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1. AFP: Russia's strong line over Iraq confounds predictions.
2. Interfax: Moscow accuses U.S. of inconsistent approach to Iraq settlement.
3. Washington Post Book World: Robert Kaiser, True Believer. William Taubman Brings a Cold War Lion Back to Life in His New Biography of Nikita Khrushchev.
4. Los Angeles Times book review: Strobe Talbott, The giant of Soviet brinkmanship. (re Khrushchev, The Man and the Era by William Taubman)
5. Rosbalt: Russia Has 8 Times Less Small Businesses Than Western Countries.
6. BBC Monitoring: Prominent Chechen politicians deplore Moscow-backed referendum. (re Akhmad Zakayev and Ruslan Khasbulatov)
7. Newsday: Liam Pleven, Chechen Refugees Reject Vote. Suspicious of referendum by Russians.
8. New York Times: Sabrina Tavernise, Women Redefine Their Roles in New Russia.
9. BBC Monitoring: Russian TV channels to change their programming ahead of elections.
10. The Irish Times: Daniel McLauglin, Former Soviet states extend repression.
11. Dow Jones/AP: Russia To Speed Destruction Of Chemical Arms - Report.
12. Los Angeles Times editorial: Spur Russia's Disarmament.
13. Chicago Tribune: Alex Rodriguez, Russia patches up space program. Shuttle disaster leaves strapped nation as lifeline.
14. Moscow News: Anna Rudnitskaya, Son of Enemy of the People: A Life Story. Son of Nikolai Bukharin executed by Stalin dislikes talking politics.
15. Dominique Arel: 8th Annual Convention of the Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN).

********

#1
Russia's strong line over Iraq confounds predictions
March 9, 2003
AFP

Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov's warning that the United Nations would react
"appropriately" to unilateral US action against Iraq provides the clearest
indication yet that Russia is prepared to risk US wrath rather than endorse
immediate strikes against Baghdad.

Confounding confident predictions by US and Russian analysts that Moscow
would fall into line behind US military action to disarm Iraq, the Kremlin
gave notice Saturday that it would do "everything it can" to block a UN
Security Council resolution that might trigger the use of force.

Going further, Ivanov warned that "if the United States unilaterally
launched a military operation against Iraq without a UN mandate, this would
be a violation of the UN charter."

In such a case, he said, the Security Council would have to "take
appropriate decisions."

Russian opposition to US military action in Iraq has noticeably hardened
since Wednesday when Ivanov signed a joint declaration with his French and
German counterparts in Paris stating firmly that they would "not allow a
draft resolution authorising the recourse to force to pass."

Although like France Russia has steered clear of saying explicitly that it
would use its power of veto, the Kremlin's choice of words amounts to much
the same thing, and on essential points Moscow's policy is now little
different from that of Paris.

President Vladimir Putin, who has made a point of enjoying cordial
relations with his US counterpart George W. Bush and his chief ally,
British Prime Minister Tony Blair, has opted for a low profile on Iraq,
unlike French President Jacques Chirac who has aligned himself personally
with his country's opposition to the use of force in Iraq.

In his most recent comment Putin said he found "understandable" a decision
by Turkey to refuse to allow US troops to use its bases for attacks on
northern Iraq, but refrained from expressing outright approval.

Hitherto Putin has been described as treading a fine line between
safeguarding traditional Russian interests in Iraq and keeping Washington
sweet in accordance with his post-September 11 pro-Western stance.

But recent Russian statements on the Iraqi issue leave no doubt that the
Kremlin has come down firmly on the side of what US Defense Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld has referred to derisively as "old Europe" -- France and
Germany.

Most analysts have based their predictions of Moscow's course of action on
the view that the Kremlin would decide its policy on a cold calculation of
profit and loss, notably regarding its stake in Iraqi oil fields and
Baghdad's eight billion dollar debt to Russia.

At least one, however, Eric Kraus of the Sovlink investment bank, believed
that Putin's policy on Iraq was "deeply principled," noting that "the
cynical response would be to sell out, negotiating a side deal with
Washington."

In view of the "huge bribe" offered to Turkey, Kraus said in reference to a
US grant of six billion dollars to Ankara allied to commercial loans of up
to 30 billion dollars, "Russia, as a full member of the Security Council,
could undoubtedly do at least as well."

Other analysts have noted that a principled stance by Putin could coincide
with self-interest.

Many Russians, particularly inside the conservative military-diplomatic
establishment, believe that Moscow has derived few tangible benefits from
earlier concessions it has made to US foreign policy, notably its reluctant
acquiescence in the scrapping of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty or
the deployment of US troops in former Soviet republics in central Asia.

Resisting Washington over Iraq appeases this crucial constituency as well
as bringing Putin into line with public opinion which is massively opposed
to a US-led war in Iraq.

It is noted too that Germany is by far Russia's biggest trading partner.

But while the present Iraq policy will help with establishing closer ties
with Western Europe, Russian spokesmen have been at pains to stress that
Moscow's criticism of US actions over Iraq do not mean it regards itself as
anything less than a friend.

"Our policy is not alien to the United States. We are partners, and we are
warning our partners against making mistakes," Ivanov said in a BBC
interview last week.

********

#2
Moscow accuses U.S. of inconsistent approach to Iraq settlement

MOSCOW. March 9 (Interfax) - Moscow has blamed the U.S. and its allies for
"constantly changing the rules of the game" for an Iraq settlement.
   "We are well informed about the U.S. position, we are cooperating with
the U.S., and we are trying to understand what its motivation is, and also
why it keeps changing the rules of the game," Russian Deputy Foreign
Minister Yuri Fedotov said on NTV's Vliyaniye (Influence) program on Sunday.
   He said the UN Security Council's Resolution No.1441, initiated by the
U.S., says that Iraq, which earlier violated its commitments to eliminate
weapons of mass destruction, was being given a last chance to resume
cooperation with the UN. "In a way, this provision wrote off what had been
done over the past four years and restarted everything from scratch. The
main emphasis was laid on international inspectors' access to all of Iraq's
facilities," Fedotov said.
   Inspectors were given such access, "but later we were told that this was
not enough, that cooperation was formal, and that real disarmament must
begin," he continued.
   Real disarmament is now underway and Iraq has eliminated one-third of
its Al Samoud-2 missiles, he said. "However, Iraq is being told now that
this is not enough, either, and that instead of eliminating individual
types of weapons, the policy must be changed and proof provided that Iraq
is doing so with enthusiasm. How can enthusiasm be measured?" Fedotov said.
   U.S. Ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow, who also took part in the
program, said that as before, Washington does not see any active
cooperation between Iraq and the UN, and that Baghdad has eliminated the
above-mentioned missiles to feign disarmament.
   Vershbow said that Baghdad is simultaneously eliminating and producing
Al Samoud-2 missiles, and tens of thousands of chemical warheads are being
moved across the country in an attempt to hide them from inspectors.
Washington does not observe Iraq's active cooperation with the UN, he said.
He added that the U.S. does not need an additional resolution from the UN
Security Council on Iraq, although it would be better if the international
community jointly passed such a resolution.
   Asked why the new draft resolution proposed by Britain names March 17 as
the deadline for implementation of Baghdad's disarmament commitments,
Vershbow said the date was carefully considered.

********

#3
Washington Post
March 9, 2003
Book World
True Believer
William Taubman Brings a Cold War Lion Back to Life in His New
Biography of Nikita Khrushchev
Reviewed by Robert G. Kaiser
Robert G. Kaiser, associate editor of The Post, is the author of "Russia,
The People and the Power" and "Why Gorbachev Happened."

KHRUSHCHEV
The Man and His Era
By William Taubman
Norton. 876 pp. $35

It is too easy to forget how crazy the Soviet Union was -- not the madness
of Joseph Stalin, who killed millions between 1924 and 1953, but the
everyday craziness of a cockamamie system. Consider the tragicomic case of
Alexei Larionov, who in 1958 was the Communist Party boss of Ryazan oblast,
or district, southeast of Moscow.

Larionov was the faithful toady of Nikita Khrushchev, Stalin's successor as
near-absolute dictator of the Soviet Union. When Khrushchev was trying
desperately to increase agricultural output in 1958, Larionov pledged to
triple Ryazan's production of meat in a single year. Aides warned
Khrushchev that this intemperate promise would be "impossible" to keep.
Newspaper editors in Moscow tried to avoid publishing stories about
Larionov's folly, but Khrushchev ordered them to report and praise it.

