Johnson's Russisa List
25 April 2003
A CDI Project

  1. New York Times: Daniel Altman, Abram Bergson, 89, Theorist Who Studied
Soviet Economy, Dies.
  2. Interfax: Putin asks Federation Council not to adopt populist laws in
year of parliamentary elections.
  3. Rosbalt: 50% of children suffer from health disorders.
  4. Luba Schwartzman: TV1 Review.
  5. AFP: Russia urges North Korea, US to continue non-proliferation talks.
  6. Asia Times: John Helmer, And then there were none. (re oil companies)
  7. 100 million humanitarian petrodollars. (re Yukos)
  8. FSB Threatened Sergey Yushenkov. Yushenkov's former assistant 
recollects his work with the killed deputy.
An interview with Central Electoral Commission chairman Alexander Veshnyakov.
  10. Moscow Times: Simon Saradzhyan, Army's Plan for Reform Wins Out.
  11. Nezavisimaya Gazeta: Olga Tropkina and Maksim Glinkin, IVANOV DRAINS 
MILITARY REFORM. Intrigues over the military reforms.
  12. The Times (UK): Clem Cecil, Rag-tag Russian Army recruits foreign
with offer of citizenship.
  13. Parlamentskaya Gazeta: THE WORLD AND RUSSIA AFTER THE IRAQI WAR.
(interview with Vyacheslav NIKONOV)
  14. Rosbalt: Chechens Call on Russians to Return. Leading representatives
of the 
Chechen diaspora in Moscow attended a press conference recently and then a
discussion devoted to the situation of the Russian-speaking population of
  15. MiraMed Institute: Shonda Werry, THE PRETTY WOMAN SYNDROME: RUSSIA'S
  16. Reuters: Russia hopes tankers can ship oil pipes cannot.
  17. PRNewswire: Award for a Russian and Its Winner at Overseas Press Club
America Awards: Artyom Borovik Award Goes to NTV's Mikhail Krikunenko.]


New York Times
April 25, 2003
Abram Bergson, 89, Theorist Who Studied Soviet Economy, Dies

Abram Bergson, an economist who brought sophisticated analytical tools and
a theorist's rigor to the study of the Soviet economy, died on Wednesday in
Cambridge, Mass. He was 89.

For many years economists regarded Professor Bergson, who taught at
Harvard, as the dean of Soviet economic studies, and he lived to see the
field shift its focus to the transition between economic systems. Yet he
began his academic career as a theorist, publishing an extremely
influential paper at the age of 23 on the measurement of well-being across

His best-known work later became linked with that of Paul A. Samuelson, a
onetime classmate at Harvard who won the Nobel in economic science. The
Bergson-Samuelson social welfare function, which combines individual gauges
of well-being, has been a fixture in economic analysis for decades.

He pursued the theory of social welfare throughout his career, but the bulk
of his attention — and his sharp economic intellect — were often firmly
directed at the Soviet Union. "Abe Bergson gave a touch of class to the
whole analysis of comparing a Soviet-style planned economy with a market
economy," said Padma Desai, director of the Center for Transitional
Economies at Columbia. "He really established the theoretical foundations
for that, and in doing so, he raised the level of the field — made it very

For his contributions to theory and the study of collectivist economies,
"Bergson would be on anyone's short list for a Nobel Prize — even two,"
wrote Professor Samuelson, now an emeritus professor at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, in remarks released on Wednesday.

Professor Bergson was born Abram Burk in Baltimore on April 21, 1914. He
graduated from Johns Hopkins University at 19 and immediately enrolled in
graduate studies at Harvard. His mentor there was Wassily Leontief, who
later won the Nobel in economic science.

During his graduate studies, Professor Bergson and his brother, a
physicist, decided to change their last names. The name Burk, they agreed,
did not sufficiently convey their Jewish heritage.

Upon obtaining his doctorate in 1940, Professor Bergson joined the faculty
of the University of Texas at Austin. Two years later, after the United
States entered World War II, he accepted a position at the Office of
Strategic Services, the predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency.

By the end of the war, Professor Bergson had become chief of the Russian
economic subdivision at the O.S.S., but he then left to teach at Columbia.
After 10 years, he returned to Harvard, where he remained for the rest of
his career.

At Harvard, he served as director of the Russian Research Center, now
called the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, and was a vocal
commentator on the capacity of the Soviet economy to grow. He correctly
deduced that economic expansion in the Soviet Union was slowing during the
cold war, Professor Desai said, but some of his estimated comparisons of
the Soviet economy and Western economies later proved slightly inaccurate.

Professor Bergson is survived by his wife of 63 years, Rita Macht-Bergson;
three daughters, Judith, of Somerville, Mass.; Emily Bergson White, of
Wellesley, Mass.; and Lucy Bergson LaFarge, of Manhattan; and three


Putin asks Federation Council not to adopt populist laws in year of
parliamentary elections

MOSCOW. April 25 (Interfax) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has called
on the Federation Council not to pass "populist laws" to the Duma in the
year of the parliamentary elections. 
   Putin pointed it out to the senators that this year is "the year of
elections to the State Duma." 
   "As a rule, pre-election debate considerably hampers the law- making
process, and sometimes leads to the adoption of populist laws which have no
financial basis. It is in our power to prevent such law- making from
'flourishing.' And the adoption of laws during the election campaign should
be approached especially carefully," the president said. 
   Federation Council Chairman Sergei Mironov said that the senators
realize that the Duma's law-making has become less effective over the past
six months and that attempts have been made to adopt populist laws. "We are
ready to compensate for this through our attention to the law-making
process and to what the State Duma produces," he said. 


50% of children suffer from health disorders 
April 23, 2003
MOSCOW - Over half of Russian children suffer from functional health
disorders which may potentially become chronic, according to Russian
Deputy Health Minister Olga Sharapova. The figures are the results of a
nationwide study of children's health. Sharapova said that 30.4 million
children were included in the survey (94.6% of those eligible). 
According to Sharapova, the study confirmed a tendency that has been in
evidence over the last ten years: a fall in the percentage of healthy
children has been accompanied by a rise in the number of children with
chronic illnesses. The study divided the nation's children into three
groups: 33.89% are healthy and have a low risk factor; 52.05% suffer from
functional disorders and are at risk of developing chronic illnesses;
16.1% suffer from chronic illnesses. Sharapova stressed that children's
health is generally lower in rural areas. 
The minister said that the most common pathological conditions were
diseases of the blood and haematogenic organs, mainly due to anaemia
(32%), endocrine diseases, mainly due to a malfunctioning thyroid gland
and obesity (31%), bone-and-muscle-tissue diseases (26%), diseases of the
digestive tract (24.7%), and diseases of the circulation system (24%).
Sharapova also mentioned the rise in socially important diseases such as
tuberculosis, Aids and alcoholism. /Rosbalt/


TV1 Review
Compiled by Luba Schwartzman (
Research Analyst, Center for Defense Information, Moscow office

Thursday, April 24, 2003
- Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Minister of Justice
Yuri Chaika to discuss the functioning of the new Criminal Code,
introduced 10 months ago.
- President Putin also met with Agriculture Minister Aleksei
Gordeev to discuss spring seeding.
- The Russian Cabinet reviewed the plan for transition to
conscription on a contract basis in 72 of the divisions of the
Russian Armed Forces.  Only contract soldiers will be sent into the
"hot spots."  Additionally, regular recruits will only serve for one
year.  The transition will be carried out between 2004 and 2007.
Ministers also reviewed the problem of providing military
servicemen with housing in 2004-2010.
- The General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces organized a
telephone hotline for questions recruits may have about service in
the military.
- The Russian Ministry of Defense has launched the Proton missile
carrier with a Kosmos-class military satellite from the Baikanur
- President Putin appointed Galina Karelova Deputy Prime Minister
for Social Affairs.  Karelova was formerly the First Deputy
Minister of Labor and Social Development.
- President Putin also appointed Boris Aleshin Deputy Prime
Minister for Industrial Policy.  Aleshin was formerly the head of
the State Committee for Standardization and Metrology.
- 20-year-old Artem Stefanov, detained on the suspicion of the
murder of State Duma Deputy Sergei Yushenkov has been released
on his own reconnaissance.  Many witnesses maintain that Stefanov
has an alibi.
- Sanitary services in the Far East are strengthening security
measures at train stations near the border, for fear of the spread of
the severe acute respiratory syndrome.
- In the Novgorod Oblast, 13 institutions for children, which fail to
meet safety requirements, have suspended their operations.
- The State Committee for Statistics has published the preliminary
results of the 2002 All-Russian Census.  The Census showed that
Russia is the seventh most populous nation in the world at about
145,290,000 residents.  There are 13 cities with populations
exceeding 1 million.
- A live video feed now connects the Supreme Court of the Russian
Federation and the Kaliningrad investigatory isolation ward,
making long and risky prisoner transfers unnecessary.
- The Media Union announced the nominations in the second
annual Radiomania radio awards.
- Over their lunch break, about 1,000 employees of electricity
companies in Ulyanovsk, Samara and Saratov held a demonstration
to protest the negative public opinion towards their profession.
- Over 100,000 Vladivostok residents have been left without
electricity after an accident along the power lines.


