Compiled by Luba Schwartzman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Research Analyst, Center for Defense Information, Moscow office
Wednesday, February 19, 2003
- The US has included three Chechen rebel groups into the list of recognized terrorist organizations. About 10 other groups will be added in the dear future.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov to discuss the socio-economic and financial situation in the country.
- Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov told journalists about the pre- election program of the United Russia party. The party has pledged to take care of the social needs of the population. A service that will register complaints against local authorities will be opened in every regional branch of the party organization.
- The US officially requested a special chemical defense battalion from Ukraine.
- President Putin met with representatives of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.
- State Duma deputies discussed the law about welfare support for the poor. The main challenge is that no clear criteria exist that can allow the government to decide who needs aid.
- Minister of Labor and Social Development Aleksandr Pochinok chaired a meeting of the ministry’s collegium. He reminded his subordinates, that over a quarter of the Russian population lives below the poverty line. Prime Minister Kasyanov attended the meeting and spoke about a new pension increase that will be carried out in April.
- In the Tuapsinsk region of Krasnadar Krai, bandits attacked a group of police officers who were searching for illegal marijuana plantations.
- The “Stalin: Man and Symbol” exhibit opened at the Moscow Museum of Contemporary History. Visitors have been particularly interested in the displays of gifts Stalin received.
- The citizens of Turkmenistan are celebrating the birthday of their leader, Saparmurad Niazov. The “president for life” turns 63.
- The friends and relatives of St. Petersburg’s first mayor, Anatoly Sobchak, met by his grave to commemorate the 3rd anniversary of his death.
- President Putin had a telephone conversation with Chinese President Jiang Zemin. The leaders discussed the situation in Iraq and their support for a peaceful solution.
- President Putin will meet with Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in St. Petersburg in May.
- Housing and utilities employees in Omsk are visiting the homes of local residents who owe utilities fees.
- Kamchatka Governor Mikhail Mashkovtsev is supporting the energy providers in their dispute with the Mayor’s Office of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatka.
- Russian universities are requesting the right to give their students specific professions. Another change in university procedure will be the separation of the exit and entry exams.
- Stage and film actor Igor Gorbachev passed away at the age of 76 in St. Petersburg.
- A General Headquarters Commander Yuri Baluevsky declared that the US has made a decision about the war in Iraq and spoke about the potential timeline of the operation in the Persian Gulf.
- The crew of the Tosno trawler, which is standing in a North Korean port without fuel, and 23 sailors at a port in Cape Town are beginning hunger strikes, demanding the payment of back wages.
- The Moscow City Court has sentenced Moscow State Technical University Anatoly Bauman to 8 years probation for transferring secret military materials to the US.
- Teachers in the Irkutsk Oblast city of Ust-Kuta began a hunger strike. They haven’t received their wages for several months.
- A “Life in Chechnya” photo exhibit opened in the US.
- 50,000 ballots have been printed for the forced migrants from Chechnya living in Ingushetia, so they can participate in the Referendum on the Chechen Constitution.
- The introduction of a single currency for the member-nations of the Eurasian Economic Union, which includes Russia. Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrghyzstan and Tajikistan, will be discussed in Moscow.