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, November 16, 2001

- About 2,000 Tajiks have returned home after waiting several weeks in Astrakhan. Two months ago, Kazakh authorities refused to allow passage to Tajik trains. Police in Astrakhan think that, in a week, another colony of Tajiks will assemble at the train station and take trains by force.

- The cause of the T-72 tank explosion, which killed 3 soldiers during exercises at the Privolzhsko-Uralskii military district, has been determined. A shell exploded while still inside the cannon. An equipment and ammunition check is being carried out in the military district.

- Ilya Shabalkin, the head of the Federal Security Service's public relations center, announced that an anti-aircraft gun was discovered in a secret hiding place in Grozny.

- Three men, accused of plotting to assassinate Russia's General Prosecutor Vladimir Ustinov, have been arrested in Daghestan. One is a British citizen of Turkish nationality. Security Service officers think that he is the leader of the terrorist group, but he insists that he is a journalist. A second member of the group is Sergei Tiunov, a former marine who was arrested by field commander Rabbani's fighters. Part of Tiunov's leg was amputated after he stepped on a land mine. The fighters had promised him medical treatment for carrying out a "special assignment" -- the murder of General Prosecutor Ustinov, who is currently in Makhachkala, presiding over the trial of Salman Raduev. The third man is Daghestani. The three are currently being interrogated in a Makhachkala prison.

- On the eve of his visit to Moscow, Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin is trying to secure the support of the Russian government on regulating problems in Transdniester. He announced that he is ready to consider a special status for the region, or any other constructive suggestion.

- Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov has turned down an OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) ultimatum, which requires Russia to cut oil exports by 500,000 barrels a day.

- A congress of the Russian Cinematographers' Union is taking place in Moscow. About 700 delegates have gathered to discuss the future of the union.

- In Moscow, preparations are underway for next week's Civil Society Forum.

- The morning commute was tougher than usual in Moscow: the first snow of the season fell last night (15cm).

- President Putin completed his official visit to the US by visiting Ground Zero, signing the Russian flag which commemorates the Russian citizens who died in the World Trade Center tragedy, speaking live on National Public Radio, meeting with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and visiting the St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral in New York.

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