This Date's Issues: 4682
Johnson's Russia List
12 December 2000
[Note from David Johnson:
1. Abe Brumberg: THE YAWNING HEIGHTS: A PROPOS CARNEGIE'S
2. AFP: Former US military commanders oppose US-Russian
launch notification agreement.
3. BBC Monitoring: Paper says Pope verdict a
"lesson" to Russians not to divulge state secrets.
4. The Russia Journal: Yuri Sigov, Hard sell for books on
5. gazeta.ru: Nobody Wants Responsibility for Chechnya.
6. Jessica Allina-Pisano: re: Korshak, Rudnitsky,
Allina-Pisano on surzhyk.
7. Albert Weeks: Re: Novoye Russkoye Slovo.
8. Christian Science Monitor: Scott Peterson, Ukraine's
simmering 'Watergate.' Audiotapes allegedly link President Kuchma to the
disappearance of outspoken scribe.
9. BBC Monitoring: Russian paper: Putin must now decide fate
of embalmed body of Lenin.
10. Susan Eisenhower Named President of The Eisenhower
11. Transitions Online: Nonna Chernyakova, A Less Than Cozy
Christmas. The Russian Far East is freezing and politiking is making the
situation even cooler.
12. BBC Monitoring: Russia: Daily says centralization the
main aim of TV.radio reform.
13. Reuters: Putin to find legacy of Russian presence in
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000
From: Abe Brumberg <ABrumberg@compuserve.com>
Subject: THE YAWNING HEIGHTS: A PROPOS CARNEGIE'S REPORT
As one no longer assiduously following the ongoing
in the former Soviet bloc, may I nevertheless offer a few remarks
concerning the newly issued report by the Carnegie Endowment for
First, I am struck by the diffidence about
President Putin's lack
of enthusiasm for democratic norms. Surely there is plenty of
for some explicit comments? And why not be explicit, too,
what are those "steps" that would presumably facilitate
the rise of
democracy in Russia? Unless, of course, the idea is to avoid any
impression that the US Government is particularly concerned about
matter--as it clearly has not been over the past few years..
Second, if Carnegie's experts want the the US
acquiesce at the Russia's military campaign against Chechnya, then
anodyne wording about Russia's "abuses" makes sense
. So does the
otherwise absurd rejection of a unilateral withdrawal of Russian
forces--absurd because clearly an unconditional withdrawal is indeed
likely to precipitate a "return to anarchy.". But even if
there is little
hope--as Anatol Lieven tells us--that President. Maskhadov is either able
or willing to give negotations a chance, I should think it
imperative to insist on a political solution as the only way out of
ongoing bloodshed., This is even more urgent in the
light of the recent
attempts by Russian liberals--and not only those of the shrilll
the verge of totalitarianism!" variety--to initiate a new efforts at
peacemaking., Unless, of course, we chose to
forget who was mainly
responsible for the bloodshed in the first place. (No, this is
Third, I wonder what those fine sentences about
promoting "the rule
of law" in Russia while refraining from "blindly mirroring"
US laws and
practices are all about. . My guess is that they amount to
than pietistic humbug. With a few important exceptions,
justice in Russia
is still deeply mired in old assumptions and practices.
are still de rigeur; the introduction of trial by jury has
a fiasco; beatings and other harrowing abuses in Russia's prisons
unchecked , and prisoners--among them a frightful propportion of
teen-agers--are forced to spend months in confinement before being brought
to trial. All this has been meticulously presented in the latest
Rights Watch report on this subject. I don't see how one
can speak of a
meaningful "new agenda" if Russia's miserable record in this
field is so
Finally, why do our Carnegie experts fail
to mention anything
about the mind-boggling deterioration of public health, the mind-boggling
statistics on infant mortality, poverty and demographic decline,
demonstrated so compellingly by Murray Feshbach et al?
Perhaps some will
argue that this topic does not belong in a report of this sort. If
beg to disagree. The parlous state of public health and life
in Russia today has been partially brought about, I am afraid,
of some Western economists--some, indeed, connected with the Carnegie
Endowment. Seems they ought to try to do better this time.
Former US military commanders oppose US-Russian launch notification
WASHINGTON, Dec 11 (AFP) -
The United States and Russia will sign an agreement this week that greatly
expands advance notice of ballistic missile launches in an effort to
the risk of an accidental nuclear launch, a senior US defense official
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Russian Foreign Minister Igor
Ivanov are to sign the memorandum of agreement Friday in Brussels as one
in an initiative to share missile early warning data with Moscow, the
official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Nineteen retired admirals and generals protested the proposed agreement in
open letter to President Bill Clinton, saying it could impede development
US "space power."
But in an interview, the Pentagon official said Washington was driven by
interest in reducing the risk of an accidental nuclear launch.
"The nub of this issue has to do with our concerns about the
effectiveness of the Russian early warning system," he said.
warning systems you might argue is on life support."
"We believe that in the post Cold War era it is in both sides
have an effective and capable early warning system because we don't want
either side to be able to misinterpret an event and have that event lead
confusion and possible launch of nuclear missiles."
The danger of a miscalculation was highlighted most chillingly by an
in January 1995 when the launch of a Norwegian experimental rocket
to the Russians as an incoming missile.
Then president Boris Yeltsin was notified by Russian commanders before
determined the rocket was on a non-threatening trajectory.
The Norwegians had notified the Russian foreign ministry beforehand of the
launch, but the warning was not passed to the military.
In response, the United States and Russia plan to open a joint early
center in Moscow next year that will share missile launch data derived
US and Russian radars and satellites.
