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JRL #7053 Plain Text - Entire Issue

1. Reuters: Iraq crisis dominates Putin visit to Germany, France.
2. Washington Profile: Putin: A Mid-Term Assessment. An interview with Dr. Donald Jensen, Director of communications Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
3. Washington Post: Masha Lipman, In Stalin's Footsteps.(re Turkmenistan)
4. AFP: Russia's Gorbachev stars in remake of Prokoviev musical.
5. AFP: Russia's "Nord Ost" returns in celebrity premiere.
7. Peter Rutland: Re: 7052 Ware/McFaul/Fitzpatrick.
8. John Squier: re 7051--Henderson on Civil Society.
9. Michael Herzen: re 7044-Ladas.
10. The Electronic Telegraph (UK): Julius Strauss, Magicians step into the void left by communism.
11. GraniContact: re Litvinenko's LPG/7048.
12. The Lancet (UK): Paul Webster, Russia hunts for funds for ailing health service.
13. Wired News: Steve Kettmann, Russia: Wild Card in Kyoto Pact.
14. pravda.ru: Russians in Hollywood.
16. RFE/RL: Valentinas Mite, Chechnya: An Information War Rages Alongside Military Campaign.
17. Interfax: Russia's arms exports reach $4.7 bln in 2002 - expert.
18. Dow Jones: Yukos CEO: Wouldn't Mind Govt Owning Murmansk Pipeline.
19. pravda.ru: Russian Oil Oligarchs Suffer from Overproduction Crisis. Railway works at full capacity, pipelines are packed.


Iraq crisis dominates Putin visit to Germany, France
By Ron Popeski

MOSCOW, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin meets the French
and German leaders this week, with all three resisting the U.S. case for a
possible war to disarm Iraq.

Putin meets German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Europe's most ardent
opponent of war, in Berlin on Sunday, and then heads to a three-day state
visit in France.

French President Jacques Chirac insists, as does Putin, that diplomacy can
ensure Iraq has no banned weapons; and Putin is likely to hear more on a
German-French initiative to avert war.

Putin arguably faces a more difficult balancing act than the two
traditional U.S. allies because his new-found partnership with the United
States remains largely untested.

"In Germany and France, Putin will say that war should be avoided, but that
will not mean that Russia will be standing together with Germany in
opposition," said independent military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer. "Russia
will try to get what it can from both sides. Putin will therefore be

Russian military sources predict the U.S.-led strike on Iraq will be in
mid-February, leaving Putin with a dilemma of dealing with what many in
Moscow see as inevitable.

Some analysts say Putin's balancing act is especially tricky as Moscow's
friendly relationship with Washington is still new.

"The issue is much more sensitive in Moscow," said Boris Makarenko, deputy
head of the Institute of Political Technologies think tank. "For Germany
and France, this a kitchen quarrel between relatives. Russia is the new kid
on the block."

Russia and France both favour more time for U.N. inspectors in Iraq and
neither, for now, wants a new U.N. Security Council resolution that
endorses force.


But Putin acknowledged last month he could get tougher on Baghdad if it
hindered U.N. inspections, and analysts say Putin is unlikely to jeopardise
Moscow's new-found friendship with Washington, a key part of Putin's drive
to modernise Russia.

That friendship emerged after the suicide airliner attacks on the United
States on September 11, 2001.

Putin, also manoeuvring to recover billions of dollars in Soviet-era debt
from Iraq, must square his public opposition to military action with
upholding that friendship with Washington.

"We are now in a stage of high-level diplomatic trading and deal-making. No
one wants to be left offside, appearing to be the sole country opposing the
United States," said Vyacheslav Nikonov of the Politika think tank.

"Russia feels certain that however much France objects to the U.S.
position, it will not impose a veto on any new U.N. resolution. Russia is
probably half a step behind France on this. Putin has already taken the
first quarter step."

Russia and France both have veto power in the U.N. Security Council.

Diplomatic pressure has been building since Secretary of State Colin
Powell's presentation to the U.N. Security Council this week of what
Washington says is proof of Iraq's failure to disarm.

President George W. Bush said he would welcome passage of a new U.N.
resolution authorising the use of force. His chief European ally, British
Prime Minister Tony Blair, said such a resolution was critical to winning
over public opinion.


Putin: A Mid-Term Assessment
An interview with Dr. Donald Jensen, Director of communications Radio Free
Europe/Radio Liberty
Washington Profile
February 7, 2003

Donald Jensen is the Director of Communications at Radio Free Europe/Radio
Liberty. He was a member of the US State Department for 12 years, holding
embassy posts in Moscow and Sophia. The views expressed in this interview
are his own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of RFE/RL.

How has the Western perception of Putin changed over the past few years.

When he first appeared on the world scene three years ago, the western
views began with the question - who is he? And there was a long pause, and
gradually since then we have been filling in the blanks. The Western view
then shifted to a fear that he was a dictator because he had been from the
KGB, to another stage, which is more or less what it is today, which is
that he is somebody we can do business with, and he's a centralizing
reformer, and you read about this all the time in the Washington Post and
the New York Times and elsewhere.

How well has Putin performed his duties so far?

Since we are now approaching the midterm of Putin's administration, I think
it's very appropriate to ask the old question - how is he doing? I think
the answer I would give is quite different from the answer most Washington
observers would give. I think I would ask the question of "how is he
doing?" in a different way, focusing on continuity with Yeltsin and what
things have changed. And I think in that regard, I would say that there are
many more continuities to Yeltsin's Russia than we realized, and this, to
some extent, provides grounds for pessimism about Russia's capability to
change in a democratic direction.

What has changed? Well, people say the country is more stable, which I'm
not sure what that means. Certainly he's younger and more physically fit,
and someone in whom Russians feel trust and feel confident that he takes
their interests into account. But in terms of what he really changed,
domestically, is far more difficult to answer. While there is certainly a
new balance among the centers of power - if we take the bureaucracy, bug
business, the governors, security agencies, the army - as centers of power.
He certainly seems to rely on some, especially the security services, more
than Yeltsin did. But the problem, of course, is that the centers
themselves have not been changed or eliminated the way people had hoped
they would. For example, eliminating the oligarchs. What's striking to me
is the continuities and I think increasingly you're seeing a Putin who
doesn't really have yet a strong base of support, playing the balancing of
the centers of power very much like Yeltsin used to. And I think it's
important to keep in mind that you shouldn't compare Putin to the Yeltsin
of 1998, but to the Yeltsin of 1993, 94, before he was sick and infirm.

The second continuity is the centrality of economic and property concerns
to public policy. It's striking how much rhetoric in Russia is focused on
economics and business and money. Money is power, and power is money. In
the US there is a much stronger legal differentiation between power and
property, and in Russia it's not there at all, so the difference between
public and private, between corruption and criminality is very blurry and
inconsistently defined. And that's very much a continuity with the Yeltsin
regime, and I would argue a continuity with Russian history. We see a
simplification now between the Petersburg "chekisti" and the Yeltsin
family, and I think although to some extent they are true, they are much
too oversimplified. I'm not sure of the distinction between big business
and the FSB, because the FSB very clearly engages in business activities, I
facilitates business activity, and engages in profit-making activity that
has very little to do with the public interest. In that sense, the family
is not an opposite pole, it's just another center of power competing for
the same resources. And that sounds cynical, but I think it describes the
situation well.

At the same time, we need to talk about the role of public opinion. I would
like to make two points - the first is that opinion does matter, because it
legitimates the rule of the elected monarch. At the same time, it's
relatively weak and disorganized, it matters far less than in the West.
Americans tend to compare Putin' ratings with the ratings of Bush and
Blair, and I think it's really an unfair comparison. Whatever public
opinion is, it's not strong enough to be mobilized for a policy, because
the differentiation between the elites and the masses is too great, more
than in the West.