Russia urges North Korea, US to continue non-proliferation talks
April 25, 2003
Russia's envoy to North Korea called on Pyongyang and Washington to
continue the search for a peaceful settlement over non-proliferation and
said that guarantees of the Stalinist state's security were the key to a

"We hope North Korea and the United States will patiently continue the
search for a negotiated settlement that will bring North Korea back into
line with the non-proliferation regime while ensuring its sovereignty and
economic development interest," Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov

Three-way talks in Beijing on North Korea's nuclear weapons programme
between North Korea, the United States and China ended a day early Thursday
amid recriminations by both sides, with US President George W. Bush later
accusing Pyongyang of "blackmail."

North Korea said it had made a "bold" proposal to resolve the nuclear
crisis and accused the United States of dodging the essential issues.

Losyukov, who holds the Asian affairs brief at the foreign ministry, noted
that "throughout the entire course of the North Korean crisis, (Russia) has
warned of the dangers of uncontrolled escalation."

Russia "believes Pyongyang must abandon its nuclear option, and this can be
achieved by giving (North Korea) reliable guarantees of security and
non-interference, including possibly on a multilateral basis," he said.

Losyukov said it was too early to comment on the Beijing talks.

"We are not yet fully clear as to how the talks proceeded, what was
discussed and whether they will be continued," he said.

"It will be difficult to find a comprehensive solution due to the fact that
the parties' positions are diametrically opposed," Loskyukov noted.

Moscow had pushed for direct talks between North Korea and the United
States and argued against Washington's demands for a multilateral format.

Beijing brokered a compromise deal that saw the two sides hold talks with
China as an active third party.

China said earlier Friday the United States and North Korea had agreed to
keep diplomatic channels open after ending the talks.

The Beijing talks marked a resumption of dialogue between US and North
Korean officials six months after the crisis erupted.

Washington accused Pyongyang last October of carrying out a secret nuclear
weapons programme and suspended fuel deliveries to North Korea.

In response Pyongyang reactivated a reactor producing weapons-grade
plutonium and announced its withdrawal from the nuclear non-proliferation

Pyongyang's agreement to enter tripartite talks was seen as an easing of
its hardline stance, which it said was a response to hostility from the
Bush administration. Bush last year branded the communist state part of an
"axis of evil."

Russia was excluded from the Beijing talks in what observers here said may
have been tied to its fierce opposition to the US-led war in Iraq.

President Vladimir Putin has enjoyed privileged relations with North Korean
leader Kim Jong-Il, meeting the reclusive Stalinist three times over the
past two years.

Separately, Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev warned that
Pyongyang's reported claim that it possessed nuclear weapons should be
taken seriously.

"If the statements are official, their veracity will have to be checked by
international inspectors," he said.

Washington has informed Japan that during the talks North Korea confirmed
its possession of nuclear weapons.

Rumyantsev stressed that Russia had "no contacts with North Korea over
nuclear matters for the past 10 years."

A decade ago Pyongyang "lacked the facilities to make nuclear weapons," he


Asia Times
April 24, 2003
And then there were none 
By John Helmer 

MOSCOW - There are not many people in Russia today who will remember the
nursery rhyme that was used many years ago to teach simple counting to
children. In the white supremacist countries, it began with 10 little
nigger-boys; despite Communist International, the Russian version also used
the term negrityat. The first of the 10 slipped and drowned, and then there
were nine. As each of his companions fell mortally wounded, or suffered
other fatal misfortunes, the number kept dwindling, until there were none.
To the young, ambitious, questioning minds of that generation, mastery of
the concept of zero was more satisfying than sympathy for the fate of the
racially victimized boys. 

In modern Russian pedagogy, it is politically more correct to count Russian
black oil boys, whose number has been dwindling in a most instructive way.
Unlike the boys in the nursery rhyme, whom Russian racist sentiment still
slurs as negrityat, the black oil boys are taking rich rewards before they

In February, there were six major companies. In terms of oil revenues, the
largest was LUKoil, followed by Yukos, Surgutneftegas, Sibneft, Tyumen Oil
Company (TNK) and Tatneft. Measured according to market capitalization at
the time, their order of precedence was a little different. Yukos came
first, followed by Surgutneftegas, LUKoil, Sibneft, TNK and Tatneft.
Measured by growth of oil production, Sibneft somersaulted to the front,
followed by Yukos. Sibneft also led all the others by turning over its
entire profit to its shareholders in dividends, which was an obvious sign
that the shareholders knew the counting rhyme, and suspected that their
fate was imminent. Surgutneftegas led the others in massive retention of
its earnings, concealing the shareholder structure by which this was
decided; this made the indubitably rich pickings appear an alluring and
easy mark. 

The most revealing way of arraying the black oil boys was by the volume of
their debts. Yukos was evidently ahead with more than $5 billion on the
credit side of its balance-sheet, followed by Surgutneftegas with $4.5
billion in the black. TNK led the debtors with more than $2.5 billion in
the red, followed by Sibneft with $1.7 billion, LUKoil with $1.2 billion
and Tatneft with $331 million. 

By now, it’s already obvious that the two most indebted oil companies have
fallen; but not before their shareholders have grabbed a large, if hastily
arranged cash compensation - $3 billion from British Petroleum to the
owners of TNK, and another $3 billion from Yukos to the owners of Sibneft
in the deal announced this week that sees these two companies merge.
Surgutneftegas hasn't exactly fallen, so much as it has spent some of its
cash pile to reinforce its management shareholders from someone else's greed. 

The terms of these deals also appear to have been cleared in advance with
the Kremlin; possibly from President Vladimir Putin personally. This is
nothing novel in Russian corporate practice; all corporate transactions of
more than a handful of millions of dollars must be checked with the
Kremlin, the Federal Security Service and other powerful government
agencies to ensure that they won’t be reversed. 

It is thus understandable that Russia's oilmen have been worried by the
Kremlin’s counting practices, and as apprehensive about their survival
chances as the proverbial negrityat. By referring to their tax position,
and rejecting their bids for deregulation of their pipeline access, the
Kremlin has also been reminding Yukos chief executive Mikhail Khodorkovsky
and his fellows that what they took so easily a short time ago might be
taken from them with equal facility. That, plus the approaching
parliamentary and presidential election campaigns, the rise of communist
support in the electorate, and the risk of a sharp downturn in global
commodity prices, starting with oil, are plenty to worry about. 

Next to billion-dollar parachutes, nothing evinces the Russian oilmen’s
fearfulness as palpably as the amounts of corporate money they daily throw
at the international and Russian media. The ad spend potential of Russian
oil, gas and metals is currently estimated at $100 million a year - in a
marketplace that has been shrinking even faster than countable negrityat. 

In the Western business cycle, the timing is advantageous, because Western
newspapers are desperate for the revenue, and ready to accommodate the
Russian oilmen’s urgent needs for positive personal promotion, and the
benefit this confers on share values, borrowing costs and credit committee

The London Financial Times, for example, has negotiated promotional pieces
for TNK seller Mikhail Fridman in exchange for expensive advertisements.
The Economist stretches such deals to include its conference promotions.
All the so-called journals of record in London, New York and Washington
have succumbed, and wire services as desperate as Reuters cannot resist.
Where the London Telegraph might have been tempted to employ a business
analyst to judge the Yukos-Sibneft transaction, it reported instead that
Khodorkovsky’s idol is former British premier Margaret Thatcher. Phew! What
a reassurance that is, breathed the newspaper’s commercial director, in
unison with his aging Tory readers. 

Also according to the Telegraph, Khodorkovsky lives near Putin. That’s
where the surfeit of Russian cash gives the game away. If Khodorkovsky,
Roman Abramovich, the controlling shareholder of Sibneft, Fridman and
others were half as close to the Kremlin as they like to convey to their
iconographers, they wouldn't be spending so much of the corporate treasury
on such nonsense; nor would they be taking so much for themselves, and
doing a runner. 


