Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson

TV1 Review
Compiled by Luba Schwartzman (luba_sch@hotmail.com)
Research Analyst, Center for Defense Information, Moscow office

Thursday, May 15, 2003

- Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Constitutional Court Chairman Valery Zorkin, Supreme Court Chairman Vyacheslav Lebedev and Supreme Arbitration Court Chairman Venyamin Yakovlev to discuss the condition of the Russian judicial system, including the financing of the system and the restructuring of arbitration courts.

- President Putin submitted a draft resolution on amnesty in Chechnya to the State Duma.

- The Russian Cabinet discussed administrative reform. Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov explained that about 250 of the 5,000 functions of the executive branch should be cut. Some of these functions involve government presence in the national economic life.

- Cabinet Ministers also discussed measures to prevent the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome to Russia, including limiting the number of citizens of Southeast Asian states allowed to enter Russia, establishing sanitary checkpoints on the border with China, and funding medical centers to acquire necessary vaccines.

- Vadim Naidenov, the mayor of Troitsk (city in the suburbs of Moscow), was shot to death by two unidentified men as he was exiting his home.

- Chechen General Prosecutor Vladimir Kravchenko declared that the investigation committee has new evidence on the Iliskhan-Yurt terrorist act, including a video recording made during the crime. Investigators believe the suicide bombers wanted to assassinate Chechen Administration head Akhmat Kadyrov. Kadyrov was not injured, but 15 people died and 145 wounded.

- In a telephone conversation with President Putin, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi expressed his condolences in connection with the terrorist acts in Chechnya.

- The Russian Supreme Court has allowed Muslim women to wear head covering in their passport photos.

- Six strategic Tu-160 and Tu-95 fighter jets crossed the Indian Ocean, successfully conducted missile launching training exercises and returned home.

- The Forum of Business Women of Russia and Ukraine opened in Kyiv.

- The State Duma accepted in the second reading a law on raising the minimum wage from 450 to 600 rubles (a month), effective October 1st.

- Additional copies of St. Petersburg tourist guides and maps are being printed in anticipation of the influx of tourists for the celebrations of the citys 300th anniversary.

- Tatyana Zhdanok, the head of the Ravnopravie (Equal Rights) Party (party committed to protecting the rights of Russian speakers in Latvia) submitted a case against the Latvian government to the European Court for Human Rights.

- Mikhail Sinelnikov, the head of navigation security at the St. Petersburg Port, was shot to death. An investigation has been initiated.

- In Saratov, thousands of people fell victim to a con. A company sold gladiolus bulbs for 60 rubles, and promised to buy back the flowers that would grow out of them for twice the price. Some time later, the company disappeared, along with 1 million rubles in profits.

- St. Petersburgs famous Mednyi Vsadnik statue (Peter the Great on horseback) has been restored

- Russia has sent Olesya Bondarenko to the Miss Universe beauty contest in Panama.

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