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

#5 - JRL 7224
No. 42, Monday, June 16, 2003
Translated by Luba Schwartzman

  Novaya Gazeta SPECIAL ISSUE: Mikhail Gorbachev presents the Social-Democratic Party of Russia: "As much freedom as possible, only as much government as necessary." The Declaration of the Social-Democratic Party of Russia describes why the S-D Party is necessary, how it differs from other parties, what it offers to Russia's citizens, and why freedom, justice and solidarity are the main principles of the S-D Party. Social-Democrats offer a new social contract between the individual, the society and the state and a new quality of life and explain how they plan to achieve this. The main principle of the S-D Party is: As much freedom as possible, only as much government as necessary! But the government must be democratic, law-governed and effective.

  ISSUE THEME: "Criminal Circles Proclaim War on Kremlin Chekisty," believes Novaya Gazeta columnist Pavel Felgenhauer. This was evidenced by the murder of Igor Klimov, the in officio general director of the Almaz-Antei military-industrial Scientific Production Enterprise (NPO). Klimov is a former member of the presidential administration. Had he remained alive, he would have been elected General Director at a shareholder meeting on June 26. He asserted that "Russia could raise sales of air defense technologies to $2 billion a year and capture a third of the world market. Apparently, the Kremlin planed to control this flow of funds, which could not please the other participants of the process of "military cooperation" with foreign states. On June 26, a war for control over the holding was likely to break out between the managers of NPO Almaz, headed by General Director Igor Ashubeili, and the managers of Antei concern, headed by Igor Klimov. Contract murders are nothing new for Moscow, but Klimov is very different from the average victim and his death shocked many. Russia's high-tech exports consist almost entirely of weapons and nuclear technologies and sales have more than doubled since 1997. In December 2001, Russian Accounting Chamber Chairman Sergei Stepashin declared that, according to the Chamber's information, total exports were valued at about $3.7 billion. The federal budget received only $7,000. This means the claim that "Russia is earning billions on the weapons trade" is not quite true. Not Russia, but someone in Russia, is earning the money. Such a large -- and growing -- volume of legal and illegal money could not but attract the attention various shadow and openly criminal individuals, who are ready to take on even the seemingly all-powerful Kremlin "chekisty." Klimov's murder might mean that yet another part of the Soviet inheritance has been swallowed up by the dark world of "business."

  ISSUE INVESTIGATION: No one doubts that Russia now has a middle class. In "Neither rich nor Poor -- THE EGOIST," Novaya Gazeta columnist Galina Mursalieva investigates exactly what the new middle class is. Those considered to be middle class usually make their money by 35. They do not expect anything from the government. They do not depend on it, and are successful when it does not strangle them with taxes and laws. They are often creative people. They do everything for themselves and for their loved ones -- not for the abstract Russian people. According to experts, the middle class makes up about 20 percent of the Russian society today.

  CONTEMPLATIONS: Renowned human rights activists and Novaya Gazeta writer Lidia Grafova contemplates "Why Human Rights Devalued." Russia holds second place in the number of premeditated murders. Real incomes fell 50 percent since 1991, about a third of the Russian population lives below the poverty line and 80 percent need improved housing. According to Presidential Envoy for Human Rights Oleg Mironov, 924,000 registered crimes (a third of the total) remained unsolved and over 100,000 crimes are covered up by the policy every year. The federal legislature still lacks a criminal charge of "corruption." According to the State Construction Committee, over 40 percent of the labor force work in dangerous conditions, over 360,000 people are injured at work and about 8,000 die annually. These sad statistics answer the question of why human rights and freedom have not become a real value in our country.


- "No One is Responsible for the Russian Economy," by Andrei Piontkovsky

- "Adopted Children and the Adapted Officials" by Novaya Gazeta special correspondent from Staraya Russa, Lilia Mukhamediarova

- "Kill Your Neighbor as You Would Yourself," an article about the tragic fate of a participant of the Serbo-Croatian conflict by Valery Shiryaev

- "Extraneous Man -- Sounds Noble!" an interview with artist and writer Vagrich Bakhchanian, by Novaya Gazeta culture section columnist Yelena Diakova.

- "Skiers Kaput" -- an article about the way Rosneft takes advantage of Russian athletes by Ruslan Dubov

- "Valentina I -- Take Two?" Boris Vishnevsky's materials trace the way everything is done to show that Valentina Matveeva will be St. Petersburg's next Governor.

Contact Information for Novaya Gazeta
(095) 923-9485

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