April 25, 2003
100 million humanitarian petrodollars
Lera Arsenina, Viktoria Malyutina  

Russian oil major Yukos is set to earmark $100 million to the Russian State
Humanitarian University (RGGU) over the next 10 years. The money will be
used for training professionals in the humanities. 

On Thursday Yukos’ board of directors endorsed a large-scale programme of
financial support for RGGU. In the near future RGGU, the Education Ministry
and Yukos are to sign a trilateral agreement to that effect, earmarking
$100 million to the university over the next 10 years. 

Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky said on Thursday: ''We consider support of
the Russian State Humanitarian University an important part of our
contribution towards the social development of Russia. Our goal is to
create a model for university financing that is similar to those that
already exist in the US and the UK and have proven their viability.'' 

Yukos is launching its philanthropic action on the company’s 10th
anniversary. RGGU was chosen by Yukos at the recommendation of the
Education Ministry. A company spokesman explained to Gazeta.Ru that the
company’s choice of a humanitarian university rather than of an institution
training specialists for the energy sector, was made considering that
''this is a humanitarian action''. ''Thus, we are rendering social support
to society,'' the company’s press-service said. 

According to the deputy CEO of the Yukos-sponsored Open Russia project,
Leonid Nevzlin, initially the company addressed the government with a
proposal to submit a draft bill to the State Duma establishing boards of
trustees in Russian universities, which would engage in attracting
sponsors. The government backed the proposal. However, since the Ministry
for Economic Development and Trade still has not submitted the draft to the
lower house, the company has decided to act on its own. 

Yukos has chosen the humanitarian university proceeding from the fact that
''presently Russia needs humanitarian specialists most''. A year ago the
company addressed the Education Ministry with a request to provide it with
a list of 10 humanitarian institutes of higher education. 

The list included Moscow, as well as regional institutes of higher
education. The Education Ministry advised Yukos to ''take'' RGGU. According
to the head of the university Yuri Afanasyev, with Yukos’s support ''the
University will have a chance to dramatically improve the level of
scholarship and methodology in the humanities, as well as the quality of
the professionals that are trained within its walls''. RGGU has an enormous
potential: talented teaching staff, modern IT equipment, and a unique
research base, Afanasyev said. 

On April 24 a special conference was held at the Russian State Humanitarian
University to discuss the Yukos offer. At first, being somewhat suspicious
of the oil firm’s generosity, rank and file RGGU lecturers posed several
awkward questions to Leonid Nevzlin, but later apologized and expressed
hope that Yukos and RGGU would become partners and endorsed the changes to
the charter. 

Those changes envisage the creation of a Board of Trustees and a University
Development Fund. Those bodies will monitor the distribution and spending
of the Yukos funds. Afanasyev promised that the university’s budget would
be discussed openly and everyone in RGGU would know how the money is being
spent. At the same time, he warned that the funds would not be distributed
between departments in equal parts, but would be used for financing certain

Education Minister Vladimir Fillipov welcomed Yukos’s initiative. ''With
Yukos's help, RGGU should become the leading humanities institution in the
country, both at the higher education and secondary school levels,'' the
minister said.  


April 24, 2003
FSB Threatened Sergey Yushenkov 
Yushenkov's former assistant recollects his work with the killed deputy 

A letter that was written by Sergey Yushenkov in April of the past year was
exposed to the public eye in London yesterday. Sergey Yushenkov sent this
letter to the Foreign Minister of Great Britain. In the letter, Yushenkov
wrote about the danger of harsh violence on the part of Russian federal
secret services. 

Speaking about the violence, Yushenkov mentioned the case of Grigory Pasko:
"An activist in the field of the environmental protection, Grigory Pasko
was subjected to legal persecution and then sentenced to imprisonment for
exposing the information about the illegal discharge of radioactive wastes.
This occasion has been documented very well by human rights international

Reporter Grigory Pasko was sentenced at the end of February of 2003, but
then he was released from jail ahead of the scheduled time. Pasko became
Yushenkov's assistant. At that time, Sergey Yushenkov stated that Pasko
would work on expert conclusions and draft laws pertaining to mass media,
ecology, army and court reforms. Today Grigory Pasko recollects Sergey
Yushenkov, who has been recently assassinated in Moscow. He gave an
interview to a Bellona Web reporter on the phone from the city of Vladivostok:

"Unfortunately, we did not work together much. I became his assistant on
February 25th. We had several meetings in the State Duma and on television.
We discussed questions pertaining to the introduction of amendments to the
Law "About the State Secret." We agreed that the military justice is
supposed to stop its existence, at least in the form that it exists at the
moment. Our work with Yushenkov was just getting started. He gave me a task
to visit the factory Zvezda (Star) in the town of Bolshoy Kamen (Big Stone)
in the Far East region. 

?A large session for radiation security in the Russian Federation was to
take place on September 9th. I collected materials for the meeting, talking
to Yushenkov's other assistants, asking them, what might be necessary to
have. I traveled to the town of Bolshoy Kamen on April 11th, I wanted to
talk to the manager of the mentioned factory, to talk to him and to obtain
a confirmation of the fact that the complex to unload spent fuel from
nuclear submarines had was about to start working. A secretary took Sergey
Yushenkov's letter from me, I was allowed to see the factory, but that was
it, basically. The manager did not come to see me. I think that I will have
to go there again. 

"Who killed Sergey Yushenkov? I would like to remind here that FSB
Major-General Alexander Mikhailov threatened Sergey Yushenkov directly on
television, in the talk show Poedinok (Duel). Everyone saw and heard the
general saying: "Mr. Yushenkov, we will take care of you later on." The
deputy was killed on the day, when party Liberal Russia officially
announced that its registration at the Ministry for Justice was completed.
The party was ready for elections. 

"I had an impression that Liberal Russia could achieve a certain progress
at elections with the help of its chairmen - Sergey Yushenkov and Viktor
Pokhmelkin. I doubt that the party could achieve something, if it did not
have these leaders. In addition to that, even if the party failed at
elections, I am sure that Yushenkov would defeat any candidacy in his
district. It seemed to me that the financial position of the party was
fine, although it is known that the party stopped its financial cooperation
with oligarch Boris Berezovsky. Everyone was aware of the things that
Yushenkov and his party did. He was not a politician of underground
activities. Politics was public for him by definition. He never had any
selfish interests."

Rashid Alimov
Bellona Web 

Moskovskii Komsomolets
April 25, 2003
An interview with Central Electoral Commission chairman Alexander 
Author: Anna Feofilaktova
[from WPS Monitoring Agency,]