As the deadline approached, Larionov struggled desperately. He ordered the
slaughter of virtually every animal in his oblast, including dairy herds,
breeding stock and the cows and pigs owned by peasants. He sent agents into
other parts of the country to buy meat wherever they could. He exacted
taxes from the citizens of Ryazan in kilos of meat. None of this was
enough. "In the end, Ryazan Province delivered 30,000 tons of meat to the
state," Taubman writes, "a mere one-sixth of the 180,000 it had promised."
For a time, Larionov hid this result under a blizzard of deceptive
propaganda, but a team of officials from Moscow eventually discovered the
truth. Then he shot himself to death.

This is one of scores of engaging, revealing anecdotes in William Taubman's
masterful and monumental biography of Khrushchev. One can quibble with
aspects of this big book -- in a moment I will -- but first one should
salute its author for a wonderful achievement. Starting with a juicy
subject for a biography -- Khrushchev was endlessly colorful and often
cockamamie, too -- Taubman, a professor of political science at Amherst
College and the author of several other books on the Soviet Union, has
drawn on a huge body of material, much of it from newly available Soviet
sources, but also a vast quantity of published material from Russia and the
West. He spent nearly 20 years on the book. The result is fun to read, full
of insight and more than a little terrifying.

It's not a revelation that Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev, the Soviet leader
from 1954 to 1964, was a mercurial character. Americans who remember
Khrushchev probably recall him banging his shoe on a podium at the United
Nations, or his intemperate wisecrack, "we will bury you," or his rash
decision to install ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads in Cuba,
whence they would be able to reach most of the United States. That decision
provoked the Cuban Missile Crisis, the scariest week of the Cold War.

Taubman makes clear that those episodes were all manifestations of
Khrushchev's standard operating procedures. Though shrewd, energetic and
determined, this rotund little man from the village of Kalinovka in
southern Russia could never escape his demons -- personal insecurities and
resentments that never let him out of their grip. He constantly looked for
shortcuts to success -- for ways to triple meat production in a single
year. The mostly faceless party hacks who finally pushed him out of office
in October 1964 accused him of "harebrained schemes," and no lawyer could
have won him acquittal on that charge. He was emotional, unpredictable,
stubborn and, tragically, ignorant about history, economics, the outside
world and the workings of his own country.

With Khrushchev in charge, the Soviet Union was in the hands of a genuinely
dangerous man. He actually believed in the propaganda he had grown up on,
so he saw the Western countries as wicked "imperialists" determined to do
communists in because they defended the cause of the working class. He had
no qualms about killing people for political purposes, collaborated with
Stalin's Great Terror and ordered the brutal crushing of the Hungarian
revolution in 1956 without an evident blink.

He rarely listened to his aides or comrades but made decisions on instinct
or whim. Repeatedly, Taubman recounts episodes in which Khrushchev launched
some initiative (sending missiles to Cuba, for example) without carefully
considering where his impulsive decision might lead. He loved risk. "The
situation is highly dangerous, and I think the people with the strongest
nerves will be the winners," he told Egypt's President Gamel Abdul Nasser
during one Mideast crisis. Dealing with such a crisis "is like playing
chess in the dark," he exulted.

Khrushchev was reckless, but mercifully he was not a fool. His peasant's
intuition served him reasonably well at critical moments. Most important,
he understood that nuclear weapons, though wonderful toys that might bring
significant political gains, could never be used.

It was this appraisal that saved the day during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Taubman's account of the crisis is fascinating but also frustrating,
because he doesn't try to resolve the question of why Khrushchev took the
huge gamble of sending the missiles to Cuba. Taubman credits Khrushchev's
own explanation, given in his memoirs: "The installation of our missiles in
Cuba would, I thought, restrain the United States" from attacking Cuba,
which he claimed to believe was an imminent possibility. Taubman also
acknowledges support for the theory that Khrushchev wanted to use the
missiles to win a resolution of Berlin's status on his terms. But he gives
short shrift to evidence reported by other scholars (notably Graham Allison
and Philip Zelikow) that Berlin was really the main reason, and Cuba's
defense a cover story. Ultimately, Taubman suggests that it was
Khrushchev's recklessness, and his confidence that Kennedy would not start
a nuclear war over Soviet missiles in Cuba, that explain what happened.

Most important, Taubman writes, was Khrushchev's belief that "the missiles
were meant to frighten, not to be used." When Kennedy reacted much more
aggressively to the missiles than Khrushchev had expected, setting up a
naval blockade around Cuba and implicitly threatening nuclear war if they
weren't removed, Khrushchev quickly folded his cards. On the third day of
the crisis, Oct. 25, 1962, he told his comrades that "we must dismantle the
missiles to make Cuba into a zone of peace." He was humiliated, but nuclear
war was averted.

Taubman is especially good when describing Khrushchev's endlessly complex
relationship with Stalin, who made Khrushchev's career and tormented him
even from the grave. Arguably his greatest achievement was his "secret
speech" to the 20th Congress of the Soviet Communist Party revealing and
denouncing Stalin's crimes in 1956, yet he could never abandon the idea
that Stalin was a great man. Khrushchev's daughter Rada explained why: "On
many things he thought Stalin was right because he himself thought like
Stalin." Exactly so.

That Taubman could get such an insight from Khrushchev's own daughter
suggests one of the great strengths of this book. Taubman has given us a
post-Soviet biography of a Soviet leader, one based on interviews and
documents that should be the basis of any good biography, but which were
unavailable for Soviet leaders until recent times. It is exciting to think
how rich a portrait of Soviet history will now be possible if more books as
good as Taubman's are written using the new sources.

And now a quick quibble: For a professor of political science, Taubman is a
fine writer. His prose is clean, free of cliché and fast-paced. But he is
not a literary writer, and his book does not evoke many pictures in the
mind's eye. He doesn't always establish a scene or a context effectively,
so readers unfamiliar with Soviet history may feel left out at some junctures.

He misses opportunities for more vivid writing -- for example, in his flat
description of Khrushchev's dramatic funeral in 1971, when KGB agents kept
all but a few people, but luckily not this correspondent, out of Moscow's
Novodyevichy Cemetery, for fear there might be a manifestation of public
support for the departed leader.

But this is a fine book. And it suggests that the great Soviet riddle that
so fascinated and alarmed outsiders -- "a riddle wrapped in a mystery
inside an enigma," in Churchill's oft-cited phrase -- can now be finally
solved by hard-working and clear-thinking scholars like William Taubman.

********

#4
Los Angeles Times
March 9, 2003
book review
The giant of Soviet brinkmanship
By Strobe Talbott
Strobe Talbott, former deputy secretary of State in the Clinton
administration, is president of the Brookings Institution. He translated
and edited two volumes of Nikita Khrushchev's memoirs in the 1970s.

Khrushchev, The Man and the Era. William Taubman, W.W. Norton: 876 pp., $35

The collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the extinction of the USSR two
years later seemed as sudden as they were spectacular. But those events, in
fact, had their origins in the late 1950s and early 1960s, when Nikita
Khrushchev ruled the world's last empire. Khrushchev, who had been a
protg and henchman of Joseph Stalin's, used the power he inherited from
the dictator to proclaim a policy of de-Stalinization and experiment with
liberal reforms.

Khrushchev's personal evolution prefigured the transformation of his
country -- and of the world -- a quarter of a century later. It took that
long for the contradictions that Khrushchev himself personified to be
reconciled in favor of a decisive break with Russia's totalitarian past.
His own reign was erratic and often bloody. While preaching "peaceful
coexistence," he famously threatened to "bury" the capitalist West, and his
recklessness in putting missiles in Cuba brought the world close to an
all-out nuclear war. Still, the Khrushchev "thaw" gave rise to a youthful,
reformist generation known as "the people of the sixties," many of whom
spearheaded the peaceful revolution against Soviet power in the 1980s.

Khrushchev has been the subject of a long shelf full of books but never,
until now, a comprehensive and authoritative biography. William Taubman, a
professor of political science at Amherst College, has filled that gap with
a masterpiece of scholarship, investigation and narrative. He has, as his
subtitle promises, brought alive Khrushchev and his era. He has also
established the salient connections between that momentous story and the
drama underway in Russia today.

Khrushchev has been dead more than 30 years, and Taubman's book has been in
progress for more than a dozen years. The result is worth waiting for.
Every chapter reflects the author's deep knowledge of the Soviet Union. It
was an education that began in the '60s, when he was an exchange student at
Moscow State University, and it incorporates his numerous trips to the
places Khrushchev lived and worked; his cultivation of sources among
Khrushchev's family and colleagues; his judicious sifting of the vast
literature, Russian and foreign, on those murky years; and, most important,
his determination to answer the core question of Khrushchev's career: How
was it that a creature of one of the most corrupt and murderous political
cultures of all time would attempt a change for the better when he had a
chance?

To answer that question, Taubman marshals the resources of the art of
biography at its best. In reconstructing a single paradoxical life, he
helps us understand better the complexity of the human condition, with its
mixture of frailty, ambition, resilience and capacity for growth.

