Compiled by Luba Schwartzman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Research Analyst, Center for Defense Information, Moscow office
Saturday, January 18, 2003
- A private company has restored railways communication between Sochi and Sukhumi after the 11-year interruption. Now 120-150 people are traveling the 130-kilometer distance every day -- the numbers should grow by summer.
- The official reaction of Tbilisi to the restoration of trains between Sochi and Sukhumi was highly negative -- Transport and Communication Minister of Georgia Merab Adeishvili declared that the statement tying the fate of Russian peacekeepers in Abkhazia to train service referred to the servicing of military bases in Georgia rather than civilian communication.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Aleksandr Gomelsky, the president of the Basketball Club of the Central Sports Club of the Armed Forces, on his 75th birthday.
- The 60th anniversary of the end of the Leningrad blockade was commemorated in St. Petersburg today.
- The first International Congress of Patriotic Parties was held in Moscow. Delegates from Japan, the Czech Republic, France, Greece, South Africa and other countries attended.
- Armenian President Robert Kocharian visited Krasnoyarsk, where he stopped by an Armenian church, met with representatives of the Armenian diaspora and placed a wreath on the Eternal Flame at Hero's Square.
- Representatives of the commission on the referendum on the Chechen Constitution met with university students in Grozny.
- Minister of Chechen Affairs Stanislav Ilyasov declared that Chechen rebels will seek new opportunities to conduct terrorist acts in Moscow and in Chechnya in anticipation of Russia's parliamentary and presidential elections.
- Security measures in Grozny have been heightened after the 27 December terrorist act.
- Special representative of the Russian President Aleksandr Losyukov is arriving in Pyongyang. The main goal of his visit is finding a solution for the crisis around North Korea's nuclear problem.
- Georgia has been left without Russian gas after an accident on the 122nd kilometer of the Mozdok-Tbilisi line.
- At the Annual Progress Meeting of the Academy of Military Sciences, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov declared that the use of the armed forces to fight terrorism is justified.
- Legendary rock group Jethro Tull will perform in Moscow.
- The Gulf of Finland has frozen coast to coast for the first time in 50 years. Ships cannot be unloaded in the port, which causes numerous traffic jams on railroads in Russia's northwestern regions.
Sunday, January 19, 2003
- Russian Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu declared that emergency forces have been placed on combat alert in connection with the threats of terrorist acts in Moscow.
- President Putin is in Minsk. Tomorrow he will attend the meeting of the Supreme State Council of the Russia Belarus Union.
- Six unidentified men defiled the Andrei Sakharov Exhibit Hall. The poured paint over paintings and walls and broke several windows. The men have been detained. An investigation is underway.
- Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov has left for New York, where he will attend the meeting of the UN Security Council dedicated to the fight against terrorism.
- An assassination attempt against Chechen administration head Ahmad Kadyrov has been prevented. Interior Ministry officers neutralized a remote-controlled landmine on the Minutka Square.