The agreement on pre-launch notification was intended as a complement to
early warning center, the official said.
The United States and Russia currently notify each other of launches of
intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine launched missiles.
Under the new agreement, advance launch notification will be expanded to
include space launches and launches of missiles with ranges as short as
kilometers (300 miles), the official said.
Missiles launched in combat will not be covered by the agreement, the
official said, and either government may withhold advance notification of
certain space flights for national security reasons.
Once the notification regime is in place, the two countries will invite
other country who wishes to join, the official said.
The official denied that the agreement will create bureaucratic
to rapid and unconstrained access to space by the US military, a charge
raised by the retired military commanders.
In their letter to Clinton, they said, "Operational security and
counter-intelligence considerations, as well as 21st century military
doctrines calling for routine and expeditious space launch capabilities,
strongly argue against our assuming such obligations."
Urging the administration to give force to a "space power
policy," the former
officers said the United States needed "the legal latitude to do
"Insofar as the new MOU (memorandum of understanding) would deny the
States such latitude, it is incompatible with our long-term national
and economic interests and should be treated accordingly," the letter
It also urged development of cheaper launch capabilities, arguing that US
ability to exploit space has been constrained by "our reliance upon
enormously expensive, time-consuming and labor intensive launch systems
Paper says Pope verdict a "lesson" to Russians not to divulge
Source: 'Segodnya', Moscow, in Russian 9 Dec 00
The "ostentatious severity" of the treatment of US businessman
over alleged spying, the harsh penalty passed down and the unusual speed
which he was granted a pardon indicate that, from the outset, the entire
story was designed to set an example and to warn Russian citizens of what
awaits them if they divulge state secrets. The following is the text of a
report published by the Russian newspaper 'Segodnya' on 9th December:
Recent events surrounding the "Edmond Pope case" confirm the
theory that the
US citizen's trial was designed to set an example [Russian: nosil
pokazatelnyy kharakter]. Yesterday [8th December] the Russian Federation
president's commission on pardons recommended that Vladimir Putin release
Pope, who has been sentenced by the Moscow city court to 20 years'
imprisonment for espionage, and send him back to his native Pennsylvania.
the commission explained to `Segodnya', there has not been a single
to date in which the president has not heeded its opinion. Admittedly,
[former President] Boris Yeltsin examined recommendations in respect of
people sentenced to death, he sometimes made notes in the margins in which
expressed his opinion on the undue leniency (or severity) of the verdict
the document was then sent back to the commission for further work. A
`Segodnya' source stressed that, in response to orders "from
application was examined with unprecedented speed. For this purpose an
extraordinary session of the commission was convened for the first time in
its existence. Usually the commission's members, who work on a voluntary
basis, meet on Tuesdays and examine 300-400 cases. Copies of the
are distributed to the commission's members one week before the session.
At the commission they announced that, according to the regulations, the
president must make his decision after the sentence goes into effect (14th
December). But in an interview for `Segodnya', Pavel Astakhov, the US
businessmen's lawyer, did not rule out that the president could announce
decision earlier than that, bearing in mind Pope's state of health and his
family circumstances. "If the president announces his decision today,
example, it cannot be rescinded, according to the law," the lawyer
"Especially since the top authorities have received a guarantee that
will be no appeal against the Moscow city court's decision." The
speed in the Pope case - the application for a pardon was delivered to the
president on Thursday morning [7th December] and was already on the pardon
commission's desk by that evening - is yet further evidence that this
story was designed to set an example from the outset. Spy scandals happen
quite often, but as a rule they are settled without undue fuss. Pope was
treated with an ostentatious severity, even brutality. For the first time
40 years a US citizen has been sentenced to the maximum penalty for
against Russia without regard for his health. In the commission's opinion,
the severity of the sentence was one of the main arguments in favour of
recommendation for a pardon.
So what is the point of this spy drama? In the opinion of Aleksey
the deputy director of the Institute of the United States and Canada, the
answer should not be sought in the sphere of Russo-US relations. The main
thing is that "Russian citizens have been taught a lesson" -
they have been
shown the possible consequences of divulging state secrets.
The Russia Journal
December 9-15, 2000
Hard sell for books on Russia's gloom
By Yuri Sigov/View from America
(Yury Sigov is Washington bureau chief for Noviye Izvestia and a regular
columnist for The Russia Journal.)
There was a time when Americans wanted to read about Russia - dramatic
politics, gangsters and other exotic ingredients from the enigmatic former
adversary made for a best-selling recipe.
But these days, aside from the politicians and specialists whose duty it
to keep informed, few Americans show much interest in reading about
Russia's trials and tribulations. This, however, hasn't stopped five works
examining why Russians live so miserably from appearing on bookstore
One is Boris Yeltsin's latest memoirs, published under the title
Diaries." Yeltsin's nocturnal work costs $26 and attracts only the
of Kremlinologists whose job it is to read the memoirs of retired Kremlin
Yeltsin's neighbor on Washington bookstore shelves moved from the Kremlin
to just next door in the Mausoleum long ago, but he gets new treatment in
biography from English Lenin specialist Robert Service. By market laws,
this has the ingredients of a bestseller - Vladimir Lenin emerges from
Service's "Lenin: A Biography" as a sadist and gangster with a
passion for women.
The traditional Russian question "Who's to blame?" gets an
answer in three
new but typically bleak works. In "America and the Tragedy of
Post-Communist Russia," Stephen Cohen tells readers willing to pay
for his 160-page book about how the Clinton administration backed the
man in Russia, did all the wrong things and is still paying for it today.