Khrushchev was born into a society in turmoil. He seized early on the
opportunity to make his way upward in a system that was as brutalizing as
it was brutal. He was sometimes racked by guilt, but more often he sought
to justify what he did by convincing himself that he was serving his
country, his party, his leader and the ideology that was supposed to
embrace all three.

Taubman is unstinting in his portrayal of Khrushchev as the willing
instrument of the Terror. In the purge trials of the late '30s, there is
Khrushchev, "one of the most voluble cheerleaders for the Stalinist line,"
exhorting hatred for the enemies in the dock and braying for their
execution. But, also in those early years, Taubman finds in Khrushchev's
maneuverings occasional flashes of an intuitive independence and a willful
spontaneity, an instinct to ask basic questions and a bumptious confidence
in his own answers rather than those he's learned by rote. These qualities
are uncharacteristic of cogs in the machine; and they may, Taubman
suggests, help explain a degree of decency -- or, to use a word that
Khrushchev himself favored, "honesty" -- that survived in Khrushchev the
Stalinist and allowed him to become the Great de-Stalinizer.

At the same time, Khrushchev's cocky and mercurial nature also contained
the germ of his eventual undoing. Even in the early '30s, Taubman details
cases in which Khrushchev's "tendency to decide too quickly and to take
things to extremes got him into trouble."

Taubman poignantly recounts the strains and deformations of personal and
family life at the top of the Soviet system. Khrushchev's second wife,
Nina, is often the sympathetic focus of these tales. In order not to arouse
suspicions that either she or he was mixing business and professional life,
she had to hide her marriage to Khrushchev from her bosses for years. She
also made a point of keeping the subject of Stalin from coming up in front
of their children so that she would not have to praise him or -- far more
dangerous -- say what she really thought about the "meat-grinder" of the
purges. She tried to ease the return to society, and to the family, of a
relative who was sent to the concentration camps.

Taubman's book is full of evidence that being close to Stalin was often
fatal. The dictator's paranoia was part of his management technique. He had
a way of liquidating those who worked for him most loyally just to show
others who was boss. Khrushchev escaped this fate through a combination of
luck and skill. Taubman recounts how Khrushchev once saved his skin by
calling Stalin's attention to the accusations of Khrushchev's own enemies.
"By boldly raising the subject himself, Khrushchev proved he had nothing to
hide from Stalin, who took even small signs of nervousness as indications
of guilt."

Khrushchev, along with the rest of Stalin's inner circle, might well have
been purged had it not been for the dictator's sudden and still
mystery-laden death in 1953. After a brutal and in several cases bloody
scramble for succession, Khrushchev came out on top.

Taubman sees Khrushchev's speech to the Twentieth Party Congress in 1956
denouncing Stalin as "the bravest and most reckless thing he ever did. The
Soviet regime never fully recovered, and neither did he." Khrushchev
embarked on the policy of de-Stalinization in part to discredit his
competitors for absolute power, since they were all heavily implicated in
the crimes of the dictator. But so was virtually everyone in the vast
system and so, of course, was Khrushchev himself. That meant he was
assuming a double jeopardy: He was arousing resentment among those who had
risen through the system, and, by demolishing the myth of the leader's
infallibility, he was laying the basis for a move against him when there
was a consensus among his comrades that he had made too many mistakes.

It is in Taubman's account of that epochal year of 1956 that Mikhail S.
Gorbachev, then an official of the Communist Youth League, first appears in
the book. Gorbachev had the assignment of reporting to rural party
organizations on the bombshell that Khrushchev had dropped back in Moscow.
He was glad to find that younger and better-educated citizens welcomed
Khrushchev's speech. But many others clung to the idea that by massacring
his enemies, real and imagined, Stalin had saved both the motherland and
the Marxist-Leninist ideal.

Like almost everything about Khrushchev, his speech unmasking Stalin,
positive as it was in its essence, had ambiguous and tragic consequences.
It sent a shock through Eastern Europe that sparked a spirit of resistance.
Shortly after the speech, revolution broke out in Hungary. When Khrushchev
sent in the tanks, he became, in the eyes of the world, "the Butcher of
Budapest." Thus, his own greatest crime and the ignominy it brought him
was, indirectly but unmistakably, a result of his greatest contribution to
his country's slow progress toward liberation and the eventual unraveling
of Soviet control over Eastern Europe.

In the early '60s, Khrushchev tried to drive another stake through the
heart of Stalin by authorizing the publication of Alexander Solzhenitsyn's
masterpiece about the camps, "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" and
Yevgeny Yevtushenko's poem "The Heirs of Stalin." Taubman believes
Khrushchev would have gone further in that direction if he had not stumbled
into the Cuban missile crisis, which marked the beginning of the end of his
career.

This and the other confrontations between Khrushchev and his American
counterparts -- Dwight D. Eisenhower over the downing of a U-2 spy plane,
John F. Kennedy over Berlin as well as Cuba -- are among the most
well-plowed fields of history, political science and, for that matter,
Hollywood movies (most recently, Kevin Costner's star turn in "Thirteen
Days"). But in these chapters too, Taubman brings fresh insight,
information and coherence. He puts those crises into the context of his
full-textured portrait of Khrushchev -- the gambler who was prepared to
play high-stakes poker but not Russian roulette. And he includes some truly
wonderful incidents, such as a wild encounter between Khrushchev and Hubert
H. Humphrey during a showdown over Berlin ("two more ebullient, not to say
manic, interlocutors can hardly be imagined"). At one point, Khrushchev,
out of mock courtesy to his guest, drew a circle around Minneapolis on a
map and promised to spare that city in the nuclear attack he was
threatening to unleash against the U.S.

Taubman's account of the Cuban missile crisis confirms what a close call it
was -- and what a fragile concept mutual deterrence was in practice.
Khrushchev, having misjudged Kennedy, quickly found himself looking for a
way out of the dangerous pass. But events took on a momentum of their own,
especially with Fidel Castro urging Khrushchev to consider a preemptive
strike against the U.S. Unless the USSR was willing to launch first, Castro
argued, the USSR would be on the receiving end of an American
bolt-from-the-blue attack like the one that Hitler launched against Stalin
in 1941.

Taubman leaves little doubt that Khrushchev's decision to accommodate
Kennedy rather than Castro was, while merciful, also decisive in setting
the scene for his demise. He'd put the Soviet military in the position of
being part of a bluff. When it was called, the generals never forgave him,
and they had their allies in the Politburo.

Khrushchev's last years were marked more than ever by wild swings in
behavior and attitude, but they included harbingers of a better, if still
distant, future. "Khrushchev flirted," writes Taubman, "with radical
economic reforms and prepared a new Soviet constitution that pointed toward
the sorts of changes Gorbachev later adopted." In overriding the demands of
the Soviet army and the leviathans of the Soviet military-industrial
complex, Khrushchev "was anticipating deep cuts in Russian armed forces
carried out by Gorbachev and Yeltsin."

When Khrushchev was strutting across the world stage in his notoriously bad
suits, spewing bombast and cornpone, there was a temptation -- including
among his own subjects -- to regard him as something of a buffoon. He
emerges as anything but that in Taubman's pages. Khrushchev's ability to
win the brass ring in the most ruthlessly competitive game on earth and to
hold on to his job for nearly a decade is not hard to understand in
Taubman's account. Khrushchev could be thoroughly disciplined, and he could
outwit and out-tough anyone who crossed him. Taubman recounts how
Khrushchev did in Marshal Zhukov -- not just a hero but an icon of World
War II, a man nervy enough to contradict Stalin's orders and survive.
Zhukov was instrumental in arresting the bloody police chief Lavrenty
Beria; in crushing the Hungarian revolution of 1956; and in saving
Khrushchev from a Kremlin conspiracy which nearly toppled him in 1957.
Taubman's meticulous reconstruction of Zhukov's downfall is a masterpiece
of historical detective work and a good yarn. But Khrushchev had, somewhere
along the way, shed the most literal version of a killer instinct that was
one of the defining traits of a true Stalinist. Having bested Zhukov,
Khrushchev let him live in respectable retirement. He did the same with
other members of the old gang whom he shunted aside: party leaders
Vyacheslav Molotov, Georgi Malenkov and Lazar Kaganovich.

Partly because of that change in Soviet practice, when Khrushchev's own
turn came for a fall from grace in 1964, Leonid I. Brezhnev and the other
comrades-turned-usurpers created for him the category of "special
pensioner" and confined him to a dacha outside of Moscow. There he dictated
his memoirs: another breakthrough, and a precedent that those other war
horses put out to pasture followed, to the benefit of historians like Taubman.