Finally, we get to the issue of the limits to Putin's power. We talk as if
formal Russian structures, like laws, necessarily correspond to reality.
And we see in the Russian system, as in Yeltsin's time and in Soviet time,
informal political and power relationships are just as important as formal
relationships. And you have to ask not what's Putin's power as a president,
but how does it work in real life. And there you see all sorts of limits to
Putin's powers, which suggests that he does play a balancing role but he
cannot fundamentally change - at least so far - the fundamental coalitions
in the system. I found most remarkable in recent weeks that General
Troschev in Chechnya stood up and basically refused a new assignment, with
relative immunity. Does this mean that the army is acting on its own, that
if Putin ordered a ceasefire in Chechnya, there wouldn't be one? It's a
very troubling thing to have happened publicly, for someone like Putin who
wants to appear very much as someone in charge.

The second interesting phenomenon was the postponement of the reform on the
electricity monopolies. They've been talking about reforming for 3-4 years,
and nothing has happened. It's not just because they want to delay until
after the elections, it's because Putin's power to impose change from the
top is more limited than people think, and there is considerable
bureaucratic resistance to breaking up the large monopolies. Because power
and property are so tangled together, and because the rule of law is so
vague, it's not clear whether the Ministry is a company or a government
ministry, and that's very different from the US, which have a strong
differentiation between public and private. It's these kind of
quasi-government structures that Putin has done very little to change.

So what has he done? How has he changed the system? Well, it is calmer, it
is maybe more stable, depending on how you define stable. But he has not
eliminated the oligarchs, in fact he's not even kept them at distance,
because given his relatively unstable political base, he needs to form
coalitions with certain key centers of power, including big business, in
order to govern the country effectively.

He said he would strengthen the state, and again, we get to the question -
well, what do you mean by state? The state has a very specific juridical
basis, and looking from the point of view of Washington or London, it's not
clear that Putin has strengthened the state at all. What he has
strengthened, probably, is the coercive power of certain parts of the
bureaucracy, but those are exercised in a highly personalized, arbitrary
way, and that, in the long run, doesn't strengthen the state at all, in
fact it probably weakens it, because the people will not ingest and abide
by the rule of power as exercised in this way. What we're seeing now in the
past few months is Putin increasingly being hemmed in by a system he
inherited, in which he is increasingly unable to change very much. He can
change some things - public rhetoric, allying with the FSB. But the real
question is - will Putin be a stabilizing conservative force content to be
re-elected, and that means the elites have to go with him, or will he
choose his opportunity as president to transform the society. And this
opportunity is increasingly receding, I think you're likely to see an
increasingly conservative regime, with Putin continuing to bob and weave to
maximize his freedom of maneuver and create the coalitions he needs in
order to govern the country.

What do you think Putin wants for the country?

I'm not sure what he wants, I think he wants something both democratic and
reformist in some ways, but also something centralizing and conservative in
other ways. In a sense, it doesn't really matter what he wants, because if
he can't overcome the bureaucratic resistance, it doesn't matter what he
wants. We see simplified dichotomies, and I'm not sure it's all that
simple. There are probably parts of the FSB that are very anti-business,
but other parts are very corporatists. Probably what Putin has to do is
join and make alliances with those parts of the elite that share his points
of view on that particular issue. On other issues, it might be a completely
different coalition.

He does rule the country, in principle, but for me the country works with
these elite power centers forming and shifting, with Putin balancing them.
One of the interesting things is the comparison with Yeltsin. I think as
soon as Putin shows signs of weakness, you're going to see the people
around him lunge after the fresh meat, and I think you're seeing some of
these stirrings already. He has, to some extent, been lucky - the oil
prices have been high, and his foreign policy has been very nimble, but I
think the domestic policy is fundamentally not changed, and it will be
difficult to change.

Where do you see the future of Russia, after he wins the next election?

Most likely, I think the regime will become increasingly interested in
power, in keeping its authority, rather than moving the country in a move
reformist direction. Six more years is along time, and there's likely to be
at some point pressure from the elites to speed up change, which will give
Putin a serious problem which he has so far been able to avoid. What if the
oil process go down, what if the country goes into a much more dire
economic condition in the next few years? People are going to blame Putin,
and this constant division of power, which seems to characterize Russian
politics since the fall of the Soviet Union will continue, and it's going
to be harder to divide and re-divide and sell these firms, because there
will be fewer resources to go about, and that could cause a lot of strain
on the regime. The oil sector, which wants internal investment and to be
active internationally, can't forever coexist with the other claims on the
budget, and Putin will have to do something about it.

Is Russia a Nazi state in some ways?

You could compare Russia more to Argentina, a Peronist state. The
difference is that the Putin regime does not rely on the mobilization of
the population to govern. And second, there's no racist component to the
government. They're nationalist, moderately, but they're not any more
nationalist than other countries. They're much less nationalist than
Milosevic's Serbia. So I think you can be a centralized bureaucratic state
and not be Nazi.


Washington Post
February 8, 2003
In Stalin's Footsteps
By Masha Lipman
The writer, deputy editor of the Russian newsmagazine Ezhenedel'ny Zhurnal,
writes a monthly column for The Post.

In just over a decade as independent states, the various former Soviet
republics have gone their separate ways so fast and so far that it's hard
to believe they were once parts of the same empire.

Under Communist rule, all the constituent republics, from the Baltics to
Central Asia, worked according to economic plans drafted for them in
Moscow. They were governed by the same Communist nomenklatura, brainwashed
with the same ideological tools, had the same school curriculum and the
same schoolbooks and watched the same daily TV news at 9 p.m. -- with the
secretary general of the Soviet Communist Party as the central newsmaker.

Today the three Baltic states are about to join NATO. Russia is relatively
democratic. And the Central Asian state of Turkmenistan, a former Soviet
republic, is a totalitarian autocracy of Orwellian -- or Stalinist --

Turkmen President Saparmurad Niyazov, who has assumed the title of
Turkmenbashi ("The Father of All Turkmen"), apparently regards himself as
complete master not only of his people but also of the universe. He has
renamed streets, city districts, a town, a canal and countless schools and
hospitals in honor of himself. He has also given new names to three months
and to six days of the week. He has closed down the Turkmen opera and
ballet theater, deeming these arts to be alien to Turkmen culture. His list
of achievements even includes the reinvention of human age: Youth in
Turkmenistan now extends through 37, and at 61 one enters "spiritual
greatness" (Niyazov is 62), which lasts for 12 years. Old age begins at 85.
The Father of All Turkmen has granted his nation a "spiritual code of
conduct," which he compares to the Bible and Koran. Living by this code is
a moral duty of all Turkmen. Learning it is mandatory in Turkmen schools.

When a ruler assumes divine powers and undertakes to shape his own reality
by giving new names to the basic elements of life, it's not long before he
sets out to reshape his people as well -- an ambition that invariably
results in ferocious repression. Unfortunate nations -- such as the Soviet
Union and North Korea -- have learned this from experience. The lucky ones
that have never been subjected to such megalomaniac experiments find it
hard to see what is so obvious to us: The leader who has taken to writing
epics or inventing his own philosophy of time and space is a mortal danger
to his people.

In today's Russia it's not uncommon to hear people say, "It's like the year
'37" -- the time when Joseph Stalin's terror killed millions of Soviet
citizens. But it's only a metaphor. Vladimir Putin's Kremlin may be
obsessed with taking control of political life in Russia, but fortunately
it's far from succeeding. There is no fear of the state in post-Communist

In Turkmenistan, however, "the year '37" is more than metaphor. It has
elements of chilling reality. Niyazov has built a brutal and isolationist
totalitarian regime in his country. Any trace of political opposition has
been eradicated. Torture, lawless arrests and disappearances of people are
common. A free press does not exist (the Russian print media were recently
barred from Turkmenistan). Internet access is strictly limited.

In late November 2002 it was reported that there had been an attempt on
Niyazov's life. It proved to be a bizarre, and apparently staged,
assassination scheme in which several men with automatic weapons tried to
take aim at Niyazov's motorcade. Niyazov was unhurt. The evildoers were

Of course, assassinations have been repeatedly used by a variety of rulers
as a pretext for campaigns of terror. One of the most well known is the
murder of Leningrad Communist leader Sergei Kirov in 1934. After that
killing, Stalin launched a massive extermination of much of the Communist
elite, as well as of great numbers of rank-and-file Soviet people. The
terror was effectively enhanced by show trials.

