This Date's Issues:
Johnson's Russia List
14 September 2001
[Note from David Johnson:
1. Moscow Times: Journalist's Father Was On Plane. (David
2. Luba Schwartzman: ORT Review.
3. BBC Monitoring: Russia rules out participation in attacks
on terrorist bases.
4. BBC Monitoring: Russia gives Europeans data on Chechen
ties to Bin-Ladin.
5. Jacob Kipp: Building Socialism and the German model.
6. Jacob Kipp: LOT memories.
7. Sarah Busse: Taliban and Russia.
8. Reuters: Russia new pension system launch said at risk.
9. Moscow Times: Nabi Abdullaev and Oksana Yablokova, Moscow
Blast Date Coincides With U.S. Tragedy.
10. Symposium at Georgetown: Creating the Enemy: Images of
America in Soviet Cold War Propaganda.
11. Dmitri Glinski-Vassiliev: THE GLOBAL COUP AND THE
REFORM OF THE INTERNATIONAL ORDER.
12. Voice of America's On the Line: A DECADE WITHOUT SOVIET
(with Paul Goble, Anders Aslund, and George Wiegel)
13. Frankfurter Rundschau (Germany): Hermann Kreutzmann, LIFE'S
A BAZAAR IN KYRGYZSTAN. But ten years of independence have failed to bear
fruits of success.]
September 14, 2001
Journalist's Father Was On Plane
One of the passengers aboard the first plane to slam into the World
Center on Tuesday was the father of David Filipov, the Moscow
for the Boston Globe.
Alexander Filipov, 70, of Concord, Massachusetts, had planned to take a
Delta flight from Boston to Los Angeles that morning and at the last
"He called my Mom from the American Airlines lounge to say that he
the American Airlines flight," said David Filipov.
So when the news came that American Airlines Flight 11 had exploded
the World Trade Center, David Filipov's mother understood what that meant
and notified her three sons.
"My Mom sent me an e-mail of all things because she couldn't get
Since then, Filipov has seen the video footage of his father's plane
hitting the twin towers. "That's surreal and hard," he said
don't expect to see your father's death played on national television over
and over again."
Filipov said the family was coming to terms with its loss at a time of
"Our own personal tragedy is intermeshed with the larger picture
Filipov said he has no desire for revenge against the terrorists, and
fears that if the United States retaliates more innocent people could be
killed. "I certainly do not want my father's death to amount to
"I never thought it would be like this. My parents are in the safe
go to the places that are more dangerous. Here I am stuck in Moscow
wondering how to get to my family on the front line," Filipov said.
He had not been able to fly to the United States because the airports
closed following the attacks, but hoped to get out Friday.
Filipov, 38, once a reporter at The Moscow Times, has been working in
Moscow for about a decade and has covered Chechnya and other hot spots.
He last saw his father at a surprise party for his 70th birthday in
Alexander Filipov, whose father was Serbian, was a retired engineer who
still worked as a consultant for a company that produces equipment to
measure vibration in aircraft.
He also is survived by sons Allan, 41, and Jeff, 36.
He and his wife, Loretta, would have celebrated their 44th wedding
Compiled by Luba Schwartzman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Research fellow at the Institute for the Study of Conflict, Ideology and
Policy at Boston University
Thursday, September 13, 2001
- The flag on the Russian White House has been lowered to half-mast. At
noon, a minute of silence was observed at the cabinet meeting. By that
hour, the lawn of the US embassy was covered with flowers. Among those
who came to pay their respects are Muscovites who protested American
bombings of Belgrade -- today they mourn the victims with everyone else.
- Although the US is currently not taking donations from foreign nations,
Muscovites come to hospitals donate blood for the victims.
- Russian ministers met with Duma deputies to discuss the 2002 budget
draft. Minister of Economic Development German Gref: "The entire
will go towards covering the foreign debt."
- Russian General Prosecutor Vladimir Ustinov met with the PACE delegation
and discussed the restoration of normal life and the protection of human
and civil rights in Chechnya. When meeting with delegation leader Lord
Judd, Ustinov noted that the general prosecutor's office has proof that
Chechen fighters undergo training in special international terrorism
camps. He said that Osama Bin Laden is connected not only to the
training, but also to the financing of the Chechen fighters.
- Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov has also pointed out ties between
Osama Bin Laden and the Chechen separatists.
- Russia and NATO are prepared to act jointly with the US against
- The operation to lift the Kursk nuclear submarine continues on schedule.
- Today is the second anniversary of the explosion in an 8-floor apartment
complex on Moscow's Kashirskoye Shosse, in which 120 people died.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Justice Minister Yuri Chaika
to discuss anti-terrorism measures.
- The terrorist acts in the American cities have not adversely affected
the Russian economy.
- Construction work is in high gear in the new regions of Lensk. The
first snow is already falling, and workers are rushing to build the houses
by September 15th. They've been working day and night; the government
commission has been accepting many new houses every day. Many
Lensk residents are still living in temporary shelters -- without heat or
electricity -- but they have been promised relocation to warm homes by
October 1st. Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu has left for Yakutia to
personally examine the restoration work.
Russia rules out participation in attacks on terrorist bases
Source: Russian Public TV (ORT), Moscow, in Russian 1400 gmt 13 Sep 01
Russian Defence Minister Sergey Ivanov said on Thursday that Russia had
plans to participate in or carry out military actions against suspected
terrorist bases but said Russia was ready to give all assistance necessary
help with the investigations into the attacks in the USA.
"We are prepared to render every kind of assistance with the
One can only speak of retaliatory measures once those who are guilty are
known and when there are facts," Ivanov told Russian Public TV
arrival in the Armenian capital, Yerevan.
He told Russia TV that Russia specifically was not planning to
attacks against terrorist bases in Afghanistan.
"This is a hypothetical question, and I would like to point you in
direction of those who are planning such actions.
"Russia is not planning any kind of military actions or
strikes", he said.
