| JRL HOME | SUPPORT | SUBSCRIBE | RESEARCH & ANALYTICAL SUPPLEMENT | |
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

JRL #7086 Plain Text - Entire Issue

under construction

1. Interfax: Tovarishch or comrade still most popular form of addressing person in Russia.
2. Moscow Times: Nikolas Gvosdev and Ray Takeyh, Trans-Atlantic Putin.
3. Nezavisimaya Gazeta: Viktor Sheinis, INSTEAD OR AFTER THE WAR. The Iraqi crisis: Russia's interests and strategy.
4. The Guardian (UK): Nick Paton Walsh, War or peace? Abstention at the UN is Russia's most likely path out of its dilemma over Iraq.
5. Itogi: Svetlana Sukhova, HORIZONTAL GOVERNMENT. Regional leaders will no longer be an independent political force.
6. Interfax: Pasko becomes aide to parliamentarian Yushenkov.
7. Asia Times: Hooman Peimani, Russia taps nuclear opportunities in Iran.
8. Baltimore Sun: Douglas Birch, In Russia, old enemies die hard. Wolves: Since the end of mass eradication efforts, the despised animal's population has rebounded, but some worry that the comeback could be short-lived.
9. Dow Jones/AP: Russia Announces Small Troop Withdrawal From Chechnya.
10. Robert Bruce Ware: Reply to Kavkaz-Tsentr (JRL 7085).
11. Vlad Ivanenko: RUSSIAN ECONOMIC PUZZLES: 2) HAS THE OPENING OF EXTERNAL TRADE BENEFITED RUSSIA?
12. AP: In Russia, Stalin Still Carries Clout.
13. The Times (UK): Robin Shepherd, Stalin still a hero to Russians. Fifty years after the great tyrant's death many of his countrymen are indifferent to his crimes.
14. Albert Weeks: Putin and the Pesidential Archive.
15. International Herald Tribune: Suzy Menkes, Rising czars of Russia's retail luxury.
16. Moscow Times: Natalia Yefimova, Russia No. 4 on Forbes' Billionaires List.
17. Luba Schwartzman: TV1 Review.
18. New York Times: E. J. Carroll, 79, Antinuclear Admiral, Dies.

********

#1
Tovarishch or comrade still most popular form of addressing person in Russia

MOSCOW. March 2 (Interfax) - Tovarishch or 'comrade' has remained the most
popular form of addressing a person in Russia since Soviet times: nearly
one third (29%) of those polled by the Romir Monitoring company address
others this way while 15% address others as 'citizen.'
Only one in ten Russians addresses others as 'lady' or 'gentlemen' and
only one out of 100 respondents uses the old fashioned sudari i sudaryni or
'sirs' and 'madams,' Romir Monitoring reported to Interfax after
questioning nearly 1,600 people across Russia in February.
The term 'comrade' is favored by veterans over 60 with primary or
incomplete secondary education as well as by managers (26%) and people
serving in the military (24%).
People with incomplete higher or higher education prefer the addresses
'lady' and 'gentleman.' This form of courtesy also prevails among employers.
The unemployed (26%) prefer the address 'citizen.'

*******

#2
Moscow Times
March 3, 2003
Trans-Atlantic Putin
By Nikolas Gvosdev and Ray Takeyh
Ray Takeyh is a fellow in international security studies at Yale University
and Nikolas Gvosdev a senior fellow in strategic studies at the Nixon
Center. They contributed this comment to The Moscow Times.

Ever since the end of World War II, Britain has played a special role
within the Euro-Atlantic community -- the trusted mediator between
Washington and continental Europe. This was always a challenging balancing
act for London. To effectively maintain its position as the vice-chair of
the Western alliance, the British had to enjoy the confidence of the United
States yet be able to parley with the other members of the coalition.

However, British Prime Minister Tony Blair's uncritical embrace of the war
with Iraq has evaporated much of the confidence that Britain enjoyed among
the key continental powers, especially France and Germany. It is this
diminution of Britain's influence that has created unique opportunities for
Russia to usher in a momentous geopolitical shift.

It is significant that Russia's public opposition to war with Iraq -- down
to Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov's very public statement in Beijing that
Russia would veto a resolution authorizing military action -- has received
scant attention and even less criticism from Washington. To the extent that
Americans proffer an explanation for the Russian position, it is usually
couched in economic terms -- oil contracts and the repayment of Soviet-era
debt.

However, such a simplistic analysis fails to account for Russia's essential
motives. President Vladimir Putin has sensed in the current trans-Atlantic
crisis an opportunity to displace Britain as the mediating power within the
West. In turn, Washington is increasingly viewing Moscow -- not London --
as its principal liaison to France and Germany as a vote in the Security
Council draws near. And it is willing to excuse Russia's public diplomacy
(e. g. Ivanov's statements) in return for private action (Alexander
Voloshin's hush-hush visit this past week to Washington being a prime
example).

When Ivanov recently declared, "The preservation of a unified Euro-Atlantic
community, with Russia now part of it, is of immense importance," the
critical phrase was the assertion of Russia's membership within the Western
world. As the first Russian leader unburdened by imperial pretensions,
Putin has identified his mission as modernizing Russia's economic
institutions as the first step to a restoration of its great power status.
This requires a greater degree of integration into Western institutions. To
achieve this goal, Russia requires both the benevolence of the continental
powers and the trust of the U.S. colossus.

The adroit Russian diplomacy since Sept. 11, 2001, as well its tempered
opposition to a war on Iraq has garnered it ample benefits from both sides
of the Atlantic divide. Indeed, as Blair becomes more discredited on the
continent Putin could emerge as a leader trusted by all parties, in a
position to arbitrate conflicts and ease tensions.

Russia has made itself indispensable to the United States by rendering full
support for the prosecution of the war on terrorism and Islamic militancy
-- to the point of countenancing a robust U.S. military presence in its
Central Asian periphery. However, Washington's war on Iraq will provide
proof beyond doubt of Putin's pragmatic diplomacy.

Moscow can be counted on to endorse Franco-German opposition to the war and
their efforts to block Washington from obtaining a second UN Security
Council resolution.

Russia appreciates that providing such diplomatic cover for France and
Germany will expedite its attempt to gain full integration into the
European economy. Yet, Russia will not suffer any lasting U.S. retribution
for its opposition, since Moscow was never expected to provide personnel or
funding for a U.S.-led war against Baghdad (especially since the Russians
have already quietly signaled that, no matter what their public statements
may be, they will undertake no efforts to actively oppose U.S. military
action against Iraq).

Indeed, such a diplomatic balancing act is increasingly placing Putin in
the enviable position of having favorable relations with all the contending
nations and acting as a potential bridge between them.

No one should be surprised that Putin has borrowed a page from the
Nixon-Kissinger triangular diplomacy playbook that enabled the United
States to improve relations with both Moscow and Beijing during the 1970s.
In a similar manner, by cementing ties with both the United States and the
continental European powers, Putin hopes to replace Blair as the
"indispensable European" that all powers turn to for the mediation of
trans-Atlantic conflicts.

After all, the goal of Russian foreign policy, as Ivanov observed, is the
"development of a constructive partnership between my country, Europe and
the United States" that is "united by a common responsibility for
maintaining peace and stability in the vast Euro-Atlantic area." In such an
arrangement, Putin hopes that Moscow, not London, would become the
vice-chairman of the board.

Putin's triangular diplomacy offers the Bush administration an excellent
opportunity to reshape trans-Atlantic relations in the 21st century. NATO's
big tent can no longer hold all of its members in lockstep unison now that
the Soviet threat has evaporated. London is well poised to remain America's
military wingman. But the United States also needs an interlocutor for the
other major powers within Europe who have grown increasingly skeptical
about America's intentions.

Putin's Russia is poised to step into this role. The groundwork is being
laid in quiet negotiations for a "reluctant" acquiescence to the United
States' plans for regime change in Iraq.

********

#3
Nezavisimaya Gazeta
March 3, 2003
INSTEAD OR AFTER THE WAR
The Iraqi crisis: Russia's interests and strategy
Author: Viktor Sheinis
[from WPS Monitoring Agency, www.wps.ru/e_index.html]
THERE IS A BOUNDARY IN FOREIGN POLICY WHICH RUSSIA SHOULD NOT
CONSCIOUSLY CROSS. USING ITS VETO IN THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL IF THE
MATTER IS PUT TO THE VOTE - OR INSANE ATTEMPTS TO CREATE AN ANTI-
AMERICAN COALITION WITH GERMANY AND FRANCE - ARE BEYOND THIS BOUNDARY.