In his epilogue, Taubman quotes Khrushchev's real successor, Gorbachev, as
dismissing "Brezhnevism [as] nothing but a conservative reaction against
Khrushchev's attempt at reform." Gorbachev added that he and his
contemporaries were "children of the Twentieth Party Congress," at which
Khrushchev had broken Stalin's grip on the country. Gorbachev and the other
reformers "regarded the task of renewing what Khrushchev had begun as 'our
obligation.' "

Thanks to Taubman, one of the most important figures of the 20th century
finally has the biography he deserves.

********

#5
Rosbalt
Russia Has 8 Times Less Small Businesses Than Western Countries

MOSCOW, March 9. Russia lags behind developed countries in terms of the
number of small business by about 8 times. This was announced by Yevgeny
Primakov, the head of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, on
Thursday, March 6 at a round-table conference on 'The financial foundations
for small business development'. According to Primakov, in developed
countries the percentage of GNP produced by small business is between
50-70%, while in Russia this figure is only 10-12%.

Primakov said that small business is very badly developed in Russia. He
believes that 'it is essential to offer support to small and medium-sized
business now if we are to progress to a civilised market.' The head of the
chamber stressed that small business should 'create a sound base for the
successful development of our country's economy.' 'Small businesses can
bring about stable economic development, and we will then be less dependent
on oil exports,' he said.

Primakov also announced that the chamber is currently developing a complex
programme for supporting small business. In particular, it will propose
simplifying the registration process for small businesses, as well as
credit provision schemes.

********

#6
BBC Monitoring
Prominent Chechen politicians deplore Moscow-backed referendum
Source: Chechenpress web site, Tbilisi, in Russian 8 Mar 03

Chechen politicians Akhmad Zakayev and Ruslan Khasbulatov have condemned
the forthcoming Moscow-backed referendum in Chechnya, saying that it will
lead to the escalation of the Russian-Chechen war. Speaking at the London
School of Economics, they described the referendum as a "cynical jibe at
democracy". At the same time, Zakayev condemned the Kremlin's refusal to
recognize Chechnya's independence and attempts to suppress the national
liberation struggle of the Chechen people. Khasbulatov also proposed that
Chechnya be granted autonomous status, saying that the Chechnya problem
could not be solved without the intervention of international peacekeeping
forces. The following is a text of A. Sheripov report by Chechenpress news
agency web site entitled "A joint address by Zakayev and Khasbulatov in
London":

London, 8 March: The London School of Economics is one of the most
prestigious institutions of higher education in the world. The most famous
politicians regard it as an honour to address it with lectures about
important events in international life. On the evening of 7 March,
prominent Chechen politicians Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov's special
envoy Akhmad Zakayev and ex-Speaker of the Russian State Duma Ruslan
Khasbulatov addressed students and teachers, as well as numerous
journalists and representatives of the British public, at the conference
hall of the London School of Economics.

The subject of discussion was "Chechnya and international terrorism".
Quoting documented facts, Zakayev convincingly explained to those present
that the national liberation struggle of the Chechen people in the modern
period started long before the problem of international terrorism shifted
into the foreground of politics. The Chechen people proclaimed its national
sovereignty before the collapse of the Soviet Union and within the legal
framework of the then constitutions of the USSR and the Russian Federation.
Only the unwillingness of the Kremlin leadership to recognize Chechnya's
state sovereignty and its plans to suppress by force the aspiration of the
Chechen people to gain independence caused Russian-Chechen relations to
turn into a war.

The Russian military invasion which resulted in the deaths of about 20 per
cent of the Chechen population, the total destruction of Chechen cities and
villages, torture, humiliation, looting and the absolute impunity of the
Russian military, which is committing these monstrous crimes daily, could
not but give rise to desperate retaliatory actions by some Chechens. Even
if these actions can be qualified as manifestations of terrorism, they are
not the cause, but the consequence of state terrorism unleashed by Russia
against the Chechen people. It is not Russia, but Chechnya that is ablaze
today. Mass graves of people tortured to death are not in Russia, but in
Chechnya. It is not residents of Russian, but Chechen cities and villages
who completely disappear at night. It is not one third of Russia's, but
Chechnya's population that is living in tents and wandering around the
world without accommodation and the right to self-defence. For this reason,
it is hardly correct both from a legal and moral point of view to equalize
the actions of butchers and victims - the Russian military grouping and
Chechen resistance fighters. Nevertheless, the legitimate authorities of
the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria headed by President Aslan Maskhadov have
always condemned and condemn such actions as they are directed against
innocent people no matter how understandable the motives of individual
Chechens whose relatives and loved ones have been killed by Russian
punitive detachments. This was the refrain of Zakayev's speech.

Stating the mutual brutality of the sides and the radical irreconcilability
of their positions, Ruslan Khasbulatov expressed his deep confidence that
the problem of Russian-Chechen relations could not be solved without the
intervention of international peacekeeping forces. The idea of Chechnya's
post-war system defended by Khasbulatov is well-known and has repeatedly
been expressed by him - international autonomy status. Chechen President
Aslan Maskhadov has already expressed his readiness to accept this concept
as a basis for political negotiations with the Russian leadership.

"The legitimate government of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria is always
open to constructive dialogue," Zakayev pointed out. "War is not our
choice. The war we are waging is the absence of another choice since Russia
bets on the physical suppression of the independence of the Chechen people."

The journalists and audience were interested in Zakayev and Khasbulatov's
attitude to the 23 March "referendum" on the "new Chechen constitution".
Khasbulatov described this event as "a cynical jibe at democracy". Zakayev
pointed out that the so-called referendum would not bring about an end to
the war, but a fresh escalation. The two Chechen politicians described the
consent of several international structures to send "observers" to monitor
the Kremlin's "referendum" show as complicity in the crimes of the Russian
leadership and military against the Chechen people. Zakayev added that he
also saw this consent as a demonstration of racism by individual Western
politicians since to recognize the Kremlin's "referendum" farce means to
treat the Chechen people with contempt, ignoring its right to free choice
in deciding its fate. "Such an attitude to the nation which has been
defending its freedom for hundreds of years, experiencing unprecedented
trials and tribulations, is inadmissible in a world calling itself
civilized and declaring freedom of choice as its main value," Zakayev stated.

Asked about the likelihood of his extradition to the Russian Federation,
Zakayev answered that this was not Zakayev's problem, but a problem of the
legal evaluation by British justice of the Chechens' fight against the
Russian aggression. "With this persecution, the Russian side has created a
dilemma which can be solved in one of two ways: Either Zakayev is declared
a second Bin Ladin' and recognized as a terrorist, or Putin is declared a
second Milosevic' and a war criminal," Zakayev stated.

In conclusion, the organizers of the meeting warmly thanked Zakayev and
Khasbulatov for their interesting speeches and frank answers to the
sharpest questions. The Chechen politicians were given gifts and told
sincere words of support and sympathy.

********

#7
Newsday
March 9, 2003
Chechen Refugees Reject Vote
Suspicious of referendum by Russians
By Liam Pleven
RUSSIA CORRESPONDENT

Sleptsovskaya, Russia - Home is in canvas tents heated against the Russian
winter by gas-burning stoves, and bread gets doled out a half-loaf per
person at a time. But for some Chechens who fled warfare to live in
sprawling camps, things apparently could be worse:

They could be back in Chechnya.

Eager to end the separatist war that has killed thousands over the past
decade, Russian officials have scheduled a referendum March 23 on a
constitution that would declare Chechnya an "inalienable" part of Russia.
Moscow aims to use the vote to show that one of the world's bloodiest and
most intractable conflicts is basically over, and that calm is returning to
a region that has been linked to international terrorism.

"The Chechen people want peace and ... [have] a chance to say so out loud
at the referendum," Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said last month.

But with armed clashes commonplace and tens of thousands of Russian
soldiers still in Chechnya, many refugees at the camps near this town just
outside the Chechen border say they have no intention of returning to take
part in a vote they regard as useless. In effect, they plan to abstain with
their feet.

"Even if they have a referendum, there won't be an end to the war. Only
when they pull the troops out," said a woman named Koka, who fled Grozny,
the Chechen capital, in 1999.

"There can't be any voting at gunpoint," she said.

A man who gave his name only as Islam said officials recently told him "it
was high time to go home." But Islam said he will not vote. "I told them I
don't want to go to a slaughterhouse," he said.

Such views are a blow to the Russian contention that conditions are
returning to normal in Chechnya.

To bolster the vote, Russian officials are promising buses to carry
refugees just over the border to cast ballots. They also are offering
housing in Grozny to longtime tent-dwellers, some of whose former homes are
rubble.

At the same time, Moscow has said it will let roughly 23,000 Russian
soldiers in Chechnya, almost 5 percent of the eligible electorate, cast votes.

