#3 - JRL 7167
Compiled by Luba Schwartzman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Research Analyst, Center for Defense Information, Moscow office
Saturday, May 3, 2003
- Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma in Yalta. Presidential Press Secretary Aleksei Gromov reported that the presidents discussed bilateral relations and a number of international issues.
- President Putin met with Black Sea Fleet Commander Vladimir Masorin to discuss the current state of the Black Sea Fleet and upcoming joint exercises with the Indian Navy in the Indian Ocean.
- An MI-26 fire-fighting helicopter crashed in the Chita Oblast. All 12 crew members and passengers, including 4 journalists, died. Witnesses say the aircraft began spinning in the air and crashed after the pilot lost control. A rope connected to the water container was wrapped about the tail rotor. The primary version is that the container was blown into the tail rotor by a gust of wind. The black boxes have been removed. Russian Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu is overseeing the investigation.
- In Washington, Russian Minister of Agriculture Aleksei Gordeev and his American counterpart signed a memorandum on cooperation in agriculture.
- Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin discussed the regulation of the Iraqi crisis over the telephone.
- The Sixth Expedition will return from the International Space Station at 7am tomorrow morning.
- A number of children and grandchildren of White Emigres are requesting Russian citizenship. They hope to participate in the revival of Russian.
- Renowned film director Arkadii Inin celebrates his 65th birthday.
Sunday, May 4, 2003
- President Putin concluded his visit to Yalta. He told journalists that he was "highly satisfied" with the talks with the Ukrainian leadership. President Putin and President Kuchma also visited Chekhov's house-museum in Yalta.
- A day of mourning was held in Chita for the victims of the MI-26 helicopter crash. The bodies have been identified and transported to Moscow. After the meeting of the special investigation committee, Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu declared that helicopters with similar water containers will not be used to fight forest fires until the investigation is completed.
- The three-year-old daughter of a Sri Lankan princess and a Russian diplomat was christened in Kostroma.
- Rescue workers in the Karmadon Gorge received new equipment, which should allow them to get into the tunnel, where the bodies of the victims of Glacier Kolka may remain.
- Border guards are patrolling the Far East rivers where salmon breed to ward off poachers.
- 113 forest fires have been registered in the Far East; 60 of them appeared over the last 24 hours.
- The "Masterpieces of the Tretyakov Gallery" exhibit opened in Minsk. This is Tretyakov Gallery's first large-scale visiting exhibit.