While Cohen heaps blame on America, another more mudraking work,
of the Kremlin," by Paul Khlebnikov, paints a portrait of Boris
as having done more to rob Russia than anyone else. The book has been in
central Washington bookstores for more than two months now, but
say they've sold only two copies. Either Americans don't want to read
thieving oligarchs, or they don't want to pay $28 for the privilege.
Better value for money at $27 is perhaps journalist Christia Freeland's
400-page opus "Sale of the Century," in which the former
Moscow chief correspondent describes how she watched the unprecedented
cynical pillaging of Russia. In Freeland's book, oligarchs grow fat as the
Russian provinces die. She replaces the other classic Russian question
"What is to be done?" with today's popular "Who lost
Russia?" The problem
is that Americans just don't really seem to care.
As for more positive, optimistic works on Russia, books on art or history,
say, or literature, nothing makes its way to American bookstores. The
little there is continues to paint Russia in dismal tones as a decaying
state in the process of falling apart. Perhaps this is Russia's fault for
not providing more upbeat material, or perhaps it's just that Western
authors make little effort to search for brighter moments in Russian life.
But then again, even if they made the effort, they'd have a hard time
persuading the publishers to print their works. Russia just doesn't sell
these days, and "Russian" books languish on the shelves, despite
The reality is that people read about what concerns them more directly.
Americans read about Russia when Perestroika opened the Iron Curtain to
their curious gazes, but these days, the average American is more
interested in getting drugs out of schools than in learning the numbers of
the foreign bank accounts to which the Russian nouveaux riches transferred
their stolen billions.
One clever man once said that "Whatever you say about Russia, it will
Americans today don't show much demand for a dose of "truth"
December 11, 2000
Nobody Wants Responsibility for Chechnya
Chaos reigns in Chechnya. It is not news - it is a fact. Gazeta.Ru has
learnt that President Vladimir Putin is planning to hold a meeting
dedicated to the Chechen situation and that the top officials of the
so-called power ministries are bracing themselves for a severe
The chiefs of the power ministries, i.e. the Ministry of the Interior, The
ministry of Defence and the Federal security Service (FSB) are very
apprehensive about the forthcoming meeting with the president and are
trying to figure out how to shift the blame from their respective
As from October this year, Chechnya ceased to be the top priority issue
the power ministries.
Gazeta.Ru sources in the special services report that operative data
retrieved in Chechnya and reports compiled by their departments in the
republic remain neglected for weeks, even months. They are not forwarded
anywhere, nobody takes pains to process them and, consequently, the
measures the situation demands are not conceived, let alone implemented.
According to our sources, the command of the unified military group in
Chechnya is no longer capable of taking efficient and necessary action.
In fact, the decisions taken by the military commanders are nothing but a
response to the actions of the Chechen rebels and bandits, and the
have no elaborated tactics or any plans for of preventive measures.
Military units deployed in Chechnya's districts ( Shali, Vedeno and Vedeno
district, Nozhai-Yurt, Khankala) have absolutely no operative tasks.
All they do is carry out so-called 'clean up' operations and impose
temporary blockades of the areas where acts of terrorist are committed.
Some commanders act on their own initiative and send out reconnaissance
units in search of rebels. But in doing so, those commanders realize full
well that if rebels are found, the units will have to deal with them alone
and that reinforcements cannot be relied upon. The same situation applies
to Interior Ministry troops.
According to the reports from Gazeta.Ru's correspondent in Chechnya, it is
absolutely impossible to determine what is the scope of duty and
jurisdiction of the Army and Interior Ministry commanders deployed in
Gazeta.Ru sources in the special services and in the Kremlin
report that the president has studied reports from the Chief Intelligence
Department (GRU), and Federal Security Service (FSB) officials on the
current situation in the republic. Our sources say that within the next
weeks Vladimir Putin will meet with the representatives of the power
ministries to discuss the situation in the republic. It is highly likely
that those in charge of the counter-terrorist operation in Chechnya will
receive a severe castigation.
In order to safeguard themselves, the power ministries' top officials are
taking action in advance. To be more exact, PR-action.
On Thursday, December 7, Chief of General Staff Anatoly Kvashnin announced
the beginning of the new stage of the counter-terrorist operation. He said
General Staff planned to station 10 thousand servicemen in 200 new
mini-garrisons in Chechen population centres.
But as soon as he Kvashin had announced those plans, the General Staff
press service toned down the plans.
They explained that those would not exactly be 'garrisons" as such,
'village units' comprised of local militia and that if necessary, the
Interior Ministry's special mobile units would render them assistance. As
for the army, only the 42nd division would remain in the republic, in
Shali. But then, the General Staff officials emphasized that these were
proposals, not plans.
The Interior Ministry's officials refused to comment on the Chief of
General Staff's announcement, saying only they were Kvashin's personal
ideas, and that Interior Minister Vladimir Rushailo would soon present his
Either way, the Interior Ministry was due to take full responsibility for
the situation in Chechnya way back in March this year, when the military
stage of the operation was officially declared complete.
However, due to the lack of proper coordination between the law enforcers,
the military and the intelligence service, this never happened.
As a result Interior ministry troops still only conduct law enforcement
activities and do not even take measures to prevent acts of terrorism.
only act after such attacks.
It is hard to believe that Rushailo, who must be well aware of the chaos
Chechnya, would agree to assume full responsibility for the state of
affairs in the war-torn province.