Here in the neighboring region of Ingushetia, about 66,000 displaced
Chechens are taking shelter from the war, 16,000 of them in the tent camps,
according to Russian officials. The United Nations says the total number of
Chechen refugees in the region is almost 95,000.

Government officials said thousands have signed up to go back to Chechnya.
But among more than a score of refugees interviewed in Ingushetia, few
expressed interest in returning under current conditions.

The Russian government wants to hold the referendum "to create the
impression in other countries that everything is OK in Chechnya," said Asa
Tashtamivova, who fled Grozny three years ago.

The United States has called on Russia to find a political solution to the
Chechen crisis.

Russia has played down the Chechen nationalism behind the 12-year-old
rebellion, saying the war is driven by Islamic militants with links to
Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network.

Last month, the State Department added three Chechen organizations to its
list of terrorist organizations, saying they were involved in an attack on
a Moscow theater in October that led to the deaths of 129 hostages.

But among Chechen refugees, it is the Russian troops who are feared,
notably for the search-and-arrest operations they conduct in Chechnya,
which has led to disappearances of Chechens opposed to the government.

Some refugees are even uncomfortable having troops guard the tent camps.

"When my kids saw the soldiers, they asked me, 'Will we be living in the
basement now?'" said Hava, a mother of three who declined to give her last
name, harkening back to the family's habits before they fled Chechnya.

Conditions in the camps, arrayed on a muddy and barren slope not far from
the Chechen border, are less than ideal.

Families are crowded into the tents, which are marked in places by personal
touches - a hanging photograph of Mecca in one, a small wooden entrance
built from scavenged wood in another.

Two women among the few refugees who said they had signed up to return to
Chechnya were Aiza and Rosa. "We're sick and tired of living in a tent,"
said the former, while the latter added, "Since I've filed that request, I
can't sleep at night. ... I'm so scared."

********

#8
New York Times
March 9, 2003
Women Redefine Their Roles in New Russia
By SABRINA TAVERNISE

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, March 8 As women walked with bouquets of flowers,
gifts from the men in their lives on this Women's Day, a small group of
friends here in Russia's northern industrial and cultural center were
celebrating in a different way.

Two were sitting in a smoke-filled art-scene cafe watching the film "I Shot
Andy Warhol," about the radical American feminist Valerie Solanis. Another
was home with her children. Still another was painting banners for a
demonstration to remind residents what the Russian observance of
International Women's Day a national holiday here since Soviet times is
really about.

"It's a fake holiday," said Olga Lipovskaya, 49, chairwoman of the St.
Petersburg Center for Gender Issues. "All these flowers, they are false
offerings of affection. I don't want a tulip. I would rather have rights,
power and money."

While for most in Russia, Women's Day is a a time for flowers, perfume and
boxes of candy, for these St. Petersburg intellectuals, it is a time to
reflect about what it means to be a woman in this society. Only one of the
four friends would call herself a feminist. But they find a certain
sisterhood with each other and live in ways that even the most emancipated
Western women might find intimidatingly liberated.

For St. Petersburg, Women's Day has a particularly meaningful past. Many
historians argue that it was the women of St. Petersburg, who celebrated
the day in 1917 with a demonstration "for bread and peace," who touched off
the overthrow of the czar. Soon thereafter, Russian women were among the
first in the world to receive the right to vote, in part as a result of
efforts by radical Russian feminists like Aleksandra Kollontai.

Women's Day "is a holiday to celebrate the absolutely wonderful radicalism
of the 1920's," said Alla Mitrofanova, one of the four friends, who helped
Russian women learn about the Internet in the early 1990's.

The Soviets imposed egalitarianism from above. A quota system ensured that
women occupied a certain number of government posts. Women studied at
universities alongside men. Cafeterias, laundries and day care centers
opened in cities to ease women's burden at home.

In today's Russia, however, the quota system has been eliminated and women
have all but disappeared from top government posts. The privatization of
state assets after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991
overwhelmingly benefited men. At the same time, women, who for years had
worked in factories and on construction sites, took pleasure in abandoning
such toil for the life of a homemaker.

Ms. Mitrofanova, 43, made such a choice. Despite her nontraditional
approach to motherhood she chose a father for her children by asking
various male friends she decided to become a stay-at-home mother for her
two sons. She deplores the fact that women's work in the home is not valued
and talks wistfully of the social services, like free day care, secured by
feminists during the early Soviet era, but now in decline.

"Women will never win in the fight within the establishment for power," she
said, in her disheveled kitchen in central St. Petersburg. "Why should I
try when I can achieve so much more at home?"

In Russia today, feminism, and activism more generally, is regarded with
suspicion. Russians, cynical from the economic chaos of the past decade and
the force-fed politics of Soviet times, scorn activism as pathetically
nave. Besides, the problems of other social groups, like migrants from the
Caucasus who face tremendous prejudice in Russia, are much more serious,
the women in this circle said.

Even so, Ms. Lipovskaya and her helpers were painting signs on Friday for
today's demonstration. A self-described former hippie, who worked in
low-paying cleaning and doorman jobs in Soviet times, she is one of the
very few advocates of political protest. In 1992, a year after the demise
of the Soviet Union, she founded the Gender Center.

"Feminism in Russia is associated with primitive stereotypes," she said in
her sun-drenched office, which is based in a worn but stately St.
Petersburg apartment. "Feminists are either lesbians, ugly women who
couldn't get a man, or crazy. No one here understands it's a huge field,
not just activism."

Ms. Lipovskaya asserts that women have lost out in the last decade during
Russia's transition to capitalism. Even so, when men and women found
themselves adrift in the free-for-all that followed Communism's collapse,
suddenly facing the loss of jobs and identities, it was women who proved
more adaptive, landing jobs in the service industry and in small
businesses, while men groped for jobs with similar status.

"The situation for women compared with Soviet times got worse," she said.
"Most women's organizations are self-help centers. But these problems need
to be resolved in politics."

Despite the sharp decline in political representation, which many argue was
in any case only for show and did not give women any real power, women seem
to have done better than men in the economic transition.

While life expectancies for men fell four years, to 59 years from 63, in
the decade ending in 2001, women's life spans fell by only two, to 72.
Alcoholism was largely responsible for men's catastrophic decline.

Another member of this group of friends, Roza Khatskelevich, provides a
model for other women through the sheer force of her professional success.
Ms. Khatskelevich, an administrator in an arts academy in Soviet times,
runs a large resource center for nongovernmental organizations that she
founded in 1992. She shies from the feminist label, though, saying it puts
her in a box.

"I have no political platforms," she said. "I don't like the system of
rules the word `feminist' implies."

Even so, she has reared her son as a single mother, while providing
leadership to her mostly female staff, and, by all accounts, she has lived
the life of an empowered woman. Russian women do not identify with Western
models of feminism, she said, because, quite simply, they do not feel
discriminated against.

That could be changing, as younger women come of age. Irina Aktuganova,
director of the Cyber-Femin-Club, a group that helps women use the
Internet, and the small cafe where the film was showing, said universities
were starting to create gender studies departments. Younger women, who
remember little of the Soviet Union, no longer think of the gender studies
as something alien. In addition, women are beginning to enter local
governments, although in the lowest positions. The St. Petersburg League of
Women Voters, affiliated with the American group, says 43 percent of local
administrators are women, up from 32 percent in 1998.

Women's rights were not appreciated in Soviet times because they were
imposed by decree and never fought for, said Ms. Aktuganova, adding, "Young
women don't fear the word feminism."

That is true for Elena Gres, 20, a third-year student at the Nevsky
Institute of Language and Culture, a new private college. Ms. Gres, from a
Siberian oil town, has discussed gender issues in class, something that got
her thinking about women's political representation.

"I thought a feminist was someone who poured her own wine and opened doors
for herself," said Ms. Gres, in a St. Petersburg cafe. "A woman should be
able to bring her understanding of the world to politics. That seemed to me
very right. The exclusion of women is just unhealthy."

********

#9
BBC Monitoring
Russian TV channels to change their programming ahead of elections
Source: Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Moscow, in Russian 4 Mar 03

Russia's main television channels are rejigging their schedules to run more
political programmes ahead of the next elections, the newspaper
Nezavisimaya Gazeta reports. Some top entertainment shows - and big earners
of advertising revenues - have been shifted to make room for them. For this
to happen, there must be some serious money on offer from somewhere. The
following is an excerpt from Nezavisimaya Gazeta's report on 4 March:

The new TV season traditionally begins in September. It is in the autumn
that a new broadcasting schedule appears on the majority of federal
channels. But this time the new TV season coincides with the election
campaign...

The channels are rejigging their broadcasting schedules in order to
increase the proportion of political programmes on air by autumn. Channel
One is no exception - all the federal channels are busy creating new
political programmes.

