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

Wednesday, December 19, 2001

- The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation has reinstated three candidates in the Yakutian presidential election: Afanasy Maksimov, Mikhail Sannikov and the current frontrunner, Vyacheslav Shtyrov, the head of the ALROSA diamond company. The other four registered candidates are Yakutian Vice President Spartak Borisov; the speaker of the republic's upper house, Vasily Filippov; Chief Federal Inspector Ruslan Shipkov; and Fedot Tumusov, a local entrepreneur.

- Russian President Vladimir Putin chaired a State Council meeting dedicated to the problems facing small business. The President said that the absence of a Russian middle class is unfortunate and that the environment for small business is unpredictable and disheartening. Only 10 percent of the GNP comes from small and medium-sized business.

- U.S. President George W. Bush telephoned President Putin to discuss the effects of the U.S. decision to withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. Both presidents agreed that they need to continue a dialogue concerning the strategic stability of Russian-American relations as a whole.

- State Duma Deputies are reviewing the new Labor Code in the second reading. Corrections include an increase in the number of state holidays and the matching of the minimum wage to the minimum subsistence level.

- At noon on December 24th, President Putin will appear live on the ORT and RTR television channels to answer the questions of Russian citizens.

- Polish Prime Minister Leszek Miller is in Russia on an official visit. Today he will meet with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov to discuss the perspectives of economic cooperation and other aspects of bilateral relations. Tomorrow Miller will meet with President Putin.

- Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Nikolai Patrushev has arrived in Grozny. He will meet with the local FSB leadership, study the progress of the anti-terrorism operation, listen to the reports of the regional headquarters, and present several FSB officers with government awards.

- In Sochi and throughout the Krasnodarsk region, electricity is still in short supply after the recent snowstorms. - Two more bodies have been removed from the Kursk nuclear submarine.

- The Russian Orthodox Church is celebrating the day of St. Nicholas the Miracle-Worker.

- Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov's visit to Belgium is coming to a close. From Brussels he will fly to London to meet with British Defense Secretary Geoffrey Hoon and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.

- The Moscow Emergency Medical Center celebrates its tenth anniversary today. Thousands of lives have been saved in this time.

- In the Central Black-Earth region only 30 people who know how to make "valenki" remain.

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