The war of the US-led coalition against Saddam Hussein's regime
seems to be inevitable. How is Russia supposed to behave in a
situation which it hadn't provoked and in which, let's be frank, very
little depends on it? However, Russia does have some concerns of its
own in this international crisis, which could have considerable
complications. In my opinion, three factors are essential here.
Firstly, the economic climate in Russia, the speed of growth,
budget revenues, and social payments ultimately depend on maintenance
of relatively high and stable oil prices.
Secondly, Russia is concerned about retaining political stability
in a nearby region. Thirdly, implementation of the foreign policy
announced after the tragic events of September 11, 2001, which hasn't
yet, unfortunately, become irreversible, is the most general concern
of our society and our state.
Significant, though subordinate interests can replenish this
list: recovery of the Iraqi debt, implementation of promising projects
in this country. Most often, Iraq's defenders from "American
aggression," - the influential forces, which are used to interpret any
event of the international life through the prism of opposition and
rivalry with the United States, are giving these factors the
foreground speaking about infringement of Russia's interests.
Meanwhile, the potential capacity of the current Iraqi regime to
acquire weapons of mass destruction which do not require complicated
delivery systems poses a serious threat to global peace and security,
including Russia's security.
We are told that Saddam, who has been chosen for execution, is
not the only one of his kind in the world. It appears the "axis of
evil" is not a lurid invention of American PR, but a reflection of
global realities in the 21st century - when small states headed by
irresponsible and unpredictable rulers, or extraterritorial
organizations like Al Qaeda or Aum Shinrikyo, which have state-of-the-
art destruction weapons, rather than opposition of the two super-
powers pose a real threat to lives of hundreds of millions of people.
The world community is only beginning to realize the scale of the new
danger and practice countermeasures against these threats.
Undoubtedly, overthrowing Saddam's regime by force will involve
substantial costs and dangers. The cost of the military operation - in
human lives and material destruction - is not known; neither is it
known how long it will take. It is hard to predict the echo of the war
in the neighboring states. In some of them, the medieval forms of
social and political organization come into collision with
modernization processes, and under the influence of an external
incentive this volatile mixture could have consequences similar to the
anti-Shah revolution of late 1970s in Iran. Finally, the consequences
for the global economy, the oil market, and our export revenues are
unknown. (I'll only note that in describing how Iraqi oil controlled
by the Americans will flood the world market, Russian supporters of
Baghdad's regime for some reason do not show concern for what might
happen if the UN lifts its sanctions.)
We have to make our choice anyway. The pacifist position always
has some advantages; an endeavor to squeeze out everything possible
without a war is discreet - until a certain point, however. It is hard
to tell where this boundary lies. However, there's a boundary we
should not consciously cross. Using the veto in the UN Security
Council if the matter is put to the vote (if the war is inevitable,
let it begin with UN approval) or insane attempts to create an anti-
American coalition with Germany and France (which will eventually
reach an agreement with the Americans) are beyond this boundary.

******

#4
The Guardian (UK)
March 3, 2003
War or peace?
Abstention at the UN is Russia's most likely path out of its dilemma over Iraq
By Nick Paton Walsh

The thick walls of the Kremlin seem superfluous in these days of
high-diplomacy. Over six months of poker-faced pronouncements and a host of
u-turns, Russia has repeatedly left its options open as to how it will
eventually react to a new resolution sanctioning an American invasion of
Iraq.

While coalition officials continue to wax lyrical, briefing reporters that
Russia "will not use its veto", and senior senators leave Moscow after days
of meetings grinning that "Moscow will fall in line", the Kremlin repeats
the mantra that a peaceful and diplomatic solution must be found. It will
not support a new resolution, which it considers unnecessary anyway.

President Putin's final decision remains elusive, if indeed it has been
made. Publicly Russia has continued to present a united front with France
and Germany, repeatedly stating that it will use its veto, an "extreme
measure" that it will not shy away from to promote "global stability".

In an interview with the Guardian, Alexander Yakovenko, the Foreign
Ministry's senior spokesman, dismissed recent positive remarks by US
officials that Russia would not use its veto. "It is early to speak about
this", he said in a written answer to questions, adding that Russia may not
even have to think about using its veto because "there remains serious
doubt that the UN security council will sanction the use of force [at all]".

Mr Yakovenko upped the stakes in Moscow's criticism of US policy, for the
first time accusing Washington of pressuring UN inspectors. "There are
concrete forces within Washington that are dissatisfied that the inspectors
cannot present some sort of evidence of a violation by Iraq of UN security
council resolutions," he said. "They insist that the inspectors are no
longer useful, and put into doubt the expediency of their further work.
This is the element of moral and psychological pressure on the inspectors."

Mr Yakovenko said that the time for extreme measures had not yet come and
equated Russia's use of its veto with the other extreme measure proposed:
military action. He repeated Russia's belief that the current possibilities
of 1441 had not been exhausted, and said: "In general we do not see the
necessity of a new resolution."

UN officials in New York also voiced frustration at Russia's negotiating
stance over resolution 1441. "They are now trying to base the future of
inspections on resolutions passed in 1999 that they once opposed," said a
senior UN source. "We keep trying to tell them that these very resolutions
are what 1441 was intended to reinforce."

Yet the optimistic coalition perception of Moscow's true feelings does have
a rational explanation. Much of the extreme anti-war rhetoric comes from
the old-guard of Russian diplomacy, the Foreign Ministry. But hardened
Kremlin observers know that the buck stops with Mr Putin and his immediate
circle. Hence a three-day visit last week by Mr Putin's gutsy deal-maker,
Alexander Voloshin, the pro-US Kremlin chief of staff credited with
Moscow's sympathetic stance after September 11, came at a seminal time.

Diplomats on both sides insisted the visit had been arranged six months
ago. But while Russian emissaries dashed between France and China, "the
timing was fortunate", said one coalition diplomat. Speculation was rife
that Washington would finally grant Moscow the guarantees it has craved for
six months for its $7bn (4.4bn) Soviet era debt with Iraq, or the
multi-billion dollar oil contracts cherished by their oil giants. But the
results were less pleasing.

"What he got in Washington was a very blunt message from the Americans,"
said the coalition diplomat. "He got a very strong reality check from Bush
[who "dropped into" his meeting with Condoleeza Rice], about where the
Americans are heading." Indeed there were few signs after Mr Voloshin's
return to Moscow that the White House had offered Russia anything
substantial. The Russian press stayed silent about the "confidential
mission", despite speculation that Bush had offered Russia lucrative deals
to rebuild Iraq. "The Russians certainly haven't been walking about looking
smug this week," said one UN official in New York.

Behind the endless rhetoric Moscow and Washington are being torn further
apart. "There has been a perceptible change in the Russian position since
Mr Putin went to Paris and Berlin two weeks ago," said a coalition diplomat
in Moscow. "He was signed up to the joint Paris-Moscow statement and Russia
is becoming more and more explicitly wrapped up in that."

Despite the number of cheques being written by Washington now, it is
perhaps too late for deals, many argue. "Certainly the Russians would have
been watching with great interest how the Turks haggled themselves into a
large package," said the coalition diplomat. "But they have something the
Americans need."

He added that the Americans were also unlikely to give away to the Russians
the very oilfields whose revenue could pay for the US-led rebuilding of a
"post-Saddam" Iraq. "Voloshin will have been given a very clear steer of
how serious the Americans are, and how deeply Russian relations with the US
will be affected by how they play this," the diplomat said.

Next week will bring a very real crisis for Mr Putin. Stronger relations
with Washington are perhaps the only real legacy of his foreign policy, one
that he will not want to obliterate. Abstention - the Kremlin's likely
choice - will allow the Russian position on Iraq to "fade into the
background" where many analysts know Mr Putin would rather be.

*******

#5
Itogi
February 25, 2003
HORIZONTAL GOVERNMENT
Regional leaders will no longer be an independent political force
Author: Svetlana Sukhova
[from WPS Monitoring Agency, www.wps.ru/e_index.html]
THE KREMLIN IS INITIATING A COMPREHENSIVE REDISTRIBUTION OF POWERS
AMONG FEDERAL, REGIONAL, AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT. THE PROCESS OF AMENDING
LEGISLATION PROMISES TO BE STORMY, SINCE THE KREMLIN'S PROPOSED
REFORMS WILL HAVE A STRONG IMPACT ON REGIONAL GOVERNMENTS IN
PARTICULAR.