Experts predict that the TV advertising market will be worth around 1bn
dollars this year in Moscow and St Petersburg alone, not counting the
regional markets. Clearly budgets running to tens of millions of dollars
have to come into the market for broadcasting schedules to be radically
changed. Political parties cannot have that kind of money - their campaign
expenditure is limited by legislation on elections to the risible sum of
R250m. But we are not talking about these funds. The TV channels are
targeting the "black" budgets, which, at these elections, will amount to
tens of millions of dollars for each of the major parties.

From the purely business standpoint, increasing the proportion of prime
time political programmes is clearly a loss-making enterprise. The ratings
for these programmes are relatively low and advertisers are reluctant to
patronize them.

"The channels' programme directors are aware of the danger of a ratings
slump, so they will be making every effort to make the political programmes
a high-quality and attractive product," Dmitriy Chernyshenko, head of the
TV productions section of the Russian Association of Advertising Agencies
RARA , confidently stated. "Ratings-wise political programmes are not the
world championship finals, but interest in them will grow as the elections
approach."...

While putting out political programmes, which make much less profit than
entertainment programmes, the TV channels are obviously still hoping to
make money. Under existing legislation on elections a political talk show
or analysis programme is the only way to get politicians on the air ahead
of the elections. "Under legislation, information on a candidate that is
not connected with his professional activities will be seen as
campaigning," Sergey Bolshakov, deputy head of the Central Electoral
Commission, explained. "But campaigning is not banned ahead of an election
and it can take any form, on one condition - a candidate must pay for his
TV appearance out of an election fund and the potential voters must be
informed of this." But a candidate may appear in a news programme or
political talk show - on condition that the presenter remains impartial and
avoids forming his own opinions...

Such programmes will obviously be in demand with politicians - probably
there is no need to say how important it is for them to appear on TV
screens in the runup to an election. The TV channels also hope to benefit
from their appearances on air - not least financially...

********

#10
The Irish Times
March 8, 2003
Former Soviet states extend repression
By DANIEL MCLAUGHLIN
MOSCOW

Human rights defenders say Washington's "war on terror" is providing cover
for a crackdown on basic freedoms in former Soviet states that offer bases
and support for US action in Afghanistan, and may figure in any military
strike against Iraq.

Groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have urged
Washington to do more to stop a wave of repression sweeping the desert and
mountain states of Central Asia, where increasingly autocratic leaders are
accused of using the fight against extremism to justify the arbitrary
arrest, imprisonment and torture of opposition activists and journalists.

Turkmenistan this week jailed environmental activist Mr Farid Tukhbatullin,
the day after Turkmen President Mr Saparmurat Niyazov promised the
Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe that he would free the
campaigner. Mr Tukhbatullin was accused of concealing prior knowledge of an
alleged assassination attempt, from which Mr Niyazov escaped unharmed last
November.

The alleged attack prompted the arrest of dozens of opposition figures, and
led to the summary trial and imprisonment of over 50 people. Some rights
groups said torture was used to elicit confessions delivered at proceedings
redolent of Stalin's show trials.

Oil and gas-rich Turkmenistan, which has strategic borders with Iran and
Afghanistan, is "one of the most repressive countries in the world," Human
Rights Watch said this week, as it queried a US State Department decision
to omit the nation from a list of states whose attitude to religious
freedom was of "particular concern".

Also missing from the list was Uzbekistan, which borders Afghanistan and
serves as a base for US troops operating there, despite the fact that "the
government has persecuted thousands of individuals whose peaceful practice
of Islam falls beyond state controls," HRW said, highlighting "arbitrary
arrest, unfair trials and torture of hundreds of independent Muslims."
Uzbekistan says it is fighting extremist groups.

An advance copy of a United Nations report this week said torture was
"pervasive and persistent" in Uzbekistan, and that if the country's leaders
did not know about it, "it can only be because of a lack of desire to
know." Uzbek authorities have arrested a string of opposition journalists
in recent weeks, and blocked Internet sites carrying statements by an
unknown author that accuse President Islam Karimov of rights abuses,
vote-rigging and leading a political elite comprising "drug dealers and
bandits".

Mr Aaron Rhodes, executive director of the respected Helsinki Federation,
told Russia's Izvestia newspaper yesterday that "It's hardly possible to
say that civil society exists in Uzbekistan. . .the state tries to control
absolutely everything."

In neighbouring Kyrgyzstan, from where US troops fly into Afghanistan,
critics of President Askar Akayev say a controversial referendum last month
concentrated huge power in his hands, and complain of increasing harassment
of journalists and opposition figures.

"A number of governments jumped on the 'anti-terrorism' bandwagon and
seized the moment to step up repression, undermine human rights protection
and stifle political dissent," Amnesty International said in its World
Report last year.

Human Rights Watch agreed, and placed the onus on Washington to respond.

"The Bush administration says it wants to promote human rights in the
Muslim world," HRW reported. "But it can hardly say it's trying if it's
afraid to state the simple truth about some of its partners." In recent
days, Washington has shown signs of answering such criticism.

The State Department has expressed "concern" over arrests of journalists in
Uzbekistan, and condemned the imprisonment of ecologist Mr Tukhbatullin.

********

#11
Russia To Speed Destruction Of Chemical Arms - Report
March 9, 2003
DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

MOSCOW (AP)--Russia's state commission on chemical disarmament ordered
authorities to speed up construction of a second weapons destruction
facility to eliminate the country's huge Soviet-era arsenal, an official
said Sunday, according to the ITAR-Tass news agency.

The facility would be built on the site of a former chemical weapons plant
near Kambarka in the Udmurtia region of central Russia . It would be tasked
with destroying about 6,360 metric tons of lewisite, an arsenic-based
fluid, still stored on the site.

"The task was set to destroy supplies of lewisite there by April 29, 2007,"
Nikolai Bezborodov, deputy chairman of the commission and deputy chief of
the parliamentary defense committee, was quoted as telling ITAR-Tass. "The
date is predetermined."

Bezborodov said the construction would be financed in part by German aid of
approximately EUR30 million, ITAR-Tass said.

The report didn't have any details about when the facility would be
constructed or how soon it could begin operating.

Russia's first chemical weapons destruction facility opened in December in
Gorny, 450 miles southeast of Moscow. The facility, which so far has
destroyed 200 metric tons of mustard gas, was always planned to be the
first of three. But it has sparked controversy among environmentalists and
earlier this month was ordered to shut down by a Natural Resources Ministry
official for environmental violations. The plant, however, has continued
working.

Russia committed itself in 1997 to destroying its chemical weapons arsenal,
which at nearly 44,000 tons is the world's largest. The Kremlin, citing a
lack of money, has said it will not fulfill its initial pledge to eliminate
the stockpile by 2007 and has asked for a five-year extension.

The U.S. Congress has financed much of the effort to destroy the weapons
under a program to improve the safety of Russia's nuclear, chemical and
biological weapons programs. But American officials have grown increasingly
skeptical about Russia's efforts, which will receive $450 million this year
from U.S. taxpayers.

*******

#12
Los Angeles Times
March 9, 2003
Editorial
Spur Russia's Disarmament

As U.N. inspectors play hide-and-seek with the weapons stockpiles Iraq says
it doesn't have, consider this: Russia has about 30,000 nuclear weapons,
40,000 metric tons of declared chemical weapons and 40 research institutes
dedicated to biological weapons development.

Over the last decade, the United States has been working with Russia under
a program established in 1991 by Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.) and
then-Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) to help dismantle this fearsome arsenal. A
General Accounting Office draft study, however, reports that Russia's
uneven cooperation is being compounded by delays in funding on the American
side. Congress and the administration shouldn't seek to discredit the
project but rather should push for more cooperation.

The Nunn-Lugar program has scored significant successes over the last
decade. The Department of Defense has helped destroy 463 Russian nuclear
submarines, strategic missiles and long-range bombers. The Department of
Energy has installed security systems that protect about a third of
Russia's weapons-usable nuclear material. Russia also has agreed to destroy
its stock of nerve gas.

But more needs to be done. Testifying before Congress on Tuesday, GAO
official Joseph Christoff noted that Russia had not always paid its share
of the program's costs and, more significantly, that Russian ministries
often refused American officials access to nuclear and biological sites.
The Russians claim they are protecting national security interests. The
Defense Department has exacerbated problems by moving slowly to improve
security when Russia did allow access to biological facilities.

Unfortunately, a few lawmakers, such as Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine), chairman
of the House Armed Services Committee, have been tying up some
nonproliferation programs on the grounds that they are too wasteful and may
allow the Russian military to expend resources on offensive weapons.

This is Cold War thinking. The Bush administration does need to ensure that
the Russians spend the money to disarm, not rearm, but the idea that the
broken-down Russian military, which can't subdue Chechnya after more than a
decade, could pose a real threat to the American military is implausible.