In the meantime, Chechen rebels continue their subversive activities. On
Friday seven Russian servicemen were killed by rebel gunmen and landmines
and 18 were wounded and we have just received reports that 22 people were
killed by a car bomb in Alkhan Yurt, Saturday evening.
Svetlana Nesterova, Stepan Ossenchuk
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000
From: Jessica Allina-Pisano <email@example.com>
Subject: re: Korshak, Rudnitsky, Allina-Pisano on surzhyk
A few more comments on surzhyk:
Stefan Korshak writes, "If you ask the Ukrainians themselves, they
define surzhyk as a bastardized, ungrammatical mix of Ukrainian and
spoken by uneducated people in small towns and villages." That
which Ukrainians you ask. If the Ukrainians in question are educated
urbanites, then I entirely agree with Korshak's characterization of
toward surzhyk. But these attitudes are not without their own prejudice,
they are limited to a particular sector of the population.
There are many, many people all over Ukraine--some of whom are educated,
of whom are not--who speak a surzhyk with their friends and relatives but
Russian or Ukrainian in other situations. This is part of the social
to which I referred.
I was hasty in characterizing surzhyk as the lingua franca of Ukraine. My
intention was to point out a bias in Rudnitsky's description of Kuchma's
(and the really appalling suggestion that people who spoke with a surzhyk,
by extension people who speak Black English Vernacular, are like monkeys).
voice on the tape--I cannot say whether it is Kuchma or not--is uncouth,
and obnoxious. But that is because of the liberal use of obscenity, not
because the speech is in dialect.
Those who are interested in surzhyk might have a look at a couple of
(technical) articles: Michael Flier, "Surzhyk: the Rule of
Ukrainian Studies, 1998 special issue Cultures and Nations of Central and
Eastern Europe, pp 113-116; and Laada Bilaniuk, "Speaking of Surzhyk:
and Mixed Languages," Harvard Ukrainian Studies, Vol. XXI, Number
By "anglo" journalism I meant, in an American vernacular,
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000
From: "Albert L. Weeks" <AWeeks1@compuserve.com>
Subject: Re: Novoye Russkoye Slovo
The Baltimore Sun story on "Novoye Russkoye Slovo"
("New Russian Word") omitted a couple of sidebars
about that venerable paper (JRL 4681).
It served as a major "tutor" for States-side students of the
Russian language. Perhaps it still does. Language students at
Columbia University, and, in fact, all over the country, called
it affectionately "The Hobo News." )The Russian letters
for "Novoye" look like "hobo.")
Russian-language teachers sometimes objected to
the paper's use of transliterated Americanisms ("biznes,"
"vikend," etc.). Yet instructors still urged students to read
"NRS" since all those 6 Russian cases (36 possible endings
masculine, feminine and neuter genders, singular and plural,
or 72 forms with the addition of an adjective) would turn up in
Nor did the Sun's piece note that NRS had a competitor in
New York City in "Russkii Golos" ("Russian Voice").
paper was shunned by most emigres because of its
Some of us later got published in NRS, the paper that had
first helped us master the language.
Christian Science Monitor
December 12, 2000
Ukraine's simmering 'Watergate'
Audiotapes allegedly link President Kuchma to the disappearance of
By Scott Peterson
Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
Separating fact from fiction is rarely easy in the countries of the former
Soviet Union. But all the elements of a fast-paced political thriller are
emerging in Ukraine, where the disappearance of a local maverick
is turning into President Leonid Kuchma's own version of Watergate.
Mr. Kuchma's handling of the most serious crisis since Ukraine's
in 1991 is seen by analysts as a test that will determine the nation's
course: A path toward democratic accountability, or one toward deeper
authoritarian rule, similar to several other ex-Soviet states.
Georgiy Gongadze, the muckraking editor of an online newspaper, Ukrainska
Pravda, went missing in mid-September. The president promised then to take
personal control of the investigation.
Then in mid-November, a decapitated body was discovered on the outskirts
the capital, Kiev. Family members and friends identified the remains as
Gongadze's. Over the years, several Ukrainian journalists investigating
corruption have died mysteriously. But no other case has turned into such
The reason? On Nov. 28, the opposition Socialist Party leader and
politician Oleksander Moroz made public an audio tape of secretly recorded
conversations in the president's office that appear to link Kuchma to the
"The executive has been put in the hot seat like never before,"
Wolanskyj, publisher of Kiev's Eastern Economist magazine. "If they
out of this one - and do anything that resembles due process and
- it will be a big step forward for Ukraine. If not, it could be the end
Critics say the scandal is only the latest chapter in an atmosphere of
press freedoms in Ukraine, one that is evident in many ex-Soviet states
Kyrgyzstan to Russia, as leaders fall back on familiar methods to
But just as the Watergate scandal of the early '70s brought down US
Nixon - and secret tape recordings revealed the unvarnished inner workings
the office of America's chief executive - Ukraine's version has riveted
The "nature of the allegations," says a Western official in
Kiev, has been
revealed in such a "sensational way, like out of a novel, that it has
The result, adds a senior Western official, is that the controversial tape
has "added a new disbalance in the political system ... [and]
whole new round of political intrigue."
Warning of an orchestrated smear campaign, Kuchma made clear the
of the case in an unscheduled television address last Wednesday.
being pushed to the edge of chaos, anarchy, and the disorganization of
life," he said, visibly uncomfortable. "No blackmail ... is able
me to take authoritarian measures, to change political course. I have
and will act within the law."