    Russia's journalists are in a panic: fairly soon, the sight of 
newspapers or televisions being shut down could become commonplace. It 
would be enough for the Central Electoral Commission (CEC), the Media 
Ministry, and finally the courts to decide this much: these 
journalists are not being objective in their coverage of a certain 
presidential or parliamentary candidate, or they are praising another 
candidate too much. Then the media outlet involved would be suspended 
until the end of the election campaign.
     This cheerful prospect dawned when the Duma passed amendments to 
the law on basic guarantees of electoral rights. For comments, we 
approached CEC chief Alexander Albertovich Veshnyakov.
     Question: Just out of curiosity - if these legislative 
innovations had been in place during the 1999 elections, would you 
have managed to suspend the ORT network for the way Sergei Dorenko 
acted as a "TV hitman", going after certain candidates?
     Alexander Veshnyakov: Of course - but not the whole network, just 
Dorenko's program. In such cases, the law does not stipulate shutting 
down a TV channel entirely; only the program that is breaking the law.
     Question: So a TV channel can get away with suspending broadcasts 
of one program. Then why should entire newspapers be held accountable 
for the actions of print media journalists?
     Alexander Veshnyakov: Because we can't just stop a column written 
by a particular journalist. It's frequently the case that journalists 
write for different sections of a paper, in different genres.
     Besides, we're talking about a scale of penalties. For a first 
offense, the penalty is a fine; for a second offense, it's likely to 
be another fine plus a warning. I'm sure that the Media Ministry 
wouldn't appeal to the court to shut down a media outlet immediately. 
Neither does the CEC have such a goal. But if there is a third 
offense, that means it's a matter of editorial policy, and the whole 
editorial team should be held accountable for it.
     Question: All right - let's look at some specific situations. 
Quoting from the text of the legislation: "News coverage should not 
violate the principle of equality between candidates... Reports on 
campaign events should be delivered purely as information, without any 
commentary. No particular candidate should be given preference." So if 
a newspaper gives one presidential candidate ten lines - Putin, for 
example - does that mean each of his rivals should get the same amount 
of column space?
     Alexander Veshnyakov: No, of course not. The campaigns of all 
politicians cannot be identical. One candidate's campaign may be very 
vigorous, while another candidate could be hard to locate even during 
the election. Actually, these standards have a different objective 
entirely. Here's an example: two presidential candidates visit the 
same city. They're well-known candidates, with millions of voters 
supporting each. They both hold rallies and meet with voters; each 
rally is attended by a thousand people. Then a national television 
network keeps showing one of those candidates all day, in all its news 
broadcasts; while the other candidate might as well not exist. Is that 
equality? Well, in those circumstances, that TV network would be 
considered to be breaking the law. Note that nobody, including the 
CEC, is proposing to impose penalties for whatever incautious words 
journalists may use in the heat of the moment. We're talking about 
deliberate, systematic activity aimed at discrediting one candidate 
and extolling another.
     Question: Who will be monitoring the media for violations of the 
     Alexander Veshnyakov: First of all, your competitors. They can 
direct complaints to electoral commissions. The CEC will set up a 
special group including CEC members, CEC staff who deal with these 
issues, Union of Russian Journalists representatives, and Media-Soyuz 
experts in the field of news editorial policy. This group will conduct 
preliminary investigations of complaints and provide an expert 
assessment of whether the law was broken. Only then will a case be 
examined at a CEC meeting, and subsequently in court. Note: it will be 
a group decision.
     Question: What if no complaints come in?
     Alexander Veshnyakov: We monitor the media, and if we see obvious 
evidence of the law being deliberately broken, in edition after 
edition or broadcast after broadcast, we will intervene. But once 
again, we will seek the aid of experts and the matter will be decided 
through the courts.
     Question: And another detail - where do you draw the line between 
straight news reporting and commentary?
     Alexander Veshnyakov: One must aim to be objective. This requires 
you to have some ethical standards for professional behavior as 
journalists. After all, it's always obvious when materials are 
presented in a way that favors one candidate and discredits another.
     Question: That could be disputed. For example, during the 
gubernatorial campaign in Taimyr, a local television channel that 
covered a candidate's meeting with voters received a warning for using 
the following words: "The hall was so crowded that an apple couldn't 
have fallen to the floor." The electoral commission considered this to 
be "excessively positive about the candidate".
     Alexander Veshnyakov: If that was indeed the case, then in my 
view some particular officials in that electoral commission went too 
far. We don't permit such situations at the CEC. But sometimes the 
levels of training and skills at regional electoral commissions are 
different. We will work with them and distribute explanatory 
materials, including guidelines and commentary to the law on basic 
guarantees of electoral rights. This will enable us to have a 
consistent policy nationwide. What's more, an electoral commission 
cannot impose penalties on journalists by itself; that can only be 
done by a court or the Media Ministry - the federal Media Ministry, 
not its regional branches. I would like to note that while a case is 
still going through the legal process, a media outlet would continue 
to operate.
     Question: According to the law on basic guarantees of electoral 
rights, reliable information which is detrimental to a candidate 
should not be published without giving that candidate some space, free 
of charge, for a denial. But why should we do this automatically 
during a campaign, without a court decision?
     Alexander Veshnyakov: Allow me to explain where that provision 
comes from. Like the others, it is based on real-world experience. In 
1999, just before the election, some extremely negative information 
was published about one of the candidates - Grigory Yavlinsky. It was 
done at the very last moment, so there was no time to take legal 
action over it. So this provision was included to protect candidates 
from attempts by their opponents to discredit them. Why haven't the 
media been giving the other side a chance to speak in its defense 
during elections? Voters need to hear both sides of a story.
     Question: It seems odd. For example, let's say we find out that 
one candidate smoked marijuana in his youth. We report on this; and he 
comes in with a denial, saying he has never smoked marijuana. And 
we're supposed to print that?
     Alexander Veshnyakov: Yes, you must. I agree - some legal 
standards are not perfect, just as our lives are imperfect in many 
ways. By the way, we have studied the legislation of other countries - 
and nowhere have these problems been fully resolved. But no one is 
aiming to regulate absolutely everything, right down to trivial 
details; that would be a utopian task.
     Question: But what if we don't want to publish a denial, since 
we're convinced that our information is correct?
     Alexander Veshnyakov: Then the matter could be decided through 
the courts.
     Question: So perhaps that point in the law could be better 
     Alexander Veshnyakov: Possibly. It probably isn't perfect, but 
neither should we take things to the level of absurdity.
     Question: In recent weeks, you have started saying that you are 
prepared to cooperate with the media and discuss certain especially 
controversial points in the new law.
     Alexander Veshnyakov: Not only in recent weeks - I've been saying 
that right from the start. It's simply that no one wanted to listen to 
me then; they all claimed this was striking at freedom of speech. And 
I answered that it was striking at the freedom to lie and use 
dishonest media tactics, rather than at freedom of speech. So we 
exchanged blows, so to speak; then we started a constructive 
discussion, actually listening to each other.
(Translated by Gregory Malutin)


Moscow Times
April 25, 2003
Army's Plan for Reform Wins Out
By Simon Saradzhyan 
Staff Writer  
The federal government on Thursday opted for the Defense Ministry's vision
of military reform -- an incremental expansion of volunteer service -- over
a fast-track, cheaper plan put forward by liberal lawmakers. But it balked
at providing sufficient funding, which threatens to stall if not derail the
much-needed reform.

Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov and his ministers approved the plan in its
entirety, Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov told reporters after the
closed-door Cabinet meeting.

The plan calls for replacing all conscripts with professional soldiers at
so-called permanent readiness units in both the armed forces proper and
other forces by 2008. Only after these 209 combat units, which range in
size from border guard posts to airborne divisions, are manned with a total
of 170,000 professional sergeants and soldiers, will the Defense Ministry
and other so-called power agencies consider cutting compulsory military
service from two years to one, according to the plan described by Ivanov.

The cut should be accompanied by the cancellation of some of the numerous
existing conscription exemptions, and those conscripted would spend half a
year acquiring skills and another half a year serving in noncombat units,
the minister said.

The four-year plan, which will be formally considered by Kasyanov and
President Vladimir Putin in June, would cost 135 billion rubles ($4.34
billion) to implement over four years, Ivanov said. The bulk of this sum
would be spent on reconstructing barracks and paying wages.

He said that the sum was calculated on the basis of the findings of a task
+force of experts from government agencies and an independent think tank
that visited each of the 209 units to analyze the costs of transforming
them into a fully professional, combat-ready force. 

In speaking to reporters, Ivanov did not specify whether the Cabinet
tentatively endorsed the proposed cost. 

However, according to Boris Nemtsov, the leader of the Union of Right
Forces, or SPS, who attended the meeting, the Cabinet is not prepared to
spend more than 50 billion rubles and Kasyanov made that clear.

A four-paragraph account of Thursday's meeting posted on the government's
official web site does not specify how much Kasyanov's government would
allocate for the military reform. 

Kasyanov told his Cabinet that the program needs to be considered and
formally endorsed in early June so that the government can allocate money
for it when it drafts the 2004 federal budget, the web site said.

Nemtsov said SPS will continue to "battle with military bureaucrats" in the
hope of convincing the government and the Kremlin to opt for its own plan,
which provides for conscripts to serve only six months.

Under the SPS plan, the 1.1 million-member armed forces proper could be
transformed into a professional army in just three years at a cost of 91
billion rubles, Nemtsov told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.

He argued that the "military bureaucrats'" plan would cost too much and
take too long to implement, adding that the Defense Ministry cannot and
should not be expected to reform itself.

Ivanov struck back, saying the SPS plan has been poorly researched and is
unrealistic. "Theirs is a hastily-made populist medley," the defense
minister said.

Both plans provide for privates to be paid about 6,000 rubles as a basic
monthly wage along with combat pay and other bonuses. But rather than spend
billions refurbishing barracks for the professional soldiers, SPS proposes
compensating the soldiers for renting apartments.

Concerned that such compensation will not attract a sufficient number of
Russian volunteers, Ivanov said the ministry also plans to attract citizens
from former Soviet republics, excluding the Baltics, by offering them
Russian citizenship after three years of flawless service.

While sparring over the reforms, Ivanov and Nemtsov agreed, however, that
the transition to fully professional armed forces would help to stop the
hazing of younger soldiers, which is widespread in units manned by conscripts.

A senior U.S. diplomat said Thursday that a volunteer army is a "mainstay
of a modern economy." The diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity,
said the need for reforming Russian forces was highlighted by "the rapid
success of coalition forces in Iraq and their bogged-down status in

The defeat of the Iraqi regime, which was defended by a "miniature version
of the Russian army," showed that the Russian army needs "a root and branch
reform," the diplomat said. The Russian army was not only "antiquated and
decrepit at the top, but also crumbling at the bottom in terms of social

Catherine Belton contributed to this report.