Congress and the administration should heed the forthcoming GAO report to
improve, not discredit, efforts to destroy Russia's weapons.

*******

#13
Chicago Tribune
March 9, 2003
Russia patches up space program
Shuttle disaster leaves strapped nation as lifeline
By Alex Rodriguez
Tribune foreign correspondent

MOSCOW -- There were times during the post-Soviet lean years of the Russian
space program that it became hard to believe this was the same program that
spawned Sputnik and Yuri Gagarin.

Russian space exploration spent the 1990s with hat in hand. When it wasn't
asking for handouts from the United States, it was planning to sell seats
on Soyuz missions to those who could cough up $20 million.

Nothing illustrated these hard times as well as Russia's role in the rocky
beginnings of the International Space Station. The U.S. thought bringing
Russia into the project would save it $2 billion; instead Russia cost the
effort $3 billion.

Now, as Russia is thrust into the unlikely role of lifeline to the space
station after the Columbia shuttle disaster, its space program again finds
itself forced to forage for money. The fact that it's a routine Russia
knows well doesn't make it any easier.

NASA has announced that Russia will send an American astronaut and a
Russian cosmonaut in a Soyuz spacecraft to the space station in late April
or early May to replace the three crewmen on the outpost. Those crewmen,
two Americans and a Russian, would return to Earth in the Soyuz attached to
the station as an escape vehicle.

Program is short on cash

The shuttle program is expected to remain on hold for up to two years, so
Russia will need to build more spacecraft to carry crews and supplies to
and from the space station. Russia's space agency, Rosaviakosmos, has $130
million budgeted to send two Soyuz craft and three Progress cargo vehicles
this year, but it needs $85 million more to build six Progress ships next
year.

Russia has asked NASA for help, but the Iran Nonproliferation Act of 2000
bars the U.S. from doling out cash to Russia's space program unless Russia
proves it has not supplied Iran with nuclear weapons technology in the last
year. Among the Russian entities suspected of passing along nuclear weapons
know-how to Iran is RKK Energia, a builder of Russian spacecraft.

So far, the U.S. has been unwilling to set aside the act's provisions in
the wake of the shuttle disaster. Undersecretary of State John Bolton
recently discussed Russia's request with Kremlin aides but gave no sign
that the U.S. would acquiesce.

"What we discussed was the importance of not having Russian assistance,
whether officially acknowledged or not ... to any Iranian programs
involving weapons of mass destruction or ballistic missiles," Bolton said.

Russia is just as steadfast in denying it has, in any way, helped Iran's
efforts to acquire nuclear weapons technology.

"We hope [the U.S.] won't put additional financial pressure on [Russia] for
the sake of some mythical political realities, because this country already
has a lot of other problems," said Yuri Koptev, director of Rosaviakosmos.
"Frankly speaking, we do not understand why ... the financial burden has
been shifted to one country. That is wrong."

Today, Moscow spends a fraction of what it spent on its space program
during the Soviet era. Russia's economy is too weak to sustain the vast
infrastructure that supported the program before the Soviet collapse. And,
Russians don't view the country's space endeavors with the same level of
importance they once did.

"In Soviet times, people trusted in what the government said was important,
and the government said space was important," said Dmitry Pieson, director
of a Moscow-based consulting firm in Russia's space industry. "Now, when
people are counting money, people see that Russia is struggling and isn't a
superpower anymore, and their desire to have a strong space program is
diminished."

The Russian space program's money troubles date back to the waning years of
the Mikhail Gorbachev era, when the Soviet Union embarked on building and
launching a space shuttle called the Buran.

Only one Buran ever flew, an unmanned version in 1988. The other 11 that
were built were mothballed. Today, most of what's left of the fleet rusts
away in hangars. In Gorky Park, the husk of a Buran lured Muscovites and
tourists to a restaurant inside.

By 1992, Russia's wobbly democracy had been invited by the Clinton
administration to participate in the International Space Station program.
President Clinton's team believed the offer was more than a diplomatic
gesture--it was supposed to be a money saver, to the tune of $2 billion.

Instead, the U.S. had to send Russia $2 billion to ensure the completion of
the station's power module and living quarters. The Russians missed
deadline after deadline. The construction of the Zvezda, the module that
serves as the station's living space, was launched two years late. It also
fell short of NASA standards; it's too noisy and lacks enough shielding to
prevent damage from tiny meteoroids hurtling through space.

Raiding NASA's pocketbook

As a result of Russia's participation, NASA was forced to spend $3 billion
to keep the project aloft. The meager amounts Moscow budgeted for its space
program led to the advent of space tourism, which as unseemly as it
appeared to NASA, promised the cold cash Russia needed.

In the last three years, California investment magnate Dennis Tito and
South African Internet tycoon Mark Shuttleworth have rocketed to the space
station in Soyuz capsules, and each paid Russia $20 million for the
privilege. In August, a Russian television station and Rosaviakosmos agreed
to the creation of a reality TV show that would put contestants through
cosmonaut training and send whoever came out on top to the space station.

Now space tourism, perhaps the bonanza Russia desperately needed, is on
hold after the Feb. 1 breakup of the Columbia shuttle that killed all seven
astronauts aboard. Tourists can join a Soyuz flight to the station only
when three-person crews are sent, because at least two astronauts are
needed to man the station. Two-person crews now will be sent, so that water
and other supplies can be taken to the station.

Despite its money troubles, the Russian space program looks to the future
with lofty goals. Last summer it proposed putting an international
six-person team on Mars by 2015. The trip would take 440 days and cost $20
billion.

Russia's space industry also has been working on developing a new shuttle
that would launch from the back of an airborne jumbo jet. The shuttle would
cost $2 billion to complete and could be ready in five years, said Mikhail
Gofin, an executive with Molniya, the company behind the project as well as
the design of the Buran.

Both projects would restore some of the Russian space program's sheen worn
away during the lean years of the 1990s. Both also require massive cash
outlays that Russia doesn't have.

"Our government has been busy with other economic problems, not with
space," Gofin said. "Space exploration doesn't produce an immediate return
on your investment."

********

#14
Moscow News
March 5-11, 2003
Son of Enemy of the People: A Life Story
Son of Nikolai Bukharin executed by Stalin dislikes talking politics
By Anna Rudnitskaya

"Kiss baby Yuri for me. It may be just as well that he cannot read yet. The
boy must have grown quite a bit, but he does not know me. Give him a big hug."
These are the final lines from the last letter of Nikolai Bukharin, a
prominent Bolshevik and at one time a Politburo member, to his wife, Anna
Larina, dated January 15, 1938. He was arrested eight months after his son
was born, and was executed a year later on charges of counterrevolutionary
activities. The "spy's" wife was sent into internal exile and his son was
placed in a children's home. He did not find out who his father was until 20
years later.

"I was so distraught that I felt I was going to collapse. I was afraid of
missing my son; I had no idea what he looked like. And suddenly I felt
someone embrace and kiss me. I could only have recognized him by his eyes -
just as radiant as in his childhood. As soon as he started talking, my heart
ached: The timbre of his voice, his gestures, the expression of his eyes -
they were all exactly like his father's," Anna Larina wrote in her memoirs
about a meeting with her son in the Siberian settlement of Tisul, in 1956.

At the time her son bore the surname of his foster father, who he thought was
his real father, and was registered in his internal passport as Yuri
Borisovich Gusman. It took considerable effort for both mother and son, after
20 years of separation, to dare tell and learn the truth, respectively. Anna
Larina had prepared for the meeting newspaper clippings on the issue of
Stalin's personality cult, including Lenin's article, "A Letter to the
Congress." The documents proved unnecessary: Upon learning the first name and
patronymic of his grandfather - Ivan Gavrilovich - and on finding out that
his father had been a prominent political figure, he guessed the name himself
- Bukharin, identifying the only Ivanovich among Lenin's associates. A former
children's home ward, now a second-year student at an agricultural institute,
he knew the names and patronymics of all major statesmen.

He had landed in a children's home a second time (his relatives had taken him
away from the first one) in 1946, when his adoptive parents were arrested:
They were picked up in the morning, when the boy was at school, and so people
in civilian clothes took him away, explaining that his parents had gone on a
long business trip. At the special home in Stalingrad for children of people
who had suffered from political reprisals, he contracted a nasty disease that
struck decades later. A ringworm epidemic that affected the children at the
special home at the time was treated with radiation. In 1985, Yuri Larin
realized that something was wrong when, walking along the shore of the Gulf
of Finland in Riga with his mother, he suddenly felt his whole body go numb.
Several months later, in Moscow, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

"My doctor took a long time asking me what diseases I had had as a child, and
I kept enumerating: measles, scarlet fever, etc. And then he asked: ‘Did
you
by any chance have ringworm?' And it instantly came back to me: how we were
taken to a hospital and how an apparatus was applied to my head."