The fallout could stretch further, however. Ukraine has had "an
relationship" with NATO since 1997, and would like to be closer to
European Union. In the past year, Kiev has made progress on budget reform,
new banking law, and economic growth. And after years of pressure from the
West, the Chernobyl nuclear plant - site of the worst nuclear accident in
history in 1986 - is due to be shut down for good on Friday.
But the scandal has raised concerns about Ukraine's commitment to a free
press, respect for the law and human rights. Already, journalists have
calling Western embassies to ask whether a new crackdown is under way.
"Integration of Ukraine in Europe depends not on foreign policy, but
domestic policy," says the senior official. "Are they seen as
being open with
the media? If they draw a wall around them, it's going to hurt."
The test, he adds, "will be a real sign of maturity of this country,
democracy, if it allows dissenting views to be published."
But observers worry that Ukraine could be drifting in the other direction.
Kuchma was reelected last year, and in April organized a referendum that
him more power over parliament.
"In the past year, Kuchma and his people have imposed very tough
on the press," says Gennadiy Potchtar, head of ProMedia, an
some US-government funding that helps train local journalists. "You
positive stuff on the president, or you don't write. They wanted to
such criticism. Even small papers were shut down."
Still, the scandal has impact. Dutch experts analyzing the audio
confirm that the tapes are not montage fabrications, according to the
English-language Kyiv Post newspaper. But poor sound quality precluded
confirmation that one of the voices was Kuchma's.
Transcripts of several conversations are alleged to be between Kuchma, his
interior minister, and his chief of staff, and are peppered with
The voice attributed to Kuchma discusses ways of getting rid of the
"insolent" Gongadze - including handing him over to Chechen
kidnap gangs, who
have killed in the past.
"I'm telling you, drive him out, throw [him] out. Give him to the
Kuchma is alleged to have said. The legal authority of the general
prosecutor's office is dismissed, and the president apparently asks why
journalists don't fear the intimidation tactics of the security services.
"That Gongadze ... goodbye, good riddance," a voice says.
In the unfolding drama, Chief of Staff Volodymyr Lytvyn has sued the
opposition leader, Moroz, for "humiliating his dignity."
was questioned last Friday by Ukraine's top prosecutor.
But English-language publications in Ukraine have not shied from the story
or come under the same pressures as Ukrainian-language news organizations.
In a letter to Kuchma titled "Stop the Lies," the Kyiv Post on
criticized the delay in identifying the body with a DNA test.
efforts to the contrary, the people are going to find out about the
said. "If you continue to hide the truth - our trust in you and the
trust in you will sink lower and lower."
"Given the gravity of the accusations," the paper warns, "a
freeze on all
foreign aid to the country is the next logical step." The West has
one count, more than $2 billion in aid for energy reforms.
While the scandal may "open the door to due process" in Ukraine,
Wolanskyj says, the result of Kiev's Watergate so far has been compounded
a long-standing, secretive, authoritarian political culture.
"It is very Soviet, and you are talking about people coming out of a
psychological nightmare," she says. "The Russian system has been
since Ivan the Terrible - the Communists were just the last to exercise
Russian paper: Putin must now decide fate of embalmed body of Lenin
Source: 'Segodnya', Moscow, in Russian 9 Dec 00
Now that the issue of Russia's national anthem, symbols and flag has been
resolved, President Vladimir Putin faces the thorny issue of Lenin's
body in the Mausoleum in Red Square. Right-wing politicians are calling
the removal and burial of Lenin's body, while left-wingers want things to
stay as they are. The following is the text of a report published by the
Russian newspaper 'Segodnya' on 9th December:
The resurrection of the USSR anthem as a state symbol of democratic Russia
has automatically "revived" another trapping of the Communist
era - Lenin's
body. Having achieved harmony with the "majority" to the
Aleksandrov's music, Vladimir Putin unexpectedly finds himself face to
with the mummified body of the leader of the proletariat. It is to the
president that both right-wingers and left-wingers are now looking for an
answer to the question of what is to be done with the body.
While Putin remains silent, other people are expressing their views.
Academician Ilya Zbarskiy of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences
unexpectedly departed from his previous convictions yesterday [8th
The son of Professor Boris Zbarskiy, one of the two Russian scientists who
embalmed Vladimir Ulyanov (Lenin) 56 days after his death in 1924,
that the "unique" experiment should be wound up. "The time
for this has
come," he told Interfax [news agency]. "Lenin's body is a sort
of symbol of
the Soviet era and it should finally be committed to the earth."
describes the arguments for the "uniqueness" of the body as
"They are advanced by scientists from the former Mausoleum laboratory
Communists." There are now "understudy corpses", which were
embalmed in the
same way as Lenin. Procedures can be perfected on them too. Zbarskiy
believes, however, that if a burial would split the public, it is better
The somewhat contradictory nature of the remarks by the academician, whose
change of view is undoubtedly no coincidence, indicates confusion in the
Kremlin staff. No decision on the body has been made. The pro-Kremlin
faction, which had been about to come to the president's aid, has
backtracked. Its leader Boris Gryzlov said yesterday that society is not
ready. At a recent meeting with faction leaders, Putin himself urged
not to confuse Lenin with state symbols, noting that "the issue is
Nobody is arguing with that. The very fact that the issue is not being
discussed is the reason for all the fuss. The right-wingers are demanding
removal of the "exhibit" from the Mausoleum as compensation for
the choice of
national anthem. The left-wingers are appealing to "cultural
describing the right-wingers' proposals as "typical of
At any rate, a decision will have to be made by Vladimir Putin. By giving
preference to one side, the president risks splitting society. To all
appearances, the Kremlin has decided to figure out, in the same way as it
with the anthem, who is supported by the "majority". At any
equivocal statement looks like a trial balloon designed to raise the
temperature of the debate on this issue.
