This Date's Issues: 4673
Johnson's Russia List
7 December 2000
[Note from David Johnson:
1. Reuters: US businessman jailed as spy by Russian court.
2. Time.com: Why American 'Spy' Is Useful to Putin. Cell Phone from
Moscow: Convicting Edmond Pope makes Moscow look tough, and pardoning him
will make the Russians look compassionate, says TIME's Yuri Zharakovich.
3. Reuters: Spy case highlights risks of business in Russia.
4. BBC Monitoring: Moscow TV forecasts fresh economic crisis in Russia,
slams government policy.
5. Robert Nurick to Head Carnegie Endowment's Moscow Center, Replacing
6. Andrew Konitzer-Smirnov: One More Plea from the
7. New York Times: Patrick Tyler, Headaches Pile Up on Ukraine
8. Vedomosti: RUSSIAN POPULATION DECLINES.
9. Itar-Tass: Most Russians like Present Tricolour Public
10. Perspectiva: Disabled Youth Speak Out for A City of Equal
11. gazeta.ru: Russia Cannot Swap Debts For Shares -
12. BBC Monitoring: Caspian sturgeon on the verge of extinction - Russian
13. Two new books from Cornell University Press: Russia and Soul: An
Exploration by Dale Pesmen and A Fistful of Rubles by Juliet
14. RFE/RL: Paul Goble, Raising A Red Flag.]
US businessman jailed as spy by Russian court
By Daniel Mclaughlin
MOSCOW, Dec 6 (Reuters) - A Russian court sentenced U.S. businessman
Pope to 20 years in jail on Wednesday as a spy, raising a storm of outrage
Washington and casting a shadow over U.S.-Russian relations.
The first Westerner convicted of spying in Russia since the darkest days
the Cold War would serve his time in a high security penal colony. He has
suffered from a rare form of bone cancer and his family has said prison
be a death sentence.
In a last emotional plea before the verdict was handed down, Pope, a
54-year-old former naval intelligence officer, denied he was a spy and
for his freedom.
"I have already spent eight months in a Russian prison, I am not a
lawyer Pavel Astakhov quoted him as telling the closed hearing from the
cage where defendants sit in Russian court. "The only decision that
should take is to release me to my family and to let me go home."
Pope had visited Russia more than 20 times over eight years doing research
into civilian uses of military technology, first with the University of
Pennsylvania and later his own firm.
He was accused of stealing secret designs for a high-speed Russian
but said the technology was openly available.
As the sentence was read, his wife Cheri -- allowed into the courtroom for
the first time only to hear the verdict -- embraced him through the cage.
"She hugged him through he bars and then held his hand the entire
Republican Congressman John Peterson, from the couple's home state of
Pennsylvania, said outside the courtroom, where he had accompanied Pope's
Pope has seven days in which to appeal.
Earlier, Cheri Pope told reporters: "I really believe that if we do
him to hospital, he will soon die.
"Yesterday I wrote a letter to President (Vladimir) Putin and begged
let my husband go to a clinic."
SECURITY POLICE RELEASE FILM
Russia's FSB security police, the former KGB, released a fragment of a
purported post-sentencing interview with a cheerful, laughing Pope who
he did not regret visiting Russia and respected the Russian people.
State television said it was filmed in jail after Pope was brought back
the hearing, but as he was led to his cell from a van and questioned he
different trousers than he had worn that day in court.
Washington expressed outrage at the verdict, and U.S. lawmakers vowed to
action if Pope was not freed.
After the verdict, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright called Foreign
Minister Igor Ivanov to plead for Pope's freedom.
White House National Security spokesman P.J.Crowley demanded that Pope be
released on humanitarian grounds.
"The verdict is unjustifiable, it is flat out wrong and it has cast a
over our relationship," Crowley said, adding that President Bill
has raised the case with Putin, was following developments closely.
Putin has said the trial must run its course but that he could consider
pardoning Pope when it was over.
Senator Gordon Smith, an Oregon Republican who serves on the Senate
relations committee vowed in a release that "legislative action will
should Mr Pope not be released immediately."
Congress has already asked Clinton to consider economic sanctions on
if Pope is not released, and the State Department has warned U.S.
that activities considered normal in the West could get them jailed in
Astakhov said that in his final speech to the court, Pope had denied
receiving any secrets, and had dismissed the prosecution case as built on
"conjecture and wrong conclusions."
December 6, 2000
Why American 'Spy' Is Useful to Putin
Cell Phone from Moscow: Convicting Edmond Pope makes Moscow look tough,
pardoning him will make the Russians look compassionate, says TIME's Yuri
BY YURI ZARAKHOVICH
Did the conviction of American businessman Edmond Pope on spying charges
as a surprise in Moscow?
"No, not really. There had been a general expectation, or at least a
that he would be convicted â€” and then pardoned or released for
reasons later on. What President Putin and his KGB crowd are trying to do
show the Russian people how tough they are. At the same time, they
want to make the other side's position too difficult, and making a
humanitarian gesture by releasing a convicted man who is suffering from
cancer helps to improve their image in the West. So perhaps in their
Byzantine Soviet way, they deem it in their best interest to first convict
him and then release him."
Will Pope be used as a bargaining chip?
