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

#5 - JRL 7068
TV1 Review
Compiled by Luba Schwartzman (luba_sch@hotmail.com)
Research Analyst, Center for Defense Information, Moscow office

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

- A ceremony in honor of the Day of the Defenders of the Fatherland was held at the State Duma. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov attended, congratulated the deputies on the holiday, and awarded 13 of them with military titles.

- Presidential elections will be held in Armenia tomorrow. Voters will throw ballots into see-through boxes. The electoral commission expects this move to dispel any doubts about the fairness of the elections.

- The metro has always been an object of increased danger, above all, because it is impossible to evacuate passengers quickly in case of an emergency. Most people die from smoke inhalation, rather than from the flames. One of the biggest accidents in the history of the metro in the former Soviet Union was the October 28, 1995 fire in Baku, which took the lives of 290 people.

- Chechen authorities have declared that they will be able to familiarize the Chechen population with the draft of the new Constitution by the time of the Referendum.

- Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev. Economic cooperation was at the top of the agenda. In particular, the presidents discussed the joint construction of a nuclear power station in Kazakhstan. President Nazarbaev also visited the Moscow State University, where he received an honorary doctorate degree.

- President of the Republic of North Ossetia Aleksandr Dzasokhov reasserted that the republics government will not stop the search efforts in the Karmadon Gorge until the bodies of the victims of the glacier are found.

- The Nizhny Novgorod Court has set a precedent for lowering rates for water usage. Pensioner Andrei Krotov filed a suit against the housing and utilities service. In court he presented evidence from the sanitary inspection service, which found that chemicals in the water exceeded recommended levels by 10 times.

- The influenza epidemic continues to rage throughout Russia. Schools have been closed for quarantine in many Russian cities.

- A truck carrying about 16 tons of gasoline caught fire at a gas station. The operator of the station died. The driver of the truck received burns, but was able to move the flaming truck away form the gas station.

- Representatives of Russian companies in Iraq met in Baghdad and made a decision to evacuate the families of Russian employees by the end of the week. The evacuation will be gradual and will not require the services of the Emergencies Ministry. There are currently about 700 Russian citizens in Iraq.

- President Putin attended the meeting of the Federation Council at which two important laws were discussed: the law on the distribution of jurisdiction between federal and regional authorities and the law on the introduction of elections by party lists in the regions. Central Election Committee Chairman Aleksandr Veshnyakov and Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Dmitry Kozak also attended the meeting.

- Kamchatka Governor Mikhail Mashkovtsev gave the Mayor of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatka, Yuri Golenishchev, an ultimatum: He must either remove all of the crooks from the city government or resign from his position.

- Kaliningrad police officers detained two drug dealers -- a Chechen director of a private enterprise and an unemployed native of Azerbaijan and confiscated several kilograms of heroin.

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