The aftermath of the purported attempt on Niyazov's life looks a bit like
"Turkmen '37." The Father of All Turkmen promptly named the perpetrators of
the hideous crime. The plotters, the nation was informed, included several
high-ranking officials who had dared criticize Niyazov's regime.

Some had sensed the danger and defected, among them former foreign minister
Boris Shikhmuradov. But according to some accounts, Shikhmuradov came back
when he learned that his family had been arrested. A short time later he
was seen making a confession on Turkmen television, looking blank-faced and
speaking in an eerily even voice -- possibly the result of torture or drugs
or both.

Television has lent the affair an immediacy not available to those who
conducted Stalin's show trials. Shortly after Shikhmuradov's confessions,
scenes of public wrath were also televised. One after one, Turkmen people
have appeared on the screen demanding that the traitors be killed. They
plead that the criminals be given to them so they can kill them with their
own hands.

The trials were conducted quickly. Within two months of the alleged
assassination attempt, 46 people had been convicted as plotters, with more
to come. Shikhmuradov and several others were sentenced to life. About a
month later, Niyazov placed strict limits on travel abroad.

Little concern has been raised in the world over the Turkmen show trials.
In Russian intellectual circles, people shudder at the news coming from
Turkmenistan, yet some admit to a perverse satisfaction: By comparison with
Turkmenbashi's regime, Russia looks like an ideal democracy.

The Russian government is far too pragmatic these days to antagonize
Turkmenistan's dictator and thereby threaten its ties with a country rich
in natural gas. But Russia is not alone in showing indifference to the
plight of Turkmen people. Since Sept. 11, 2001, interest in human rights
has subsided dramatically. Except for human rights organizations, the world
has expressed hardly any concern over Niyazov's regime. With Saddam Hussein
picked by the United States as the epitome of evil, other villainous
leaders can kill and torture their citizens undisturbed.


Russia's Gorbachev stars in remake of Prokoviev musical
February 8, 2003

Mikhail Gorbachev is to team up with former US president Bill Clinton and
actress Sophia Loren in recording a new version of the classic children's
musical "Peter and the Wolf", an aide to the former Soviet leader was
quoted as saying Saturday.

The recording will be carried out at the head office of the Gorbachev Fund,
the think-tank that the Gorbachev created after leaving office in December
1991, on Monday and will last around an hour, spokesman Vladimir Polyakov
told the Interfax news agency.

"The organisers have visited the premises and located a suitable spot," he
said. Retitled "The Wolf and Peter", the new version of Sergei Prokoviev's
timeless story tells the story from the point of view of the wolf, faced
with the encroachments of urbanisation on his dwindling forest habitat.

New music for the reworking has been commissioned by the Russian National
Orchestra (RNO) from French composer Jean-Pascal Beintus, while the new
text is by the US writer Walt Kraemer.

Gorbachev is to narrate the story's introduction in English, working with
the US conductor and three-times Grammy-winner Kent Nagano who is currently
in Moscow to conduct the RNO at a special concert at the city's
Conservatory on Sunday.

The music for "The Wolf and Peter" has already been recorded by Nagano in
Geneva, where he worked with Clinton and Loren last December.

The organisers were keeping their cards close to their chest when asked
earlier this week who would be playing Peter and who the wolf.

Nagano and RNO general director Sergei Markov said they had chosen
Gorbachev as narrator because, like Clinton, he "has a great ability to

The remark drew some wry comment in the Russian media which recalled that
Gorbachev, when in power, was often derided for his southern accent and
long, indecipherable sentences stuffed with Communist party jargon.

The organisers noted also that Gorbachev was proficient in English.

Asked whether Gorbachev was rehearsing for his performance, Polyakov said
"Mikhail Sergeyevich does everything impromptu."

Gorbachev's previous creative efforts include a cameo appearance in German
director Wim Wenders' "Faraway, So Close", his 1993 follow-up to the
award-winning "Wings over Berlin", though the Internet movie data base
credits the Nobel Prize-winner with no fewer than 15 screen appearances,
almost all of them taken from archive footage.

He also appeared in an advertisement for Pizza Hut, the fast-food chain.

Clinton and Loren have said they plan to donate their "Wolf and Peter" fee
to charity, while Gorbachev, a noted campaigner for ecological causes, said
he will hand the proceeds for his contribution to the Green Cross
International, the environmental defence group he founded in 1993.

Nagano told the Izvestia daily that the project as "quite crazy," though
one of several "ambitious ideas" that the RNO has embarked on.

The idea was "to create a recording that would be very stimulating for
families and at the same time for connoisseurs," he said.

The recording is one of a series of events being organised in Russia to
mark the 50th anniversary of Prokoviev's death.

Prokoviev died on March 5, 1953, within a few hours of the death of the
Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

Gorbachev is seen in the West as the architect of perestroika, the reform
programme that resulted in the winding down of the Cold War, though many
Russians view him less charitably as the man who destroyed the Soviet Union.


Russia's "Nord Ost" returns in celebrity premiere
February 8, 2003

The Russian musical "Nord-Ost" reopens Saturday, playing to a glittering
audience three months after the theatre was stained with blood in a hostage
drama that took the lives of 129 spectators and performers.

Government ministers, diplomats, celebrities and other public figures are
expected to turn out for the revival of the adventure story that turned
into a nightmare when Chechen rebels stormed onstage to demand an end to
the war in their ravaged republic.

Security will be at a maximum for the premiere which will begin with a
minute's silence in memory of the victims of the siege which seized the
world's attention last October.

The theatre on Dubrovka street, in southern Moscow, has been completely
renovated, with traces of the hostage-taking removed as far as possible
although metal detectors at the entrance and cameras in the lobby serve to
remind visitors of its tragic history. The auditorium was packed late
Friday for a press showing also attended by many of the surviving hostages
and their friends and families.

Presenting what was in effect a dress rehearsal for the premiere, the
play's writer-producer Georgy Vasiliev and co-writer Alexei Ivashchenko
appeared onstage to tell the audience of their determination that the show
should live again.

"There were so many difficulties, but we always knew that the show would be
reborn. It's a show that talks about love, and we must prove that there are
ideals that cannot be killed," Vasiliev said.

For Ivashchenko, the goal was to "revive the spirit of joy, goodness,
happiness and victory in this auditorium."

Vasiliev asked spectators to observe a minute's silence and the house
stood, many with tears in their eyes.

At the interval the mood was brighter, almost elated, as spectators took to
the bar to hail the show's return from the dead.

Some admitted to lingering fears as they returned to the theatre where a
light-hearted romance had turned into a nightmare.

But one, the mother of a former hostage who was back on stage after the
three-month lay-off, proclaimed that "in the past few weeks we have shaken
off our fear."

Fear had permeated the theatre for three days when on October 23 a commando
of 41 Chechen separatists, many of them young women, burst into the
auditorium and announced that all 800 people present faced death unless
Russia pulled its troops out of the southern republic.

The siege ended when security forces pumped gas into the theatre to
incapacitate the rebels, but also caused the deaths of many of the hostages.

Both the theatre and the play have seen major changes since then, partly to
help spectators forget the horrors of the siege.

The auditorum, badly damaged during the crisis, has been completely
overhauled with government funding. The red plush seats, some of which had
been bloodied, were removed and replaced with seats of cool blue.

The orchestra pit, which the hostages had been forced to use as a latrine,
was filled in, with the musicians placed closer to the audience.

And the show's logo was redesigned to accommodate a new slogan: "Nord Ost,
a story about our country, a story of love," reflecting the fact that the
musical has become, in Vasiliev's words, "part of the recent history of

The play's text and production have been changed to make it more upbeat,
"even more lively and optimistic" than before, Vasiliev said.

The story of "Nord Ost", based on an award-winning novel written in 1947,
recounts events set against the early years of the Soviet Union, and is
bathed in nostalgia for the simple certainties of the Soviet era.



MUNICH, February 7 /from RIA Novosti's Olga Semyonova/ - Russia will
certainly not change its stance on the Iraqi issue in exchange for the USA
to change its own on the Chechen. Bargaining round Chechnya is out of
place, Sergei Ivanov, Russia's Defence Minister, said to the media upon
arrival in Munich, Germany.