"Only if Moscow has something it wants to bargain over. As far as I
Russian spies are currently being held in the U.S. They're more likely to
him as a political chip than a bargaining chip. By making the gesture of
releasing him, they show that they're 'stern but just.' Like the old joke
about Stalin: a young boy asks his grandfather about Stalin, and the
grandfather replies that Comrade Stalin was stern but just. Once at a
congress Stalin was speaking when somebody in the hall sneezed. 'Who
sneezed?' Stalin demanded. Silence. So he made the first row stand up and
them all shot. Then the second row. Eventually, someone near the back of
hall called out to confess. 'Bless you, comrade,' Stalin answered. 'You
says the grandfather, 'stern but just.' And 'stern but just' is the sort
image the current leadership is trying to project."
How strong was the evidence against Pope?
"I'm not a lawyer, so it's difficult to assess these things. But his
did make a strong point that the technical documentation on Russian
that this man is charged with procuring is easily available in the
Kazakhstan and even Kyrgyszstan. And, of course, Pope did not originally
solicit the documents from the Russian agency concerned, they had
It was a sting operation?
"No, something a lot more common in today's Russia. The Russian
approached him in good faith, because they wanted to make money. But
somewhere along the line the FSB [security service] got wind of it and
Is Pope then a victim of the changed political climate from the Yeltsin
to the Putin era?
"Not just a change of leadership, but of the whole political paradigm
country. Right now there's a genuine popular sentiment, stirred up by the
rabble-rouser at the top, that Russia is besieged by hostile forces, that
whole world is against us, and that there are spies everywhere. People
believe this sort of thing because of the traumas this society has
in the last decade. Xenophobia is on the rise, and in this psychological
climate, this Pope thing is useful. The outcome of the trial may have been
predetermined. It will be used as a political device to show Russians that
President Putin is strong and tough, and then sometime later by releasing
to show Americans that he's also very forgiving."
ANALYSIS-Spy case highlights risks of business in Russia
By Jon Boyle
MOSCOW (Reuters) - The conviction of U.S. businessman Edmond Pope on
charges has highlighted the risks of doing business in Russia, despite
President Vladimir Putin's election pledge to impose a "dictatorship
The American was jailed for 20 years by a Moscow court Wednesday for
allegedly stealing secret designs for a high-speed torpedo.
A former naval intelligence agent, Pope said he was researching commercial
civilian uses for the torpedo technology and had traveled to Russia for
work more than 20 times.
Business leaders and economic and political analysts said the case showed
that 10 years after the fall of Communism, commerce remains a risky
"Businessmen have found that there is a very large gray area of
interpretation in Russian law, and that has caused a lot of
Roland Nash, chief economist at the Renaissance Capital investment house.
"The latitude that exists in law makes it sometimes difficult to
rule of Putin with the rule of law," he said. "He's introduced
than law and order."
In response to the Pope case, the U.S. State Department has warned that
might be normal business activity in the West could be "illegal under
Russian legal code, or considered suspect by the FSB," the domestic
Commercial ties with Russia's military sector, research institutes and
high-technology sector have risks, the warning said, adding that
Americans faced lengthy sentences -- sometimes in deplorable conditions --
RUSSIA CRITICIZES STATE DEPARTMENT
Russia's Foreign Ministry condemned the State Department warning as an
attempt to influence Pope's trial. But Pope's case is not the first of its
In 1997, U.S. telecommunications engineer Richard Bliss spent 10 days in
prison on espionage charges after his arrest in the southern city of
Rostov-on-Don while using a satellite positioning system to install mobile
Washington insisted he did nothing wrong, he was released and the case
Scott Blacklin, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Moscow,
the Pope saga showed that in business, size could be important.
"Because (Pope) was in a high-tech area and operating by himself
the risk. I suspect that if one of the large American defense contractors
were having similar discussions, we would not have had this problem,"
Alexei Zabotkine, chief economist at the UFG finance house in Moscow, said
the Pope case had been blown out of proportion.
"I think that the Russian special services started the case just to
point to the West that they are on alert and spying in Russia is becoming
more difficult," Zabotkine said. "It's being used both by
politicians and some circles in the West to show that Putin is a step back
for Russia, but I don't think there's convincing evidence" for that.
FEARS FOR FREE SPEECH
Self-exiled media barons Vladimir Gusinsky and Boris Berezovsky say they
arrest if they return to Russia after criticizing Putin with their
Concerns over free speech have dogged Putin since the former KGB spy took
over at the Kremlin. He has elevated many senior FSB staffers into the
echelons of his administration.
"I think the Pope case shows that it is dangerous, not just for
who want to work in Russia ... but for journalists, too," said Oleg
director of Moscow's Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations.
An "information-security doctrine" approved by Putin in
September could be
used to muzzle dissent, he said, pointing to high-profile court cases
involving ecology activists, which he said belied the president's
to press freedom.
"I think this will get worse," said Panfilov. "Bureaucrats,
not a court, will
determine what journalists can write."
Former navy officers Alexander Nikitin and Grigory Pasko both have fought
lengthy legal battles with the authorities after blowing the whistle on
Russian navy's dumping of nuclear and other toxic waste.