Before long, Russia will have what is, in effect, a parallel
Constitution - without any lengthy and painful process of
constitutional change. Unlike the "official" Constitution, it will
precisely regulate the powers and budget resources of all levels of
government.
When President Vladimir Putin addressed the Legislators' Council
at a meeting devoted to local government reforms, the key phrase in
his speech was: "There's no money - so why lie about it?" These words
probably sum up the Kremlin's motives for initiating a comprehensive
redistribution of powers among federal, regional, and local
government. If all the social spending commitments made by governments
at all levels were implemented, the current cost would be 6.5 trillion
rubles a year: almost double the federal budget. And the regional
governments appear quite content with this situation, since it enables
regional leaders and legislators to transfer financial resources from
one spending item to another, guided by various factors - including
their own interests, frequently narrow political interests. But the
Kremlin takes a different view. The president has built up a hierarchy
of governance, and it needs a stable support: horizontal links of
governance. Creating these, and strictly delineating budgets at all
levels, means reviewing all social spending commitments as well - and
renouncing those which are obsolete or impossible to fulfill.
The process is already underway: last Friday, the Duma passed in
the first reading a package of bills on local government reforms,
prepared by a commission led by Dmitrii Kozak, deputy head of the
presidential administration. However, the big battles are yet to come.
The process of amending legislation promises to be stormy: working
through their lobby groups in the Duma, regional governments will try
to change at least some key elements of the reforms, if not their
essence.
President Putin's meeting with regional legislators showed that
the Kremlin's proposals have cut regional governments to the quick.
Their major criticism is that in order to implement all this, some
constitutional changes appear to be required: those articles of the
Constitution which divide powers between the federal government and
regional governments. However, the Kremlin says no changes to the
Constitution are required. Previous experience from the past few years
shows that in this case as well, existing legislation may simply be
revised - by passing laws which substantially expand the
interpretation of certain articles of the Constitution. In other
words, Russia will soon have what is essentially a kind of "parallel"
Constitution - without the lengthy and difficult process of amending
the Constitution itself. Unlike the existing Constitution, the
"parallel" version will clearly define exactly which level of
government is responsible for which functions, and what budget
resources each level of government has at its disposal.
Which aspects of the reform bills do the regional governments
find most upsetting? For example, according to one amendment to the
law on general principles of legislative and executive government in
the regions, a real administrative revolution lies in store for Moscow
and St. Petersburg. The reforms offer scope for transferring all
powers of governments of "cities of federal significance" (that is,
Moscow and St. Petersburg) to local government bodies. Thus, in those
two cities, as in all other regions, municipal districts would have to
be created - and these would receive a substantial part of the city
government's powers and financial resources; there would also be city-
wide local government bodies, which would simply replace the city
administrations of Moscow and St. Petersburg. However, this move might
be meant as a kind of "rational proposal" for the present leaders of
the two cities: all they would have to do to retain power is get
themselves elected to head the new local government bodies.
Representatives of all regions are also expressing concern about
procedures included in the reforms for introducing external (federal)
management in bankrupt regions; even though the regional governments
themselves are being offered the same authority over municipal
governments.
Finally, the proposed laws will make it possible to change the
borders of municipalities. In other words, it would be enough to
create a situation where two municipalities belonging to adjacent
regions express a desire to merge - and the process of regional
mergers could be set off like a landslide. Obviously, in that event
there would be fewer jobs for the regional political elite, and this
is most unlikely to please its current members.
Will the regional leaders succeed in defending their positions?
Judging by their track record over the past few years, the regions are
unlikely to achieve anything more than minor concessions. And regional
governments themselves will soon be substantially controlled by
federal political parties - a law under which half of regional
legislature members will be elected via party lists will come into
effect this summer. This provision also drew many objections from
participants in the Legislators' Council meeting. President Putin's
answer was harsh: "It's not enought to elect a good person; that
person also has to have comprehensible political convictions, and must
be accountable to the voters and to a party."
Thus, regional leaders will have to accept their transformation
from an independent political force to an element of the mechanism of
state. Meanwhile, politics will be handled by the federal parties.
(Translated by Arina Yevtikhova)

********

#6
Pasko becomes aide to parliamentarian Yushenkov

MOSCOW. March 3 (Interfax) - Grigory Pasko, a military journalist who was
sentenced for spying and then released on parole, on Monday became an aide
to State Duma deputy and co-chairman of the Liberal Russia party Sergei
Yushenkov.
In an interview with Interfax, Yushenkov said Pasko will be responsible
for drafting expert conclusions and bills on media, environmental,
military, and judicial reform. His first task will concern amendments to
the acting law On State Secrets.
Asked by Interfax whether he intends to become a member of Liberal
Russia, Pasko replied, "I have not yet thought about this." He also said
that, as a student in the law department of Moscow Lomonosov State
University, he is currently taking examinations for the first semester.
On December 25, 2001, the Pacific Fleet military court found Pasko
guilty of spying for Japan and sentenced him to four years in prison.
In March 2002, Pasko was offered a pardon, but he rejected it,
preferring to prove his innocence. However, in June 2002, the Supreme
Court's military board upheld the Pacific Fleet's sentence.
On January 23, 2003, the Ussuriisk City Court in the Maritime territory
(Primorye) sanctioned Pasko's release on parole.

*******

#7
Asia Times
March 3, 2003
Russia taps nuclear opportunities in Iran
By Hooman Peimani
Dr Hooman Peimani works as an independent consultant with international
organizations in Geneva and does research in international relations.

Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA), visited Iran last week to inspect the controversial Natanz, Arak
and Isfahan nuclear facilities. While the American government largely
ignored the visit during which ElBaradei confirmed Iran's peaceful use of
nuclear energy, the Russian nuclear authorities took the opportunity to
discredit the American government's campaign on an alleged Iranian nuclear
weapon project assisted by Moscow.

ElBaradei visited Iran on the request of Golam-Reza Aqazadeh, the head of
Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI). During his visit, an IAEA
delegation headed by him inspected the under-construction uranium
enrichment facility in Natanz, located in Iran's central province of
Isfahan. Reportedly, the AEOI authorities briefed the IAEA head on "the
process of designing, construction and progress of the project" meant to
help Iran meet its future nuclear fuel requirements.

The AEOI authorities also offered that ElBaradei inspect two other Iranian
nuclear facilities under construction in Arak and Isfahan. However, he
postponed such inspections due to his heavy workload, which forced him to
leave Iran on February 22, a day earlier than planned. Last December, the
American government identified the Natanz and Arak facilities as nuclear
installations being secretly constructed by the Iranians for their alleged
clandestine nuclear weapon project.

At the end of his visit to Iran, ElBaradei attended a joint press
conference with Aqazadeh during which he confirmed Iran's cooperation with
the IAEA and the consistency of Iran's nuclear projects with its status as
a non-nuclear signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968
(NPT). He stated that he had not observed anything "unexpected" during his
inspection. He also praised Iran's policies of "confidence-building" and
"transparency" in its nuclear programs. As well, the IAEA head stressed
Iran's right to have non-military nuclear programs by stating that
"application of nuclear energy for civilian purposes is the right of every
nation".

While in Iran, ElBaradei talked to high-ranking Iranian officials,
including President Mohammad Khatami, speaker of parliament Mehdi Karroubi
and the head of the Expediency Assembly, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. The
three officials stressed Iran's commitment to its NPT obligations and the
absence of any nuclear weapons program in their country, while stressing
their right to have non-military nuclear programs, including energy
production. In his elaboration on the latter, Khatami stated, "We deserve
the right to acquire nuclear technology for its application [to] our
national development and welfare plans and expect the IAEA to help Iran
with know-how in this respect."

The mentioned officials also emphasized the necessity of making the Middle
East a nuclear free zone through the nuclear disarmament of Israel, the
only regional nuclear power, and by ensuring the compliance of all other
regional states with their NPT obligations. A week earlier, Iranian Foreign
Minister Kamal Kharazi also stressed the importance of ensuring a nuclear
free status for the Middle East in his remarks on the peaceful nature of
Iran's nuclear program and on why it needed a nuclear power generation
industry.

Iran currently uses about 2.5 million barrels of oil per day to generate
electricity for domestic consumption, a little less than its daily oil
export of about 3 million barrels. To generate sustainable and
"cost-effective electricity" for its growing needs, Iran plans to produce
6,000 megawatts of nuclear-generated electricity within the next 20 years.

Such objective requires the construction of other nuclear power generators
apart from the currently under-construction Bushehr reactor for which
Russia is assisting Iran. As stated by Agazadeh, Iran's construction of the
fuel processing and uranium enriching facilities of Natanz, Arak and
Isfahan would enable the Iranians to produce fuel for other nuclear power
reactors to be constructed over time.

The IAEA head's visit to Iran was largely ignored by the American
government, which had made an uproar over Iran's clandestine activities in
its Arak and Natanz facilities in December 2002. However, Russian Atomic
Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev used the occasion to defend Russia's
non-military nuclear cooperation with Iran.

In his remarks made during the IAEA head's visit to Iran, Rumyantsev
capitalized on ElBaradei's confirmation of Iran's cooperation with the IAEA
and the peaceful nature of its nuclear program. He stated that talks
between the IAEA delegation and its Iranian counterpart would "further
clarify the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear activities". Using
ElBaradei's remarks as a proof of the legitimacy of the Iranian-Russian
nuclear cooperation and its consistency with the two countries' NPT
obligations, he held that "the nuclear technology provided by Russia at
Iran's Bushehr nuclear plant is under direct supervision of the
International Atomic Energy Agency".

In response to the American government's allegation on Iran's ongoing
nuclear weapons program, Rumyantsev rejected the ability of Iran to embark
on such program since Iran had "none of the required technical facilities
to manufacture atomic weapons". For this matter and based on ElBaradei's
approval of the Iranian nuclear program, Rumyantsev reacted to this month's
American expression of concern about Iran's uranium mining and its
constructing uranium enrichment facilities by saying, "Unlike the United
States, Russia is not the slightest bit worried about the discovery of
uranium mines in Iran." Hence, the Russian minister backed Iran's efforts
to mine uranium as he stated, "[I]t is also the economic and natural right
of the Iranians to benefit from their own uranium mines."

