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 27, 2001

- A plaque has been dedicated to Lidia Ruslanova. It hangs on the house on Moscow's Leningrad Avenue where the Russian singer lived for twenty years.

- The Russian MChS (Emergency Ministry) workers are celebrating their professional holiday. The short abbreviation stands for a longer official title -- The Ministry for Civil Defense, Emergencies, and the Elimination of the Consequences of Natural Disasters. All the words mean one thing -- these are rescuers, ready to help in just about any situation. In North Ossetia, Emergency Ministry workers are celebrating the holiday while patrolling the Transcaucasian Highway, where about a hundred avalanches occur every year. In 1993, 56 people were buried under the snow.

- Another group of MChS workers are working to restore the Salang Pass tunnel to the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.

- The Kaluga Oblast court has forwarded the case of Igor Sutyagin, the scientist accused of treason, for further investigation.

- Ingush President Ruslan Aushev has declared that he will leave his position before the March 2003 presidential elections so that national stability can be maintained. Aushev has already served as the Republic's president for 8 years and suggests that this is enough. According to the Republic's Constitution, elections must be held within four months after a president relinquishes his position.

- The Russian State Duma has begun its holiday recess, which will last until mid-January. On their last day of work Duma deputies accepted the draft bills "On the State of the Military" and "On the All-Russian Census."

- Renowned film director Sergei Kolosov is celebrating his 80th birthday today. His films include Call Fire for Ourselves, The Taming of the Shrew, The Appointment, Operation Trust, and Remember Your Name.

- A passenger train traveling from Moscow to Togliatti collided with a cargo train at the Ruzaevka station early this morning. The engineer of the passenger train and his assistant suffered severe brain injuries and broken bones; several passengers were also hurt. The circumstances surrounding the accident are under investigation.

- Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the ceremony of the opening of the oil-loading port of Primorsk, which he termed another "window to Europe." President Putin will also visit a number of other industrial objects during his trip to the Leningrad oblast. He will be accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko and Transportation Minister Sergei Frank.

- At its last session, the Russian Cabinet summed the results of the national socio-economic development over 2001. According to Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, pensions have been increased, social support has been channeled to those who really need it, industrial and agricultural production grew, and two major export transport systems (the Blue Stream gas pipeline to Turkey and the oil-pipeline to the Baltic) have been completed. At the same time, Kasyanov noted that the dependency on export needs to be curbed further, and the competitiveness level of the Russian industry needs to be improved.

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