Nezavisimaya Gazeta
April 25, 2003 
Intrigues over the military reforms
Author: Olga Tropkina, Maksim Glinkin
[from WPS Monitoring Agency,]

     Yesterday's Cabinet meeting on the military reform program 
drafted by the Defense Ministry did not clarify the fate of the 
military reforms. Contrary to expectations, the major sensation of 
yesterday was the position taken by Prime Minister Mikhail Kasianov. 
His conduct showed a clear preference for the alternative draft from 
the Union of Right Forces (URF). Being an experienced functionary, 
however, the prime minister did not come into direct conflict with 
Sergei Ivanov. Yet the draft of the Defense Ministry was scuttled, 
very professionally. 
     The most bright indicator of Ivanov's program was the 
sequestration of the Defense Ministry's financial requests 150 to 50 
billion rubles. If only about 30% is left of the original sum supposed 
to spend on the army's switching to a professional basis, one cannot 
say that the concept has been adopted. Generals will have to 
compromise on other items as well. Judging by Ivanov's statements, the 
reform will not be launched from 2010 after all, as was claimed 
before, but from 2007-08. Ivanov also gives consent to a significant 
cut of the compulsory service term. At the same time, the minister 
insists that conscripts should sweat at least one year. Meanwhile, in 
the presence of his colleagues Kasianov specified "up to one year."
     Yet the defense minister isn't showing it in public that his 
concept has failed. He came out to meet with journalists with a bright 
smile on his face. "The Defense Ministry's concept was adopted by the 
government as a basis, that's definite," Sergei Ivanov claimed, 
apparently counting that no one would know the real results of the 
Cabinet's meeting because it was closed to the media. However, Boris 
Nemtsov held his own press conference where he claimed that the 
defense minister showed wishful thinking. No phrase of approval of the 
concept sounded at the meeting, so the URF reserves the right for 
itself to apply to the Supreme Commander-in-Chief. "The program will 
have to be changed, it will have to be reviewed in favor of Russian 
citizens and Russia, not of bureaucrats," Boris Nemtsov ascertained. 
However, the concept of the URF has not yet received support of the 
prime minister.
     The defense minister did not enter into public debate with 
Nemtsov, saying that the proposals of the URF were "a slapdash 
populist farrago." However, Ivanov's position will strong just to the 
degree of funding he will be allocated. Meanwhile, this is what 
Kasianov and his colleagues did not promise him. The Defense Ministry 
requests over 130 billion rubles for four years of implementing the 
concept. But the Cabinet came to a conclusion that only one-third of 
the reform budget suggested by Sergei Ivanov's ministry was 
substantiated. Finance Ministry representatives quoted the following 
calculations: 140,000 active professional soldiers added to another 
130,000 soldiers will require just 50 billion rubles over four years. 
According to Nemtsov, on the pretext of talking about the reform the 
military just want to solve all their problems, which is why capital 
investment accounts for 60% of spending in the program of the Defense 
Ministry. Yet not only the URF, but also the government plainly 
disapproves of this approach.
     Sources from Ivanov's milieu assure that the minister dropped the 
following phrase after the meeting: the conflict between his and 
Nemtsov's concepts was absolutely insignificant, as in reality the 
reforms will not start before 2020. In public, however, Ivanov made 
two quite remarkable statements yesterday. He said that no service 
length cut (even to one year) would happen before 2007, and this issue 
would be considered depending on the success of the "reform" after 
that. And secondly, professionals at first will primarily be recruited 
to units stationed in the North Caucasus. In other words, generals 
will try to do their best to make service by contract even less 
appealing to young men that it has been until now. 
     Be that as it may, the settlement of the issue is postponed. 
Those responsible for the drafting of the reform were suggested to 
complete their draft by June 1. "By June 1 we will submit our program 
to the president once again, for the tenth time, and we will try to 
convince him that it is a great mistake to allow the military 
bureaucracy to reform itself," Boris Nemtsov claimed.
     Apparently, the Defense Ministry will use this time to continue 
intrigues. Meanwhile, the URF will try to win public opinion over to 
its side to an even greater extent.
(Translated by P. Pikhnovsky)


The Times (UK)
April 25, 2003 
Rag-tag Russian Army recruits foreign troops with offer of citizenship
From Clem Cecil in Moscow
THE Russian Ministry of Defence is turning desperately to former Soviet
republics for men to bolster the falling numbers in the army, promising
high pay, free education and ultimate Russian citizenship. 

The situation in the disintegrating army is critical: up to 50,000
conscripts run away each year and thousands more dodge the call-up,
frightened of institutional bullying and dismal conditions. 

More soldiers die in peace roles than are killed on active service in
Chechnya. To fill the draft quota, the army takes on unhealthy young men,
alcoholics and drug addicts. 

Sergei Ivanov, the Defence Minister, hopes that the Commonwealth of
Independent States — the loose alliance of former republics — will produce
a healthier soldier who, for good behaviour, will receive Russian
citizenship after three years’ service. 

Army reform has never been more pressing. Russia’s generals are in shock
after seeing the military hardware and tactics of the anti-Iraq coalition.
After years of deliberation, a draft law was approved yesterday by the
Duma, the Russian parliament. It aims to bring in a contract-governed
service by 2007, after which national service will be reduced from two
years to one to form a territorial army. 

Russia’s soldiers get about £2 a month, but £100 will be on offer to
contract soldiers. Analysts consider that there will be up to five million
would-be soldiers, coming from such countries as Ukraine, Moldova and
Armenia as well as Tajikistan, enabling the Russians to choose the very best. 

The Russian Army has more than one million men, but draft quotas have not
been met for several years. The main problem is that conscripts know they
will be subject to bullying in the so-called dedovshchina system. The
principle of the dedovshchina is to break a soldier’s pride and humiliate
him into obedience. 

Young men go to extreme measures to avoid this. Denis Kuptsev, 33, the
drummer in one of Russia’s top rock bands, Leningrad, still bears the scars
that helped him to dodge the draft: he slit his wrists and admitted himself
to a lunatic asylum. “I had to stay three months as the doctors were
nervous that I was duping them. I nearly went mad for real in there.” 

Mr Ivanov proposes to get rid of hazing by training more men to sergeant
level to take charge of recruits. Conscripts are rarely sent on active
service. In the two Chechen wars of the past decade, thousands walked into
the firing line with almost no training. Now 80 per cent of soldiers there
are on contract. But not everyone believes in contracts. “You cannot make a
contract soldier obey orders. If there is another Chernobyl and we have to
send in the army, you think contract soldiers will agree to do it?” Dmitri
Mitrofinov, a Duma deputy, said. “No, we must keep the draft system, but
think of ways to make it more attractive, so the young take pride in their