Chechen illegal armed formations ought to be qualified as terrorist
organisations, and he will pose the matter at an upcoming conference with
Donald Rumsfeld, US Secretary of Defence, and elsewhere, added Mr. Ivanov.

Russia has offered exhaustive proof of Chechen terrorism to the
international community. It has posed the issue on many occasions, and is
sure that a majority of Chechen gangs are linked to overseas donors,
terrorist organisations and their masterminds.

No true alliance on the anti-terror cause is possible before Chechen gangs
are qualified as international terrorists. Military agencies and secret
services, which hold related information, cannot join hands with each other
when they see double standards in wide use. Russia will step up efforts
against such standards, said the Defence Minister.


Date: Fri, 07 Feb 2003
From: Peter Rutland <prutland@wesleyan.edu>
Subject: Re: 7052 Ware/McFaul/Fitzpatrick

Before people follow Rob Ware's advice and rush off to buy their tickets to
Dagestan, they should bear in mind that the Russian authorities will NOT
issue visas to US scholars wanting to conduct fieldwork anywhere in the
North Caucasus. That was what I was told when I applied for such a visa
last September, and that may have been true for some time. And when I
checked the US embassy also had a travel warning out for the North Caucasus
districts of Russia, which means that your medical and other insurance
policies might not cover any losses you incur there.

All this has nothing to do with Evangelista's useful book, which addresses
decision making in Moscow and the implications of the Chechen wars for
Russia as a whole. It does not claim to be presenting any original findings
about what was going on within the republic.

Peter Rutland
Wesleyan University


Subject: 7051--Henderson on Civil Society
Date: Fri, 7 Feb 2003
From: "John Squier" <Johns@ned.org>

Sarah Henderson--who is one of the more qualified and thoughtful observers
of Russian civil society--makes a number of points that I think are worth
addressing, dealing as they do with our understanding of how events are
developing in Russia and how we should interpret what we see.

I think that the issue of exactly how many organizations encountered
trouble because of the re-registration issue is something of a red herring.
I've been to about two or three times the number of Russian cities that
Dr. Henderson has done research in (I checked out her CV on the Oregon
State web site to see where she has done research), and I have talked to
hundreds of NGOs over the past few years, and like her, I've rarely
encountered any that had trouble due to that particular provision of the
law. I've never seen anybody get stabbed, either, but that doesn't mean
that I don't think that crime isn't a serious problem. The problem with
the re-registration provision was that it appears to have been used to
selectively discriminate against certain categories of NGO, in order to
deprive them of their legal basis for existence. There are enough
well-documented instances in which this occurred to convince me that this
was the case, and that it's indicative of a broader hostility towards
independent civil society on the part of numerous government officials. I
don't think that this is a particularly outlandish conclusion to reach,
based on the evidence; likewise, the fact that most NGOs don't get harassed
by the government doesn't exclude the possibility that some of them do get
harassed and that the existence of such harassment is also indicative of
hostility. Even if the kinds of organizations that do get harassed aren't
"representative" in the sense of such harassment being randomly distributed
across the spectrum of issues that NGOs work on, they're representative of
a pretty serious problem with civil society in Russia.

Another point that Dr. Henderson makes is that western funding gets
concentrated on NGOs in Moscow that work on a narrow range of issues like
human rights, accountability and transparency, etc., while the majority of
NGOs are located outside of Moscow and have vastly different concerns.
This is a point that I encounter all the time, generally from Russian NGO
leaders. Every time I travel to Russia and explain how the NED's board
emphasizes certain issues, leaders of NGOs that work in fields like
humanitarian relief, the rights of the handicapped, etc., put it to me
that I am both being callous to the enormous suffering that they deal with
on a daily basis, and that I am imposing an agenda that most people are
indifferent to. But what is interesting is that when I ask them what their
biggest problem is after money, they answer either, "chinovnichii
proizvol," or "nas ne slushayut" (which Dr. Henderson herself mentions as
problems for NGOs).

This is a very important point; in people's perceptions, the urgent
overwhelms the important. The problems of harassment of NGOs, proizvol,
and "nas ne slushayut"--and failure to guarantee equal rights for women,
enforce laws on domestic violence, guarantee good schooling to children,
even poverty--are often all just aspects of the same thing, namely, an
unresponsive and unaccountable government. But the various concrete
problems that most NGOs work with are so urgent that the solution seems
obvious. Give money to the poor, and they won't be poor anymore; heal the
sick, and they are no longer sick. The problem from the perspective of a
funding organization is that this requires far more resources than they
have at their disposal. The NED could put its entire annual budget into
humanitarian relief and it would work out to around $0.25 per inhabitant of
the Russian Federation. It wouldn't even make a dent, and the budget for
Russia is only a small part of the annual budget. However, by giving, say,
a Moscow-based coalition a few tens of thousands of dollars to carry out a
nationwide campaign on transparency in regional budgets, the NED can help
Russians open up their system a little bit and make it at least a bit more
responsive to public demands.

As far as funding Moscow-based NGOs goes, for one thing, if you want to
have an effect on a political system as centralized as Russia's you have to
work with organizations in Moscow, because Moscow is where all the people
who make the important decisions are. It's just a fact. In any case, this
point is also something of a red herring because very few organizations
concentrate all their funding in Moscow. (In the case of the NED, our
programs are located all over Russia, from Pskov in the west to Tomsk in
the east, Murmansk in the north to Saratov in the south, so I'm covered on
that point, at least.) There are other limitations on how NGOs can spend
their money. For example, the NED generally doesn't give directed
donations smaller than $20,000. Why? Because it takes a lot of staff time
and effort to write up all of the paperwork, keep track of the finances,
and travel out to the field to monitor the project. That would make it
hard for me to give a directed donation to an organization in, say, Tynda,
that would be overwhelmed by a budget of even $10,000. What a lot of
organizations do instead is rely on re-donating organizations to reach
smaller organizations in the provinces; Russian organizations (again,
generally based in Moscow) can do a far better job of identifying and
monitoring these projects, at far lower cost.

However, I heartily agree with Dr. Henderson's opinion on the Russian tax
code. What a mess.

John E. Squier
Program Officer for Russia and Ukraine
The National Endowment for Democracy
1101 Fifteenth St. NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20005
Work: (202) 293-9072 x632
Fax: (202) 223-6042
E-mail: johns@ned.org


Date: Fri, 07 Feb 2003
From: "Michael Herzen" <sales@techcaresys.com>
Subject: 7044, Ladas

Re: Mr. Sonders, in 7044
It is difficult to fathom how the author could have written such a
thing about the Lada if he has truly driven them. I drove them for years
(altho not the last 5 years), and the criticism of their safety is exactly
right. First, they did not have inertial seat belts, something present on
western cars for at least 20 years. This discouraged the use of those
belts in precisely the same way that their absence did on western cars too
difficult to constantly readjust for varying drivers. Second, their tires
they used tubed tires. It requires significantly higher quality control to
produce tubeless, and it showed. Not only were these tires prone to flats
(so prone that no self-respecting driver would ever go anywhere without a
pump), but the handling and stopping characteristics were poor. Further,
the rims for a tubeless are superior in strength. Fourth, the mirrors in
Ladas were frequently inadequate, or missing. In fact, at least until the
mid 1990s, there was no right hand external mirror at all. Fifth, they did
not have an automatic choke (something universal decades earlier in the
west), making them more susceptible to stalls. Sixth, at speeds above 110
kph they had a strong tendency to vibrant violently, a consequence of the
poor aerodynamics of the vehicle its front end tended to lift. Seventh,
rain and snow visibility were poor due to inadequate defrosters and wipers.
Eighth, the front axles had a disconcerting tendency to snap. Not only
did I see numerous such incapacitated cars along the roadside, but on one
occasion I actually observed one break directly in front of me.
We Americans complaint about our overly litigious society, but
Russia is a prime example of what occurs in the opposite case. I never saw
any statistics on car safety, nor is the concept of a recall extant in
Russia (for a Russian built car), to the present day. But, you can draw a
few conclusions yourself. There are roughly the same number of traffic
deaths in the USA as in Russia, despite the fact that the population of the
US is twice as large, the number of vehicles is 10x as large, the miles of
highway is at least 20x as large, and the number of miles driven per car is
perhaps 10x as much. Of course, this heightened probability of meeting
death in a car in Russia (about 200x as high, by my reckoning) is not due
merely to the cars the roads, the driving skills, the general absence of
common road courtesy, and alcohol all place their roles. Further, you
would think that, normally, having 3x the number of traffic police in
Moscow than in New York City would have some counter-balancing positive
effect, except that we all know what the police actually does there. So,
to isolate the car itself is not possible, but for anyone who really has
driven one, there is no question that its role in these sorry numbers is
All of this says nothing about all the other disadvantages of a
Russian car (not just the Lada/Zhiguli). I will not go into that (altho I
have a lot of stories to tell). Suffice it to say that prestige is so far
down the list that it just doesnt even count.