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000
From: "Susan Eisenhower" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
THE EISENHOWER INSTITUTE
1620 Eye Street, NW Suite 703, Washington, DC 20006
Phone: (202) 223-6710 Fax: (202) 452-1837
An Affiliate of Gettysburg College
Susan Eisenhower Named President of The Eisenhower Institute
Washington D.C.-Susan Eisenhower, Founder and Chairwoman of the Center for
Political and Strategic Studies (CPSS), has been named President and Chief
Executive Officer of the Eisenhower Institute.
Ms. Eisenhower, the granddaughter of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, was a
founding director and later the first President of The Eisenhower
the early 1980s. She designed the Institute's US-Soviet program and
with the Institute for several years to implement it. After leaving the
Institute in 1989, she then co-founded CPSS in 1991. Under Ms.
leadership, CPSS will now become a program component of the Institute.
During the 1990s, CPSS built a reputation as a leading institution for
promoting informed debate on U.S. relations with the former Soviet Union,
on international security issues. Addressing topics such as nuclear
non-proliferation, NATO expansion, and National Missile Defense, the
organization also conducted regional studies on such subjects as health
environmental degradation in Russia and the impact of emerging Islam in
Asia. The Center published a number of landmark books on these topics.
During that same period, the Institute became affiliated with Gettysburg
College, to promote a stronger educational focus on public affairs. It has
sponsored a number of programs that have linked education, scholarship and
public policy, with an effort to instill a stronger sense of public
The Institute also gives a widely recognized Eisenhower Leadership Prize
annually to an individual who exemplifies Eisenhower's leadership
CPSS brings a strong programmatic orientation and a widely respected
for non-partisan analysis of key foreign policy issues; The Eisenhower
Institute brings its commitment to education and public affairs. The
Eisenhower Institute, by combining these strengths, will develop an
focus on foreign and security policy, as well as on programs in the
Susan Eisenhower hailed the agreement: "Over the last ten years, both
organizations have been able to develop their own strengths and grow as
individual institutions. However, we see more potential in working
Rocco Siciliano, Chairman of the Institute, also underscored the
strengths that will be gained by this step. "Under Susan Eisenhower's
leadership we see the opportunity to build the Institute into a national
organization that will serve as a vital link between Washington and the
rest of the country."
The President of Gettysburg College, Gordon Haaland, welcomed Susan
Eisenhower's appointment, noting that she is the right person to take The
Eisenhower Institute into the future. He recognized her long track record
CPSS and pledged a strong partnership between Gettysburg College and the
For further information on this press release contact Tyler Nottberg at
A Less Than Cozy Christmas
8 December 2000
The Russian Far East is freezing and politiking is making the situation
by Nonna Chernyakova
Nonna Chernyakova is a freelance journalist based in Vladivostok, Russia,
a regular contributor to TOL.
VLADIVOSTOK, Russian Far East--When winter temperatures start to drop,
keeping warm in Russia's Far East means being remarkably
resourceful--stuffing old pillow cases or clothing into empty cans,
them in vegetable oil, and lighting them on fire to make a miniature
or cooking stove, for example. It means wearing outdoor clothing inside
whole families huddling together in one room. Sometimes it even means
freezing to death.
The energy crisis in the maritime region of Primorye has reached panic
proportions. The central heating system, like many such systems in
more remote regions, is a monolith of malfunctions--from rusted, cracked
pipes that should have been replaced decades ago to the soaked,
tape and rags used to hold them together. Fuel to operate the system is in
seriously short supply. Local authorities are blaming the federal
and the energy provider for the crisis, while the federal government is
blaming the local authorities for negligence. The people are less
with who's at fault--they're just plain cold.
Cold kills hundreds of people in Russia each year. On 27 November, two
girls in Artyom--8-year-old Sasha and 3-year-old Zhenya Kolchigin--died in
their sleep of smoke inhalation after their electric blanket
They were trying to keep warm in their unheated apartment.
In the villages of Khrustalny, Rudny, and Fabrichny in the Kavalerovsky
province, about 18,000 people are experiencing temperatures close to zero
their homes. The central heating system for Russian cities is scheduled to
begin on a certain date every year, regardless of the weather.
now are falling below 30 degrees Celsius, and there is no heat. Since 27
November, three schools have been closed because the temperature in
classrooms is only 4 degrees.
The inability to stave off the bitter cold has prompted many people to
pack up and leave. Vladimir Sorokoput, deputy head of the local
administration, said that only 30 percent of residents are still living in
their homes. "Many have left for their dachas [summer cottages] or to
relatives who have old wood stoves," he said. Those who have nowhere
have moved into one room and sealed off the rest of their apartments,
small electric heaters to confine the heat to a smaller place and to keep
warm in numbers.
HALF THE BATTLE
The province needs 100 tons of fuel per day to provide central heating to
residents. The prices for mazut (black oil) doubled this summer, jumping
5,000 rubles per ton ($18)--an amount the area's budget can't handle.
budget deficit is so huge that we can only buy fuel for three days, that's
all," Sorokoput said. The regional administration recently sent 800
fuel to assist the province--enough to sustain heating for little over a
But obtaining the fuel is only half of the battle. Getting the central
heating system to function properly is perhaps even more challenging.
pipes are already frozen, and they keep breaking," Sorokaput said.
without fuel, it will still take several weeks to repair them and start
providing heat to homes.
