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#6 - JRL 7229
NOVAYA GAZETA DIGEST
No. 43, Thursday, June 19, 2003
Translated by Luba Schwartzman

  ISSUE THEME: Why do Russians want nothing to do with the government and lose nothing? Consider Me Not a Citizen, by Novaya Gazeta columnist Olga Bobrovskaya, describes voluntary renunciation of Russian citizenship, motivated by the assertion that the citizens do not fulfill their obligations, and the government does not even think about its own. If one of the sides does not fulfill its obligations, the contract can be dissolved. In Vologda, people are saying that cooperating with the Russian Federation is not MUTUALLY beneficial. After the members of one family gave up their citizenship, another family filed to do the same

  NOVAYA GAZETA EVENT: Novaya Gazeta is beginning a new journalistic event -- Posrednik [The Middleman]. We will investigate occasions of the mercenary use of bottlenecks in the Russian economy. The first target of our investigation is the Transneft State Company, which owns all major oil pipelines in Russia. According to experts, this monopoly is currently the main obstacle to the development of the domestic oil extraction sector.

  ISSUE CIRCUMSTANCES: Novaya Gazeta correspondent Boris Vishnevsky considers high-level infighting in St. Petersburg in Housing Manager of All Russia. Vladimir Yakovlevs instantaneous (albeit predictable) transformation from Governor into Deputy Prime Minister is the third such transformation in Russias recent history. Boris Nemtsov and Leningrad Oblast Governor Vadim Gustov made similar moves in the past, and Nemtsov did in fact oversee housing and utilities Yakovlevs promotion once and for all dispels the myth that Vladimir Putin loathes him, unable to forgive Anatoly Sobchaks loss in the 1996 gubernatorial elections. Actually, what we have is a very amiable agreement. Yakovlev courteously gives his seat up to Valentina Matvienko, promising that no one from his people will compete with her, and, for that, Putin gives him and opportunity to make a smooth exit. Well, if the transfer of Russias entire housing and utilities service to the all-but-former St. Petersburg Governor is the price the President is prepared to pay to make sure the road is clear for Matvienko, this experiment may be quite costly. Yakovlevs achievements in the housing and utilities sector are quite modest. Residents remember his 1997 reform for its only result the doubling of rents, which failed to produce better services. It is unlikely that, upon becoming responsible for the housing and utilities service on a nationwide scale, Vladimir Yakovlev will change his ways. This means that even more money will fall into this black hole, rents and utility tariffs will grow, and as for the quality of services it will probably remain the same

  ALSO IN THE ISSUE:

- Novaya Gazeta correspondent Anna Geraskina met with Boris Krasnov, the man who dared bring Broadway to Russia to discuss the sad fate of musicals in Russia after NordOst, and his ability to make money and deal with investors. Details in the article, They Refused to Take Happiness Pills.

- Local authorities are following the lead of the federal government and spending budget funds on imported cars. Governors Horsepowers, Yu. Moisenko.

- The Red-White civil war resulted in the resignation of Spartak soccer teams head coach, Oleg Romantsev. He Raised the Cup in a Farewell, D. Filipchenko.

- 20th century fashion: straw dresses and female terrorism. Smoke from the Pocketbook, Browning from the Corsage, L. Gushchina.

Contact Information for Novaya Gazeta
(095) 923-9485
www.novayagazeta.ru

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