Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson

ORT Review
Compiled by Luba Schwartzman (luba7@bu.edu)
Research Assistant at the Center for Defense Information
Research fellow at the Institute for the Study of Conflict, Ideology and Policy at Boston University

Tuesday, September 18, 2001

- Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov has accused several Russian banks of
aiding the Chechen fighters by allowing them to receive money from abroad.

- Federal forces in Chechnya are successfully liquidating bands of Chechen
fighters. Yesterday evening, an attack on an Argun police building was
averted and five fighters killed. Also yesterday, four of Khattab's men
were destroyed in the Vedensk canyon. Today, four fighters were killed by
interior troops when they were trying to plant a landmine.

- The Chechen administration refuted rumors that the government was
evacuated from Grozny.

- The Russian FSB (Federal Security Service) has transferred materials to
the United States that provide circumstantial evidence of Osama Bin
Laden's involvement in the events of September 11.

- Russian Security Council Chairman Vladimir Rushailo declared that it is
necessary to cut off the sources of financing that feed international

- Russian special services have circumstantial evidence that one of the
suicide bombers who took part in the attacks in NY and DC has previously
fought in the ranks of the Chechen fighters.

- Russian Finance Minister Aleksei Kudrin feels that it may be necessary
to adjust the Russian 2002 budget to increase funding for the struggle
against terrorism.

- The question of whether Russia will take part in the retaliatory strike
against Osama Bin Laden and his supporters is being discussed at a meeting
between Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and U.S. Secretary of State
Colin Powell. Later, Ivanov will meet with American President George W.
Bush. According to Ivanov, working contacts have already been established
between Russian and American special services, but these are short-term,
rather than long-term, arrangements. The U.S. is also worried that Russia
might persuade the nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
to refrain from participating in the anti-terrorist operation.

- Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov noted that it is very important not
to rush decision-making concerning retaliation, so that irreversible
mistakes are not made.

- U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and Russian First Deputy
Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Trubnikov met in Moscow to continue the
Russian-American dialogue in the framework of the bilateral Working Group
on Afghanistan.

- Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a television interview today, in
which he commented on the international state of affairs: "It is
incorrect to say that the international state of affairs has just changed.
The world changed a long time ago. It is just that the recent tragedy in
the United States has confirmed these changes. [] And we are not
disinterested in the opinions on the international situation held by the
leaders of the United Stated, the nations of the European Union, the
People's Republic of China (PRC) We feel that a noticeable interest is
expressed in the position of the Russian Federation. We have yet to
discuss all of the questions. I am slated to meet with the Chairman of
the PRC in Shanghai. Then, as you know, I am going to Europe to meet with
the leaders of the European Union and of NATO, as well as specifically
with the German government. And I will meet twice with the President of
the United States. Right now it is vital to choose not only a unified
approach, but also the mechanisms of cooperation. This is what we will be
working on in the near future."

- State Duma deputies began their first meeting with a moment of silence
for the victims of last Tuesdays attack. A minor scandal took place,
however, when several members of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia
refused to stand up. The deputies then held a closed discussion of the
fight against terrorism, feeling that the presence of the press could
hamper an open discussion with representatives of the power organs. It
turned out that the deputies did not get to hear any secrets since the
special service officers refused to speak without a sanction from the
president. The Duma is working on a document that will recommend a
presidential initiative creating an international anti-terrorism center.

- A group of Duma deputies prepared corrections to the "Law on the
Languages of the People of Russia. The amendments will require federal
laws to approve the use of scripts other than Cyrillic. Deputies feel
that Latinization will create many difficulties -- above all, for the

- Scholars are against Latinization in Tatarstan; they explain that it
could lead to widespread illiteracy. In Tatarstan, 70 schools have
already switched to the Latin script.

- Russian Security Council Chairman Vladimir Rushailo met with Uzbec
President Islam Karimov in Tashkent today. They discussed the
international state of affairs in light of the recent terrorist acts in
the U.S., as well as the situation in Central Asia and regional security.
Rusahilo then left for Dushanbe, where he will meet with the Tajik

- Uzbek President Islam Karimov has dismissed reports that Tashkent is
prepared to allow the Armed Forces of the United States to use Uzbek
territory for a retaliatory strike against Afghanistan. "We did not make
such promises," he emphasized.

- Russian power ministers have left for the southern regions of the
Russian Federation and the Central Asian regions of the CIS. Commander of
the General Headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation
Anatoly Kvashnin is meeting with the Tajik government in Dushanbe to
discuss security issues. He will also visit the 201st division stationed
on the Afghan border. Russian Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov will chair
a meeting of representatives of the Southern Federal District power organs
in the city of Pyatigorsk.

- Work on the raising of the Kursk nuclear submarine continues in the
Barents Sea.

- Russian nuclear objects have been placed on high alert due to the
increased likelihood of terrorist attacks.

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