The Russian media gave extensive coverage to ElBaradei's visit to Iran and
Rumyantsev's remarks. Many Russian radio and television programs as well as
major news agencies, such as Itar-Tass, echoed ElBaradei's confirmation of
Iran's nuclear health and the Iranian president's reiteration of his
country's commitment to peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Undoubtedly, Rumyantsev's mentioned statements and others such as "it is
the natural right of Iran to use the nuclear energy" reflected Russia's
approval of Iran's nuclear program and its rejection of the American
accusations on its military nature to which the Russians allegedly
contribute. However, it also revealed Russia's determination to expand its
share of the lucrative Iranian nuclear projects regardless of American
pressure.

*******

#8
Baltimore Sun
March 2, 2003
In Russia, old enemies die hard
Wolves: Since the end of mass eradication efforts, the despised animal's
population has rebounded, but some worry that the comeback could be
short-lived.
By Douglas Birch

BAYUTINO, Russia - Nikolai Bekin, a 24-year-old with a pistol tucked in his
boots and a shotgun by his side, is stalking Russia's ancient nemesis, the
timber wolf.

He jerks the handbrake of his dented UAZ jeep, opens his door and jumps out
to get a close look at some tracks in the snow. "That's wild boar," he
says, disappointed. "There are four of them, two big ones and two small
ones. They came past here last night, about 7 p.m."

Wolf tracks have been spotted in the open fields and vast birch forests in
this rugged country about 100 miles west of Moscow. And Bekin, working with
about 15 other hunters, sets out on a winter weekend to corner and
eradicate the animals, which have been feasting on the boar and elk that
Russian hunters prize.

The timber wolf, also called the gray wolf, has long been a symbol of
troubled times for Russians, and has always been ruthlessly hunted here.
The animals once were found in most of the Northern Hemisphere but are now
confined mainly to thinly populated regions of Russia, Mongolia, Central
Asia and Canada. (The two other major wolf species - the red wolf and the
prairie wolf, or coyote - are found only in warmer parts of North America.)

In Siberia, timber wolves grow 3 to 5 feet long, but some are even larger
and can weigh up to 220 pounds. A healthy animal can run at up to 60 mph,
leap over 16-foot-high fences, and cover 100 miles a night during a hunt.

Despite the slaughter of tens of thousands of wolves annually during Soviet
times, the animal survived, sheltered by Russia's trackless forests. After
the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, government officials say, the
animals' population rebounded significantly in parts of European Russia -
including in this area, not far from Moscow.

Today, by official estimates, there are between 40,000 and 60,000 wolves in
Russia, perhaps five times the number during the height of Soviet
eradication efforts. Perhaps 15,000 are killed annually.

In most of North America and Europe, wildlife biologists regard the animals
as part of the natural ecosystem, and wolf hunting is banned or strictly
limited.

In Russia and several other former Soviet states, there are no limits.
Wolves can be killed without a permit in any number, at any time of the
year, using whatever methods are handy. Regional governments and hunting
societies even pay bounties of up to $190 for each wolf slain, making the
wolf something of an outlaw.

Hunters say, in effect, that there is no more need to limit the killing of
wolves in Russia than there is to control the extermination of rats in
America. "In Russia, we always have to reduce the population of wolves
because we have a huge territory of wild forest," says Aleksandr M.
Mikhailov, chief of the Hunters and Fishermen's Society of Russia. "Even if
everyone were to go hunting, they couldn't kill them all."

But some Russian environmentalists argue that the wolf's numbers are
decreasing because Russia's sick economy sent many people into the woods to
hunt for game. The animals are further threatened, they say, by the
clear-cutting of forests in Siberia and Russia's Far East for timber. In
European Russia, wolves are likely to come under further pressure as more
forests are cut down to feed pulp mills.

Wolves have long symbolized treachery in Russian folk tales, and wolf
hunting has been part of village culture for centuries. Those attitudes are
well-entrenched.

"In Russia there was a time when the majority of the population lived in
rural areas, and the population of wolves was much bigger," says Viktor
Bologov, a wildlife biologist who lives in a cabin in Central Forest
Preserve near Tver, about 150 miles northwest of Moscow. "Today, wolves no
longer pose much of a threat to humans or their livestock. But the way
people treat wolves has not changed."

Pytor I. Petrovan, director of the Nekrashevo collective farm outside Tver,
says wolf packs occasionally raid the farm, killing a cow or two, dragging
off a dog or sheep. He sees little need to protect the predators. "I would
exterminate them all without a second thought," he says.

But during the economic slide of the late 1980s and 1990s, he says, hunting
the animals became difficult. There was no money for radios or gasoline -
much less the small planes that Soviet authorities once provided.

Traditional hunts are communal affairs, involving a dozen or more hunters
who surround the animals and shoot them. But the population of Nekrashevo
plunged from 80 to 14 over the past decade. "The fact is, there are not
enough people here to hunt now," the director says.

In recent years, Petrovan has resorted to a less laborious method of
exterminating wolves. He tracks female wolves to their dens and kills the
pups. Sometimes, he will leave one pup and then hide with his rifle,
shooting the mother when she returns.

That practice angers Vladimir Bologov, a 36-year-old wildlife biologist who
lives just down the road from his father, Viktor, in the Central Forest
Preserve. "They're more humane than people," says Bologov, "because people
kill the children of wolves, but wolves never kill the children of people."

The biologist, who has studied wolves for 17 years, suspects that Russia's
wolf population is about half the size of official estimates - the lowest
level in 30 years. And he fears that, with increased hunting and logging,
it can only dwindle further.

Bologov, who tracks the animals in the wild, says they are generally not
aggressive toward humans - he has never been attacked, despite numerous
close encounters.

On an island in a lake inside the preserve, Bologov keeps a small pack of
animals. He studies their diet, diseases and concentrations of heavy metal
in their tissue - as a way of measuring levels of environmental contaminants.

Soft-hearted farmers sometimes bring the younger Bologov orphaned wolf
cubs. Most are puzzled by him.

"They think he's insane," says Cameron Holley, a 23-year-old environmental
law student from Australia who volunteered to work with the scientist last
summer. "You're not going to find sympathy for wolves here. He's definitely
swimming against the tide."

At a hunter's camp just outside Bayutino, young Nikolai Bekin and a
half-dozen other hunters sit in a log cabin, waiting for the action to start.

Today's hunt is a traditional one. Trackers, aided at first by Bekin, have
followed footprints of the pack into a patch of forest. Then they circle
the area with a piece of string several kilometers long, with red flags
tied to it.

The flags and string carry a human scent, driving the wolves toward the
center of the circle.

Hunters typically show up only after the trackers are finished circling the
perimeter. Then, one hunter will trudge toward the wolves, while perhaps a
dozen others remain by the string, hiding. As the wolves bolt away from the
approaching hunter, his comrades are waiting to shoot.

Bekin's group waits all morning, and into the afternoon, to hear from the
trackers by cell phone.

To kill time, they slice sausage and black bread with wicked-looking
hunting knives. They argue over the best type of shotgun shell to use on
the hunt. They march out into the woods behind the cabin to do some target
shooting with a .22 rifle. (Bekin is a crack shot.)

One veteran hunter - who has been sampling the "icon lamp oil," one of many
Russian slang terms for vodka - claims to eat wolf meat and describes the
animal's allegedly tender flesh in stomach-knotting detail.

But that turns out to be so much vranyo, part of the time-honored Russian
tradition of telling outrageous lies with a straight face.

The drinking, eating and nonstop talking consumes the morning, and flows
into the afternoon. Finally, at 2:43 p.m., the blond-haired manager of the
camp bursts in the door.

"The wolves have left," he announces to the stunned hunters. The animals
sneaked past the hapless trackers, traveling to the west.

These Russian wolves, it seems, have survived another day.

*******

#9
Russia Announces Small Troop Withdrawal From Chechnya
March 3, 2003
DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

MOSCOW (AP)--Russia's Defense Ministry on Monday announced a small troop
withdrawal from Chechnya.

Lieut. Nikolai Deryabin, the head of the ministry's press service, said
more than 1,000 servicemen and 200 pieces of military equipment would be
leaving Chechnya.

"Taking into account the steady tendency toward normalization of the
situation in the majority of the republic's flatlands and the transfer of
powers to the (Chechen) police organs, it is planned in the first place to
withdraw units and sub-units that were previously drawn into sealing off
settlements and areas of terrorist activity and providing fire support for
the troops," Deryabin was quoted as saying by the Interfax- Military News
Agency.

It was the first clear indication of troop reductions since Defense
Minister Sergei Ivanov announced in November that Moscow was suspending a
planned withdrawal from Chechnya in the wake of a rebel hostage-taking raid
on a Moscow theater. A ministry spokesman, speaking on condition of
anonymity, said the withdrawal wouldn't be part of a normal rotation of
troops.

Up to 100,000 troops and special police are stationed in Chechnya,
according to independent analysts.

Deryabin said that Russia's 42nd motorized infantry division, military
commandant's staffs and special groups to fight rebels in the mountains
would remain in Chechnya. They will be joined by military engineering units
to build roads, bridges and other infrastructure, he said.

In addition to the military, troops and riot police from the Interior
Ministry, as well as units of the Federal Security Service, are deployed
there.