He added that international terrorism could be based anywhere and that
was waging a "struggle" against this threat in Chechnya.
"The threat emanates from many points, if we talk about geography.
meaning of this threat is absolutely clear to everyone - it is
terrorism, which can be based in one place today, and in another place
tomorrow," he said.
In further comments to Russian Public TV, he said that although the
authorities have no "direct evidence" proving the participation
terrorists in the US attacks, they have "concrete information"
between Saudi dissident Usamah Bin-Ladin and "all those who are in
Russia gives Europeans data on Chechen ties to Bin-Ladin
Source: Russia TV, Moscow, in Russian 1300 gmt 13 Sep 01
Russian prosecutors passed to European officials on Thursday
Chechen rebels "are being financed by money from the international
Usamah Bin-Ladin", Russia TV reported.
A delegation from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
headed by Lord Judd, and Council of Europe Commissioner on Human Rights
Alvaro Gil-Robles were in Moscow on Thursday, but cancelled a visit to
Chechnya in light of the terrorist attacks in the United States.
The TV said that the Russian Prosecutor-General's Office has
Bin Ladin's funding of Chechen groups under the command of Shamil Basayev
"We do have these facts," Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov
said. "We have
given them today to the respected commissioner and to Lord Judd."
He added: "We will also additionally hand over material on
that shows that not only does the training of militants take place on the
territory of certain states, but also that it is financed namely by the
Bin Ladin and other Wahhabi extremists."
At Ustinov's invitation, both Lord Judd and Gil-Robles agreed to travel
the North Caucasus, but only at the end of October when the first shock
the acts of terrorism in the USA is over, the report stated.
From: "Jacob Kipp" <KIPPJ@LEAVENWORTH.ARMY.MIL>
Subject: Building Socialism and the German model
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2001
Richmond asks the question and we get the predictable cold war
Ulbricht built socialism in East Germany and Marx and Engels were Germans.
suspect that what Yale had in mind was a slightly different socialism of
Bernstein variety. It too lost, died at the hands of Communists and Brown
shirts in 1930s to the applause of extremists on both sides. Social
Democracy is socialism. It had a rather substantial hand in the welfare
states that developed in Western Europe after 1945. I am sorry but they
not our ideological opponents, however, much our intellectual right would
like them to make it so. We share to much of the Western democratic,
As to Leninism, would it ever have come to power without war? Jan Bloch
warned of the relationship between war and revolution in 1898. Lenin
watched that relationship work in 1905 and again in 1914-1917. Total war,
modern mass, industrial war, is the catalyst of revolution. For Bloch, a
European liberal, it was anathema. For Lenin, it was existentially the
to world revolution and to state power. Lenin proved better in capturing
state power than in igniting the world revolution. But in his capture of
state power and in building the Soviet state he modeled state socialism on
what he and the Bolsheviks understood to be state capitalism at war. Bloch
who noted in his multi-volume book on the Jewish Question the connection
between war and radical anti-Semitism of the left and right proved
From: "Jacob Kipp" <KIPPJ@LEAVENWORTH.ARMY.MIL>
Subject: LOT memories
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2001
Like Yale, I have flown Aeroflot, LOT, Czedak, and Tarum for over
years. I have the best memories of LOT international in terms of service
and passenger attention. I had a different experience with domestic LOT
[Poznan-Warszawa, Krakow-Warszawa] where the arrangements were very loose.
The pilots were competent but had the mentality of fighter jocks. We made
tight climbs and shartp landings. The cabin door was open and poassengers
were invited up to see what was going on. Of course, much of this was back
in the late 1960s when terrorism was hardly a big blib on the radar. The
equipment in all cases was Soviet design, but I cannot say that it was any
less safe in design or in maintenance. On international flights the meals
were actually than most US carriers today but not as good as the creature
comforts of the pre-wide body aircraft. Flying a 707 to Europe was a joy.
You actually were treated as customer and not cattle.
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2001
From: Sarah Busse <email@example.com>
Subject: Taliban and Russia
I am wondering whether JRL readers noted the news in August that Bin
was appointed to run the Taliban's armed forces. Someone brought it to my
attention and I thought it worth mentioning on the list because of the
connection to Russia. It seems the news, officially denied by Taliban
sources, was first mentioned in a Pakistan news source, which Russia
up on and then roundly condemned. Russia's condemnation of bin Laden made
the UPI wires 8/31/01 in a few minor items. One internet source
is http://www.vny.com/cf/news/upidetail.php?QID=216037 though the UPI
report can also be found through news searching services such as
Lexis-Nexis (keywords Taliban and Russia, date 8/31/01). This demonstrates
that joint Russia-US action in reaction to terrorism might be more
effective than each going alone. Any other analysis of what bin Laden's
work with Taliban might mean, or Russia's role in combatting them, would
Department of Sociology
University of Chicago
new email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
new website: http://home.uchicago.edu/~sbusse/
Russia new pension system launch said at risk
By Svetlana Kovalyova
MOSCOW, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin faces a
blow to his ambitious plan of structural reforms as a much-awaited pension
system revamp may be postponed due to a delay in a key investment law
A government source said the Finance Ministry, the Trade and Economic
Ministry and the state Pension Fund have failed to agree on a blueprint to
outline ways of investing the billions of dollars currently distributed in
pensions by the state.
Mikhail Dmitriyev, first deputy economy minister, in charge of drafting
bill, told reporters on Thursday the entire pension reform hinged on the
blueprint and that failure to get it approved by parliament by the year
would put it at risk.
"Without this bill it is very difficult to count on a successful
the entire pension package (in parliament) and a planned launch of the
pension reform on January 1, 2002," he said.
Putin placed a revolutionary pension system overhaul among the
the government as the existing Soviet-era system will soon collapse as
rates fall and the population rapidly ages.
Under the current system, which has no investment mechanism, working
finance pensioners as employers make payments to the state pension fund,
which immediately pays pensions of an average of $35 a month.