Moscow TV forecasts fresh economic crisis in Russia, slams government
Source: Centre TV, Moscow, in Russian 1700 gmt 06 Dec 00
The leading political observer of Russian Centre TV, a channel controlled
Moscow mayor Yuriy Luzhkov, has criticized the Russian government and
President Vladimir Putin for frittering away a windfall created by high
oil prices, The observer, Leonid Mlechin, said the money was wasted on the
Chechnya war and irrelevant issues and nothing has been done to bring
economic reform. The followng is the text of the commentary broadcast by
Russian Centre TV on 6th December:
[Mlechin, speaking to camera in the studio] Some people may not have
today's reports about a drop in [world] oil prices. Others were shocked at
the news. In 2000 Russia has earned 30bn [US] dollars from oil exports.
is a huge amount of money. It is not clear why our lifestyle has not
radically improved and where this big money is.
It was just wasted. Government spending did not decline this year. On the
contrary, it has risen. Ministries and government agencies shared this
between themselves and wasted it. This money was thrown away on Chechnya.
was spent on the army.
Here is the latest example. After a 10-year break, our strategic bombers
nuclear weapons on board have resumed patrols over the Arctic Ocean. So,
planes fly over the Arctic, scare the Americans, and all of us like it.
Nobody is thinking about the fact that a mission by a strategic bomber
a fortune. Such missions cost millions of dollars. Meanwhile, tens of
thousands of people are freezing in Maritime Territory.
They have said that [Maritime Territory] governor [Yevgeniy] Nazdratenko
the only culprit. Everybody knows what kind of manager he is. But does the
federal government feel any responsibility for this tragic situation? If
what about the strengthening of the vertical power structure? If one
more rights, then more responsibilities should be assumed, too.
It appears that the federal authorities are dealing with big politics
with things like the anthem, the flag and the coat of arms. Small matters
like people's well-being are being left for local authorities. Mayors and
governors must settle everything on their own.
By the way, President [Vladimir] Putin has been in office for almost a
What has he done in this past year to make the Russian economy
self-sufficient and not so dependent on oil revenues? Just nothing.
By the way, in 1999, when Boris Yeltsin was still president, investment in
the domestic economy began to grow. People saw that they could invest some
money in domestic industry. Why? Because some branches of the Russian
were made competitive by the financial crisis in 1998 and by the
of the rouble. In 2000 the investment growth stopped. People invested as
money as was determined by the degree of improvement in the economic
situation, but the situation ceased to improve.
What should we do to attract more investment? Just the things we have been
talking about for years. It is shameful to keep hearing them time and time
again. But we are just talking and doing nothing. Not even the tiniest
has not been done, such as a judicial reform which would guarantee that an
investor will not be robbed by one of the 100 methods widely practiced in
Instead of reforms and of cuts in government spending, the authorities
just wasted oil revenues all year.
Over 5bn dollars have already been divided between the articles of the
budget. We do not have this money. The government just hopes to earn it if
oil prices stay high. And what if they drop, as anticipated by all the
In that case we will face a dilemma: either a fresh default - and we
the panic in the autumn of 1998 - or the budget will be sequestrated.
too, has happened with us. We know what a sharp decline in social spending
spells and how painfully it affects people.
Today we heard an alarm bell. It warns us that the happy time, when
petrodollars were giving us an illusion of prosperity, are coming to an
We must do something in the sphere of the economy while there still is
Maybe, we should postpone such important questions as adoption of the new
anthem, the coat of arms and the flag?
This is the main problem in this country: when we have money, we do not
about reforms because things are good without them. When we run out of
we cannot cope with reforms.
Date: Wed, 06 Dec 2000
From: Julie Shaw <email@example.com>
Subject: New Carnegie Moscow director
Contact: For Immediate Release
Julie Shaw, 202-939-2211 December 6, 2000
Robert Nurick to Head Carnegie Endowment's Moscow Center, Replacing Alan
Jessica T. Mathews, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International
Peace, announced today that Robert Nurick, senior political scientist at
RAND, will become the new director of the Carnegie Moscow Center,
Alan Rousso, who is leaving to join the European Bank for Reconstruction
"Bob Nurick is a highly respected expert in the Russian policy
Mathews said. "Throughout his career at think tanks and in
has established himself as a talented analyst and effective manager. We
confident that he will further advance the Moscow Center's work and policy
impact, and are delighted he will be joining us."
"We owe Alan Rousso a debt of gratitude," Mathews added.
leadership, the Moscow Center has grown tremendously in its research
output, policy impact, reputation, and staffing. In the last three years,
it has gained wide recognition inside and outside Russia as a wellspring
independent thinking. The Center also has become the model for independent
policy research in Moscow and a respected forum for debate and discussion.
We have Alan to thank for much of this."
Robert Nurick has served at RAND since 1985. As senior political
his principal research interests have been in Soviet and Russian foreign
and defense policy, European security, and arms control. He has held
research and managerial positions there, including manager of foundation
programs, associate corporate research manager in the national security
research division, and associate director at the RAND/UCLA Center for the
Study of Soviet International Behavior.
>From 1981 to 1985, Nurick was assistant director and director of
the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, where he was
responsible for the institute's research program and served as editor of
its journal, Survival. Previously, he served in the U.S. government at the
Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and at the Department of Defense as
special assistant to the deputy assistant secretary of defense.
Nurick will officially start as director of the Carnegie Moscow Center in
Alan Rousso joined the Carnegie Moscow Center as director in January 1998.
He will start at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in
London as senior political counselor in the office of the chief economist
in January. His last day with the Carnegie Moscow Center is December 15,
2000. In the interim, Dmitri Trenin, the Center's deputy director, will
serve as acting director.