The Electronic Telegraph (UK)
February 8, 2003
Magicians step into the void left by communism
By Julius Strauss in Moscow

Dressed to kill in a long black robe, Lyuba sat behind a satin-covered
table and fingered the "magic" stones that her grandmother had given her.

Scattered around her were the tools of her trade: a pack of worn tarot
cards, a crystal ball, small stones painted with Icelandic runes and curved
Orthodox candle-sticks.

"Even before the age of five I felt the magic in me," she said in a slow,
resonant voice. "My family is from the far north. They used to hide their
trade because it was banned in those times."

From morning to night Lyuba sits in a darkened room of her cramped Moscow
flat telling fortunes and offering spiritual advice and holistic healing.

There are tens of thousands of her ilk all over the capital who offer New
Age treatments and ancient shamanic rituals as a panacea for the illnesses
and pains of the new world.

"Russians are a very emotional people," she said. "But psychology here is
not very developed. Many people grow up emotionally ill-adapted to everyday

"Neighbours and friends don't help each other any more, so more and more
people turn to us magicians."

Russian traditions have been mired in the spiritual for centuries.
Orthodoxy, more than western Christian faiths, emphasises trance-inducing
ritual and mysticism.

Even during communist times, when such practices were banned, some leading
mystics survived openly thanks to protection from high up. Rumours tell
that one famous fortune-teller was consulted by leading members of the
politburo who wanted to know when Leonid Brezhnev would die.

Since then the number of practitioners of the other-worldly has mushroomed
in Russia. Many offer a combination of the latest western fads combined
with traditional Russian pagan rituals.

According to Health Ministry statistics there were more than 300,000
registered magicians, seers, fortune-tellers, witches and sorcerers in
Russia two years ago. The number today is estimated to be around half a

Free newspapers in the capital carry thousands of advertisements offering
aromatherapy, fortune-telling, palm-reading and spells to increase wealth
or win back a lover.

Viktor Makarov, head of the Russian League of Professional
Psychotherapists, said: "We are living in a epoch of big changes. The
Communist Party used to look after everything and now it's gone.

"The popularity of magicians is partly because they were banned before and
partly because of our nation's penchant for the mythological."

Mr Makarov, who conducted an official study of the magic business,
concluded that half of all the practitioners were fakes and another quarter
mentally ill. He also gave warning that "interest is growing in sects,
Satanists and black magicians".

For some, esoterica has become a big business. Gospozha Marianna founded
the Academy of White Practical Magic and Predictions in 1995.

Her centre offers basic courses of 10 classes, at around 140, which teach
student how to protect themselves from the evil eye, how to prevent
infidelity in marriage and other skills.

Advanced courses include classes on communicating with angels and the use
of talismans, priced at 450.

Since the academy opened, more than 5,000 students have passed through its
doors. "My students include people from all walks of life - politicians,
businessmen, academics and others," she said. "They come from all over

Marianna showed pictures of trainee magicians gathering in a wood outside
Moscow to celebrate the summer solstice. She pointed out a consultant from
Price Waterhouse and an inventor.

As for Lyuba, she said: "When I am balanced and at one with the forces in
the heavens, people feel it and my telephone hardly stops ringing."

She stared at me, mouth pursed, concentrating hard. "You have a very gentle
aura," she said. "But I feel that you still have some unresolved problems
in your soul." That, I thought, I can believe.


From: "GraniContact" <granicontact@earthlink.net>
Subject: Litvinenko's LPG/7048
Date: Fri, 7 Feb 2003

Dear Mr. Johnson:

Would you mind perhaps including this information on your mailing list, as
a follow-up on the article from Prima News?

Purchasing Alexander Litvinenko's "LPG: Lubyanskaya Prestupnaya
Gruppirovka" ($10.00 plus shipping and handling):
1. Pay by credit card: http://www.terror99.com/resources/book/order/
(bottom of the page)
2. Send a check or money order to:
Grani, Inc
PO Box 1132, Madison Square Station
143 E 23rd St, New York, NY 10010

The information in Russian is available here:

Contact Information:
E-mail: GraniContact@earthlink.net
Grani Inc
New York


The Lancet (UK)
Volume 361, Number 9356
8 February 2003
Russia hunts for funds for ailing health service

Russian health-care reform received a boost on Jan 27 following the release
of a report prepared for President Vladimir Putin condemning inefficient
health-care delivery and mismanagement of the federal compulsory health
insurance fund.

The report, from the Kremlin's Government Control Directorate (GKU),
concluded that because Russia's health insurance fund receives only a fifth
of the funds required to adequately sustain the system, patients are denied
"equal access to free medical services guaranteed by the state". In light
of these charges, work on a new law to be reviewed by the federal cabinet
next month, aimed at using federal pension funds to revitalise the health
insurance fund, has been accelerated, according to health-care finance
analyst Sergei Shishkin, a senior researcher at Moscow's Institute for the
Economy in Transition.

"The Putin government is increasingly serious about overhauling health
funding, which currently relies on an eclectic and inefficient mix of funds
from government budgets and health insurance", says Shishkin, who is a
member of the government committee drafting the new law.

Although the Russian constitution still guarantees universal access to
medical care, health-care quality has declined dramatically since the
Soviet collapse in 1991. Russian laws passed in 1991 and 1993 downloaded
the government's responsibility for all but 40 hospitals, recognised as top
national centres, to local governments, while establishing a mandatory
medical insurance system for working people, which left millions of
unemployed, or unregistered, people uninsured.

Since 1992, government medical spending has been cut by 75%. According to
the World Bank, 54% of health bills within Russia's public system are now
paid out of patients' pockets. Even the elite hospitals still funded by the
federal government, such as Moscow's 200-bed Haematology Science Centre,
suffer from dire financial conditions, according to the centre's vice
director Vladimir Gorodetskiy. "95% of our patients have no insurance and
no money to pay for care", Gorodetskiy told The Lancet, "and every year
inflation eats another 20% of our budget".

For patients, the health system's penury takes a heavy toll. Russia's
standardised death rate from cardiovascular diseases is more than four
times the European Union (EU) average. For infectious diseases, it is more
than triple the EU average, largely due to a huge increase in tuberculosis

Basic facts on Russia Population 145 million
Life expectancy at birth 589 (men), 723 (women) (years)
Probability of dying 22 (male); 17 (female) (per 1000; age under 5 years)
Total expenditure on health 53 (% of GDP in 2000)
Government expenditure on health 725 (% of total expenditure on health)

Shortly after taking office in 2000, President Putin launched a plan to
avert Russia's health-care disaster by increasing funding for medical
insurance to finance universal coverage. If the cabinet approves the
proposal to divert funds to health insurance from pension funds--recently
bolstered by several years of government surpluses--it would be a step in
the right direction, says Yuri Komarov, vice president of the Russian
Medical Association, which represents 200 000 doctors. The proposed reforms
"would be better for physicians", says Komarov. "This would bring real
money into the system. We still have salary delays now. This should at
least bring regular pay, if not better pay."

But Anna Korotkova, head of health-care quality research for the Russian
Ministry of Health's Public Health Research Institute in Moscow, says
inadequate health insurance funding is only part of the problem. Recent
research suggests that patients are hospitalised too long and too often for
the wrong reasons, she says. "Of course we need more money for health care.
But throwing more money at this won't solve the real problems if we don't
also act to change clinical practice."