*******

#10
From: "Robert Bruce Ware" <...@brick.net>
Subject: Reply to Kavkaz-Tsentr (JRL 7085)
Date: Sun, 2 Mar 2003

The following addresses Kavkaz-Tsentr's (KT) response to the US State
Department's designation of three Chechen militant organizations as
terrorist groups (JRL 7085).

- KT claims here that the Special Purpose Islamic
Regiment (SPIR) was absorbed into the State Defense
Commitee - Majlis ul-Shura of the Chechen Republic of
Ichkeris (SDC-MSCRI) in July 2002 although it has made
dozens of references to the SPIR's continuing
activities since last July.

- KT argues that these organizations don't have
any money in U.S. banks but is silent regarding the
now illegal activity of direct donations to these
groups, the more likely source of any U.S.
sympathizer's support.

- KT says that that the U.S.designated the "Islamic Special Purpose
Detachment" in
place of Movsar Barayev's Islamic Special Purpose
Regiment (ISPR). Wrong. Go to the OFAC website . . .
http://www.ustreas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/actions/20030228.html

-KT is wrong in its caviling over the naming of the
Islamic International Brigade. See the OFAC site .

- KT claims the designation was made with Russian
intelligence data. Wrong again. Kavkaz - Tsentr
provided much of the information supporting these
determinations.

- KT claims that this designation is aimed to elicit Russia's cooperation for
a war against Iraq. In fact, research and preparations for the designation
have been long in the making.

The State Department's classification of these Chechen groups is important
to Americans because the groups are loosely connected to international
terrorist operations that have harmed Americans in the past and that may do
so again. For example, during the summer of 2001, FBI agents in
Minneapolis sought a warrant against accused 9/11 conspirator, Zacarias
Moussaoui. Had they been issued a warrant it is plausible that it would
have revealed information about the 9/11 conspiracy as early as July 2001.
At that point in their investigation, the Minneapolis agents were able to
connect Moussaui to Chechen organizations. However, the agents were not
issued a warrant on the grounds that these Chechen groups had no recognized
terrorist affiliations. Were these organizations classified as terrorist
groups two years ago it is possible that the 9/11 tragedy might have been
avoided.

In fact, there was plenty of evidence for a terrorist classification of
some Chechen groups in 1999, more than two years before the 9/11 tragedy.
Not only was there evidence that these groups were loosely affiliated with
Bin Laden's organization, but one of these groups committed clear acts of
terrorism during the invasion of the neighboring republic of Dagestan in
August and September of 1999. The invasions, which displaced 32,000
people, were led by the "Islamic Peacekeeping Brigade", now known as the
"Islamic International Brigade". Nor was that the first time that Chechen
groups were clearly connected to terrorist acts. To take just one example,
in January 1996 a Chechen warlord named Salman Raduyev held 3,000 Dagestani
men, women, and children hostage in a hospital.

For years, some members of these groups, the Barayevs for example, had been
financing themselves in part by kidnapping hundreds of people in the
Caucasus region and torturing them on videotape in order to extract
ransoms. Those were acts of terrorism too since the acts were intended to
intimidate peaceful people in neighboring republics in advance of Islamist
political expansion, and since some of the ransom money was used to finance
terrorist groups. Until last year, these groups were also partially
financed by an Illinois-based organization known as the "Benevolence
Foundation", which was unwittingly supported by several large American
companies, including Microsoft.

Most importantly, the State Department's designation of some Chechen groups
as terrorist organizations lends new weight and authority to its calls for
Russian officials to end human rights abuses in Chechnya, and move toward
negotiated settlements with militant leaders. It has been easy for Russian
officials to dismiss such calls when Western organizations appeared to be
ill-informed about the complex realities of the situation in Chechnya, or
to act on the basis of ideological imperatives. There was no reason to
suppose that the Russian government would distinguish between terrorists
and noncombatants when Western governments were unwilling to do so. From
this point forward, the US perspective will not be so easily ignored, which
is why US officials should now redouble their support for human rights and
negotiations. Friday's State Department announcement is an important move
toward peace in the region.

*******

#11
From: "Vlad Ivanenko" <vivanenk@uwo.ca>
Subject: HAS THE OPENING OF EXTERNAL TRADE BENEFITED RUSSIA?
Date: Sun, 2 Mar 2003

RUSSIAN ECONOMIC PUZZLES: 2) HAS THE OPENING OF EXTERNAL TRADE BENEFITED
RUSSIA?

According to the conventional economic wisdom, free trade benefits
everyone. However, some economists have challenged this opinion in
Russia's case. They say that the Russian economy has become overly
dependent on the export of raw materials while its manufacturing sectors
have lost their competitiveness. They predict that this development will
prevent Russia from ever becoming prosperous.

If Russian welfare has declined after this country opened its international
trade, something went wrong. Let us check first whether the share of raw
materials in Russian exports, for example mineral fuels, has grown during
the transition.

The share of trade group 27 (mineral fuels such as raw oil and oil
products, natural gas, and coal) in total Russian export, in %

1990 -- 45.4
1991 -- 51.7
1992 -- 54.3
1993 -- 51.1
1994 -- 44.1
1995 -- 41.7
1996 -- 47.8
1997 -- 48.3
1998 -- 42.7
1999 -- 44.6
2000 -- 54.2
2001 -- 57.5
2002 -- 58.1

These statistics do not support the contention that the share of mineral
fuels has increased in the transition. On average, the trade in fuels has
persistently generated about a half of the total export revenue.

The same observation applies to the Russian export of machinery. Its share
in total export fluctuated around 10% level in 1990-2000 (see below, in
percent of total export)

1990 -- 17.6
1991 -- 10.2
1992 -- 9.3
1993 -- 7.1
1994 -- 8.8
1995 -- 10.1
1996 -- 9.7
1997 -- 10.2
1998 -- 11.0
1999 -- 10.8
2000 -- 8.6

The presented evidence does not indicate that Russia has turned into a raw
material producer and become de-industrialized in the transition. One might
guess that the fear of instability in the world prices of fuels explains
why some Russian politicians (e.g. Yavlinsky) resent the existing structure
of export. It can be noted that such fears, called "risk aversion" in
economics, should disappear as soon as Russia will amass sufficient
reserves of foreign assets.

What is puzzling is not that the shares of fuels or machinery stayed the
same. One of the main arguments in favor of initiating the transition to a
market economy was that the Soviet economic system was grossly inefficient.
If it were the case with external trade, one would expect that the opening
of trade drastically change the structure of Russian trade. However, the
composition of Russian export stayed basically the same (with the exception
of the sectors of metals iron, steel, and copper in particular which
witnessed a relative growth in their share). Evidently, Soviet planners
were aware of Russian comparative advantages. With the benefit of
hindsight, it appears that hasty liberalization of foreign trade,
particularly of export flows, was unwarranted.

Implicitly present in the advice to open trade is another policy
consideration. One should have in mind that this was the development path
followed by the Asian Tigers. They actively promoted export and it served
as an engine of growth for the rest of economy.

The revealed structural stability means that the export promotion is
unlikely to generate economic growth in Russia. There is another piece of
evidence that supports this claim. If net export drives GDP, they should
grow in the same direction. The Russian case was different. The growth in
its net export has not resulted in the growth in GDP (if both variables are
correlated, it is negative correlation). Thus export promotion per se for
example, a la Chubais style of expanding electricity export would hardly
be beneficial. On the contrary, measures designed or happened to curtail
the growth in net export e.g. a fall in oil prices favored by Illarionov
can lead to positive economic results.

The above reasoning should not be interpreted as the claim that the
decision to open Russian external trade was a mistake. Up to now, we have
not considered the structure of import and it has undergone significant
changes in the transition. Prime examples of import reorientation are:

* The import of wheat from industrialized countries (a major Soviet
embarrassment dating back to the Khrushchevs times) has all but
disappeared. The last attempt of the US administration to recapture the
Russian grain market by extending trade credits in 1998-9 has largely
failed. The same has happened with other grains. The total share of cereals
was 3.4% in 1999, down from 14.3% in 1992 and processed products (e.g.
flakes, bakery, or macaroni) became dominant in the group;
* The trend towards a more diverse diet has affected other food imports.
The import of meat and other products that were in short supply or
non-existent in the USSR (fruits, some vegetables and wines, cheese, and
chocolate) from industrialized countries has grown. For example, the share
of meat in total import grew from 3.2% in 1992 to 6.5% in 1999;
* The Russian dependence on the import of textile products and footwear
declined over time. Its share in total export fell from 9.3% in 1990 to
4.8% in 2000. One might argue that it is an artifact because unorganized
trade is responsible for this result. Such an explanation sounds convincing
given that the domestic sector of textiles and footwear went virtually
bankrupt in the transition. However, there is anecdotal evidence that a
significant portion of Russian-made clothes and boots goes unregistered. If
it can be shown to be true, the decline in textile import may be real;
* On the other hand, the import of chemical products, particularly made of
plastics, grew from 10.6% in total import in 1990 to 18.6% in 2000. It is
not coincidental that domestic prices of chemicals were relatively higher
in 1997 implying that the demand for chemicals was unsatisfied;

The mentioned changes in the structure Russian import cannot be dismissed
as insignificant. For the sake of brevity we have provided point estimates
but they are representative of longer-term trends.