The reform, already in the pipeline for over a year, aims to replace
existing state-guaranteed pensions with a combination of a state-funded
pension and a new flexible pension financed through long-term investment.
This would be a boon for the Russian financial market and industry,
for long-term money, analysts say.
The State Duma, the lower house of parliament, gave its first approval
three bills underlying the framework of the new pension system in July. It
due to start debates on the investment bill during its next session, which
starts on Monday. Dmitriyev said the bill, drafted by his ministry, aimed
set the legal basis and mechanisms of investing pension funds, the annual
volume of which is expected to rise from $1 billion in the first year of
reform to $2 billion in two years, into government and corporate
COMPROMISE SEEN OVER INVESTMENT POSSIBILITIES
The government source said other ministries opposed the bill and
launching the reform without the law at the start of 2002 as planned. The
investment mechanism would be worked out later and all funds would
be put into state bonds.
But Dmitriyev said this could lead to the uncontrolled use of pension
to mend budget holes -- a usual practice in previous years which led to
massive pension arrears.
Dmitriyev said the Economy and Finance Ministries were working on a
compromise investment bill which could be backed by the government and
to the Duma in time to get it signed into law by a January 1, 2002
set by Putin.
The amended bill would foresee a two-year transitional period during
percent of pension funds would be invested into government securities and
remainder into a range of papers, including corporate bonds and shares and
A state agency would manage an 80 percent chunk of investments into
government bonds, including Eurobonds, while private management companies
mutual funds, selected at a tender, would be in charge of more risky
The transitional period, due to be over by the start of 2004, would aim
refine the investment mechanisms, Dmitriyev said.
September 14, 2001
Moscow Blast Date Coincides With U.S. Tragedy
By Nabi Abdullaev and Oksana Yablokova
The mourning following the deadly terrorist assault on the United
coincided with the second anniversary of the most devastating in a series
of apartment blasts that rocked Russia in 1999, killing some 300 people.
Starting before dawn Thursday, relatives of those who lived at 6
Kashirskoye Shosse began gathering in the courtyard in southern Moscow
where a chapel now marks the spot where the nine-story brick building once
stood. The blast -- which hit at 5 a.m., reducing the building to a
heap of rubble -- killed 124 people, including 13 children.
The worst in a wave of explosions that kept the nation in terror for
months, the blast on Kashirka, as the thoroughfare is commonly called,
only two survivors.
Rescuers attributed the high casualty count to the building's brick
construction, which -- unlike concrete slabs -- collapsed in a tightly
packed pile, leaving no pockets of space for survivors.
Two years after the tragedy, investigations of the explosions in Moscow
the southern town of Volgodonsk have made little progress.
Law enforcement officials have been saying for months that they know
identities of the plotters, but have been unable to catch them.
Achemez Gochiyayev, 31, is the top suspect in masterminding the Moscow
bombings -- a smaller-scale Russian counterpart to Osama bin Laden.
Gochiyayev is No. 1 on the most-wanted list displayed on the web site of
the Federal Security Service, or FSB.
According to earlier statements by investigators, Gochiyayev -- a
Karachayevo-Cherkessia and a staunch Wahhabi, the follower of a strict
Islamic sect -- was trained in terrorist camps set up in Chechnya by
Jordanian-born warlord Khattab. Investigators have said Khattab ordered
blasts and paid Gochiyayev and four accomplices $500,000 for their
execution, then helped the men hide in Chechnya. The FSB has also blamed
Gochiyayev for plotting a series of new attacks, which the agency claims
In one such case, five suspected plotters are on trial in the southern
of Stavropol. Taukan Frantsuzov, Gochiyayev's brother-in-law, is among the
defendants, all of whom are also charged with participating in
armed formations" in Chechnya. At the start of the closed trial,
prosecutors demanded 25 years for each suspect.
Some media reports linked Frantsuzov with the Moscow bombings on Ulitsa
Guryanova and Kashirskoye Shosse, but others said the allegations arose
because in July 1999 Gochiyayev came to Moscow and used Frantsuzov's
passport to register in a hotel.
Vadim Romanov, chief investigator of Stavropol's regional prosecutor's
office, said law enforcement officials had not found any evidence of
Frantsuzov's involvement in the bombings.
"They [the five defendants] are being charged with preparing new
attacks in Moscow but not of carrying out the Moscow bombings,"
said in a telephone interview from Stavropol on Thursday.
Asked for more details on the progress of the investigation, the FSB's
press service in Moscow declined to comment. "We are too busy here
because of these bombings in America," an FSB spokesman said.
Of the four blasts that shook Russia in the fall of 1999, only one has
resulted in convictions. Last March, a court in Dagestan sentenced two men
to life in prison and gave lighter sentences to four others for blowing
apart a 50-apartment residential building in the Dagestani town of
Buinaksk. The blast claimed the 62 lives.
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2001
From: Astrik Tenney <email@example.com>
Organization: Georgetown University
Subject: Symposium at Georgetown
Please advertise the following event in the upcoming issue of
Russia List". I can be reached at 202/687-5576 if you have any
questions/concerns regarding this event.
Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies
Symposium: The Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies,
together with the Department of Art, Music and Theater; Center for Peace
and Security Studies; and the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian
Studies of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars present
a symposium entitled: "Creating the Enemy: Images of America in
Cold War Propaganda" on Thursday, September 20, 2001 from 1:00 to 4
in Room 205 Old North at Georgetown University (37th and O streets,
NW). Historians of the Cold War and experts in Soviet art and culture
will gather to discuss the cultural, psychological, and political
implications of propaganda art. For the full program please go to
www.georgetown.edu/sfs/ceres and click
on "events." Reception to follow
in the Georgetown University Art Gallery in Walsh Building, 1221 36th
Street, NW. RSVPs are required due to limited seating. Please call Ms.
