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

Thursday, December 13, 2001

- President Bush has officially announced that in 6 months the US will withdraw from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. Moscow's position remains unchanged: The 1972 Treary is "an important, key element of security strategic stability" not just for the two signatories, but for the world as a whole. Many other nations support this position.

- President Putin has spoken with several world leaders -- including Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Askar, Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and PRC Chairman Jiang Zemin -- about the US decision to withdraw from the ABM Treaty.

- Presidential Plenipotentiary to the Northwest Federal District Viktor Cherkesov has awarded the engineers from the Malakhit Construction Bureau who worked on the Gepard submarine with medals of honor. The Gephard was transferred to the Northern Fleet a week ago. Now, together with several submarines of the same class, including the Samara, it is being prepared for a journey out to sea. The sailors have been waiting to leave the port for months.

- Official FSB spokesman Ilya Shabalkin has told reporters that a group of fighters suspected of participating in major terrorist acts in Chechnya has been captured in a special federal service operation in Argun. In addition, one of field commander Khattab's close associates has been killed.

- The board of Lukoil has made an unexpected offer -- to cooperate with Yevgeny Kiselev's team at TV-6.

- Yakutian President Mikhail Nikolaev will not participate in the 23 December presidential election. The local election committee has taken him off the list of candidates and the Republic's Supreme Court has found his registration to be illegal. Nikolaev announced that he was withdrawing his candidacy last night, but did not give a reason for his decision. Later he said that he left the race because of shortcomings in the legislation.

- The constitutional court has ruled that Moscow city authorities cannot take property away from private owners without a special court decision.

- Electricity has been shut off in several cities in Chechnya, including Grozny. According to the electricity company, GosEnergo, this is a special operation by the Russian military prompted by reports that field commander Khattab has been seriously injured (leg and shoulder). This information has not been officially confirmed.

- Russian Orthodox and Muslim spiritual leaders gathered in the Christ the Savior Cathedral for the two-day Sixth Annual All-Russian Peoples Forum. Special attention will be paid to the events of September 11 and its consequences. The problems of globalization of the modern society and the moral aspects of the uneven distribution of power and wealth will also be discussed.

- The trial of Chechen terrorist Salman Raduev is almost over. Defense lawyers for Gaisumov and Alkhazurov asked for a lesser punishment for their clients in their final statements. Tomorrow, General Presecutor Ustinov will appear again and all of the accused will be able to say their last words. Atgeriev and Raduev's lawyers will speak on Friday.

- Deputy Prime Minister Valentina Matvienko will meet with the leaders of the North Caucasus region to discuss the socio-economic development of North Ossetia. Matvienko will also visit several orphanages and children's half-way houses.

- Over thirty questions will be raised at today's plenary meeting of the State Duma, including the question of electronic subscription, which will allow Russians to pay their bills and buy real estate on-line, and a law that will make car insurance mandatory.

- Georgian Speaker of Parliament Nino Burdjanadze has expressed the hope that Russian-Georgian relations will improve.

- A unique art show has opened in Arkhangelsk: European tapestries and Russian hand-woven floor runners will appear in the same exhibit.

- In the Krasnodarsk krai, children have revived the spirit of Timur, the hero of Andrei Gaidarov's children's books. The members of the group Timur and his Team go on hikes, play games, take part in various competitions, and, most importantly, help the elderly. None of the 170 kids (7 to 16 years old) have read Gaidarov's books, which have been taken off the school curriculum, but they plan on taking care of this literary gap -- in a week they will put on a play based on Gaidarov.

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