Tuesday, June 17, 2003
- Russian President Vladimir Putin met with former Japanese Prime Minister Yosiro Mori, who is in Russia on an unofficial visit. Mori will, however, relay the contents of the discussions to Japanese officials and businessmen.
- Russia and France have agreed to jointly modernize Mi-24 military helicopters.
- President Putin met with Nizhegorod Oblast Governor Gennady Khodyrov to discuss the construction of a new training fighter jet by enterprises in the Oblast, the development of navigation on the Volga and preparations for the 100-year anniversary of the canonization of Serafim Sarovskii.
- President Putin also met with members of the Cabinet. Vladimir Yakovlev was introduced as a new deputy prime minister. Agriculture Minister Aleksei Gordeev reported on harvesting plans. Minister of Defense Sergei Ivanov spoke about his recent meetings with counterparts from the U.S., France and Germany. Minister of Finances Aleksei Kudrin informed the President about compensations to Chechen residents who lost their homes.
- A special commission created by Turkmen President Saparmurad Niyazov will determine the legality of Russian passports received by residents who also hold Turkmen passports.
- 11 people died in a mine explosion in the Kemerovo Oblast. 160 people were inside the Ziminka mine when the explosion took place. Four people are still missing. A day of mourning will be held in the region tomorrow.
- Presidential Plenipotentiary to the Northwestern Federal District Valentina Matvienko told journalists that she has not yet made a final decision about participating in St. Petersburg’s gubernatorial elections.
- Russian businessman Alimzhan “Taivanchik” Tokhtakhunov was released from an Italian jail. He was accused of bribing judges at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.
- Deputy Head of the Russian General Staff Yuri Baluevskii declared that Chechen fighters may have been involved in the June 7 terrorist act against German UN peacekeepers.
- Three Interior Ministry contract soldiers were shot to death in Grozny.
- The State Duma will review a possible vote of no confidence in the government tomorrow. The Yabloko faction and the Communists motioned for the vote.
- Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Ivanov met with Indian leaders to discuss Iran’s nuclear problem, and other international issues.
- Containers with radioactive materials were discovered in Tbilisi, Georgia.
- A soldier who deserted the Ulan-Ude division, Ruslan Lebedkin, was killed in a shoot-out with pursuing forces.
- Italy returned 109 Russian icons, which were smuggled out of Russia. The legal procedures took three years. The oldest and most valuable of the icons is worth about $30,000.
- 889 Moscow summer health camps opened in Moscow. They will host over 30,000 children. Over 3,300 children will be sent to camps in the suburbs of Moscow and in Krasnodar Krai, and another 1,000 will travel to Hungary.
- The tragic events of 50 years ago were commemorated in former East Germany. On June 17, 1953, East German policemen, supported by Soviet troops, put down mass protests, killing 29 people.
- Members of illegal band formations in Chechnya continue to turn themselves in to authorities. About 200 people are currently ready to give up their weapons. About 35-45 have already done so.
- Experts are once again investigating the disappearance of the original amber from Amber Room, which was recently rebuilt, in the Yekaterinburg Palace. They have reasons to believe that, during World War II, Germans may have hidden the amber in an old palace in Kaliningrad.
- Possible measures to prevent floods in St. Petersburg were discussed at a meeting of the Emergency Ministry in Strelna. Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu noted that the Ministry needs modern equipment, and especially new K-32 helicopters.
- Gennady Sidorov’s film “Starukhi” [The Old Women] received first place at the Kinotavr Film Festival in Sochi.