Astrik Tenney at 202/687-5576 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to
1:00 - 2:15 PM
Introduction by Symposium Chair: Blair Ruble, Director, Kennan Institute
for Advanced Russian Studies, Wilson Center
Panel Chair: Michael Brown, Director, Center for Peace and Security
Studies, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
Vladislav Zubok, Associate Professor of History, Temple University:
"Exploring Soviet Cold War Culture, 1950-60s: Preliminary
Jeffrey Brooks, Professor of History, John Hopkins University: "How
Propaganda Shaped Soviet-American Relations After Stalin's Death;"
Andrew Bennett, Associate Professor, Department of Government,
Georgetown University: "Enemy Images in the Cold War and After: True
Believers, Converts, and the Born-Again Faithful."
2:45 - 4:00 PM
Panel Chair and Speaker:
Alison Hilton, Professor and Chair, Department of Art Music and Theater,
Georgetown University: ""Abstraction and 'False Values' in Cold
Konstantin Akinsha, art critic, art historian, and Deputy Research
Director, Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the
United States: "The Temptation of Montage";
Alexand Roytburd, Artists, Participant of Venice Biennale 2001:
and Contemporary Art."
Exhibit: "Creating the Enemy: Images of America in Soviet Cold War
Propaganda" will open after the symposium on
September 20th at 4 p.m. at Georgetown University Art Gallery, Walsh
Building, 1221 36th Street, NW. The exhibit will feature propaganda
photo collages by Alexander Zhitomirsky (1907-1993), one of the Soviet
Union's most well-known agitation-propaganda artists. For additional
dates for the exhibit please consult the web at
www.georgetown.edu/sfs/ceres and click on "events." The exhibit
co-sponsored by the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European
Studies of the School of Foreign Service; the Department of Art, Music
and Theater; Center for Peace and Security Studies of the School of
Foreign Service; and the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies
of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
From: "Dmitri Glinski-Vassiliev" <email@example.com>
Subject: THE GLOBAL COUP AND THE REFORM OF THE INTERNATIONAL ORDER
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2001
THE GLOBAL COUP AND THE REFORM OF THE INTERNATIONAL ORDER
Two days past the deadly attacks on New York and Washington, a rational
approach to these events is not in sight. What happened is a personal
disaster to many people far away from America. It is particularly so for
those, like myself, for whom the U.S. had been a second home for many
In America, this feeling is certainly more painful and devastating,
explains the dearth of analysis in newspapers and on the countless media
sites. This attests to the extent of the psychological blow to a country
that was known for addressing the most dramatic upheavals in the outer
with rational analysis.
Obviously, this is the largest devastation in modern history brought
the centers of the dominant power and the symbols of its might in one
strike. The takeover of Rome by the hordes of Attila is probably the
historical precedent. Granted, never since then there was such a
concentration of political, financial and psychological power in a single
country. The enormity of this destruction validates the comparison between
the Roman Empire and the Pax Americana that has been dealt an
blow, if not destroyed, this Tuesday.
The immediate background of the strikes is what some classics would
termed a global "revolutionary situation". For several years,
thousands of people in the streets of major world cities have been
the institutions of imperial might - the IMF, the WTO, transnational
corporations and, during the 1999 Balkan war, NATO - that are most closely
connected with the targets now hit by the terrorists. Differences between
the latter and the peaceful street protesters are enormous (secular vs.
religious motivation, countries of origin etc.), but the butt of hostility
is the same. Further: the brutal offensive of the Sharon government
the Palestinians with unmistakable violations of their human rights,
seen as aided and abetted by the Bush Administration, was met with rising
anger all over the world, in the West and East alike. With some
qualifications, the Chechnya war (the one that is conducted, in fact,
against civilians, not against terrorists) - with the Western elites'
connivance to it for the sake of its commercial and political interests in
the stability of the Putin regime - can be added to this list. All over
world, we have been observing a growing resistance of the poor and the
desperate in an asymmetric struggle against power, wealth and arrogance -
struggle that was falsely represented as ethnic, religious and even
"civilizational" in nature.
How can a "revolutionary situation" be resolved in the
with their enormous asymmetry between the dominant force and its
A peaceful, or a violent change from below the system is a theoretical
possibility, but its agents are too weak for that. Second, there can be a
coup, which is always violent, and which usually comes with some
participation of the system's insiders. The peaceful revolution of the
anti-globalization protesters was meeting tremendous resistance from the
elites, and its outcome was totally uncertain. Due to the aforementioned
asymmetry of forces, the end result may well have been a series of partial
compromises, quite possibly between the international institutions and the
discontented Westerners, with mixed results for the most impoverished
populations of the world that have no voice in the global political
For them, even partial improvements in the terms of the North-South
relations may have been too little, too late, especially compared to their
historic demands for the new international economic order.
Enter bin Laden. Almost every historical period, where a system is
characterized both by an acute need of change, the weakness of the agents
such a change, and the stubbornness of conservative elites, creates its
bin Ladens. Unlike the Western intelligentsia protesters and their Third
World allies, bin Laden has robust connections to the present world order.
His inherited fortune was born from the marriage of US strategic and
commercial interests in the Middle East with the most medieval,
anachronistic and oppressive political systems in that area. It was
strengthened by US efforts to chase the Soviets from Afghanistan, which
a ruthless and fanatical brand of Islam Ronald Reagan's ally in its
over the "Evil Empire". By enlisting barbarous forces in the
global elite in
their fear of progressive change from below, some of the most stubborn
keepers of the status quo in the West may have given birth to a new
What bin Laden (and if not him, someone very similar) has apparently
perpetrated is a bloody putsch on a global scale. Beside human suffering,
may also become a grave setback for the bottom-up efforts to reform the
world order in a civilized way. It plays straight into the hands of the
Parties among conservative, oligarchic elites in the U.S. and elsewhere,
including Russia. With a weak president and a weakening economy in America
even before the attack, an international police state run by Northern
and their intelligence agencies becomes a plausible scenario.