Wired News
February 8, 2003
Russia: Wild Card in Kyoto Pact
By Steve Kettmann

Fears are mounting among environmentalists that the Bush administration has
embarked on a fresh effort to kill an international treaty on reducing
greenhouse-gas emissions by pressuring Russia to bow out, too.

Late last year, Canada joined Europe in ratifying the controversial Kyoto
Protocol, which President Bush had famously declared "dead." That left
Russia as the last variable in the tense worldwide wrangling over the
protocol's fate. If it gets ratified -- as President Vladimir Putin
announced last year it would -- enough countries would be on board to
trigger worldwide implementation.

That would be a political setback for the United States, which has recently
been trumpeting its own program to reduce pollution by encouraging large
corporations to make voluntary efforts. A lineup of 14 prominent U.S.
corporations, including DuPont, Ford Motor Company and Motorola, announced
in January that they were forming the Chicago Climate Exchange for trading
greenhouse-gas emissions.

To many observers, Russia seemed to change its public stance on Kyoto
following a recent visit to Moscow by Harlan Watson, the State Department's
senior climate negotiator and special representative. Whether Watson was
working behind the scenes to encourage the Russians not to ratify the
treaty, or it's merely a matter of timing, speculation has been rampant
that the United States has been flexing its diplomatic muscle.

"Many, many people think that they are trying to push Russia out of Kyoto,"
said Alexey Kokorin, who handles climate-change issues for the Russian
branch of the World Wildlife Fund, adding that given the expected secrecy
behind any U.S. efforts, he had no hard facts to go on.

The Bush administration rejected the Kyoto Protocol in March 2001, leaving
many to conclude that the treaty was doomed. But that July in Bonn,
Germany, a compromise version of the treaty was agreed upon. It sets
targets for reductions in emissions of heat-trapping gases below 1990 levels.

Watson could not be reached at the State Department for comment, but U.S.
officials have denied lobbying Russia on Kyoto. However, the two countries
now plan to work together to formulate policy on climate change -- and will
hold a conference this fall in Russia on the topic.

The central issue is economics. Many experts believe that the protocol
would have a positive economic impact in Russia, since the new system would
feature buying and selling of so-called emissions credits. Russia, with its
vast geography, would be in a position to sell credits.

But in January, Russia began emphasizing potential economic disadvantages
of the protocol.

"Concern about the economic impact on the United States is one of the key
considerations that led President Bush to reject the Kyoto Protocol,"
Watson reminded his hosts during his visit to Russia.

Alexey Kuraev of the Russian Regional Ecological Center said that while
behind-the-scenes pressures would be difficult to detect, the U.S.
government's public opposition to the protocol has forced Russia to change
its own thinking.

"Naturally the U.S. government does not officially pressure Russia not to
ratify the Kyoto Protocol," Kuraev said. "But after the United States
withdrew from Kyoto, some of the influential Russian politicians started to
say that Kyoto lost economic value for Russia."

But the creation of the Chicago Climate Exchange indicates that, even with
no U.S. participation in Kyoto, it will be closely involved in emissions
trading. Some speculate that the United States is trying to provide
political cover to establish its own approach to mitigating global warming.

"We hear the United States is going to propose to Russia to develop a new
international agreement on greenhouse gases that would be an alternative to
Kyoto," said Kuraev. "This fact slowed down ratification of Kyoto by Russia


February 8, 2003
Russians in Hollywood

Just few people know that there were many Russian actors at the beginning
of American films. One of those actors published an article in the magazine
Rubezh. Directors megaphone is already calling us. Cameramen are already
fixing their devices. Now they will demonstrate Zaporozhye Cossacks
Writing a Letter to Sultan. I hope the film will be the beginning of my
success in Hollywood Alas! These dreams never came true: like any other
supernumerary, your correspondent had gone through a period of infatuation,
which unfortunately proceeded to bitter disappointment.

The first Russian actors came to Hollywood even before 1917, the year when
the Great October Revolution broke out in Russia; in the years of the Civil
War they acted in silent films. When sound films appeared, the
opportunities of Russian actors got seriously complicated. The language
barrier became insurmountable for many of them. On the whole, the list of
Russian actors in Hollywood is big enough (they were Glebov, Malavsky,
Borovskoy, Sheron, Cherkassky, Mariyevsky, Razumny, Kinsky, Uspenskaya,
etc), however, just few of them performed key roles. In most cases, Russian
actors played just bit parts or were supernumerary: they performed
cavalrymen, waltz or mazurka dancers. There were many Russian actors in the
first color film, Robin Hood (1937), they performed knights. In 1936, the
Trade Union of Russian actors was created, but it soon broke up because of
the strongest competition with Americans. Russian actors often worked as
consultants in films.

The film The Mission to Moscow (the Warner Brothers studio) based on a
then-famous book by Americas Ambassador to Moscow Davis, was a great
success. That was not the first film dedicated to Russia by director of the
film Michael Kortez. But Russian actors didnt play key roles in this film
telling about Russia. At the same time, films The Young Man From
Stalingrad, The Girl From Leningrad were shot in America, almost the whole
of the Russian community took part in the shooting. Some of them performed
key roles, but the majority were employed in crowd scenes.

The film Russias Song (1943) by Grigory Ratov also enjoyed great success
in America. Actress Karabanova told later: The film is actually in the
Russian spirit. Art director Vazyan created a whole Russian village with a
church, which certainly inspired the Russian actors for good work.

Russian ballet Monte Carlo came there for a concert tour. Four ballet
performances registered a record attendance over 20 thousand spectators.
In connection with this success, it was decided to shoot a film based on
two ballets of Myasin, Spanish Capriccio and Paris Having Fun.

In Grigory Ratovs film Rossiya, Mikhail Chekhov and Leonid Mostovoy
performed the key roles; almost all Russian actors of Hollywood also took
part in this film. David Lishin staged wonderful dances, the music was
performed by Sergey Malovsky.

A great number of Russian artists also took part in film shooting. For
instance, Novaya Zhizn (New Life) wrote about Russian artist A.Tolubeyev:
It would take much time to mention all films with the sets of this author.
Its enough to say that all of them presented an accurate picture of the
Russian life, and were also of a high artistic value. Americas popular
journal Saturday Evening Post published an article describing A.Tolubeyev
as the most outstanding art-director in Hollywood.

Natalya Wood (her real name was Natalya Gurdina) was the most famous
Russian actress in Hollywood. She was born in America on July 20, 1938. Her
parents were emigrants: they first emigrated to China through Russias
Vladivostok, and then moved to San Francisco. The daughter of a Russian
engineer started acting in films at the age of four. Historians studying
the American movie industry are still arguing about the cause of her death
on November 29, 1981: it is not clear whether the Russian actress threw
herself out of a yacht, or she was murdered.

By the year of 1947, Russians were no longer a fashionable subject in
Hollywood, as a period of cooler relations between the USSR and the USA
began. Soon after that, Russian directors and actors lost their authority
in Hollywood.

Amir Khisamutdinov
Special to the newspaper Vladivostok
Translated by Maria Gousseva



MUNICH, February 8th, 2003 /RIA Novosti corr./ - Investigation into the
acts of terror committed in 2002 in Kaspiisk, in Moscow's Theater Center in
Dubrovka, and in the Chechen republic's government house confirms the links
between Chechen terrorists and international terror organisations,
including Al Qaeda, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov told a Munich
international conference on security and defence issues.

The minister stressed that the "Chechen trace" that has regularly appeared
in various countries testifies to the fact that Chechen terrorism is part
of the "terrorist International." In his words, for over eight years Russia
has been fighting "the associates of international terrorism" who
"entrenched themselves" in the North Caucasus. "It would be a mistake to
think that Russians are fighting Chechens in Chechnya," he said.