On the basis of this evidence, one may conclude that the Soviet authorities
introduced serious distortions pursuing their import policy, probably to
satisfy particular interest groups (e.g. agricultural lobby) or being
afraid of the social unrest associated with widespread deficit in consumables.

Let us now come back and to answer the original question. Has the opening
of foreign trade benefited Russia?

The tentative answer is yes, to some extend. We have not found evidence
that the Soviet control over export flows was a major distortion thus
dismissing appeals to promote export of machinery, electricity, etc. that
one hears from time to time. On the other hand, we have observed that
import structure has changed significantly and concluded that the Soviet
planners failed to rationalize the import structure.

We conclude that free trade has benefited Russia on the import side.

*******

#12
In Russia, Stalin Still Carries Clout
March 2, 2003
By STEVE GUTTERMAN

MOSCOW (AP) - The typewritten letters on a yellowing page spell out the end
of an era in striking shorthand. Next to the time - 9:50 p.m., March 5,
1953 - is just a brief entry: ``Comrade I.V. Stalin died.''

So ends a medical report detailing Josef Stalin's last four days, as he lay
dying in his Moscow dacha. It is part of a new exhibit at Russia's federal
archives, whose officials hope it will help dispel decades of speculation
that the Soviet dictator was done in by a Kremlin intrigue.

If mysteries about Stalin's demise persist, they are dwarfed by the
conflicting views and emotions that surround his life - and his role in the
troubled history of a country that seems unable to break his spell 50 years
after his death.

``There may be no other figure in Russian history of the last century who
has provoked such different evaluations, from fierce hatred to
consecration,'' said historian Yuri Polyakov, a member of the prestigious
Russian Academy of Sciences.

For some, Stalin was a giant who bore the Soviet Union on his shoulders to
victory in World War II, hauled it onto the front line of the industrial
age and kept ironclad order at home while turning the country into a
superpower with the clout to make its Cold War foes shudder.

``He was the best - as a chief, as a leader. He lifted the country out of
the ruins,'' said Natalya Vekshina, 64, who took her grandson to a separate
exhibit, across town, focusing on Stalin's cult of personality - the
propaganda that portrayed him simultaneously as a god and a good guy.

``We need a leader like him now,'' Vekshina said.

Larisa Tsvizhba, at the archive exhibit, disagreed. She said Stalin left a
``sinister mark'' on the Soviet Union and stunted its growth by decimating
a generation. ``When millions of people die for no apparent reason - the
best people - what kind of progress can there be?''

Stalin's repressions ``touched if not every person, then every other person
in the country,'' said Tsvizhba.

Russian officials have said they believe more than 20 million people were
victims of communist purges before Stalin's death. More than 10 million are
said to have died.

Like many of Stalin's ardent admirers, Vekshina is from a generation that
mostly suffered from the Soviet collapse. She lost her engineering job,
while her scientist husband is ``a big man in his field - but now he's
impoverished.''

But it's not only the elderly who yearn for Stalin's strong hand.

``He is the symbol of a healthy nation,'' said Alexei Fedyakin, 27, a
political science graduate student who came to see the ``Stalin: Man and
Symbol'' exhibit and wrote a diatribe in the visitors' book complaining
about material showing Stalin in a bad light.

Those items - records of executions, and artwork depicting Stalin holding
the keys to a prison cell stretching across the Soviet Union - reflect the
backlash that came in two waves, one soon after his death and another in
the late 1980s, with Mikhail Gorbachev's glasnost.

In 1956, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev denounced Stalin's cult of
personality, and his body was removed from its place next to Lenin in the
Red Square mausoleum in 1961. But it was buried nearby, alongside the
Kremlin wall, and much of the truth about Stalin's excesses did not emerge
until the Gorbachev era.

The sharp criticism of Stalin that held sway as the Soviet Union collapsed
waned along with the euphoria of Russians hoping for a swift, smooth
transition to democracy. Stalin's star has brightened for those angered by
lawlessness, economic uncertainty and their country's decline on the world
stage.

Oleg Orlov, head of the human rights organization Memorial, said that
frustration helped fuel the rise of President Vladimir Putin, a former KGB
colonel who has restored some Soviet-era symbols and has been careful in
his criticism of Stalin.

``Putin arrived on this wave - on promises of stability and pride for one's
country as a great power, and of a restoration of order - and a major part
of this ideology was pride in the past,'' Orlov said.

According to poll results by the Public Opinion Foundation last week, 37
percent said Stalin did more good than bad for the country - compared to 29
percent who believe the opposite. The organization contacted 1,500
respondents across Russia on Feb. 22-23. No margin of error was given.

In the visitors' book at the ``Man and Symbol'' exhibit, one person mused:
``I wonder, will our country live to see the moment when Stalin is
perceived as an ordinary person, instead of as either the devil incarnate
or the Father of the Peoples?''

The power of Stalin's personality and the scale of the suffering that
marked his rule suggest that's unlikely to happen anytime soon.

On one wall in the exhibit stands a large diorama presented to Stalin on
his 70th birthday, in 1949. Inside, a row of dolls marches in Red Square,
bearing a banner reading ``Thank you, Comrade Stalin, for our happy
childhood.''

Under glass in another room is a book listing victims of Stalin's terror.
Many names are matched with photographs, and each brief biography notes the
date and cause of death: shot July 28, 1938; shot Oct. 18, 1937; shot Sept.
1, 1938.

Polyakov, the historian, said there is one thing he has never really
figured out about Stalin: why he killed so many people. ``There's no
answer,'' he said.

*******

#13
The Times (UK)
March 3, 2003
Stalin still a hero to Russians
Fifty years after the great tyrant's death many of his countrymen are
indifferent to his crimes
By Robin Shepherd

Viktor Nikolayevich did not sleep for three days so that he could file past
Stalin's coffin in 1953. But the crowds were so great that the war veteran
still did not make it.

Now 77, he considers it one of the greatest disappointments of his life. "I
bow my head before Stalin," he said. "He was the greatest of leaders, the
greatest of men."

The fact that Stalin killed more innocent people than any politician in
European history cuts little ice with Mr Nikolayevich and hundreds of
thousands like him across Russia. On Wedneday they will celebrate the 50th
anniversary of Stalin's death. Wreaths will be laid at his statues.

War veterans will gather in city centres. A Moscow exhibition about
Stalin's crimes has been used by some visitors as a shrine. "I came to
honour his memory," said one standing in front of a map of Russia dotted
with hundreds of Stalinist labour camps. "What's wrong with that?"

How apparently decent people can justify the crimes of the Stalinist past
remains one of the most vexing questions in modern Russia. A recent poll
showed that 70 per cent of Russians thought that Stalin did more good than
bad, or they had no fixed opinion.

There are obvious parallels with apologists for Hitler in Germany. The
Second World War was the defining moment in many elderly people's lives.
For some German and Russian veterans, pride at having served under their
country's respective leaders is so great that they refuse to hear evidence
of their guilt.

But Holocaust denial in Germany is largely confined to small numbers of
elderly veterans and discredited historians. Senior Nazis were tried and
hanged. Germans have come to terms with their past. Those who have not are
on the margins of society.

Russia, victorious in the Second World War, has conducted no such
examination of its totalitarian past. There have been no trials. There has
been no special programme of mass education about it in the country's
schools. Politicians rarely raise the subject and newspapers gloss over it.
For most people it is simply an irrelevance. Those who have come to terms
with communism are the ones on the margins.

Alexandr Yakovlev is one of them. For 15 years he has headed the now
largely ignored presidential commission on the crimes of communism. Mr
Yakovlev, 79, was a member of the Communist Party. In the 1980s he was even
elevated to the Politburo, where he was dubbed the ideological father of
Mikhail Gorbachev's reformist perestroika programme. He says that his
motivation is shame at the past of his country.

As an authority on the crimes of Soviet communism, he has nothing but
contempt for those who seek to honour Stalin. "When they say that monuments
are to be erected to celebrate Stalin, I say that I'm all for it, but they
should be covered in blood," he said.

He estimates that the victims of Stalin and Lenin, whose crimes he is also
anxious to publicise, may number more than 30 million. For Mr Yakovlev, it
is the fate of the child victims of communism that brings home the reality.

He quotes from a secret police circular issued on May 20, 1938: "Socially
dangerous children exhibiting anti-Soviet attitudes and actions must be
handed over to the courts on general grounds and sent to camps by
special-duty squads of the gulag of the NKVD."

The personal casenotes at his disposal are endless. The wife and four young
daughters of a man who refused to join the Red Army were all executed under
Lenin in Elizavetgrad in 1920. Petya Yakir, a 14-year-old boy arrested in
1937 during Stalin's great terror and accused of forming an "anarchist
mounted band", was tortured. Maria Bazikh, a pregnant woman, and her six
children were deported to Siberia in 1939. All the children died.

*******

#14
From: "Albert L. Weeks" <AWeeks1@compuserve.com>
Subject: Putin and the Pesidential Archive
Date: Sun, 2 Mar 2003

As the author of a new study, "Stalin's Other War
Soviet Grand Strategy 1939-1941" (Rowman &
Littlefield, 2002), I, like many historians in Russia,
have my own Little List of grievances against the
Putin policy of "selective de-Stalininization" beyond
what AFP reported on the 50th anniversary of Stalin's
death (JRL 7085).
As a prime example: Putin continues to keep the Kremlin's
Presidential Archive under tight wraps. Russian
historians claim that the archive contains crucial
information that documents Stalin's offensist war plans against
Germany and, in fact, all of Europe in World War II.
Much else about Stalin's foreign policy and aggressive
plans and actions is still kept secret. Moscow's rationale
apparently is that glasnost' in this regard somehow
sullies, by implication, latterday Russia's prestige
and reputation.

*******

#15
International Herald Tribune
March 3, 2003
Rising czars of Russia's retail luxury
By Suzy Menkes

MILAN-None of the buzz at Prada's show last Friday included the
thirty-something man in the dark suit and sunshine yellow tie sitting front
row. Yet Leonid Friedland is one of the most powerful men in fashion.

As president and CEO of Mercury, the largest luxury retail group in Russia,
Friedland and his associate, Leonid Strunin, are fashion's rising czars.
Or, as Gucci's Domenico de Sole puts it: "If you want to do business in
Russia, they do an excellent job."

With an expanding market of eager, upbeat consumers, as opposed to
retailers on shrinking budgets in the morose Western markets, Mercury's
buyers are becoming luxury fashion's big spenders. Having created from a
rundown arcade, the Tretyakov Projezd,a mall of brands that Friedland
describes as "Moscow's Via Montenapoleone" (referring to the upscale Milan
street), Friedland has discovered more fertile areas to seed with its
luxury brands from Fendi furs through Tod's shoes.

Over lunch in Milan, he and Alexander Reebok, Mercury's general manager,
described their ambitious project to bring a purpose-built wood and steel
luxury shopping village, with spa, restaurants and a hotel, to Zhukovka, an
area where the dachas are a playground for the new super-rich. In
Friedland's analogy, it is "the East Hampton of Moscow" where 70 percent of
customers who live there are top gear people." De Sole is already on board
for Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent stores and Mercury expects Brioni and
Dolce Gabbana to sign up, Roberto Cavalli to open a Just Cavalli caf and
Armani Casa to be the foundation of lifestyle and home ranges. (Ralph
Lauren is still being vigorously courted).

Now Mercury is about to double its customer reach and its 1,000 strong work
force by refurbishing TSUM, the dowager grand duchess of department stores,
which brought luxury to Moscow in Russia's Belle Epoque. The historic
building, near the Bolshoi, will be refurbished to its former grandeur,
enlarged with a new development at the back, and become a palace of brands.

Although Friedland does not give figures, sources in Moscow suggest that
Mercury's annual turnover is $300 million - outstripping its competitors in
the luxury field. How is it possible that in the decade since high school
mathematics student Friedland and the computer designer Reebok first became
friends, they have created a retail conglomerate in which the luxury
menswear brand Brioni now does 10 percent of its business?

"And I haven't seen anywhere such a cluster of luxury goods presented
without altering the spirit," says Umberto Angeloni, CEO of Brioni, which
already has three stores in Moscow.

Mercury's growth parallels the development of post-Communist Moscow, from
its big bang of glitz-and-glam new money to the more normal - if fragile -
existing economy. The luxury group started with a 30-square-meter
(322-square-foot) shop selling watches that has developed into the current
focus on jewelry brands that include Bulgari, Chaumet, Chopard, Graff, de
Grisogno and Tiffany. But Friedland discounts the idea that Russian clients
are all about gold taps and flash taste.

"They are quite young, mostly in their 30s and up to 45, and they are quite
well educated about fashion - and they would like to know more," Friedland
says.

Mercury's critics (always off the record) suggest that the company should
teach the consumer that a luxury product is not just about logos; that it
is ruthless in cutting deals to undermine its smaller competitors; and that
its markups are outrageously high.

But no one argues that, while other emerging markets like China's Shanghai
have yet to realize their potential, Moscow has become luxury's land of
plenty.

"People already had a great sense of taste and quality; it has always been
there and how could luxury die?" says Reebok. Friedland says that he is
mulling expansion to St. Petersburg and also of rolling out department
stores across the former Soviet Union. But there is one Western element
that he does not yet see.

"Stealth wealth is not working yet in Russia," Friedland says. "It is not
as successful as showing it off."

*******

#16
Moscow Times
March 3, 2003
Russia No. 4 on Forbes' Billionaires List
By Natalia Yefimova
Staff Writer

Russia's per capita GDP may be dragging behind Costa Rica's, but its head
count of billionaires is the fourth highest in the world, according to
Forbes magazine's annual rating of the super rich, released late last week.

The list of the country's billionaires burgeoned to 17 over the past year
-- 10 more than in 2002 -- thanks to high oil prices, a growing stock
market and greater corporate transparency.

For a second year in a row, Russia's richest men have managed to buck the
trend of shrinking fortunes. Worldwide, the number of billionaires year on
year fell from 497 to 476 and their combined wealth from $1.54 trillion to
$1.4 trillion. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, steadily No. 1 on the
Forbes list since 1998, ended up $12.1 billion poorer than the year before,
his worth dropping to $40.7 billion.

All but five of Russia's billionaires are heavily involved in the oil sector.

The strongest showing was by Yukos, whose top executive Mikhail
Khodorkovsky retained his title as Russia's richest man and shot up from
his No. 101 spot last year to No. 26. Khodorkovsky's estimated worth more
than doubled -- from $3.7 billion to $8 billion.

Of the 10 new tycoons on this year's list, five earned their riches at
Yukos or affiliated banking and insurance conglomerate Menatep.

Khodorkovsky, who says he owns 6 percent to 7 percent of the company,
attributed the jump in his fortune to Yukos' growing capitalization.

"These are the same shares of the same company," Interfax quoted him as
saying.

"The fact that it is becoming worth more means that our work has been a
success. The fact that a lot of oil executives made it onto the list means
that our oil sector is the most public and open. I think my fellow
businessmen from other sectors still have the journey toward financial
transparency ahead of them."

Stephen O'Sullivan, head of research at United Financial Group, said one
big reason for the rising number of Russian billionaires is greater
disclosure.

"Most people have taken the view that Mr. Khodorkovsky owns Yukos and now
we know that he does. But many other people have large stakes as well,"
O'Sullivan said Friday. "People we didn't know about last year, we now know
about."

Another factor was Russia's growing stock market, which was up 35 percent
to 40 percent last year, driving the value of the billionaires' industrial
holdings.

"Clearly, a large part of their wealth is not sitting in the bank in cash,"
said O'Sullivan. "It's sitting in the form of shareholdings in the
companies that they now own, control and manage."

Russia's top trio of billionaires remained unchanged.

The second richest after Khodorkovsky was Chukotka Governor Roman
Abramovich, whose Millhouse Capital holding controls oil major Sibneft and
half of metals giant Russian Aluminum. Abramovich's fortune swelled from $3
billion to $5.7 billion, boosting him from No. 127 to No. 49.

Russia's No. 3 for a second year in a row was Alfa Group chairman Mikhail
Fridman, whose company's prize holding, the Tyumen Oil Co., or TNK, signed
a landmark $6.75 billion deal last month with BP.

Fridman's worth nearly doubled over the past year, up from $2.2 billion to
$4.3 billion, hoisting him from No. 191 to No. 68.

The top newcomer to the list was major TNK shareholder Viktor Vekselberg,
who entered as Russia's fourth richest man with $2.5 billion.

Russia's youngest billionaire was Oleg Deripaska, 34, whose Base Element
holding co-owns Russian Aluminum together with Millhouse.

Deripaska's worth edged up from $1.1 billion to $1.5 billion, propelling
him from No. 413 to No. 278. He overtook LUKoil's Vagit Alekperov and
Surgutneftegaz head Vladimir Bogdanov -- the only two Russian billionaires
who saw their fortunes get smaller over the past year.

Conspicuously absent from the list was one-time Kremlin power broker Boris
Berezovsky -- ostensibly because the self-exiled oligarch, who recently
estimated his own fortune at $3 billion, has been loath to disclose his
holdings in Russia and abroad.

Berezovsky was declared the country's richest man in 1997, the first year
Russians made it onto the Forbes list. The only billionaire the following
year was Interros chairman Vladimir Potanin, who was ranked Russia's fifth
richest man in the latest rating.

In 1999 and 2000, still reeling from its August 1998 financial crash, the
country registered no billionaires at all.

But Russia popped back onto the scene in 2001 with eight names on the list,
and held on to seven spots in 2002.

The 17 billionaires on this year's list put Russia behind only the United
States, Germany and Japan.

Aside from dry statistics, the Forbes list reveals some entertaining
personal details about the world's richest people.

Khodorkovsky, who is only 39, has four children.

The only Russian billionaire who is a bachelor, says Forbes, is Norilsk
Nickel CEO Mikhail Prokhorov, who "is often featured in gossip columns
about blow-out parties on the French Riviera."