Yet with all his fortune, bin Laden would have never achieved his goals
without a network of people who methodically and painstakingly planned and
successfully implemented their own suicide. The first reaction is to
them as crazy and primitive fanatics. Yet insane and irrational people
cannot operate aircraft; they don't survive successfully in American
society, much less conduct an elaborate clandestine operation there that
takes a long time and much cunning to complete. Their IQ is probably no
than among the officials of some Western governments and international
institutions. They, in turn, are supported by other suiciders who did not
die in the planes but are evidently ready to die in the ensuing war, as
as those who will be permanently on a wanted list in all civilized
Which means that there is a high number of smart, well-educated and
people in this world who have nothing to lose in this life - high enough
wreak havoc on a world scale. People for whom it is more rational to end
in history as the largest destroyers on earth than to go on with their
lives, and who committed themselves to doing so. Further: based on what is
known, these smart and very desperate people - Saudis, Egyptians and
citizens of UAE - come from the countries that are either among the
in the world in natural resources or among the largest and most
long-standing recipients of US aid. Countries that the US thought to
safely by constantly feeding their insatiable medieval elites. Think about
Russia's President Putin was virtually ahead of NATO in expressing his
readiness to participate in a US-led anti-terrorist coalition. And in this
he deserves full and unconditional support support. Bin Laden, if he
committed this coup, should be brought to death and his network erased
the face of the earth - no matter what kind of unfair world system
him (just as the need to destroy Hitler was quite independent of the flaws
of the Versaille system that helped create him). He certainly is a threat
Russia's interests no less than to the civilization at large.
But the threat to Russia is much larger than this. The threat to Russia
which its leaders are deliberately blind - stems from the fact that, since
the de-industrialization and the medievalization of the country in the
1990s, it has been converging ever closer with Saudi Arabia and other oil
monarchies in its political, economic and social order. And that it has
many skilled and educated people of different faiths who have no stake
whatsoever in their domestic and in the global system. These people may
in the Caucasus or in Russia's heartland, as well as in Moscow; many of
are no less smart than their feudal and corporate rulers; some of them are
capable to operate in any Western society. And yet, in the midst of a
seemingly recovering economy, there are too many of them that are left
nothing or very little to lose in their life.
What is coming next? Clearly, some sort of US retaliatory action is
warranted, provided there is a credible strategy to destroy the real
culprit. An international coalition, preferably wider than NATO, is a must
for many reasons, including the need to prevent an irrational unilateral
response which may do even more harm to the world (such as the use of
in any form). The global forces in favor of reform should do what possible
to limit the damage to their cause. It is crucial to make sure that the
shadow of this destruction is not indiscriminately cast upon the Third
World, the Islamic faith, and the peaceful critics of the world order. It
would make sense for the countries and leaders of the global Periphery
have nothing to do with bin Laden politically or ideologically to step in
and play a more significant role in the rebuilding and restructuring of
Voice of America
On the Line
TITLE=ON THE LINE: A DECADE WITHOUT SOVIET COMMUNISM
EDITOR=OFFICE OF POLICY - 619-0037
Anncr: On the Line - a discussion of United States policy
and contemporary issues. This week, "A Decade without Soviet
Here is your host, Robert Reilly.
Host: Hello and Welcome to On the Line. Ten years ago,
Russian President Boris Yeltsin stood atop a tank in front of the
building in Moscow and brought to a halt the attempted coup d'etat by
Communist hard-liners against Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Within
months, the Soviet Union itself collapsed, bringing to an end more than
seventy years of Communism in Russia. Seven years ago, the last vestiges
the Soviet empire in Eastern Europe disappeared as Moscow ended its nearly
half-century military presence in the former East Germany and the Baltic
countries. Over the past decade, progress in Eastern Europe and Russia has
been extremely uneven. Analysts puzzle over the ingredients of success and
why some post-Communist countries have done well at reform and others have
Joining me today to discuss developments since the end of
Soviet Communism are three experts. Paul Goble is director of
and Technology at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and a former State
Department specialist on the Soviet Union. Anders Aslund is senior
at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Cambridge University
Press is publishing his new book, Building Capitalism: The Transformation
the Former Soviet Bloc. And George Weigel is a senior fellow at the Ethics
and Public Policy Center and author of the book, Witness to Hope: the
Biography of Pope John Paul II. Welcome to the program.
Paul Goble, as a long time political analyst of the Soviet
block, what over the past decade most surprised you about the developments
that have taken place and, perhaps, disappointed you the most?
Goble: I think less that happened there surprised me than
the expectations that were proved wrong in the West, the view that
somehow was the primary reality for these countries and that the
cultural and historical divergencies would not re-emerge. There was sort
an assumption that once Communism was proclaimed over, these countries
all resume more or less the same kind of march into a single unilinear
approach to history. That hasn't happened. I was surprised that it was so
widely held, and is still held in many circles, and used as a measure. In
the countries themselves, I was not surprised at all. Indeed, if you look
some of the writings of some of the more perspicacious observers of the
Soviet Union, someone like, Andrei Amalrik, you will see that almost
everything that's happened, from the increasing authoritarianism in
Asia, to the violence in the Caucasus, to Russia's fits and starts
was predicted and was widely assumed. But in the West, there was this
assumption that somehow Communism was the only thing that had to be
And then these countries would all become somehow normal, whatever that
Host: Anders Aslund, in your field of endeavor and in your
new book, you cover some twenty-one countries in that former Soviet bloc.
What does normal economically mean? And why are some of those countries
economically normal and others not?
Aslund: You can say that what comes out very strongly is
that there was a brief window of opportunity. Some countries used this
window of opportunity trying to take fundamental reforms.
Host: For instance?
Aslund: In particular, Poland and Estonia, more broadly
Central Europe and the Baltics. And they undertook early and radical
reforms. And therefore they have succeeded very well. Then you have a few
countries that didn't do a thing really. Belarus, Uzbekistan,
in particular. Then you have most of the countries in between. So only a
countries have really a normal market economy. And they are all pretty
Host: What's so brief about this window? Is this window now
closed? Is it too late?