Parlamentskaya Gazeta
No. 77
April 2003
[translation from RIA Novosti for personal use only]
     The Iraqi war ended, as predicted, in the US victory. What 
country will be next on the list of US targets? Vyacheslav 
NIKONOV, president of the Policy foundation, talks about this 
with Svetlana DODONOVA.
     Question: Your forecast that the Iraqi war would last less 
than a month came true. The regimes of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and 
Jordan have not collapsed and Palestinians have not stormed Tel 
Aviv. The reaction of the Moslem world was much calmer than we 
feared it would be. 
     Answer: This is what I predicted. All serious experts on 
the internal political situation in Iraq said that the Iraqi 
society was not homogeneous in its attitude to Saddam Hussein. 
He represented the Sunnite minority, which had oppressed the 
rest of the Moslem population of Iraq for a century. 
     As for the reaction of fundamentalists and Moslems of 
other countries, their renegades are worse enemies to them than 
the Americans are. Their list of the most hated persons is led 
not by Bush or Clinton, but Saddam Hussein, a socialist who 
created a secular state in Iraq, or Kemal Ataturk, the founder 
of a secular state in Turkey. Besides, the Islamic world is not 
integral; it is divided into Sunnis and Shias, Turks, Persians 
and Arabs. 
     Question: The Iraq war was described as "strange," as 
resistance stopped unexpectedly and the much-praised Iraqi 
Guards vanished into thin air. It is difficult to predict what 
would happen next. 
     Answer: Resistance stopped when it was reported that a 
50-metre crater appeared in the place of the restaurant where 
Saddam Hussein was at the time. I think he was killed in the 
night of April 7/8 and this explains the unexpected end of 
resistance. As for what will happen next, the Americans may see 
Iraq as a long-term project of overhauling the Islamic world.
They will try to create the first flourishing Arab democracy in 
Iraq not by the Afghan but by the post-WW2 German or Japanese 
scenario. Investments in Iraq need not be as large as they were 
in Afghanistan or the Balkans. Iraqi oil may be used to resolve 
its financial problems. This is why the "Democratic Iraq" 
project may cost the Americans cheaply. 
     Question: What country is next on the list of "the axis of 
evil" countries: Iran, North Korea or Syria?
     Answer: The Americans will set their eyes on Syria and 
North Korea. As far as I could gather from the conversations I 
had with serious people in the USA, the Bush administration 
does not plan to go to war with Syria. Instead, it will put 
pressure on it to force the Syrian leadership to banish 
Hezbollah-type extremist terrorist organisations and liquidate 
weapons of mass destruction in its territory. Secretary of 
State Colin Powell will inform Syria of this. If Syria 
collaborates with the USA, there will be no war. 
     As for the North Korean situation, it has changed 
While Russia fumed at the US aggression, the wise Chinese 
leadership held energetic consultations with the USA on the 
issue of resuming negotiations with North Korea.  
     Question: But Russia wanted to be the mediator in settling 
the North Korean conflict, didn't it?
     Answer: It did but it missed the chance. Besides, Russia 
has no serious instruments of influencing the North Korean 
In the past 50 years North Korea was maintained by China, yet 
even China has no fail-save instruments of influencing it. And 
Russia never had them. In the past month, while the Iraqi war 
was in progress, China - though it denounced the US actions - 
greatly improved its relations with the USA. I don't think the 
USA will now need to use military force against North Korea 
because, as I see it, Kim Chong-il had an adequate reaction to 
what happened to his Iraqi colleague. 
     The problem of Saddam Hussein and Kim Chong-il is that 
they lived (and the North Korean leader continues to live) in a 
world which they had created for themselves and which has no 
points of contact with reality. Regrettably, in the past few 
days of the war, when I was in the USA, the USA came to think 
the same about Russia. Happily for Russia, the American society 
directed its outrage at France. The current US attitude to 
France is not better than it was to Saddam Hussein. 
     Question: But Ex-President Bill Clinton has severely 
criticised the foreign policy of George Bush. 
     Answer: The election campaign has begun in the USA, whose 
people will elect the president and the Congress next year. It 
would be strange if Democrat Clinton supported Republican Bush. 
     Question: But somebody must try to restrain America's 
fighting spirit. George Bush said the other day at Boeing that 
the USA should build up its military might. 
     Answer: The USA will not neglect its military might. In 
fact, since WW2 the US military development proceeded by the 
concept of "two and a half wars." Under it, the USA must have 
the armed forces that would be able to simultaneously fight two 
wars, one in Europe and the other in Asia, as well as one local 
The USA did not bury the concept after the dissolution of the 
Soviet Union but shifted the European theatre to the Gulf. The 
US military budget is larger that the aggregate military budget 
of the next 20 countries on the list of countries with the 
largest military budgets. It is ridiculous to compare the 
military capabilities of Russia and the USA (if we disregard 
the nuclear element). Russia increased its military spending 
from 10 to 11 billion dollars, while the USA jumped from 350 to 
400 billion dollars. Bush may increase the military budget to 
500 billion dollars by the end of his term. 
     Question: It is said that oil was the US goal in Iraq.  
     Answer: Don't overestimate the importance of the oil 
factor in the US economy. Oil accounts for barely 1% in the US 
GDP, while Russia depends on the oil market by 30%. The Russian 
oil companies and federal budget got super-profits when oil 
prices skyrocketed before the Iraqi war.
     Question: Will Iraq repay its debts to Russia?
     Answer: I think we never had a chance of getting the money 
back. None of the developing countries ever repaid their debts 
to the Soviet Union; at the best, these debts were restructured 
in the Paris Club. We can raise the issue of the Iraqi debt now 
but restructuring leads to the reduction of the volume of debts 
by several times and draws out repayment into several decades. 
     Question: Can we predict future oil prices?
     Answer: This is difficult to do now. Everything depends on 
the stand of OPEC, which has called for reducing production, 
which usually increases prices. It is not clear how the 
situation will develop in Venezuela, which is a major oil 
producer. Oil production in Iraq will begin after the 
settlement of property issues. Anyway, oil prices will not be 
lower than the production costs of US oil companies. It is said 
now that George Bush wants to send oil prices crushing. This is 
not true; he does not need low oil prices because he represents 
the interests of major oil companies. Low prices would suit 
Democrats better, as they serve the interests of high-tech 
     Question: What do you think about the lifting of sanctions 
from Iraq, which the Americans are advocating now? Russia and 
France demand that UN inspectors must return to Iraq, saying 
that it is not US troops but UN inspectors who must determine 
if there are weapons of mass destruction in the country. 
     Answer: Everything depends on how we see the future of our 
relations with the USA. If we decide to continue to quarrel 
with it, we should call for lifting sanctions. The 70 UN 
inspectors will be of assistance in the search for weapons of 
mass destruction, but I think the 200,000 US troops would not 
do it much worse.

April 24, 2003
Chechens Call on Russians to Return
Leading representatives of the Chechen diaspora in Moscow attended a press
conference recently and then a round-table discussion devoted to the
situation of the Russian-speaking population of Chechnya. 

According to Amin Osmayev, chairman of the national assembly of Chechnya,
Chechen public organisations have been forced to tackle this issue as 'the
federal authorities are afraid of discussing the issue for fear of sounding

This is the impression of those Cossacks and Russians from Chechnya who
have appealed to 'the Kremlin, the government and other authorities' for
security and protection from violence and infringements on their human
rights and whose appeals have been ignored. 'The government must understand
that it abandoned these people and all other Chechens in 1991 and it must
answer for this policy,' announced Mr Osmayev. 

'The priority of the authorities in Chechnya must be to recreate normal
living conditions for all those who have left Chechnya,' according to Umar
Avturkhanov, chairman of the Chechen National Accord Committee. 
However, according to Mr Osmayev, the current security level in Chechnya is
quite low. Chechens are more or less protected from terrorists by their
taips and the custom of vengeance. Russians, on the other hand, have no
protection from terrorism. 

What is more, according to Khamsat Salamov, chairman of the charity Peace.
Charity. Morality and former imam at the central mosque in Grozny, it is
important to teach Muslims, especially the younger generation, that
'Russians also live in Chechnya and should have the same rights as everyone

At the moment there are very few Russians in the Chechen government.
Chechens in Moscow believe this situation could be rectified by introducing
a quota for the Russian population whereby Russians would have the same
level of representation as they did in 1991. A statute on this must be
inserted into the agreement outlining the balance of power between the
federal government and that of Chechnya itself, as there is no mention of
it in the new Chechen constitution. Interestingly, many republics are now
choosing to reject such an agreement. 

Chechens in Moscow believe there are about 100 thousand Russians who could
return to their homes in Chechnya. However, as Mr Osmayev told a Rosbalt
correspondent, there is no corresponding programme in Chechnya or Russia as
to how this could be done. 'One can't help feeling that Russia has no
national policy on this,' he said. According to Mr Avturkhanov, apart from
the idea about giving Russians greater political representation in
Chechnya, there are also other ways of bringing them back. 

For example, administrative leaders in the Cossack regions of Chechnya such
as the Naursky and Shelkovsky regions ought to be Cossacks (at the moment
there is only a Cossack leader in the Naursky region). Chechen children
should learn the Russian language, be taught about Russian culture and have
the chance to obtain a higher education. In Mr Avturkhanov's opinion, it is
absolutely essential that Russian oil workers and middle-level management
return to Chechnya. 

Such a desire is understandable. Russians appeared in Chechnya at the start
of the last century. They mostly worked in the oil industry in Grozny and
the oil plants. Cossacks appeared in Chechnya in the 16th century. In
Soviet times Grozny became one of the biggest centres of oil refining. The
Chechens were unable to maintain the complex technology of oil extraction
and oil refining. The collapse of the oil industry in Chechnya, which had
really been the mainstay of the Chechen economy, forced many of the Russian
population in Chechnya and even many Chechens to leave. Then the Chechens
found themselves a new source of wealth. 