For a long time after an eight-hour operation he could barely talk and walk,
living in constant fear of epileptic convulsions, not knowing where he might
collapse next time. Shortly afterward his wife, Inga, had cancer and died in
1987.

"Everything was so terrible that I thought I'd had it. But I had amazing
luck."

At a rehabilitation unit he met a doctor whose name was Olga and who became
his second wife - "a wonderful, rare personality." Fortune also smiled on him
30 years ago, when he took up painting.

"I followed in the footsteps of my adoptive father, becoming a hydraulic
engineer and even working on some construction projects, but I soon realized
that I would simply die doing that."

He enrolled at the Krupskaya People's University extramural department and
then went on to the Stroganov School of Arts, and he has never been without
his paints and brushes since. Some of his watercolors are in the Russian
Museum. His favorite work - A White Tree, which could not be further removed
from the canons of Socialist Realism - he keeps at home:

"I wanted it to give whoever looks at it an instant sense of lightness, a
sense of freedom."

It was at his mother's urging that, in 1956, he adopted her family name,
becoming Yuri Borisovich Larin. Acting on the advice of people who were
helping him to enter the institute or get a job, he did not indicate in his
CVs who his father had been so as not to cause problems for them. By Soviet
laws, a person could not change his patronymic, so he did not become Yuri
Nikolaevich until 1988, following Bukharin's political rehabilitation. No
matter what, Yuri Larin has always been Bukharin's son.

In the late 1970s, together with Yevgeny Gnedin, he started translating into
Russian one of Nikolai Bukharin's best-known biographies, written by Stephen
Cohen. At that time there was some tentative talk about a possible
rehabilitation, and so Larin filed an application with the Supreme Court.
When it was rejected, he "came home, lay on the couch, and out of despair
wrote a letter to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Italy,"
which at the time was a fairly liberal organization. The letter was delivered
by an Italian Communist he knew, and a month later was published in several
newspapers across the world. In Italy, in the wake of the publication, the
Bertrand Russell Foundation organized an international conference, Bukharin
and the International Communist Movement, while in Moscow, Anna Larina was
phoning her son - a Stroganovka student on field practice - several times a
day: "They have once again talked about you on the radio, and I am so afraid
for you."

Twenty years later, however, it required a tremendous effort on my part to
get Yuri Nikolaevich to tell me about his struggle for his father's political
rehabilitation. He prefers to talk about art, not bring back the past.

"That was but an episode while art is my whole life. It is impossible to lie
or pretend in art. Indeed, I took a great interest in everything that had to
do with father because I wanted to understand what kind of person he had
been. But then I realized that I knew everything there was to know. Art has
been paramount for me ever since."

Yuri Larin the artist says:

"Please understand that I am not simply Bukharin's son but an independent,
self-sufficient artist. Let others go on fighting everything under the sun,
but I for one have been trying to understand the era and my path, including
through painting. This is what I've been doing."

The upshot of his analysis, in short, is as follows: First, Bolshevism was an
absolute evil while those who destroyed it - Yeltsin and his followers -
acted no better than the Bolsheviks themselves, trying to undo history by
using revolutionary methods. Yuri Nikolaevich would not be drawn on with the
subject of how else Soviet power could have been dealt with: "I do not want
to talk politics." The second conclusion, which at the same time is the most
pithy description of Yuri Larin's artistic creed, accounting for his
reluctance to read newspapers, logically follows from the first: "Art is
superior."

Actually, this is the main result of his study of the era. It is less than
comforting, but then Nikolai Yuryevich Larin, Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin's
grandson, is the only person who will be able to disprove it.

********

#15
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2003
From: Dominique Arel <dominique_arel@brown.edu>
Subject: 8th Annual Convention of the Association for the Study of
Nationalities (ASN)

8th Annual Convention of the
Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN)

Columbia University, 3-5 April 2003
PRELIMINARY PROGRAM NOW ON THE WEB

The full preliminary program of the ASN Eight Annual World
Convention is now available on the ASN web site: www.nationalities.org.
The Convention will feature a hundred panels and events, spread over
eleven sessions from Thursday April 3, 1 PM, to Saturday April 5, in
the evening. More than 500 people will be on panels.

All post-Soviet areas will be covered in tremendous depth, with
no less fourteen panels on the Russian Federation (including three on
the North Caucasus), thirteen on Ukraine, nine on Central Asia,
three on the South Caucasus, ten on the Balkans, fourteen on Central Europe,
and twenty-two on thematic and cross-regional themes. Special events will
include
FOUR panels on the 2002 Russian census, two roundtables on the new books by
Terry Martin ("The Affirmative Action Empire") and Mark Beissinger
("Nationalist
Mobilization and the Collapse of the Soviet State"), and panels on
the Ukrainian Famine, Chechnya, Afghanistan, and EU enlargement.

More than a dozen brand new documentaries and feature films, exploring
ethnonational and identity issues in the post-Communist world, will
also be shown at the convention, among them films on Chechnya,
Abkhazia, Ukraine, the Balkans and Kyrgyzia. The full lineup will be announced
shortly.
Panel themes on the Russian Federation include:

The Census Like an "Election": The Ethnic Politics of the 2002 Russian Census
Contested Identities in the Russian Volga (Census Project II)
The Politics of Numbers in Insecure Areas: The North Caucasus (Census
Project III)
De-Constructing and Re-Constructing Identities in the Caucasus (Census
Project IV)
Rebounding Religious Identities (Kennan Institute Project)
Russian Federalism post-Yeltsin
Russia and Chechnya
Islam in Russia
Historical Memory and Nation Building in the Former USSR, 1988-2002
History, National Identity, and Geo-Political Disorder in Far Eastern Russia
Geopolitics and Geo-economics: Pipeline Politics in Russia, Eurasia and
South-Eastern Europe
Demands for Autonomy: the Cases of Russia and Kazakhstan
Religion and National Identity from Luther to Putin
The Russian Empire: Lessons and Legacies
Russian Identity in the Tsarist Empire

The convention is consolidating its status as the World Annual Event
on Nationalities Studies. As in the past, over one hundred and fifty
panelists will be travelling from overseas for the event (plus an
additional three dozens from Canada). Almost 40 percent of
paper-givers are international participants (and this does not include
the large amount of non-US born participants currently residing in the
United States).

LOCATION. The convention will be taking place in the International
Affairs Building (IAB) of Columbia University, 420 W. 118th St. (metro
station: 116th St., on the Red Line). Registration will be on the 15th
Floor of IAB and the panels will be held on several floors.

REGISTRATION. $45 for ASN Members, $60 for Non-Members, and $30 for
Students. Preregistration payments are non-refundable. A registration
form can be downloaded from the ASN web site (www.nationalities.org) or
requested from Gaurav Raina-Thapan (gr2008@columbia.edu). People who
plan to attend the convention are strongly encouraged to pre-register, since
places are limited.

SCHEDULE. Registration will begin at 11 AM, Thursday April 3, on the
15th Floor of IAB. People who sent preregistered will need to pick up
their name tag and the convention program. On the Thursday, the panels
will run from 1 PM-7.30 PM. On Friday and Saturday, from 9 AM to 7 PM
PM. The convention will end on the Saturday evening, April 5.

ACCOMMODATION. The convention does not have arrangements with a
particular hotel. A list of nearby hotels can be found on the ASN web
site.

ASN MEMBERSHIP. People can now directly join a fast growing ASN on the
convention pre-registration form. In addition to getting a significant
discount at the ASN convention, ASN members receive annually four
issues of Nationalities Papers, the field's leading journal; four
issues of the Analysis of Current Events, containing up-to-the-minute
analyses of ongoing events; and two issues of ASNews, the
association's newsletter. An annual membership costs a remarkably low
$60 annually-$35 for students.

BONUS FOR ASN MEMBERS. ASN members have also the option of subscribing
to Europe-Asia Studies (formerly Soviet Studies), which publishes
eight issues a year, for $60, almost a hundred dollars less than the
regular subscription price. Convention panelists can take advantage of
this offer directly on the convention registration form.

BOOK EXHIBIT/SALE OF PAPERS. Publishers will exhibit their wares in
the exhibit room, located in the spacious Dag Room on the 6th floor.
Convention papers will also go on sale for $1 apiece. At least 20
copies of each paper will go on sale in the book exhibit on Friday,
April 4, at 11.15 AM.

We look forward to seeing you at the convention!

Troy McGrath
ASN Convention Program Chair
troy_mcgrath@hotmail.com

Gordon Bardos
ASN Convention Director
gnb12@columbia.edu

Dominique Arel
ASN Vice-President (Conventions)
darel@brown.edu