Aslund: You can say that crisis breeds a window of
opportunity. And in the first crisis, you have one opportunity. But when
get a new crisis, it's not only that people suffer, but some countries
it. Bulgaria did very well after the crisis in 1996-97 while Romania did
do very well after a somewhat similar crisis. Russia seems now really to
making it after the frightful crash of August 1998. But it's still
early to tell.
Host: George Weigel, you are an expert in the area of the
role of the churches in Eastern Europe and Russia. And the spiritual
deformation that took place during the Communist era. To what extent does
that play into the progress or lack thereof that we've seen over the past
Weigel: In Poland, which I think is the success story in
Central Europe in the past ten years, the culture remained more or less
intact during forty years of Communist rule. And so there was a cultural
foundation on which you could build the normal structures of a market
economy and a democratic political community. That was not the case in
parts of the old Soviet empire. And, indeed, in Russia itself, the degree
which the Orthodox Church was compromised by the Soviet security apparatus
for over seventy years has made it very difficult for it to reemerge as a
moral reference point, at least in its leadership, for the reconstruction
the Russian political and economic community.
Host: So, really, the standard you are setting for the
return to normality is that a country must be spiritually normal before it
can be normal in any other way.
Weigel: I would say even broader than that, culturally
intact. Culturally intact, in the sense of having a critical mass of
who have internalized the values of respect for the dignity of the human
person, of a commitment to solidarity in human relationships that are
necessary, the values that are necessary to make democracy and the market
function. They are not machines that can run by. . . .
Host: Paul Goble?
Goble: The countries varied widely as to how many people
were there of that category. How many people were prepared to listen to
sort of thing, what kind of national tradition there was? In some of these
countries, there was no recoverable national tradition. In others, the
national tradition survived as in Poland, and Communism was viewed as an
occupying force. And, therefore, when Communism went away, there was
something that came back. The Baltic countries have done well, precisely
because Communism was viewed as an occupying force. When Communism was
more integral, when it was part of something that people had more
and in most of what was the Soviet Union, Communism had been around for
seventy years, it's far more difficult for people there to go back. And
you're absolutely right that the church is totally compromised. The
patriarch had the rank of major general in the K-G-B [Soviet secret police
]. The current patriarch. And recently, he said that [Vladimir Ilyich]
Lenin should not be taken out of the mausoleum until everyone in Russia
agrees. That's not quite exactly a voice of moral rearmament to overcome
Soviet past. Elsewhere, the national tradition provides that. Sometimes it
doesn't. And I think we expected too much. I think another thing we
misunderstood was just how radically invasive the Communist system had
Even people who have read and internalized the black book of Communism
not been prepared to deal with just how insidious the Communist menace was
to the people who were part of that system.
Weigel: Indeed, there was not the kind of de-communization
programs undertaken in most parts in the former Soviet empire, both
and external, that was effected in Germany and Japan after the Second
War. So you have this bizarre situation that the people who created the
in the first place [are] emerging politically in many of these countries
the only intact and coherent political force and, therefore, blocking the
kind of changes that Dr. Aslund is describing in his book.
Host: What do you think of that, Anders Aslund? They were
calling the Soviet Union a mafioso state when it was still the Soviet
And then that simply the apparatchiks changed stripes and became mafioso
Aslund: I very much agree. I think that the more change you
have of one kind, economic reform, the more democracy you have, the more
national coherence you have, the stronger churches, the better things are
working. If you take Belarus, it's a striking example. It was the country
the former Soviet Union, in the European part at least, that had the least
civil society, that had the weakest intelligentsia, that had the weakest
religion, and that had the weakest national sense, and probably the least
Host: And the one remaining quasi-totalitarian state in Europe.
Aslund: It all goes together, but I think it's very
important, actually, what happened in the last couple of years before the
end of Communism. If you look upon Czechoslovakia, that does not look all
too good today in comparison with Hungary and Poland, which had much more
vibrant civil societies, a much larger private sector than Czechoslovakia
had. So the Czech Republic started off with wonderful reforms early on.
were technocratically right, but there was too little opposition, too
challenge to those in power. So I would say that a relatively small force
the Czech Republic lasted for too long.
Host: I'd like to give you a chance to respond, Paul Goble,
after I briefly remind our audience that this is On the Line and I am
Reilly. This week we're talking about a decade without Soviet Communism
Paul Goble from R-F-E/R-L; Anders Aslund from the Carnegie Endowment; and
with George Weigel from the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Please, Paul
Goble: I wanted to say that if you had asked this group to
meet each year since 1991, the rank order of countries doing well or
would have shifted fairly dramatically. Please, remember that seven or
years ago, Belarus had one of the most committed and nationally self
conscious leaders, Mr. [Stanislav] Shushkevich, Dr. Shushkevich, who came
power, was elected president precisely because he offered to save Belarus
from the disasters of the Chernobyl nuclear accident. And he said if you
vote for me, I will get the money from the West to clean up Chernobyl. The
West did not provide Mr. Shushkevich any money to help the people of
Belarus, who were the most seriously affected by the Chernobyl disaster.
a result, he was replaced by somebody who said you can't trust the West,
have to look east to Moscow. No one in this room would have even heard of
Mr. [Alexander] Lukashenko had it not been for that failure to address a
serious national need. I am not suggesting that Belarus was going to be a
democratic and free market success story at any point in the near term.
I think we should not forget that the rates of change, and even the
directions of change, in these countries have varied widely over the last
decade. Twenty years ago, it was Japan that was going to take over the
and the American economy was falling apart. Now there is a view that Japan
is permanently in recession. We go through a certain amount of
fashions. But if you look back, what you see is these countries, those
groups of countries, have moved off in a variety of directions at a
Host: I know, but you're suggesting that the changing
ingredient there is the amount of Western aid or participation in the
change, or at the least, in Belarus you're saying that.
Goble: In Belarus, I think, the failure of the West to help
President Shushkevich is critically responsible for what happened. I
elsewhere, the problems have been more internal.