About the Russian and Eurasian Program
The end of the Cold War created a unique opportunity to contribute to the
historic transformations taking place in the former Soviet
Union-transformations vital to the future of the newly independent states,
to America's interests, and to world peace. Accordingly, the Carnegie
Endowment expanded its group of Washington, D.C.-based policy experts and
also founded the Carnegie Moscow Center, the first public policy research
center of its size and kind in the former Soviet Union.
>From its founding in 1993, the Center has grown rapidly and now boasts
staff of thirty-five, all of whom, except an American director, are
Russian. In addition to numerous books and monographs, the Center also
publishes the quarterly policy journal Pro et Contra as well as the
bimonthly periodical Nuclear Proliferation. Extensive resources in both
Russian and English are available at the Carnegie Endowment and Moscow
Center web sites at www.ceip.org and www.carnegie.ru.
About the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Founded in 1910, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is a
private, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing cooperation among
nations and promoting active international engagement by the United
The Endowment's research projects are grouped in two areas, the Global
Policy Program and the Russian and Eurasian Program. The Endowment
publishes Foreign Policy magazine. Visit www.ceip.org
for more information
on programs, staff, and publications.
From: "Andrew Konitzer-Smirnov" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: One More Plea from the Provinces
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 2000
One More Plea from the Provinces
Department of Political Science
University of Pittsburgh
Like all graduate students in the process of writing their dissertation, I
am deeply concerned not only about gathering and applying theories to
but also about my career prospects after the completion of my
Academia can be a difficult business, openings are limited, competition is
tough, and some have told me that my work in Russia may even limit my
employment opportunities. However, the pieces by Warren (JRL#4670) and
Fisher (JRL#4671) have given me new hope. If all else fails, there is
apparently a reasonable demand for individuals who can peddle horror
stories from the freak show that is Russia's provinces.
I am one of Warren's "adventurous travelers" who is frequently
enough to strike out" not 250 miles but well over 500 (!) from the
"comforts of Moscow". While striking out, I always take one of
cockroach infested "traveling circuses" where I am - apparently
unconsciously - assaulted by pungent, gaseous, drunk, thieving Russians,
Azerbaijanis and other exotic characters. On each of these
exhilarating odysseys" (or perhaps they are "unremarkable and
journeys") into the "darkness and misery of the provinces"
I have been
plainly unaware that I was actually witnessing a veritable goldmine of
sensationalism with the potential to rocket me to the top of the West's
most proliferate Russia watchers.
One could go on with this veritable feast of journalistic tripe, but here
are a few simple figures for Mr. Fisher, Mr. Warren, and for all those who
have ever uttered a phrase like, "Wow, you're from the provinces!
you eat?" The average 1999 regional per capita income in Russia was
rubles. The city of Moscow, of course, had a strong impact on these
with an income of 5074. However, within the provinces, income varied from
1814 rubles in Yamalo-Nenetskii AO to 109 rubles in Aginskii Buryatskii
In terms of average wages as a percent of the local minimum cost of
the average for 1998 was 197%. Here again, Moscow was an outlier with an
outcome of 592%. Within the provinces, figures ranged from a maximum of
397% in Yamalo-Nenetskii AO to only 40% in Aginskii Buryatskii AO. These
figures say nothing about the variation in areas like capital investment
and unemployment, but they are sufficient to demonstrate existing
A simple point: the "provinces" are not a monolith. Reporters,
and other experts who take a day trip to an abandoned military base or a
city located in one of the lower (and Bryansk is by no means the lowest)
performing regions do everyone a disservice by imposing their one-off
experience on the rest of the Federation. Such stories can make for
publications but they only obfuscate Moscow's and the West's already murky
understanding of the geographically and demographically (if no longer
economically) most significant part of Russia.
New York Times
December 6, 2000
[for personal use only]
Headaches Pile Up on Ukraine Leader
By PATRICK E. TYLER
MOSCOW, Dec. 5 - President Leonid Kuchma of Ukraine is having one of the
ordeals of his long political career.
First, he is facing the monumental task on Dec. 15 of closing the last
reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power station, site of the 1986 fire and
radiation catastrophe. But the shutdown threatens further power cuts for
millions of Ukrainians already shivering because of storms and equipment
Then, the International Monetary Fund has yet to certify Ukraine as
creditworthy after having learned last winter how Kiev's central bankers
altering the national books to inflate reserves of hard currency, thus
entitling Ukraine to additional loans from the fund.
President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia has chosen this season to force
to accept a schedule to pay off its $1.5 billion gas debt to Moscow. And,
Kuchma, after a brief honeymoon with a new reformist prime minister,
Yushchenko, is at odds with him as reforms cut into the influence, and
incomes, of some of Mr. Kuchma's powerful industrial backers and regional
Then last week, Oleksandr Moroz, leader of the opposition Socialist Party,
made public a tape recording supposedly with the voices of Mr. Kuchma and
of his top aides as they hurled curses and threats at a muckraking
journalist, Georgy Gongadze. There was even talk on the tapes that
"It would be good if he is kidnapped by the Chechens and taken to
and held there for ransom."
Mr. Gongadze, who published an opposition newspaper on an Internet Web
Ukrainian Truth, at www.pravda.com.ua,
disappeared on Sept. 16. Since that
time, Ukrainian and international associations of journalists have called
Mr. Kuchma to press for a more vigorous investigation to find him in light
the history of assaults and intimidation against opposition journalists in
The International Press Institute told Mr. Kuchma in a letter on Sept. 20
that its global association of editors and news executives was
worried about the fate" of the missing journalist.
