#11 - JRL 7126
Compiled by Luba Schwartzman (email@example.com)
Research Analyst, Center for Defense Information, Moscow office
Monday, March 31, 2003
- Special Envoy for Human Rights Oleg Mironov declared that the American military operation in Iraq may become a humanitarian disaster. He believes that the war should be stopped immediately.
- The American press is repeating accusations that Russian weapons were sold to Iraq in violation of international agreements. According to Newsweek, at least two Abrams tanks were destroyed with Kornet missiles, manufactured in Tula. The article claims that Iraq may have thousands of such missiles.
- State Duma deputies met with representatives of the Media Union to discuss amendments to the new law on the media, accepted by the Duma in the first reading.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin met with key ministers to discuss the upcoming State Council meeting, which will focus on medical insurance.
- Pension Fund Chairman Mikhail Zurabov announced that pensions will be raised by an average of 135 rubles on April 1st. The average pension payment will now stand at 1764 rubles ($55) a month.
- An underground manufactory of "pirated" videos was destroyed in Khabarovsk. The videos were very well forged and included trademark holographs.
- Restoration work begins in the Maritime Region city of Spassk- Dalnyi, where about 130 homes were flooded last week.
- President Putin discussed the situation in Iraq and bilateral economic cooperation with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi over the telephone yesterday. Putin discussed similar issues in a telephone conversation with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
- The Russian Soccer League has recommended that the soccer match between Russia and Georgia be held on neutral territory.
- A large batch of drugs was destroyed in Yekaterinburg. Special operations officers confiscated over $1 million worth of opium, heroine, and marijuana.
- Former Prime Minister of the Soviet Union Valentin Pavlov passed away in Moscow at the age of 66.
- President Putin met with Minister for Antimonopoly Policy Ilya Yuzhanov to discuss the reform of natural monopolies.
- The pilot issue of the Vesti Respubliki newspaper has been published in Grozny. It includes the new Constitution and the basic laws of the republic. Once approved by the electoral commission, the issue will be published in Russian and Chechen.