In the meantime, citizens are growing increasingly fed up with what they
as the inability of the authorities at all levels to organize normal
conditions in the winter. Residents of 19 apartment blocks in the village
Uglovoye--40 kilometers north of Primorye's capital Vladivostok--blocked
major highway leading north on 30 November to protest the lack of heat.
Some 60,000 people, including children, in the town of Arseniev, an
industrial town 200 kilometers northeast of Vladivostok, still have no
heating, according to Yevgenia Khokhlenkova, editor in chief of the local
weekly The Business Ars. There is also no electricity for at least three
hours every day in residential buildings.
In the town of Partizansk, just outside Vladivostok, every morning starts
with a two- or three-hour blackout, according to Vera Karas, executive
director of the Koruss sewing factory. "They turned on the central
10 November, but the temperature never rose above 14 degrees. The
are still lukewarm," she said. Due to frequent blackouts, her factory
idle on numerous occasions. "We suffer huge losses and we are filing
lawsuit against Dalenergo [the energy provider]," she said. Forty
blocks in Partizansk are not even hooked up to the heating system, and the
temperature on Kutuzova, Suvorova, and Leninskaya streets is only five to
degrees, she said.
Even in Vladivostok, where the central heating is turned on, the average
temperature in homes is 14 degrees Celsius. "I am freezing, and I
wear my fur
coat even at home," said Danila Vityuk, a 90-year-old World War II
POINTING COLD FINGERS
The regional prosecutor's office has launched eight criminal cases against
the local authorities, but, according to Sorokoput, it is not their fault.
The real problems began in 1997 after the enactment of then-President
Yeltsin's decree on household maintenance reform. Yeltsin decided that the
federal authorities should cover 40 percent of utilities and maintenance
the local budget should take over 60 percent of the costs. However, the
budgets have never been able to absorb that cost. "Out of 35,000
my county, 11,000 are pensioners earning only 600 rubles [about $21 per
month]. People are just unable to pay for their apartments and utilities
of this sum," Sorokoput said.
Konstantin Pulikovsky, presidential representative to the Far East,
puts all the blame on the regional Primorye Governor Yevgeny Nazdratenko.
a press conference in Moscow last week, Pulikovsky answered journalists'
questions as to who is responsible for the situation by referring to
Nazdratenko: "There is no one else responsible other than the
Nazdratenko was also summoned to Moscow to address the issue in front of
State Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament, after the media began to
a great interest in the crisis.
His explanation was that the federal government owes his region 600
rubles in debt for electricity and other utility services used by the
military and other agencies. He also blamed high oil prices and unfair
electricity tariffs that are much higher than in other regions of Russia.
In response, Anatoly Chubais, director of the Unified Electric Systems of
Russia energy giant, accused the local authorities of negligence. Chubais
said that tariffs for electricity should be increased to fund maintenance,
and that the whole crisis can be explained by a crumbling pipe system and
theft of metal parts and their subsequent resale on the black market.
he said, accounts for the fact that some 90 percent of hot water leaks
the pipes into the ground before it ever reaches consumers. Chubais also
that out of the 4.2 billion ruble debt to Dalenergo, the local energy
monopoly, the bulk belongs to local users, and only 10 percent is the
responsibility of federal agencies.
Following the State Duma discussions, the Finance Ministry decided to
two loans to Primorye to help ease the crisis. According to Finance
Alexei Kudrin, 70 million rubles will be assigned to cover the federal
agencies' energy debts, and 100 million rubles will be given for the
of additional fuel. Kudrin also said that in December Primorye will get
million rubles--though he did not say for what that money would earmarked.
In an interview with the independent Ekho Moskvy radio station,
accused the media of blowing the situation out of proportion, saying the
crisis isn't nearly as bad as most would think. "The heating in
is turned to its maximum. One can always find one or two buildings where
pipes have broken or where tests showed poor readiness [for winter]. But
matter how hard the mass media tries to prompt the city to go on strike,
city doesn't strike. And all those horrible pictures that have been shown
not correspond to the reality in Vladivostok."
Both Nazdratenko and Vladivostok Mayor Yury Kopylov have insisted that the
extensive coverage of the Primorye energy crisis is a "political
"information war launched by Moscow." In the 29 November issue
municipal newspaper Primorskie Vesti an entire page is devoted to
the horrors of Russia's freezing regions. "There's no heat in
Yoshkar-Ola, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Barnaul, Blagoveshchensk, etc. We
name many more places, but nobody cares about those regions. They only
about [what's happening in] Primorye," the weekly wrote.
In the meantime, temperatures continue to drop, the federal aid flowing in
hardly enough to get to the heart of the problem--an archaic and
heating system--and the elderly in particular are wondering if they'll
it through yet another freezing December.
Russia: Daily says centralization the main aim of TV.radio reform
Text of report by Russian newspaper 'Segodnya' on 9th December
During yesterday's [8th December] meeting with Prime Minister Mikhail
Kasyanov, Press Minister Mikhail Lesin, and Communications Minister Leonid
Reyman, Vladimir Putin signed proposals on the reform of television and
broadcasting prepared by the press minister.
The proposals approved by the president consist in transferring the
All-Russian Television and Radio [VGTRK] transmission network to an open
joint-stock company, which is being newly created, and in enlarging the
regional television and radio companies. It is proposed that instead of
present 89 regional television and radio companies 11 will be created,
of which will broadcast on its "own" frequency.