Mr. Gongadze's colleagues say they believe that a mutilated corpse found
the outskirts of Kiev this fall, but not positively identified, is his
On the recording that Mr. Moroz released, there is talk of taking measures
against Mr. Gongadze, whose Georgia ancestry is vilified. "I say take
out, throw him away," says the voice that is reportedly Mr. Kuchma's.
him to the Chechens."
The voices of the president, Interior Minister Yrui Kravchenko and the
of the presidential administration, Vladimir Litvin, were submitted to
unidentified experts by Mr. Moroz's party to verify their authenticity, a
Socialist spokesman said. There has been no independent examination.
Wiretapping to gather compromising material on political opponents is
in Ukraine, Russia and other former Soviet republics. The release of this
recording, which Mr. Moroz said had been provided by an unidentified
of Ukraine security services who was outside the country but willing to
forward and testify, has created a sensation.
A spokesman for the president immediately denounced the tape, saying,
assertions are absolutely groundless and pure insinuation."
A prosecutor in Kiev announced that he was investigating Mr. Moroz in
connection with criminal "insults and slander" against the
On Friday in Minsk, where Mr. Kuchma attended a summit meeting of leaders
former Soviet republics, he said releasing the cassette and the
that Ukrainian officials were complicit in Mr. Gongadze's disappearance
"a provocation, probably involving foreign special services."
"We will have to find out which special services," the president
December 6, 2000
[translation from RIA Novosti for personal use only]
RUSSIAN POPULATION DECLINES
By Alexei GERMANOVICH
The State Statistics Committee forecast that the
population would either critically decrease or remain at the
Russia's population decreased by 2.8 million
reform years. By the year 2015, the number of Russian residents
will drop from the current 145 million to 134 million,
according to the State Statistics Committee. However, the
statistics experts also have an optimistic scenario in store.
They project that the number of people living in Russia will
remain practically unchanged by the year 2015 and total 143
The Russian population is melting away by the
decline reached 550,000 people in the first ten months of the
year. The population totaled 145,008,600 on October 1. The
number of women living in Russia exceeds the quantity of men by
9 million, Irina Zbarskaya, head of the population census and
demographic statistics department at the State Statistics
Committee, said at an Interfax press conference on December 5.
"This is typical of the advanced age when women are unable to
bear children," Zbarskaya said. She was sceptic about the idea
of introducing polygamy as a means of resolving the low
This problem will persist over the next few
years. By the
end of 2005, 142 million people will live in Russia, by the end
of 2010 the figure will fall to 138 million and further drop to
134 million in the next five years.
Some scientists are more optimistic about the
"The reduction will proceed at a lower rate," Valery Yelizarov,
head of the Center for Populace Problems at the Economic
Department of Moscow State University, said. "I hope that after
2005 the turn of the 1985-1987 generations will come (a
relatively high birthrate was registered then and scientists
sometimes call those years "the Soviet baby-boom.") The number
of marriages is likely to grow around 2007-2008. Thus an
increase in the birthrate can be expected. Moreover, a growth
is possible due to the so-called postponed births, mostly
second children. This may become a reality if conditions
primarily in the economy are improved. Otherwise the postponed
births won't "materialise," Yelizarov said.
The State Statistics Committee presented the
medium prognosis at the December 5 press conference. However,
the committee made other forecasts as well. According to a
pessimistic projection, the number of people living in Russia
will total 128 million by 2015. In an optimistic scenario, the
figure will reach 143.7 million, i.e., remain at the current
level. However, this forecast is very questionable.
"My projections and their optimistic
scenario are founded
on pure optimism. Nothing is going to change unless steps are
taken by the government in the sphere of family policy. So far
the state has not done anything," Yelizarov concluded.
in Medium Demographic Prognosis
||GDP per capita, % against 1999
||GDP, % against 1999
||Economically active population, mln
||Remuneration fund in actual prices, billion
Most Russians like Present Tricolour Public Polls.
MOSCOW, December 6 (Itar-Tass) - Most Russians like the present Russian
national white-blue-red tricolour, say public opinion polls, held late in
October and early in November.
According to a poll, sponsored by the Public Opinion Fund, the Russian
tricolour is to the liking of 68 percent of the polled, while 20 percent
not like it. According to the data of the Independent Analytical Centre,
percent of respondents favoured the tricolour as the Russian national
while 31 percent are against.
Incidentally, 65 percent of the polled by the Independent Analytical
"claimed that the present Russian flag (white-blue-red) is in line
spirit of the entire people and serves as a symbol of what unites
The All-Russian Council of Veterans voiced support for a proposal by
President Vladimir Putin to approve the tricolour as the Russian national
A statement by the presidium of this organisation, received by Itar-Tass,
says that the council of veterans also supports Putin's proposal on
the red banner as the flag of the Russian Armed Forces, while the St.
Andrew's flag as the flag of the Russian navy.
The council also backed the president's proposal to approve the image of
two-headed eagle as the Russian state coat of arms as well as Alexandrov's
music with a changed text as the state anthem.
The Central Spiritual Board of Moslems of Russia and CIS European
backed the Russian president-sponsored Russian state symbols on behalf of
millions of Russian Moslems.
