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#7 - JRL 7246
TV1 Review
www.1tv.ru
Compiled by Luba Schwartzman (luba_sch@hotmail.com)
Research Analyst, Center for Defense Information, Moscow office

WEEKEND HIGHLIGHTS

Saturday, July 12, 2003

- Russian President Vladimir Putin held a traditional Saturday meeting on foreign and domestic policy at the Kremlin. Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, Security Council Secretary Vladimir Rushailo, Minister of Defense Sergei Ivanov, Minister of Internal Affairs Boris Gryzlov and Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Nikolai Patrushev attended.

- President Putin met with Afghan Minister of Defense Mohammed Fahim to discuss bilateral military-technical cooperation. President Putin promised his support to the Afghan government. He declared that Russia is highly interested in a stable and friendly Afghanistan.

- Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Ivanov will attend talks in the Middle East. He will meet with the leaders of the Palestinian National Autonomy, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt.

- US Ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow declared that the US does not recognize the diplomatic status of the Russian Embassy in Baghdad. Aleksandr Yakovenko, an official representative of the Russian Ministry of Defense responded that this statement contradicts international law and international diplomatic practice.

- A major rebel base was destroyed in the Shelkovsky region of Chechnya. Two rebels who were guarding the camp were killed. A workshop for creating bombs and a cache with explosives were discovered on the territory of the base.

- Chechen field commander Aslan Gasaev was killed in Chechnya. According to some sources, Gasaev may have been involved in recruiting the female suicide bombers who organized the Tushino explosion.

- Three Russian servicemen were killed when the car they were traveling in hit a landmine in the Vedensky region of Chechnya. Three other soldiers were injured by a landmine near the Alkhan- Kala settlement.

- The United Russia Party organized a veteran reunion in honor of the 60th anniversary of the decisive and bloody Kursk Salient battle.

- Firefighters evacuated 450 students from the dormitory of the People's Friendship University. Several people had to jump from windows. Three female students have been hospitalized. A special commission is investigating the cause of the fire.

- The underground oil business in Chechnya is destroying the environment and the health of the people. Almost 60 tons of crude oil spilt when a pipe burst near the settlement of Berdykel. Incidents of cancer are increasing throughout the region. Previously unseen diseases are also appearing.

- A unique exhibit of theater playbills opened in Moscow. The oldest showpiece is dated 1791.

Sunday, July 13, 2003

- A woman who was planning to blow herself up in a caf on Tverskaya Street was detained. 29-year-old FSB Major Georgii Trofimov, a member of the bomb squad, was killed by the explosives. Representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs believe that an underground group that trains suicide bombers exists.

- Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Ivanov discussed the ''road map'' to Israeli-Palestinian peace plan with Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat and Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas.

- US Ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow declared that Russia could help the US by providing information about the whereabouts of Saddam Hussein, his sons and his allies.

- The Chechen Prosecutors Office is conducting an investigation of the attack on Russian servicemen. Nine men died and 6 were injured when their truck hit a landmine, and was then shot up by rebels.

- The Prince of Wales will visit St. Petersburg.

- A memorial to the children who died in the Tu-154-Boeing-747 plane crash a year ago was dedicated in Ufa, Bashkiria.

- 100 new recruits have entered the prestigious Kremlin Guards division.

- 13 people were injured when a fire broke out at an ammunition storehouse in the Maritime Region.

- Fireworks closed the Chekhov Theater Festival in Moscow.

- Russian actor Mikhail Pugovkin celebrates his 80th birthday.

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