"It's not true," Sergei Ivanov said. "In Chechnya, Russian citizens of
different ethnic origins, including of Chechen origin, are fighting against
bandits and terrorists of different origins. Among those terrorists were
citizens of about 40 states, including Arab countries, Turkey, even the US
and Japan." The minister noted that terrorists, arms, ammunition and funds
got into Chechnya from the neighbouring countries, mainly Georgia and

"Any act of terror, any shot or explosion in Chechnya has its price list,"
Ivanov said, recalling that it had been repeatedly said by the mass media.

"Even during the hostage taking in Moscow in October 2002, terrorist
leaders conducted phone talks with their associates and masterminds who
were outside Chechnya - in Georgia, Turkey and the Arab Emirates," the
minister pointed out.

Ivanov said the people of Chechnya must decide their fate on their own,
instead of "giving this right to the armed bandits." "We are not going to
negotiate with terrorists," he emphasised.

The minister recalled that last Sunday the Russian TV had shown a recorded
tape of a meeting of terrorists headed by Maskhadov and Basayev. A certain
Movsar Barayev was then introduced to field commanders. Some time later, he
became the head of a gang of terrorists who carried out mass hostage taking
in the theatre centre in Dubrovka.

Ivanov said it was impossible to agree about anything with such people, for
they must be tried for the committed crimes or eliminated.

"I can tell those who advise us to resume talks with Maskhadov that we've
already seen it. If somebody likes to negotiate with terrorists, let them
do so with mullah Omar," Sergei Ivanov said.

Speaking about the situation in Chechnya, the minister noted that it was
improving - "the economy, the education and healthcare systems are being
restored; preparations for the referendum on the Chechen Constitution, due
on March 23, and for elections to local power bodies are underway." "The
process of political settlement is underway, and this causes a fierce
resistance on the part of militants," the minister of defence stressed.


Chechnya: An Information War Rages Alongside Military Campaign
By Valentinas Mite

On 2 February, Chechen separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov appeared on pirate
Chechen television to say that militants were prepared to launch a new
drive against Russian troops ahead of a constitutional referendum scheduled
by Moscow for 23 March. The broadcast underscored questions about how
opposition information is disseminated to the Chechen public as the war
grinds on into its fourth year. RFE/RL reports on how Chechen separatists
are using underground media to make their message heard.

Prague, 7 February 2003 (RFE/RL) -- An information war is raging alongside
the military campaign in Chechnya. The pro-Russian Chechen administration
controls all the official media in the republic. This includes the
Chechen-language newspaper "Homeland," and a Russian-language paper,
"Grozny News," both of which are circulated throughout Chechnya. The
administration also controls the republic's local papers and all official
radio and television broadcasts.

As a result, there is no easy way for Chechen separatists to get their
message to the public, but they still manage. On 2 February, separatist
leader Aslan Maskhadov used a pirate television broadcast to denounce next
month's scheduled constitutional referendum and to warn that rebels were
ready to launch a new drive against Russian troops in the republic.

The broadcast was seen in districts on Chechnya's western border with
Ingushetia, the Russian region that has housed tens of thousands of
Chechens fleeing the war. A subsequent broadcast featured footage of
Chechen fighters training for battle.

Musa Khasanov is a journalist with RFE/RL's Russian Service who lives and
works in the Chechen capital Grozny. He said that in addition to Chechen-
and Russian-language newspapers, the pro-Russian administration has control
of the republic's radio and television programs, which he characterizes as
short on hard news and long on Kremlin ideology.

RFE/RL attempted on numerous occasions to reach Beslan Chaladov, the head
of Chechen State Radio and Television, but with no success.

Speaking by cell phone to RFE/RL, Khasanov said that in the capital, the
Chechen public is relatively well-informed about the attitudes and actions
of the separatist government, largely due to the underground newspaper
"Ichkeria" (Chechnya). "For instance, it has recently become almost routine
that in the morning, as you leave your home, you find a bunch of 'Ichkeria'
newspapers being placed at your front door. The latest issue was about [the
head of Chechnya's pro-Russian government] Mikhail Babich, and it was
devoted not to the nicest aspects of his biography but to some of his
[alleged] criminal activities," Khasanov said.

The source of the newspaper is unclear. Khasanov said that people believe
"Ichkeria" is printed outside Chechnya and smuggled across the border for
photocopying and distribution. He said that bribes even as small as $2 are
usually enough to get the newspapers past the Russian checkpoints along the
republic's border.

Television is a more complicated matter. During the first Chechen war
(1994-96), Khasanov said, separatists could seize broadcast frequencies for
short periods, with announcements of former Chechen President Djokhar
Dudaev cutting into soap operas and other programs at random to discuss the
resistance movement.

The current situation is more complicated. Now, Khasanov said, Chechen
militants are believed to have set up a mobile broadcasting unit in the
mountains, and surfing television frequencies has become standard practice
for many Chechens hoping to catch one of TV Ichkeria's irregular 30-minute
broadcasts. Khasanov described Maskhadov's address on 2 February: "The last
program was clearly seen and heard in the Achhoi-Martan and Shunzhevskii
regions of Chechnya. It was a one-hour program in which Aslan Maskhadov
spoke about the readiness of Chechen resistance forces and the situation
among the armed resistance. [He] said that now, on his orders, large
detachments of Chechen fighters have split into small groups and are
waiting for the end of the winter and that with spring big operations
against the Russian forces in Chechnya are planned."

Khasanov says that rebels have their own Radio Ichkeria as well. The
programs are thought to be produced by the rebels and then transmitted
through a system created by so-called radio hooligans who use homemade
broadcasting equipment to transmit the newscasts as far as 200 kilometers
away. He said the amateur broadcasters in this start-up network also keep
each other informed when Russian interceptors are in the area.

In conclusion, Khasanov said, the system works, but imperfectly: "You can
listen to the radio and watch TV in Grozny, but there are some regions
where the signal is of bad quality: in places where Russian troops are
deployed, near the buildings of the [pro-Russian] administration. The
signal is bad there."

Ruslan Badalov is the chairman of the Committee of National Salvation, a
nongovernmental organization working to support Chechen refugees in
neighboring Ingushetia. He said that refugees coming from Chechnya bring
copies of "Ichkeria," as well as videos and audio tapes produced by the
separatists. Badalov described "Ichkeria's" content: "The newspaper writes
about the crimes of Russian forces in Chechnya. Some analytical articles
are published on relations between Russia and Chechnya. Some translated
texts from the foreign press are presented. It depends on the events: let's
say a session of [the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe], its
resolution [on Chechnya], or an appeal by President Maskhadov were covered."

Badalov said the Russian authorities are very angry about the circulation
of so-called bandit newspapers among the refugees. In refugee camps, most
Chechens get their information about the war by word of mouth. "People
often try to predict their future based on rumors," Badalov said. All the
same, both he and Khasanov said the pro-Russian administration is losing,
and the separatists winning, the information war in Chechnya.


Russia's arms exports reach $4.7 bln in 2002 - expert

MOSCOW. Feb 8 (Interfax) - Russia exported approximately $4.7 billion worth
of arms in 2002. Of this, forex revenue totaled $4.2-4.3 billion,
Strategies and Technologies Analysis Center Director Ruslan Pukhov told
   Russia's export of weaponry was valued at $3.7 billion and forex revenue
was reported at $4.4 billion in 2001, Pukhov said.
   "Russia's export of weaponry has grown steadily in the past three years
and each year, including 2000, 2001 and 2002 was a record year," he said.
   State mediator Rosoboronexport accounts for over 80% of arms sales
abroad, he said.
   "We can declare with confidence that over 80% of the growth in arms
exports is thanks to the success of Rosoboronexport," he said.
   However, "the export of Russian weaponry might decline in two or three
years," he said.
   "The main risks are linked not to the state mediator's activities but to
lack of reforms in the defense industry," he said.
   "If the current condition of the defense industry does not change, i.e.
if small state orders and paltry allocations to research and development
persist, we will lag behind on the world weapons market," he said.
   Moreover, "the export of Russian arms is based around two countries,
namely China and India," he said.
   In the past five years, several attempts have been made to establish a
third costumer.
   "This could have been be either Iran or the oil barons in the Persian
Gulf, including Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and, to a certain degree,
Qatar and Saudi Arabia. However, these attempts were unsuccessful," he said.