A statement by this organisation says that these symbols -- the state
the flags of the Armed Forces and the navy, the anthem and the coat of
-- "personify difficult but glorious history of our Homeland which
under its protection, ancient peoples and followers of traditional
confessions in the sixth part of land".
The Buddhist traditional Singha of Russia expressed support for the
in his decision to preserve symbols of state power of the Russian
the tricolour, the anthem to Alexandrov's music and the coat of arms
depicting the two-headed eagle.
A statement by this organisation received by Itar-Tass says that this
decision by the Russian president "is aimed at strengthening quietude
supporting civic peace in Russia".
The Russian Olympic Committee voiced support for the bills on state
on behalf of the Russian sports community.
"Special gratitude goes to Russian President Vladimir Putin for his
initiative to restore the anthem to Alexandrov's music: this anthem
for many years in honour of glorious achievements by our sportsmen in
competitions at various levels," says a statement by the Russian
Date: Wed, 06 Dec 2000
From: Marisa Fushille <email@example.com>
Subject: Disabled Youth Speak Out for A City of Equal Opportunities
Here is a Press Release from Perspectiva
Disabled Youth Speak Out for A City of Equal Opportunities
On December 7 at 1:30 pm, disabled youth and their supporters will
gather on New Pushkin Square to raise awareness about the lack of rights
and opportunities for persons with disabilities in Moscow, and above
all, the issue of accessibility.
In Moscow there are over a million disabled people and the majority are
still isolated and unable to leave their homes. Disabled
Moscow have very limited educational and work opportunities and face
both physical and psychological barriers daily. There is no
public transportation, only one accessible metro station, and few public
places, or businesses which are accessible for persons with mobility or
vision impairments. Disabled youths want to solicit the support of
people in the community and to raise awareness about this reality.
is a violation of their constitutional and human rights.
The action is to begin at 1:30 pm at the New Pushkin Square, near
Santa Clause -- a wheelchair user -- will invite people to
group's demands by signing postcards that will subsequently be
presented to Mayor Luzhkov. Passersby will be given the opportunity
cross the square in a wheelchair. At 3 pm the group will go to
Mayor's office to present the Mayor with postcards signed by Moscovites
who have demonstrated their support for a city of equal opportunities.
Representatives of the media wishing to cover this event should please
contact Olga Drozdova or Denise Roza at (7-095) 301-1810, fax: 301-7204,
or be e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
NOTE FOR EDITORS
Since 1993, the first week of December has been celebrated in Russia as
disability awareness week. In December 1993, the UN Standard Rules
Promoting Equal Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities was passed
to improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities throughout
the world. However, it's no secret that in Russia, the
are no more than a declaration. Much remains to be done in Russia
the full inclusion of persons with disabilities into the community.
Therefore, we believe that this is not a time for celebration, but a
time to speak out about the violation of disabled peoples' rights.
This action is part of a joint program, managed by Perspektiva, and 6
regional disability NGOs, together with the Derbyshire Coalition for
Inclusive Living (Great Britain). The program is administered and funded
by the British Embassy and the British Department for International
Development through Charities Aid Foundation (CAF). It aims to empower
disabled youth to become more active members of their communities, to
advocate for their rights and to raise awareness about disability
issues in 6 communities of Russia.
December 6, 2000
Russia Cannot Swap Debts For Shares - Vyugin
In an interview with Gazeta.Ru, Oleg Vyugin the leading economist with the
investment company Troika Dialog gives his assessment of the prospect of
Russia paying off its multi billion-dollar debts with shares in Russian
In 1993 Oleg Vyugin was appointed head of the Macroeconomic Policy
Department at Russiaâ' Finance Ministry.
In 1996 was appointed deputy minister of finance and in 1999, first deputy
finance minister, where he was in charge of Russia's relationship with
Russia's relationship with the Paris Club and other major foreign
and international financial institutions.
Oleg Vyugin Oleg Vyugin is currently the chief economist with the
company Troika Dialog.
G.R. - How often has Paris Club decided to convert sovereign debts into
O.V. - The Club has taken several such decisions. However, the debts were
converted not into stocks but into investment projects. In fact, the Club
wrote down debts and the debtor-states co-financed some foreign investors'
projects from their budgets.
Over the past decade such schemes of debt restructuring have been used by
several debtor states, which for various reasons, were incapable of paying
off their debts to Paris Club in cash payments.
G.R. - The agreement reached between (Russian Prime Minister) Kasyanov and
(German Chancellor Gerhard) Shroeder to exchange Germany's owed share of
Paris Club debt for shares in Russian enterprises could be called a
sensation. In your view, was it an impromptu agreement or the result of
lengthy, confidential consultations?
O.V. - To be honest, I do not think so. Although in principle it is,
an unexpected and a significant decision. Hitherto Germany has taken a
rigid stance on Russian debt and insisted we must pay in full. And now, it
happens that Germany has shown an understanding of the problem. As a
of fact, the scheme of decreasing the budget cash load by writing down the
debt in exchange for shares in investment projects has been applied
It really helps decrease the budget's debt (payment) burden, but only
partially. Usually, such schemes are applied not to the total amount of
but only to a certain part thereof, usually no more than 30%. Thus, the
burden is not significantly decreased, a maximum of 15-20%.
G.R. - How would you comment on deputy Prime Minister Alexey Kudrin's
statement in which he asserted that the fact Russia is facing difficulties
reaching an agreement with the IMF would not prevent Moscow from managing
restructure its debt to Paris Club?