Weigel: Would you agree though, Paul, that in all of these
varied situations, one constant is the health of what Dr. Aslund called
civil society? A structure of understandings and values that allows people
to behave cooperatively, and not simply as independent thugs or mafiosi,
a crucial factor, perhaps the crucial factor in creating the foundations
which democracy or the market can be built and then flourish.
Goble: I think it's an interactive process. And civil
society is a rather elastic term. If we start describing it, in some
countries civil society is provided by a sense of oppression from the
outside. In Estonia, national self- consciousness and the willingness to
make sacrifices in the early nineties were driven by a sense that if we
don't do this, the Russians will swallow us up again. Elsewhere, civil
society has taken a different form. Sometimes more cooperative, sometimes
less. I think Anders said earlier that there is an interactive quality of
free markets and democracy. I think you make a very important point, but
there is a third part of that equation, in that algebra. And it is civil
society institutions which are related to, interact with, but are not the
same thing as free market capitalism.
Aslund: Let's stay for a moment on Belarus. Actually, I was
in Belarus just after the Chernobyl catastrophe. I was sent by the Swedish
Embassy in Moscow, where I was working at the time. And I had not been to
any [other] Soviet republic where there was that little civil society.
the August coup in 1991, the Communists stayed in power in Belarus. You
didn't have a breakup. Shushkevich was admittedly chairman of the
parliament, but he was rather an odd man out and not too far on the
Goble: As Zbigniew Brzezinski has pointed out, in over
eighty percent of the countries that we're talking about here, the people
power are people who would have been in power if 1991 had never happened.
think compared to places like Uzbekistan or Tajikistan, to put Belarus at
the bottom is somewhat unfair. I think there are problems in Belarus, but
think they were exacerbated by some serious mishandling of Belarus
internationally and by some very real Western prejudices against Belarus,
which tragically was viewed as a branch office of Russia when it's equally
ancient as a nation.
Host: What about the extent to which Western actions and U-S
policy aided this reform process, or actually hurt it?
Goble: Sometimes we helped. Sometimes we hurt. And sometimes
we didn't matter.
Host: In which cases was which true? You've a number of
things going, Anders Aslund. You had the attempt through the I-M-F
[International Monetary Fund] and through bilateral aid to help these
countries. You had institutional help from the Organization for Security
Cooperation in Europe. You had the Partnership for Peace from NATO. Which
these helped, which of these hurt?
Aslund: If you take it economically, the West -- that is,
the I-M-F, the World Bank, the European Union primarily -- did help
Hungary, the Czech and Slovak republics, and the Baltic states. They gave
substantial aid early on. The former Soviet Union did not get any help for
reform in 1992. And here we have the sharp difference. Admittedly,
got help, but it never got its policy together because of a lot of
strife early on. But basically, the Western help seems to have been
if it came to reformers. To come later with aid, as the West tried to do
after they had failed to provide it at the right time, and say that we put
on certain conditions, it doesn't help. Help is only effective if it's
at the right time to people who really want to do something good. If you
give a corrupt person money, he will take it.
Host: That's a big if, isn't it? Paul Goble just said there
have been leaders in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union who are
same leaders that would have been there had there been no change in 1991.
Aslund: I don't agree.
Host: You don't? Why don't you expand on that disagreement?
Aslund: If you look at the Russian leadership that came to
power after the 1991 coup, of course, this was as different a leadership
it could be. And that helped Russia to move toward substantial reform. But
as Paul pointed out, there there was no support at all from the West at
time, and I think there should have been. If you take Belarus, Uzbekistan,
Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, a few other countries, there was really full
continuity. And then you have other countries like Ukraine and Moldova,
where there were somewhat more reformist Communists who took over.
Goble: In some places you simply had the Communist party
stay in place, sometimes renamed, sometimes not very much even that. In
Central Asia, three of the five countries are headed by the former first
secretary of the Communist party organization. You've got that same thing
two republics in the Transcaucasus.
Host: The former Yugoslavia?
Goble: In former Yugoslavia, you have people who were in the
party organization. In Russia, we have a successor generation in some
respects if you look at the number of people who were in the security
organs, including the president of the country. And one of the
things for those of us who spend a lot of time in the Baltics, is you're
seeing the return of some of the people who were at the top of the
party apparatus. Mr. [Algirdas] Brazauskas who was the first secretary of
the Communist party and has now become prime minister again in Lithuania
after an interval of nine years. Arnold Ruutel, who was head of the party
Estonia, is now being talked [about as] the outside candidate to succeed
Lennart Meri as president of that country. I am not suggesting that these
people are exactly the same, but if you look around the numbers are there.
think we should have pursued de-communization. We didn't.
Weigel: I wonder also, Paul, if in a sense the failure of
the West, and particularly the United States, to declare victory didn't
something to do with this. Because had we defined the moment in ninety-one
and ninety-two in a more assertive way, it would have been clear that what
seems not to be clear in much of Russian popular opinion, for example,
we were swindled somehow. No, you were not swindled. You were the victims
a corrupt and lethally misguided system. And you have to face that, and
we'll help you face that.
Goble: It was much worse than that. Not only did we not
proclaim victory, but the United States actively intervened to prevent
new governments that did come to power in ninety-one and ninety-two from
proceeding with de-communization. When the Czechs did it, the Americans
it very clear that that was not acceptable behavior. And when the
tried they were sat on so hard by Washington that they backed off -- to
their own regret now. We went further than not declaring victory. We
away from doing it because there was a view that this would be used for
retribution and would tear things apart.