Yukos CEO: Wouldn't Mind Govt Owning Murmansk Pipeline
February 7, 2003

WASHINGTON -- Yukos (R.YUK) Chief Executive Officer Mikhail Khodorkovsky
said Friday he doesn't mind the Russian government controlling a proposed
crude oil export pipeline to the Barents Sea port of Murmansk.

While private development might be more efficient, Yukos defers to Russian
Prime Minister Mikhail Kasaynov's stance that the state should control the
pipeline proposed by big Russian oil companies, Khodorkovsky said in
remarks to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

"There's nothing in Russian law that says this has to be so, but of course
the opinion of the Russian government on the subject is highly important,"
he said. "For our company and for the Russian oil industry as a whole who
actually owns the pipeline is not an important issue whatsoever."

The Murmansk pipeline project is the biggest near-term proposal to address
Russia's growing gap between export availability and pipeline capacity.
Khodorkovsky cited forecasts that Russian oil exports will rise to between
4.5 million and 5.5 million barrels per day by 2005 and 6 million to 8
million b/d by 2010 from 2002's level of 3.8 million b/d.

The Murmansk project, expected in service in 2005 at the earliest, would
allow producers in Western Siberia and Timan Pechora to export 1 million
barrels a day through a deepwater port with a quicker tanker route to the
U.S. than Persian Gulf ports.

Khodorkovsky said he'd welcome financing from U.S. government lenders and
multilateral financing organizations for the pipeline, which he estimates
would cost $3.5 billion to $4.5 billion.

Russia has less need for foreign investment in oil production than it does
in transportation, he said.

In the current environment, Russian oil companies using domestic drilling
equipment have much lower production costs than foreign firms that import
more-expensive Western equipment, Khodorkovsky said. The Yukos CEO opposes
Western firms' long-running attempts to secure Russian production-sharing
agreements, which offer tax breaks that could help them compete.


February 7, 2003
Russian Oil Oligarchs Suffer from Overproduction Crisis
Railway works at full capacity, pipelines are packed

A military ruse is used when one side wishes to mislead its enemy
regarding the armed forces strength and their supposed actions. There are
various ways for a military ruse: fake attack, temporary bridges, as well
as pretended deployment of a military unit, small encyclopedic dictionary.

Russian oil company Surgutneftegaz had a limited access to the pipeline of
another oil company Transneft. As a result, some 750 thousand tons of oil
turned out to be undistributed. Several other Russian companies used that
fact in order to prove to the government that there is a strong need to
build new pipelines. They said that they were ready to build the Murmansk
pipeline system at their own expense. However, the international
corporation Transneft is certain that the companies are not going to build
a pipeline. As Transneft believes, they simply want to make the state grant
them the privilege access to the system.

Alexander Filipenko, the governor of the Russian Khanty-Mansiysk autonomous
region was the first man, who touched upon the subject of overproduction in
the oil field. The governor said at a press conference in January of the
current year: We will extract oil forever. However, there is a question -
how much of that oil we need. We are ready to extract up to 240 million
tons a year, although there is an issue of oil overproduction in the region
already, for we extract 209.9 million tons at present. The governor
continued with an example: Surgutneftegaz company can not cope with
excessive 23 thousand tons of oil daily, that is why the company has to cut
its extraction.

Surgutneftegaz increased its oil output in January of the current year, for
the company was intended to increase the capacity of its refinery in the
Leningrad region. However, Transneft refused to accept excessive oil with a
rather vague explanation of that: The company Transneft rejected
Surgutneftegaz offer, because the producer did not provide Transneft with
the final recipient for this batch. As soon as the destination point is
known, the reception will be retrieved. This is a work aspect, and it does
not have anything to do with the export, Transneft Vice President Sergey
Grigoryev said. Grigoryev believes that Surgutneftegaz is guilty of the
overproduction itself, since its commercial services failed to sell the
companys production.

Alexander Filipenko, the governor, has another point of view on the matter:
Russian exporting opportunities have been already exhausted. About one
million tons of oil has not been delivered to consumers as of the beginning
of the current year. This means that the budgets of all levels suffered
losses of about 50 billion rubles. The governor is sure that the state is
guilty of this situation: I am sure that the oil overproduction issue can
be solved efficiently. There should be more flexible administering
mechanisms set up in order to provide the state control over the oil field.

Vice President of the Russian giant LUKOIL Leonid Fedun stated at a press
conference that the situation with the company Surgutneftegaz (750 thousand
tons of undistributed oil) is the indication of a possible deficit of oil
transportation means. Mr. Fedun also reminded the project pertaining to the
construction of a new port in the city of Murmansk, as well as the
construction of Surgut-Murmansk pipeline. The managers of Russian oil
giants Yukos, LUKOIL, TNK, Surgutneftegaz, Sibneft signed a memorandum at
the end of the last year. The document was about the construction of an oil
terminal at the Kola Peninsula. The memorandum also stipulated the
construction of a pipeline that would connect West Siberia with the city of
Murmansk. It is worth mentioning that it is a very expensive project. It is
evaluated in the sum of 3.5-4.5 billion dollars. However, Russian oil
companies are ready to spend this money, for they hope to start exporting
oil to the USA and West Europe with the help of the Murmansk pipeline
network, approximately in 2007. There is a certain impediment, though.
According to the Russian law, all new pipelines of the Russian Federation
belong to the state. Of course, oil companies hoped that the Murmansk
pipeline would be a private system. When they were going to fund this
costly project, they hoped that the access to the Murmansk pipeline would
be granted in compliance with investments. That is why, after Prime
Minister Mikhail Kasyanov gave it to understand that oil companies were not
going to own the pipeline, LUKOIL, Yukos, Surgutneftegaz, TNK and Sibneft
managers wrote him a letter, in which they set out their readiness to
compromise. They wrote: We think that it would be reasonable to consider
the issue pertaining to the change of the common access to the state system
of arterial pipelines for the Russian oil producers that are the investors
of the pipelines that are being built in the country at present. We also
think that one has to pay attention to the issue of a system to regulate
tariffs for pumping oil in order to guarantee investments as it was
scheduled. In other words, they are ready to pay for the construction of
the new pipeline system, which will then be owned by the state. Although,
they want the state to grant them access to functioning pipelines at very
low prices. They want it not some time later, but now.

The reaction of the Russian government is not known yet. Most likely,
governmental officials will say something about it soon. Leonid Fedun,
LUKOIL Vice President, said that the managers of oil companies were going
to discuss the issue at a session with Russian Vice Prime Minister Viktor
Khristenko. The government has not released any official statements on the
matter yet, but oil companies do not waste their time. Leonid Fedun
informed that the contractor for the development of the economic and
technical substantiation of the grand project had already been determined.
Transneft is being rather sceptic about the project: Oil companies do not
have a project like that. All they have is a declaration of their
intentions. They plan the development of the technical and economic
substantiation for the period of 2003-2004. However, they want export
preferences now. According to experts estimates, oil prices will stick to
the level of over $30 per barren in 2003, due to USAs expected army action
in Iraq. Export preferences promise huge profits to Russian oil oligarchs.
However, experts believe that oil prices are likely to drop in the year
2004 down to $14 per barrel. Cheap Iraqi oil will allow the USA to turn
down its strategic plans to purchase oil from Russia. This means that such
an expensive project like the construction of the Murmansk pipeline might
become unprofitable. Oil companies will have a good opportunity to reject
the idea of the pipeline too, for they will have very good profits in
2003, Sergey Grigoryev, Transneft Vice President said.

This scenario seems to be rather real. However, as specialists say, it is
impossible to increase the oil output at the moment, with the help of the
company Transneft and its pipelines. The railway transportation works at
its full capacity as well. That is why, it is not excluded that the
situation with Surgutneftegaz will repeat. All oil companies planned to
increase their outputs this year.

As far as Surgutneftegaz is concerned, the company has obtained its full
access to Transneft's pipe this week. Sergey Grigoryev said that the
company did not ask to pump the oil, which remained undistributed in
January. Therefore, Transneft proved that it had some reserves in its
pipeline system. This means that the pipeline access trouble happened over
Surgutneftegazs guilt.

Irina Mokrousova
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov