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 fellow at the Institute for the Study of Conflict, Ideology and Policy
at Boston University

Friday, October 12, 2001

- Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke about the situation in Georgia. He said that the nation is totally free to choose whether it will participate in the CIS, that the Abkhaz conflict is strictly an internal matter Russia does not desire to get involved in, and that Russia will be happy to withdraw its peacekeepers if the Georgian government requests this. At the same time, Putin said that Russia is not indifferent to the situation on its borders.

- A representative of the Georgian Foreign Ministry declared that Russian peacekeepers must leave the territory of the conflict within three months

- Deputy Speaker of the State Duma Lyubov Sliska commented on the vote taken by the Georgian Parliament yesterday in favor of calling for a withdrawal of the Russian peacekeepers. She suggested that this step was "swayed by emotion -- in such a case, a bad adviser." UN representatives find no violations in the work of the Russian peacekeepers.

- An OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) delegation will travel to Georgia for a five-day visit to analyze the situation on the Chechen area of the Georgian-Russian border. Observers will visit the border region, meet with Abkhaz leaders in Sukhumi, and travel to Tskhinvali, the headquarters of the peacekeeping forces for the Georgian-Ossetian conflict.

- The conflict in the Kodor Gorge continues. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov feels that the Georgian parliament's decision regarding the peacekeepers will only complicate the situation. Abkhaz armed forces are preparing for a new, large-scale conflict.

- Russian Security Council Chairman Vladimir Rushailo and his Ukrainian counterpart Yevhenii Marchuk announced the preliminary findings of the governmental commission for the investigation of the TU-154 crash. The airplane was shot down by an S-200 missile during training exercises of the Ukrainian Air Force. A final report will be published after further investigations by Russia and Ukraine.

- Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov met with President Putin to report on the progress of the fight against crime over the last nine months. The Russian President signed decrees appointing the heads of the Sverdlovsk, Moscow, and Arkhangelsk main administrations of the ministry of the interior (Lieutenant General Vladimir Vorotnikov, Lieutenant General Nikolai Golovkin, and Police Colonel Vladimir Lobanov, respectively). Boris Gryzlov explained that the 2.5% increase in the number of registered crimes is indicative of better reporting by citizens.

- The Russian state film archive is 75 years old today. There are only four employees for the nine-story building and basement storage area, where real treasures can be found among the hundreds of thousands of film reels.

- A new school has been opened in Chechnya's Nozhai-Yurt region. Many local schools were used as headquarters and strongholds by rebels and subsequently were destroyed in the fighting.

- Makhmud Lelaev, suspected in the 1996 attacks on Russian soldiers, has been detained in Chechnya by Dagestani security service officers.

- Six armed drug traffickers were destroyed by Russian border troops on the Afghan-Tajik border. Forty kilos of heroin were confiscated; 26-year-old officer Dmitry Rodionov was killed in the conflict.

- A number of Russian language and literature teachers in the near abroad have received the Pushkin Award for their support of the Russian culture.

- Gazprom-Media General Director Alfred Kokh and Deputy General Director Aleksandr Reznikov have resigned from their positions.

- Reports that a US land campaign against Afghanistan will set out from Uzbek territory have been refuted.

- President Putin spoke at the opening of the ceremony celebrating Agricultural Workers' Day. Putin declared that Russia is gradually regaining its status as the largest grain exporter in the world.

- Media-Union held a roundtable in Voronezh to discuss "The State and The Church in Contemporary Russia." Mitropolit Mefodii of Lipetsk and Voronezh was one of the speakers. He called upon the journalists to show sensitivity and responsibility on this touchy subject.

- A meeting was held at the Education Ministry to discuss the trial nationwide achievement exam taken this summer by 30,000 high school graduates. Many students living in remote regions of Russia were able to apply to colleges without leaving their republics. Fifteen Russian Federation regions will participate in next year's exam.

- A citizens' forum will be held on 21 November to discuss the development of a civil society in Russia. At today's press-conference, the forum's organizational committee announced that President Putin will be one of the speakers.

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