Host: I'm afraid that's all time we have this week. I'd
like to thank our guests -- Paul Goble from Radio Free Europe/Radio
Anders Aslund from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; and
George Weigel from the Ethics and Public Policy Center -- for joining me
discuss a decade without Soviet Communism. This is Robert Reilly for On
Frankfurter Rundschau (Germany)
LIFE'S A BAZAAR IN KYRGYZSTAN
But ten years of independence have failed to bear fruits of success
By Hermann Kreutzmann
Osh, Kyrgyzstan - Among all the ex-Soviet republics in Central Asia,
Kyrgyzstan stands out as a good example of openness. Outside the bustling
capital Bishkek, too, deep-cutting changes are noticeable. In Osh, for
example, the country's second-largest city and home to 500,000 people,
in previous years was best-known as an international centre for the
and opium-smuggling business.
But that trade has now found new routes.
In Osh itself, the bazaar dominates daily activity. A dynamism unknown
Soviet times rules the roost today. Here, tradespeople from Kyrgyzstan,
Uzbekistan and Russia sell goods from all over the world, from bras to
phones, accepting all major currencies.
Anyone who wants to buy anything in this city heads straight for the
Although cattle-breeding still represents an important economic
has changed dramatically recently. The city's university is at the foot of
Mount Suleiman and specialises in computer technology and western
The agricultural facility has a hard time attracting students from among
25,000 who attend courses there.
In the vegetable market, Yizrael Ismailov's wife sells peppers,
cabbages from the couple's own smallholding. There are 235 households in
their village - Arik on the edge of Osh - which took part in the division
land as part of the privatisation of the disbanded sovkhoz (collective
Yizrael Ismailov, once a brigade leader and mechanic in the sovkhoz,
his fields for view.
For him, his wife and all children born before privatisation, he was
a quarter of a hectare of irrigated land. He grows fruit and vegetables on
his smallholding, produce which is more profitable than cereals at market.
But as this area is not enough to feed himself and his family, he also
a patch of land the same size.
Once every season, he hires a truck which he fills with peppers.
He then drives his valuable cargo to the north of the country to Lake
Kul. Since the Soviet era, the lake has been the site of a huge holiday
community for whom the Black Sea is too far away. The holiday homes and
clinics here have always attracted guests from Siberia and the bordering
Soviet republics in particular, and even after the collapse of the USSR,
stream of visitors didn't dry up. This year, 600,000 visitors are
Several thousand mountaineers, hikers and riders also come from
Europe and North America. Thanks mainly to the efforts of Chingiz Aitmatov,
the widely-read Kyrgyz author, these people have discovered Kyrgyzstan's
unspoilt surroundings in the national park comprising the rich azure of
Issyk Kul and the neighbouring Tienshan mountin range.
With the help of Germany's GTZ technical-assistance programme and other
development institutions, tourism has made leaps and bounds. It is one of
country's few sources of external revenue and provides a growing number of
Kyrgyzstanis with a job.
In the national park, prices for peppers are three times those in Osh.
Yizrael Ismailov is prepared to take the risk that he can offset the 100
for the hire of the truck and his other costs.
This year he has turned over a profit again. Otherwise, the residents
gladly exploit their proximity to Osh to supply the city folk with fruit
vegetables. Cereal crops are less profitable considering the competition
the nearby Fergana Valley.
Uzbek goods arriving over the border close by ensure that the market is
always well stocked. What's missing is money enough for anything but the
basic commodities. This year, retail maize prices were high with demand
coming mainly from the newly-established vodka factory.
A problem that faces all new farmers is the small size of the plots
call their own. Privatisation of farmland left them with smallholdings,
most other forms of employment ceased to exist.
In Kyzil Kiya, 100 kilometres west of Osh at the foot of the Alai
there used to be one of the Soviet Union's largest water pump works, a
factory and a coalmine run by Russian and Ukrainian experts.
They are all now closed. The Russians have given up mining here and
region. So have the ethnic Germans who were forcibly relocated here in
In Kyzil Kiya a number of people get by as traders, but the region's
and joy used to be the Rossiya sovkhoz, a pilot project and showpiece
collective farm in Soviet days.
Tobacco growing has been privatised too. US, German and Turkish buyers
taken new farmers under contract to supply them with tobacco.
Restrictions increasingly imposed by President Askar Akayev and the
customs have led multinational corporations to pull out.
Only the Turkish buyers have stayed on. Kyrgyzstan's largest tobacco
fermentation plant could process 25,000 tonnes a season. At present it is
operating at only 25 per cent of capacity.
Despite all the uncertainty, 300 Kyrgyzstanis from the neighbouring
area have settled here as refugees. No longer able to make ends meet in
Tajikistan, they moved, like other victims of that country's civil war, to
the relative safety of Kyrgyzstan.
In days gone by, the absurd borders drawn between Soviet republics in
Stalin's era made no real difference. Today, they are a barrier to
and hold forth the promise of handsome profits for successful smugglers
corrupt border officials.
The Kyrgyzstanis from Tajikistan who are stranded here hope for support
the French development organisation ACTED, which is helping them to embark
legal moves to gain full residence rights.
The paperwork they need can cost as much as the price of a house.
In Kyzil Kiya a house costs less than 1,000 euros, but that is not an
you can earn in the informal sector of bazaar trading. They can only hope
find other employment and educational opportunities for their children
their status has been legalised.
In Osh, Izmailov says that despite earning a living from growing
he is an unwilling farmer. He would sooner work in the trade that he
He has still not abandoned hope of some day finding work as a mechanic.
Development experts say new farmers are not successful on account of
former profession. Former collective farm workers can be a hopeless
while doctors and engineers make a success of farming after a short
Ten years of transformation have spelt the death of many industries.
Industrial cities designed on the drawing board are in a state of decay.
Production facilities have been left to rust away.
They too are a sign of the decade.
Kyrgyzstan gained independence, but modernisation in the Soviet era was
followed by a steep decline to a de-industrialised level. The transition
post-modernity was accompanied in the Central Asian republics by deep cuts
The decade that has just passed and the one that lies ahead will be
characterised by reconstruction based on self-sufficiency and informal
Yet things are improving, although progress is laborious and hard.
Celebrations to mark the tenth anniversary of Kyrgyz independence, held
August, looked more to the future than to the past even though some
may have indicated the opposite.
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