The ministry needs the "switches" in order to pursue state
policy with regard
to the electronic mass media: strengthening the vertical power structure
while "jamming" the governors and regional elites. Today the
television and radio broadcasting companies defending the governors'
interests block the VGTRK, operating on its own frequency. As a result,
Russians do not see the programmes they are "supposed" to see in
with the new information policy.
Wresting their "platform" away from the regional elites and
television totally subordinated to the federal centre is one of the main
tasks of the reform of state television and radio in which the
television companies" will be replaced by "time-zone"
companies created on
the basis of the technological principle and not subordinate to any
The Press Ministry's further plans include the introduction of a
order" system for state TV. In the ministry's opinion state
receive direct subsidies from the budget. Mikhail Lesin believes that
should be two subsidized channels: The first should be a VGTRK channel and
the second should be determined on the basis of a tender. But the Press
Ministry does not conceal the fact that the winner in this tender will be
politically "corrected" ORT.
Mikhail Lesin's department has also discussed the proposal to "fiddle
the buttons" - to move the VGRTK channel to the first channel's
and vice versa. In that case VGRTK would increase its range while ORT
have to pay less for transmitting its signal. But Mikhail Lesin said that
this idea had to be abandoned since according to the law the distribution
frequencies can only be by tender.
Putin to find legacy of Russian presence in Cuba
By Isabel Garcia-Zarza
HAVANA, Dec 11 (Reuters) - When Russian President Vladimir Putin walks
Moscow's vast embassy in Havana later this week, the first thing he will
is a portrait of himself hanging on a green velvet case opposite the
He may not realize it, but behind the case is a large, marble bust of
Vladimir Lenin -- too bulky, or in Cuba perhaps too politically sensitive,
cart away after the fall of the Soviet bloc and the dismantling of such
Wherever he turns on Wednesday when he arrives in Havana for his first
to Latin America, Putin will find much to remind him of the influential
the Soviet Union once played in Cuba during three decades of close ties
cemented by a shared communist ideology.
But despite the Lada and Moskovich automobiles that dodge potholes on
Havana's streets and the steady diet of Soviet culture Cubans were once
to many it is remarkable how quickly Russian influence has dissipated with
the collapse of the Soviet bloc.
"Cubans and Russians are people with a culture and idiosyncrasy so
that a total fusion was impossible, and the influence ended up being
minimal," said a Russian businessman who has lived in Cuba for 13
of a small community of some 1,500, a fraction of the previous numbers.
RUSSIAN PRESENCE EBBS
Hundreds of people once filled the cavernous Russian Embassy in what one
worker there called "the happy Soviet times." Now barely a dozen
are stationed in the building. Its huge central tower is closed off, and
footsteps echo eerily in the empty spaces.
Built near Havana's coastline during the 1980s, the Soviet-style embassy,
which neighbors compare to a space ship or missile tower, has now become a
virtual tourist attraction, a souvenir of the Cold War era.
It is not the only symbol of Soviet presence in Cuba in the decades after
President Fidel Castro turned to Moscow for support in what became one of
Cold War's most notable alliances.
Putin will also be aware of the sophisticated electronic intelligence
that Moscow leases from Cuba.
>From a road nearby, the Lourdes center, which has been a source of
controversy between Washington and Moscow, looks like a mass of antennae,
cables and electronic equipment in the middle of tropical vegetation and
Despite its abandoned appearance, the Lourdes installation, built in the
1970s, still has great strategic importance for Russia and the world, said
Moscow's ambassador to Cuba.
"It gives Russia a means of observing U.S. compliance in the
limit and reduce strategic arms," Andrey Dmitriev told Reuters.
States has various centers like this around Russia. ... It also serves as
communication tool for our Latin American representations and for
Viewed by some in the United States as simply a spy station, Lourdes is
reported to house dozens of Russian intelligence officers using satellites
and other high-tech surveillance equipment to eavesdrop on the United
Lourdes is one of the few major Cuban-Russian projects still functioning.
Others -- like the Juragua nuclear plant, the Cienfuegos refinery and the
Camariocas nickel plant -- remain half-built and in need of fresh
SIGNS OF OLD INFLUENCE STILL VISIBLE
Beyond these Socialist-era constructions, however, there will be plenty
for Putin to see and hear of the old Soviet presence, before the
of the last troops in 1993.
In the streets of Havana, Ladas and Moskovichs imported from Moscow
with old American cars brought into the country before Castro's 1959
revolution. Numerous machines, vans, and planes -- like the Antonovs and
Tupoleves -- also recall the Soviet influence.
"Everything here came from the Soviet Union. They even used to joke
bought snowplows from them!" recalled one Havana resident,
era when two-thirds of the Caribbean island's trade was with the Soviet
When Putin meets Cubans, he will find numerous people with names like
Vladimir, Aliuska, Niurka and even Lenin. He could even discuss his
literature and cinema in Russian with many of them if he wants to.
Not only did thousands of Cubans study in the Soviet Union -- and
as Soviet citizens came to Cuba as technicians and soldiers -- but those
Cubans who remained at home were fed a steady diet of Soviet culture.
Despite the 30 years of close ties, however, many people have been
at the rapid ebb of Russian influence over the past decade.
Although nostalgic for the relative economic abundance of the Soviet era,
most Cubans confess they feel more affinity for American than Russian
"There's nothing left," said one Havana housewife. "We
don't dance like the
Russians. We don't eat like the Russians. We don't even drink vodka."
CDI Russia Weekly: http://www.cdi.org/russia
Johnson's Russia List Archive (under construction): http://www.cdi.org/russia/johnson
to CDI's Home Page I Return
to CDI's Library