Prokhorov drew chuckles from the business community last week when, under
pressure from striking workers, he announced that his official monthly
salary was only some 450 rubles (about $14).

Bogdanov's bio calls him "exceptionally private: Dubbed the Hermit of
Siberia, Bogdanov rarely leaves his remote oil town, never grants
interviews and shuns the trappings of wealth; often walks to work and does
his own grocery shopping."

Deripaska is married to the daughter of former President Boris Yeltsin's
chief of staff, Valentin Yumashev, who in turn married Yeltsin's daughter
Tatyana Dyachenko -- "which means that Deripaska is now Yeltsin's grandson
by marriage," says Forbes.

The list also reminds readers of the close ties between big money and big
politics.

Besides Abramovich's governorship and Deripaska's familial proximity to the
Kremlin, three of the Yukos debutants have shuttled between corporate
suites and public office.

Khodorkovsky's long-time partner Leonid Nevzlin is a Federation Council
senator, appointed in 2001 from the Volga region of Mordovia.

Vladimir Dubov, identified as a major Yukos shareholder, made it into the
State Duma in 1999 on the Fatherland-All Russia ticket.

Dubov is now a member of the budget and taxes committee and the commission
on production-sharing agreements.

Another shareholder of Yukos and Menatep, Vasily Shakhnovsky, served in the
1990s as chief of staff to Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov and was one of the top
managers of Yeltsin's hair-raising re-election campaign in 1996.

Russia's Billionaires
Rank (prev.) Billionaire, age Fortune** (prev.) Interests
26 (101) Mikhail Khodorkovsky, 39 8.0 (3.7) Menatep/Yukos
49 (127) Roman Abramovich, 36 5.7 (3.0) Millhouse Capital (Sibneft/RusAl)
68 (191) Mikhail Fridman, 38 4.3 (2.2) Alfa Group/TNK
147 *Viktor Vekselberg, 45 2.5 Alfa Group/TNK
222 (234) Vladimir Potanin, 42 1.8 (1.8) Interros/Norilsk Nickel
256 *Mikhail Prokhorov, 37 1.6 Interros/Norilsk Nickel
278 *Vladimir Yevtushenkov, 54 1.5 AFK Sistema
278 (413) Oleg Deripaska, 34 1.5 (1.1) Base Element (RusAl)
329 (327) Vagit Alekperov, 52 1.3 (1.4) LUKoil
348 *Alexei Mordashov, 37 1.2 Severstal
386 *Leonid Nevzlin, 43 1.1 Menatep/Yukos
386 *Eugene Shvidler, 38 1.1 Sibneft
427 (277) Vladimir Bogdanov, 51 1.0 (1.6) Surgutneftegaz
427 *Mikhail Brudno, 43 1.0 Menatep/Yukos
427 *Vladimir Dubov, 45 1.0 Menatep/Yukos
427 *Platon Lebedev, 46 1.0 Menatep/Yukos
427 *Vasily Shakhnovsky, 45 1.0 Menatep/Yukos
* new on the list
** estimate in U.S. dollars
Source: Forbes

*******

#17
TV1 Review
www.1tv.ru
Compiled by Luba Schwartzman (luba_sch@hotmail.com)
Research Analyst, Center for Defense Information, Moscow office

WEEKEND HEADLINES
Saturday, March 01, 2003
- Russian President Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting on various
domestic and foreign policy issues. Presidential Administration
head Aleksandr Voloshin, Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, Foreign
Affairs Minister Igor Ivanov, Minister of Internal Affairs Boris
Gryzlov and Federal Security Service Director Nikolai Patrushev
attended.
- Emergency Ministry officers and the residents of Russia's
southern regions are preparing for the spring floods. Special
sensors have been installed at the rivers and water reservoirs,
emergency camps are being set up and emergency stocks of food,
warm clothing, and even cigarettes, collected.
- Central Electoral Commission Chairman Aleksandr Veshnyakov
arrived in Chechnya, along with a large group of representatives
from the Council of Europe and the Organization for Cooperation
and Security in Europe. They visited refugee camps and polling
stations in rural regions of Chechnya. Veshnyakov believes that
voter turnout at the referendum will be fairly high, about 60%.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Bulgaria on a state visit.
This is the first visit of a Russian leader to Bulgaria in almost 11
years. It marks a new stage in Russian-Bulgarian relations.
- Eleven people died and 2 were injured when an L-410 airplane
carrying 23 sky divers crashed in a field in the Barki settlement,
125 away from Tver.
- Television journalist and former TV1 director Vladislav Listiev
was murdered 8 years ago today. His assassins have yet to be
found.
- Government officials, State Duma members, scientists and artists
celebrated the 10th anniversary of the founding of the Agrarian
Party of the Russian Federation. Party leader Mikhail Lapshin
declared: "The Communist Party of the Russian Federation was
unable to protect the interests Russian farmers. Only the Agrarian
Party of Russia can do so.
-The first of Grozny's 32 security checkpoints has been taken
down. Six others will be removed during the beginning of this
week. Local police officers and experts from organs for the fight against
economic crime will replace soldiers at those sites.
- Representatives of the indigenous peoples of Russia's northern
regions, Alaska, Canada, Norway and Finland met in Murmansk to
discuss global warming, as well as the culture and self-government
of indigenous peoples in various countries.
- While the crisis has passed, the influenza epidemic continues to
rage in Russia. Experts predict that it will ease off by mid March.
- Internal Affairs Minister Boris Gryzlov met with select directors of
regional internal affairs departments to discuss the migration
cards all foreign citizens residing in Russia will have to receive by
July 1st.

Sunday, March 2, 2003
- Search-and-rescue efforts at the site of the L-410 airplane crash in
the Tver Oblast have been completed. The black box was
submitted for expert analysis. An investigation has been initiated.
14 survivors received hospital treatment.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin and Bulgarian President George
Parvanov met to discuss various bilateral and international affairs
issues. The positions of Moscow and Sophia on the Iraqi problem
still differ, but the presidents signed a number of agreements on
trade and economic cooperation, tourism and cultural relations.
- Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov discussed the situation in
Iraq with the foreign affairs ministers of Angola, Guinea,
Cameroon, Mexico, Pakistan, Syria and Chile.
- Georgu Flerov the first Russian scientist to
recommend the creation of nuclear weapons by the
Soviet Union would have turned 90 today.

*******

#18
New York Times
March 3, 2003
E. J. Carroll, 79, Antinuclear Admiral, Dies
By DOUGLAS MARTIN

Eugene J. Carroll Jr., a retired rear admiral of the Navy who became an
outspoken expert witness for opponents of nuclear weapons, high military
budgets and new armaments, died on Feb. 19 in Washington. He was 79.

The cause was a heart attack, said his wife, Margaret. He lived in
Alexandria, Va.

As deputy director of the Center for Defense Information, a research and
lobbying organization, after he retired from the Navy in 1980, he
criticized missile defense as counterproductive, the military budget as
uncontrollable and the stockpiling of nuclear weapons as ludicrous.

In speeches to peace organizations, at academic conferences and before
Congressional committees, he often used dramatic language and personal
criticism, upbraiding President Bush as having "sat out the Vietnam War"
and saying that the Reagan administration's calling the MX missile a
peacekeeper was "like calling the guillotine a headache remedy."

When President Ronald Reagan went to Moscow in June 1988 to reduce tension
in meetings with Soviet leaders, Admiral Carroll pointed out the apparent
contradiction that the president was followed by a military officer
carrying a case with the codes to authorize a nuclear attack.

Recently, Admiral Carroll was a vocal critic of a possible war with Iraq,
saying an invasion was doomed to a disaster comparable to that of the Bay
of Pigs.

Eugene James Carroll Jr. was born in Miami, Ariz., on Dec. 2, 1923. When he
was 6 months old, his family moved to Long Beach, Calif., and later to East
Los Angeles. He graduated from George Washington University and then earned
a master's degree in international relations there.

He joined the Navy in 1945 and flew Skyraider dive bombers from an aircraft
carrier during the Korean War, eventually commanding two Skyraider attack
squadrons. In the Vietnam War, he commanded an amphibious assault ship and
the aircraft carrier Midway.

He was later the first naval officer to serve as director of American
military forces in Europe, where he was responsible for 7,000 nuclear
weapons. He came to the conclusion that the weapons could never defend
Europe, and was troubled when the United States wanted to augment them with
neutron bombs, Pershing II missiles and ground-launched cruise missiles.

"It is from these up close and personal experiences that I came to
understand that nuclear weapons are truly unusable, worthless for any
rational military purpose," he wrote in an article in The Turtle River
Press, a newspaper devoted to spiritual concerns.

Margaret Carroll said she could not remember exactly when or why her
husband decided the military was drifting in directions that he considered
wrongheaded and dangerous. She mentioned his uneasiness about carrying a
bomb in his airplane that could kill 600,000 people in a Soviet city that
was not particularly important as a military target, an example he used in
many speeches.

His final assignment was as a planner of military policy and operations in
the Pentagon. He helped devise complex scenarios for conventional or
nuclear warfare.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his son, Dennis, of Alexandria.