose.
The first person to go goose hunting was Voloshin, a man with experience. It
was first necessary to destroy Media-MOST's banking business, then to disrupt
Gusinsky's influence in the Jewish community, then f and most importantly f
to poison Gazprom's relationship with NTV under the pretext of having the
television station pay on its debts to the gas giant. The end result, as
Gazprom lawyers have indicated, is to legally bankrupt NTV.
But the Chekist team apparently saw all these intellectual games as
superfluous. What's to think about? Just throw the man in jail, and in a week
we'll serve that cooked goose on the president's table.
But these dimwits decided to use the tactics of beer-hall brawls on Gusinsky.
And they failed. Because Gusinsky wasn't afraid. And he found within himself
the strength to refuse $300 million that they tried to stuff down his throat
f along with his own broken teeth.
But the fight over Gusinsky isn't just about hunting for a media magnate.
It's an instance of the general divvying up of property, which each of the
Kremlin teams would probably like to enjoy.
Consider this: Last week, Communications Minister Leonid Reiman, of the
president's Petersburg contingent, withdrew the right to use certain
frequencies from the present operators and decided they be handed over to
Sonic Duo. As a result, two companies f MTS and Vimpelcom f suffered. MTS was
silent, but Vimpelcom started squawking. Reiman then backed down.
Or consider this: This past summer, the offices of LUKoil and the Tyumen Oil
Co., or TNK, were searched. It seems the goal here was simple: to scare the
companies so they wouldn't participate in this fall's auction for Onako. What
happened? LUKoil surrendered and crawled into a hole. But TNK bit its tongue,
got the money together, and submitted the winning bid for Onako.
So the authorities have lost three times in less than two weeks. Because they
don't yet have the "authority" they need. After all, knowing how to take over
a business is different than knowing how to run a government.
Instead of a well-oiled system of governance, the country has a few teams
jockeying for position in the Kremlin, seeing it as a tool for gain. Again,
they're waging war with their enemies f and themselves.
So winning a fight against these teams will be possible. We just need to hang
in there f and not surrender.
Yulia Latynina is the creator and host of "The Ruble Zone" on NTV television.
Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2000
From: "John Helmer" <email@example.com>
Subject: RUSSIA ACCUSES US OF RIGGING STEEL IMPORT MARKET
Toronto Globe& Mail, Business report, this week
RUSSIA ACCUSES US OF RIGGING STEEL IMPORT MARKET
>From John Helmer in Moscow
For the first time in a decade of trade negotiations, Russia's
steelmakers,the second largest steel exporters in the world, have gone to
Washington, united behind a new trade negotiator. Their message to the US
Department of Commerce: stop rigging the import trade for the benefit of
domestic steelmakers, and exporters from Europe, Asia, and South America.
Stung by last year's trade limitation pact with the US, which has brought
Russian exports to the US of several steel products to a full-stop, Maxim
Medvedkov, Russia's new negotiator, accused his predecessors of signing
concessions "in desperation".
The shift is enormous, Russian steelmakers claim, and they give the credit
to President Vladimir Putin.
For the first time too, Russia's steelmakers participated directly in the
negotiations with the United States government.
The inclusion of the Russian mill representatives was intended by Russia's
Ministry of Economic Development and Trade to respond to industry criticism
accusing the government negotiators of being too soft towards US
Medvedkov tried dispelling that impression with a public briefing in Moscow
this week. "The situation with the steel agreements is rather complex," he
said. "The [1999 suspension] agreement on hot-rolled coil is
practically not working at the moment, because the Russian steel mills were
presented with minimum [reserve] prices that are too high to be able to
trade on the US market. Because of that, no deliveries of HRC were
made in the third quarter of the year."
According to Medvedkov, he has presented the US Department of Commerce with
a memorandum laying out Russia's position on changes to the HRC agreement,
and the comprehensive quota agreement reached at the same time in July
1999. "The Department of Commerce promised to reply in 2 to 3 weeks after
consulting the US steelmakers," Medvedkov said.
According to Alexei Petrosian of Novolipetsk Metal Combine, the third
largest steelmaker in Russia, "so far the US side has asked for a 2 to
3-week time-out. In the past this has usually turned into 2 to 3 months,
but we'll see what happens now."
"We have a very positive judgement concerning the performance of the
Ministry of Trade," Petrosian, a bitter critic of the government's trade
approach with the Americans, now says. "My view is that the positive changes
reflect a general change in state policy. It is now officially proclaimed
by Putin and the Security Council that the state is going to support the
interests of the domestic producers. I think this gives the lower level
state officials a more concrete motivation to change their line of behaviour."
Medvedkov also signalled that Moscow has run out of patience with US
promises to grant Russia market-economy status in anti-dumping enquiries.
"We have also discussed the very sensitive issue of granting Russia market
economy status in the course of anti-dumping investigations," he disclosed.
Without this status, which the Clinton Administration offered two years ago
but not implemented, Russian steel production costs are not measured
directly in the US investigations. Instead, costs are attributed to Russian
producers from "surrogate" countries like Turkey, India, and Brazil, where
power and other factors cost much more than they do in Russia. This
methodology, the Russians have argued for years, prejudices the findings on
whether Russian export prices are at or below cost.
The Russian trade negotiator warned that if no agreement is reached on
terms with the US, Russia may issue the required six-month advance warning
of termination, and then pull out of the two agreements.
"Of course, both of the agreements are a strong violation of the WTO
rules," Medvedkov said. "This is an established fact that cannot be argued
against. As soon as Russia joins the WTO, the agreements should be
cancelled. It must have been a very desperate situation last year that
Russia agreed to sign these agreements.
Without disclosing specifics, Medvedkov said he has asked for increases in
the volume quotas in the comprehensive agreement; a new formula for
calculating reserve prices in the HRC pact; and the elimination of
several product categories from the comprehensive agreement. These are
reported to be pig-iron, slab, electro-technical steel, and pipes.
The Russians have also proposed that the US allow an add-on to next year's
shipments that represents the quota volumes that have not been used up this
"Continuation of trade will require at least a 20% in minimum prices,"
Petrosian told G&M. "We insist on exclusion of all semis, not just pig iron
and slab, but also billet from the comprehensive agreement."
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