O.V. - If the matter concerns solely "German" debt
restructuring, then it is
true. But speaking of normal restructuring, whereby the Club grants a
delays on debt repayment, an agreement with the IMF is necessary. In such
cases the Fund affirms to the Club that the debtor-state needs a payment
delay while it cannot pay. In our case the IMF cannot and doesn't want to
G.R. - In your opinion, is it now possible for Russia to convert debts to
Paris Club into shares? And is there a chance such a move will be opposed
the "left-wing" and the industrial lobby? Are the foreign
sufficiently protected once such scheme is applied? In other words, are we
capable of exchanging debts for shares right now, or does something else
to be changed within the country?
O.V. - I think, that, firstly, there will be some quite harsh discussions
among the Club members themselves.
But, as you know, only Germany has so far consented to such terms, whereas
the rest of the nations â€“ members of the Club have not. And many of
oppose the idea.
Secondly, if the debt conversion happens to be merely co-financing of some
investment project using budget funds, the scheme is not likely to spark
heated debate within the Russia.
If, for instance, the Germans build a yogurt factory here in cooperation
Russia within the framework of Paris Club debt restructuring, what would
industrial lobby care?
Thirdly, by implementing those projects, investors' rights will be
better than under other schemes like, say, mere equity interest
And, as for exchanging debt for shares, I'd say we are hardly ready to do
There will be many objections from various political forces. For instance,
some will say we are trading too cheap. Overall market capitalization of
Russian shares amounts to $43 billion. And the debt of the FSU due to
Club is $48 billion. And that's it really.
Caspian sturgeon on the verge of extinction - Russian TV
Source: NTV, Moscow, in Russian 0900 gmt 06 Dec 00
[Presenter] International environmental organizations are again trying to
draw the world community's attention to the catastrophic situation caused
sturgeon fishing in Russia. The World Wild Life Fund insists that caviar
trade should be banned for the next six months, claiming that this is the
only measure capable of stopping drastic drop in the number of marketable
fish caused by uncontrolled poaching in the Caspian Sea basin. Russia also
plans in December to suggest to the states bordering the Caspian Sea that
fishing of sturgeon and similar types of fish should be temporarily
suspended. Correspondent Sergey Mikhailov gives the details.
[Correspondent] At all times black caviar was a must at aristocracy's
dinners. Soon it may become a real treasure which only the world's richest
people would be able to afford. Both Russian and Western specialists have
noticed a dramatic decline in the number of the Caspian Sea sturgeon.
[Natalie Rebeits-Nelson, captioned as the head of Caviar House] The
in the number of fish is proved by the fact that our trade turnover in the
caviar market has decreased by 50 per cent in the last 10 years.
[Vladimir Demin, captioned as deputy governor of Astrakhan Region] Every
the catch of sturgeon decreases. We are risking the total disappearance of
this precious kind of fish. Thus, life itself is impelling the imposition
a moratorium on sturgeon fishing.
[Correspondent] At this month's session of the interstate commission on
fishing Russia is going to propose a ban on sturgeon fishing in the
Apart from Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan are also
of the commission. It will be proposed to introduce quotas for the
that artificially produce young white, stellate and regular sturgeon. Even
these measures are taken they will be still only half measures. The main
dangers are poachers and local residents for whom sturgeon-fishing is the
main source of survival.
[Nikolay Runkov, fisherman] Less fish is caught and correspondingly wages
falling. Fishermen used to support their families with the money they got
from fish sales. Now there is no fish and no salaries.
[Correspondent] Specialists of the Caspian fishing research institute say
that every year 12-15 tonnes of fish are caught illegally in the northern
part of the Caspian. This is ten times more than the official catch. The
fishing inspection authorities cannot combat the poachers effectively as
latter have much better equipment [boats].
[Vadim Lazarev, fisheries inspector] Poachers are always equipped best of
all. The inspectors have second-rate equipment. This difference in
hampers the whole process.
[Correspondent] World Wild Life Fund specialists say that during the last
years the volume of sturgeon-fishing in the Caspian has decreased by
 [Video shows a restaurant, sturgeons, caviar being extracted from a
Date: Wed, 06 Dec 2000
From: "Aubrey L. Hicks" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Two new books from Cornell University Press
Cornell University Press is proud to announce the publication of Russia
Soul: An Exploration by Dale Pesmen.
This ethnography of everyday life in contemporary Russia is also an
of discourses and practices of "soul" or dusha. Russian soul has
appeared as a myth, a consoling fiction, and a trope of national and
self-definition that drew romantic foreigners to Russia. Dale Pesmen shows
in the 1990s this "soul" was scorned, worshipped, and used to
manipulate, and exploit cultural capital. Pesmen focuses on
"soul" in part as
what people chose to do and how they did it, especially practices
"definitive" of Russians, such as hospitality, the use of
steam baths, Russian language, music, and suffering. Attempting to avoid
definitions of soul as a thing, Pesmen developed a new way of structuring
During her stay in a formerly "closed" military industrial city
villages, Pesmen spent time on public transportation and in kitchens,
baths, vegetable gardens, shops, and workplaces. She uses stories from her
fieldwork along with examples from the media and literature to introduce a
phenomenology of russkaia dusha and of related American and other
metaphysical notions, exploring diverse elements in their makeup,
questioning the world created when people believe in the existence of such
"deep," "vast," "enigmatic,"
"internal" centers. Among theoretical issues she
addresses are those of power, community, self, exchange, coherence, and
morality. Pesmen's attention to dusha gives her a multifaceted perspective
Russian culture and society and informs her rich portrayal of life in a
Russian city at a historically critical moment.