According to the census in 1989 there were about 400 thousand Russians
living in Chechnya at that time. It is very difficult to say how many of
those were killed during the regimes of Dudayev and Maskhadov. 
By 1992, according to the Russian Interior Ministry, 250 Russians had been
killed in Grozny and about 300 had disappeared without trace. 
By 1994 Dudayev's followers had killed more than two thousand Russians.
Thousands of other Russians abandoned their homes and fled to Russia. More
than 250 thousand people had left Chechnya before the first military

Beatings, murders, robberies, rape, hostage takings, burglaries and forced
eviction became everyday occurrences. It was genocide. Cossacks suffered
the same kind of terrorism and almost all of them fled from the Naursky,
Sunzhensky and Shelkovsky regions. Only 29 thousand Russians remained by
the time the second military operation in Chechnya began (17 thousand of
these were pensioners). Nobody knows how many of them are left now. 

This is how Olga Selenkova, a member of the Grozny congress of
Russian-speaking people, described the position of Russians in Chechnya: 
'Life is very hard. Often people just abandon their homes and leave. Nobody
buys their homes but when they return they are occupied by others. Or
occasionally someone arrives to sell their flat and then disappears. Such
occurrences are common in the Naursky and Shelkovsky regions. Whenever I
try to talk about this problem people criticize me for trying to cause
trouble. 70% of the Russian population in Chechnya are pensioners. The
Russians here are therefore vulnerable. '

Here is a typical story of someone who had to flee from Chechnya. Anna
Artemovna, who had worked all her life as a librarian in Grozny, left
Grozny in December 1994 with her seriously ill husband. Chechen neighbours
helped them to get to Ingushetia. Her husband had to have treatment for
cancer but he died a year later. By this time Anna had heard from friends
that the block of flats where they had once lived had been destroyed. 

Four years later, after many appeals to the authorities while working
illegally and sleeping where she could in the homes of acquaintances, Ms
Artemovna finally received compensation for her lost property - RUR 12
thousand. The only place where she could buy a new home with this amount of
money would be in the country where it is impossible to find work. And how
would she survive without work on a miserly pension? 

Many victims of the first war have still not received any compensation.
According to a recent decree passed by the Chechen government, the sum of
compensation has now risen to RUR 240 thousand, but only for those who have
remained in Chechnya. Those who left Chechnya before 1994 have not been
allocated any kind of compensation whatsoever. Ms Artemovna does not have
children and her relatives in the Rostov Region struggle to make ends meet
as it is. However, she has no intention of returning to Chechnya. 'Where
would I go - to the remains of my home to begin a new life at sixty?' she

Many other people have suffered a similar fate and say the same thing.
There is, however, another factor. Although relations between Russians and
Chechens were more or less neutral after the first Chechen war, there was
rapid ethnic polarization after the second war. It is unlikely that
Russians and Chechens will be able to live together peacefully now. 

Chechens in Moscow have an unambiguous opinion of Aslan Maskhadov's
fighters, whose resistance remains unbroken, and their terrorist acts
against Russians. 
In an interview with the BBC, Said-Hasan Abumuslimov, a special envoy of Mr
Maskhadov, said 'since the very beginning the Chechen Constitution and law
on citizenship have unambiguously guaranteed people of Chechen nationality
the same rights as Chechens themselves. There is no need to talk about a
Russian population in Chechnya now, because during the two wars, as far as
I am aware, practically the whole Russian population left Chechnya.' 
In other words, no people, no problem. 

What kind of future does Chechnya have? 
'Chechnya has been subjected to multiple outbursts of violence - a bloody
conflict has been waged there for the last decade,' says Vladimir Goryunov,
a member of the Council of the Association of Political Experts and
Consultants. 'Chechnya went straight from Soviet rule to a wild outburst of
ethnic lawlessness accompanied by inter-clan disputes.' 
'It is currently impossible to establish Western style democracy there.' 

The illusionary nature of attempts to alter Western public opinion on the
situation in the republic is also obvious. This opinion is created by
Western media, which strongly reflect the interests of their countries and
political elites, who have no interest in acknowledging the
'democratization' of Chechnya. The situation there will remain an effective
lever for pressurizing Russia for a long time to come. There will not be a
long-term period of peace either. Every concession by Moscow has been
followed by a short period of peace, but there is no point in expecting the
long-term stabilization of the republic. 

'This is why there is no chance of the Russian population returning to the
republic,' continues Mr Goryunov. 'Everybody understands clearly that
lawlessness in Chechnya may erupt again with new force at any moment.
Russian refugees have not found either understanding or help in Russia and
they are not going to return to the ashes of their former homes in order to
risk losing everything again. ' 

Yana Amelina, Rosbalt, Moscow 
Translated by Nick Chesters/Robin Jones 


From: "Juliette M. Engel, M.D." 
Subject: research paper on prostitution in Moscow State University
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2003
Organization: MiraMed Institute

From:  Shonda Werry,, MiraMed Institute, Moscow
Date:  April 25, 2003
Shonda Werry
Research Intern, MiraMed Institute, Moscow

“Why did you come to Russia to study abroad?” is a question I’m frequently
asked at Moscow State University.  Girls in my dorm cannot believe that an
American would come to Russia.  In fact, the first day I met my roommate,
she did not believe I was a real American.  “No one would leave America to
come here,” she said in her introduction.  Her desire to get out of Russia,
and her belief that life in foreign countries is better than life in Russia
are both common feelings that other girls in the dorm frequently express.  

Although a university may seem like an unlikely place to meet prostitutes,
the unfortunate truth is that many students in Moscow have bought into the
idea that prostitution is their ticket to a better life.  The girls in my
dorm who sell their bodies have all expressed a desire to get out of
Russia, to meet wealthy men, to get married, have children, and start
successful careers.  From their perspective, prostitution is a harmless job
that provides money, as well as the opportunity to meet foreign men who
might help them leave Russia. 

One of the first things to notice about these younger prostitutes is that
they rarely call themselves prostitutes.  As one girl at Moscow State
University explained, “I’m not a prostitute, but if I meet a wealthy man at
a bar, and he wants to pay me for sex, I’ll do it.”  In fact, most of the
students surveyed make a distinction between selling sex and prostitution.
When high school and college students in Moscow were asked if they knew any
prostitutes their age, most answered no, however, when asked if they knew
any young women who would have sex for money, most answered in the
affirmative.  The distinction for them lies in the fact that a prostitute
has a pimp and her only job is selling sex.  On the other hand, if a
student engages in sexual activities for money occasionally, she is not a
prostitute.  Those sexual encounters are isolated events, and do not
constitute her entire identity.

Many college girls talk about prostitutes’ glamorous lifestyle, and they
are impressed with the benefits that come with this job.  The girls in my
dorm told me that prostitutes are invited to the most elite clubs in
Moscow, and many girls envy the prostitutes who work for politicians and
get to ride in expensive cars.  Another reason given for prostitution is
being able to afford nicer clothing and make-up.  Prostitutes are
considered to be the most desirable girls, and teenage girls often aspire
to imitate the prostitutes’ fashion.  Russian girls are familiar with the
film “Pretty Woman,” and many express hope that they will, like Julia
Roberts, find true love through prostitution.
Finding opportunities to sell sex is not difficult in Moscow, and girls
know they can meet men in most clubs and bars.  Getting started in this
field is fairly easy, and the students in Moscow sometimes encourage one
another to “try it for a night.”  One of the ways an interested girl can
“try it for a night” is by going to one of the private clubs in Moscow
where every girl who enters becomes a prostitute for the evening.  The men
at the club sit in a designated room and watch the girls dance through a
one-way window.  When a man sees a girl he would like to pay for sex, he
leaves the room and negotiates a price.  Several students mentioned their
preference for this club because they could easily sell their bodies
without the interference of the police.  Sadly, for many students in
Moscow, the decision to experiment with prostitution is a casual one.

When I told some of the students on campus that I was doing research on
prostitution, they immediately asked if I wanted to become a prostitute.
They gave me names of places where I could make the most money, meet the
wealthiest men, and gave me advice on how to avoid the police.  In fact,
some girls were surprised that I didn’t want to prostitute myself for an
evening because, as they explained, “It’s such an easy way to make quick
money.”  Other girls asked if I would help organize a pro-prostitution
student group on campus to lobby for the legalization of prostitution.
Many girls believe that prostitution would be safer if it were legal, and
that they could make money without fearing the mafia or police.  