For more information, please see:
"This is the best book about Russia ever written. By using dusha as
organizing principle, Dale Pesmen has captured what it is like to be
and to live in Russia. Russia and Soul is so readable that when I open it
page I have difficulty putting it down. It is like a mandala, drawing you
itself and causing you to contemplate the nature of
Friedman, University of Chicago
"Dazzlingly original and penetratingly insightful, this is a volume
singular erudition, bound to be a touchstone for all future studies of
culture, society, philosophy, and literature. Dale Pesmen has peered into
the seeming cliché of Russian soul to reveal an intricate cosmology, one
profoundly shapes social behavior and self-creation."--Nancy Ries,
Cornell University Press is proud to announce the publication of A Fistful
Rubles by Juliet Johnson.
After the breakup of the USSR, it briefly appeared as though Russia's
commercial banks might act as engines of growth for a new capitalist
However, despite more than a decade of "reforms," Russia's
collapsed in 1998. Why had ambitious efforts to decentralize and
banking industry failed? In A Fistful of Rubles, Juliet Johnson offers the
first comprehensive look at how Russia's banks, once expected to
nation's economy, instead became one of the largest obstacles to its
Drawing on interviews with Russian bankers, policymakers, and
Johnson traces the evolution of the banking system from 1987 through the
aftermath of the 1998 crash. She describes how dysfunctional institutional
procedures left over from the Soviet period hindered the subsequent
of sound financial practices. Johnson argues that these legacies, along
misguided, Western-inspired liberalization policies, led to the creation
parasitic banks for which success depended on political connections rather
than on investment strategies.
Johnson demonstrates that banking reform efforts ultimately did more harm
good, because Russian officials and their international advisers failed to
build the corresponding economic, legal, and political institutions upon
modern market behavior depends.
For more information, please see:
Russia: Analysis From Washington -- Raising A Red Flag
By Paul Goble
Washington, 6 December 2000 (RFE/RL) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin's
call for the restoration of Soviet and tsarist-era symbols, including the
victory flag as the banner of the armed forces, may go a long way to
the national pride of many Russians. But at the same time, it has already
sparked concerns among both that country's democrats and Russia's
about what these symbols portend for the future.
Speaking on Russian television Monday night, Putin said that he would ask
Duma to make the Soviet anthem the anthem of the Russian Federation,
with some new lyrics. In addition, he called for making the tsarist
two-headed eagle and the red-white-blue flag the Russian Federation's
official state symbols. And he said that the red victory flag which Soviet
forces raised over Berlin in World War II should become the flag of
Public opinion polls have suggested that many Russians, including large
segments of the officer corps and members of the communist party, will
welcome this move, seeing it as a reaffirmation of Russia's greatness
period in which Russia has suffered greatly. But these polls also show a
sizeable number of people who object to what they see as a return to the
Anticipating their objections to his proposals, Putin said in his
speech that "if we accept that we cannot use the symbols of previous
including the Soviet epoch... then we must agree that our fathers and
lived useless, senseless lives, that they lived in vain." Putin added
"cannot accept this with either head or heart."
And he insisted that Russia must not forget its history and that of the
Soviet period in particular. "If we are led by this logic alone, then
would forget the achievements of our people over the centuries." And
"where would be put the achievements of Russian culture."
Protests against what Putin and the Russian Security Council have proposed
were not long in coming. Boris Nemtsov, a leader of one of the most
parties in the Russian Duma, complained on Russian television that the
anthem was "not the anthem of a state" but rather of the
Communist party and
Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. "We are a country of symbols and
Nemtsov continued. "This is a huge political error."
Also on Tuesday, the Moscow newspaper "Izvestiya" carried an
open letter from
Russian writers musicians, and other cultural figures denouncing Putin's
actions. Restoration of the Soviet anthem and other Soviet symbols, the
authors of this letter said, "causes us revulsion and protest."
"Because we have memory, we are convinced that it will not be
join the history of Russia to the history of the Soviet Union without
stitching wounds. The stitches are still there," the letter's signers
"and they still drip blood. Resurrecting phantoms is a risky
But it is not only citizens of the Russian Federation who are likely to
Putin's proposal with concern. By restoring Soviet and tsarist-era
many in the countries which are now independent but were part of both the
Russian Empire and the Soviet Union are likely to view this action as a
symbolic indication of where the Russian president hopes to take his
in the future.
And even further afield, Western governments too may be concerned by
use of symbols that at the very least are problematic in what they suggest
about his intentions and the intentions of his country. To the extent that
the Russian president's actions restore Russian pride, these governments
even welcome what he has done. But to the extent that they point to
more, they are likely to become ever more nervous.
Putin in his address appealed to Russians "not to hold up
events" or "burn
bridges," and he asked that everyone direct their "energy and
talent not to
destruction but to creation." But for many in his country and abroad,
restoration of some of these old symbols is likely to raise a red flag
CDI Russia Weekly: http://www.cdi.org/russia
Johnson's Russia List Archive (under construction): http://www.cdi.org/russia/johnson
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