These college-age prostitutes differ from the traditional prostitutes in
their selectivity.  Because most do not have pimps and are not desperate
for money, they can afford to carefully select men.  The girls know that
foreign men usually have more money than Russian men, and a common
requirement is that the man be a non-Russian.  Some girls bluntly
advertise, “No Russian men, please.”  American and foreign bars are a good
place to find wealthy foreigners, and students wanting to earn extra money
often go to these bars.  A male American student described his experience
talking to a prostitute in an American bar, “She asked how much money I
make before she would even dance with me!”  Other American men share
similar stories, providing examples of experiences when prostitutes
rejected them for such reasons as a lack of ambition, insufficient income,
and poor Russian language skills.  Another American student explained that
a prostitute approached him, and to his surprise, asked how much he would
be willing to pay to marry her and take her to America.  She then
interviewed him, asking questions about his future plans and career goals.
Unlike poorer prostitutes who need cash to survive, the young corps of
students who sell sex are more interested in long-term money arrangements,
Green Cards, and prestige.
Despite the cliche that girls who are driven to prostitution are only those
with limited options, many college students in Moscow believe prostitution
is a means to a better end.  Students from a wide range of departments at
Moscow State University admit to prostituting themselves on occassion, and
a linguistics professor says she knows of students in her department from
well-off families who occassionally sell sex.  The students’ willingness to
sell their bodies, and their strong desire to leave Russia is corroborated
by the information gathered from a telephone survey that Miramed Institute,
an anti-sex trafficking agency in Mocow, conducted.  Based on their phone
calls, they learned that many trafficking victims and women who consider
going abroad for work are well-educated professionals.  Of the 264 calls
from women, 78 already had jobs, and they identified themselves as
teachers, nurses, bookeepers, and lawyers.  The high percentage of educated
women seeking to leave Russia is also reflected at the universities, where
the girls frequently discuss their dream of getting out of Russia.

While this phenomenon of students selling sex occurs far more frequently in
Russia than in America, it is not the average Russian girl’s experience.
However, among those girls who do not sell their bodies, there is talk of
this career as a back-up plan.  As one student half-joked, “If I get tired
of my major in economics, I know I can make a lot more money as a hooker.”    

At the same time that young girls are overwhelmed with positive images of
prostitution, they are exposed to very few disincentives to pursue this
career.  The girls who enthusiastically elect prostitution do not consider
the possibility that they will be abused by pimps, exploited by the mafia,
or trafficked.  Furthermore, many college women are incredibly naive about
the physical risks of prostitution.  Inadequate sex education in Russia has
led to the popular beliefs that men cannot transmit AIDS to women, that
condoms can be reused, and that it is impossible to get an STD while on
birth control pills.  When I asked a group of girls on campus about their
birth control methods, they answered that they are not concerned about AIDS
or STDS.  One girl said, “AIDS isn’t as big of a problem for women in
Russia as it is for you in America.  Russian men don’t usually transmit
AIDS.”  All of the girls agreed that it is not socially acceptable to ask a
partner about his sexual history or if he has recently been tested for STDS. 

Previously, anti-prostitution efforts have focused on offering women better
salaries, equality in the workfield, and more career options, but for these
girls in my dorm who didn’t choose prostitution out of desperation, another
approach is needed. Now the challenge for anti-sex trafficking and
anti-prostitutions organizations in Russia is to convince these young women
that in reality prostitutes’ stories do not end as happily as Julia
Roberts’ story in “Pretty Woman.”   

Juliette M. Engel, MD
Founding Director, MiraMed Institute, Moscow
(7) (095) 915-4374 office tel/fax
(7) (095) 730-0063 direct line
(7) (095) 730-0064 fax
(7) (095) 774-8323 cellphone

FEATURE-Russia hopes tankers can ship oil pipes cannot
By Oliver Bullough

UFA, Russia, April 25 (Reuters) - Tankers Volgoneft 228 and 210 rode to
anchor on the swollen Belaya river, oblivious to the celebrations for the
reopening of river navigation after the Russian winter and their
increasingly important role in the country's oil exports.

The ships, which belong to Volgotanker, can each carry 5,000 tonnes of oil
products on the trip from the refinery in Ufa, a city on the edge of
Siberia, to the seaport of St Petersburg.

The quantity may be small, but unlike Russia's pipelines, they have
capacity to spare and Volgotanker, under a new team of managers that took
over three years ago, is planning double-digit growth in volume shipped.

Russia is the world's second largest oil exporter, and during the recent
period of high crude prices the central bank saw its reserves balloon by
more than a billion dollars a week -- foreign currency mostly earned from
oil sales.

Export pipelines are full, so in the drive to bring in more cash many are
looking to alternative routes, including the country's river tanker fleet.

Volgotanker, which is Europe's biggest oil and products river shipper and
runs about two-thirds of the country's river tankers, has spearheaded the

"Our goal is to increase our overall volume by 11 percent from last year,
and last year we increased by almost 12 percent over the year before,"
Vice-President Ilya Katsnelson, a U.S. citizen, told Reuters on the flight
back from Ufa.

"Our goal this year is to take about 8.5 million tonnes."

The company ships mainly heating oil, a by-product of the production of
diesel and petrol that is too viscous to go by unheated pipeline, and which
is not needed in Russia during the hot summer months.


Russia produces 8.2 million barrels of crude a day and exports 3.2-3.3
million bpd via the state pipeline monopoly Transneft. Traders estimate the
quantity leaving by river and rail at a further 600,000 bpd.

Private oil companies are planning to build new pipelines to Russia's
northern and eastern coasts, but these will take years, even if approved by
the government.

Some officials and businessmen say tankers could help take up the slack
while pipelines are being developed.

"New oilfields have been found in Siberia, it would be hard to build all
the new pipelines, but we can supply the tankers, which could go round by
the Northern Ocean," said Nikolai Smirnov, the deputy transport minister
responsible for river navigation.

"I think exports (by river) will rise gradually in the next few years, but
we will need to build a new fleet," he told reporters at an impromptu
windswept news conference on the deck of one of the tankers as the muddy
water swirled around it.

Roman Trotsenko, president of the Moscow River Shipping Company, which runs
a major non-tanker fleet, said exports could be boosted by converting dry
goods transporters into tankers -- two to three times cheaper than building
tankers afresh.

"In four years you could double the amount of oil being taken out of the
country by river," he said.

"(But) after four years this resource would be exhausted, then you would
need to build new tankers."


But Volgotanker's Katsnelson was more pessimistic about expansion, saying
Russian river exports were restricted by more than just the number of
tankers available.

He said shipments for onward transport from St Petersburg on the Gulf of
Finland, which handles most river-borne oil exports, were held back because
the bridges of Russia's second city were raised to allow ships through for
only a few hours at night.

Shipments to the Black Sea ports of Kavkaz in Russia and Kerch in Ukraine
were held back because some of the locks were too small for larger tankers.

"There are a lot of factors that limit our ability to increase turnover,"
he said. "I would say 9.5 million (tonnes) is the maximum (amount of
exports) with our current fleet."

Smirnov also said export increases were not sustainable at their current rate.

"In the next few years (the increase) will not be 11 percent...The biggest
problem we have is the winter, that we live in such a climate," he said.

The river Neva, which links St Petersburg to inland Russia, is closed by
ice for half the year, while Siberian rivers such as the Lena and Ob are
open for only three months in the summer.

The severe winter this year postponed Volgotanker's shipments to St
Petersburg by two weeks and, Katsnelson said, required it to slash its
export growth plans to 11 percent from 14 percent.

And, Katsnelson added, any expansion was at the mercy of global prices and
the construction of new pipelines, which could handle far greater volumes
more cheaply.

"We can never beat the pipelines...We'd love to take that volume, but we
physically can't."


Award for a Russian and Its Winner at Overseas Press Club of America
Awards: Artyom Borovik Award Goes to NTV's Mikhail Krikunenko

NEW YORK, April 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Mikhail Krikunenko of NTV is winner of
the Artyom Borovik Award for a Russian Journalist presented among the
Overseas Press Club of America Journalism Awards for international coverage.

Krikunenko (here to receive the award at the dinner Thursday) won for his
investigative reports "Merchants of Death" for NTV.  Almost all Russian
soldiers killed in Chechnya have been felled by Russian-made weapons.
Krikunenko's documentary explores the murky world of gun enthusiasts,
corrupt soldiers, and cash-hungry ordinary citizens who feed the enormous
black market for weapons inside Russia.

This prize, sponsored by CBS News & U.S. News & World Report is named for
Artyom Borovik, who was one of the earliest and boldest practitioners of
glasnost in Mikhail Gorbachev's Soviet Union in the 1980s.  Borovik won an
OPC award in 1991 for a CBS 60 Minutes segment.  He was best known for his
critical reporting from Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation.  He died
tragically in a plane crash in 1999 at the age of 39.

Genrikh Borovik, father of Artyom, came from Moscow to be at the OPC awards

SOURCE  Overseas Press Club of America  


Web page for CDI Russia Weekly:
Archive for Johnson's Russia List:
With support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and 
the MacArthur Foundation
A project of the Center for Defense Information (CDI)
1779 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington DC 20036