SOCHI STATE OFFICIALS AND CRIMINALS ARE IN TROUBLE

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SOCHI STATE OFFICIALS AND CRIMINALS ARE IN TROUBLE

Izvestia, July 27, 1999, p. 2

Not so long ago reporter Sergei Zolovkin wrote a feature article for the “Sochi” newspaper. It stated that an entire “village” of 132 luxury mansions has appeared on the beach near the Maly Akhun settlement. Each one of them costs over a million dollars at market prices. The mansions belong to local businessmen, criminals, and state officials. Strange as it may seem, the local authorities and law enforcement agencies “were alerted” to the large-scale construction only by the newspaper. The “village” includes pools, mini-casinos, and dance clubs… The reporter wondered how humble state officials could afford such luxury, and why the mansions were built on the beach in defiance of the law. Moreover, this particular beach is considered a part of the border zone.

Soon afterwards, the reporter received anonymous threats and was told that his daughter’s life was at stake.

A territorial commission was dispatched to the spa town of Sochi, and an investigation is underway. The reporter himself has already appealed to the federal Interior Ministry. According to the rumors, the news has already reached Premier Sergei Stepashin.

MINERS DIE IN ANOTHER ACCIDENT IN KUZBASS

Izvestia, July 27, 1999, p. 2

On July 26, the bodies of three miners were dug out from the Dzerzhinsky mine in the town of Prokopievsk. The tragedy occurred not long before, when there was a methane explosion in the mine which trapped seven workers. Four of them were rescued soon afterwards and rushed to the nearest hospital; the remaining three were recovered only yesterday. Investigation continues.

More than 30 Kuzbass miners have already died in mines in 1999.

UPDATE ON THE LATEST FUEL CRISIS IN RUSSIA

Rossiiskaya Gazeta, July 27, 1999, p. 1

According to data released by the Russian Statistical Agency, retail prices for gasoline increased by 14.5% in June and by 59.9% over the past six months. Gasoline is unobtainable in Krasnodar and Primorie, Rostov and Leningrad regions. Some shortages are experienced in other regions as well.

These days, there are almost 700,000 tons of gasoline and 1.2 million tons of diesel fuel at oil storage facilities. The Fuel and Energy Minister believes that this is quite enough for individual use. The Ministry is now drafting a plan to ensure that the fuel is not exported, and gets sent to the gas stations throughout the country.

YAKUTIAN PRESIDENT ADVOCATES A CONSORTIUM

Rossiiskaya Gazeta, July 27, 1999, p. 1

Mikhail Nikolayev, President of the Republic of Yakutia, has suggested forming a consortium to implement Russian gas deliveries to North-East Asia.

Yesterday Nikolayev made a speech at the “Gas Pipelines in North-East Asia” international conference that opened in the city of Yakutsk. The conference was organized by an NGO, the North-East Asian Forum for Gas and Oil Pipelines. Representatives of the Economy Ministry, the Fuel and Energy Ministry, Gazprom, and foreign specialists are taking part in the conference.

ANOTHER PLANE CRASH IN IRKUTSK

Trud, July 27, 1999, p. 1

This is the fourth plane crash in the city of Irkutsk over the last five years. A transport IL-76 plane belonging to the Gromov Test Flight Institute from the town of Zhukovsky near Moscow (on the route Beijing – Perm – Moscow) crashed right near the runway and caught fire. Seven people were taken to hospital with burns of varying severity.

PRESIDENT MAKES A SHORT VISIT TO THE CENTRAL CLINICAL HOSPITAL

NTV (Independent Television), “Segodnya” program, July 26, 1999, 12:00

According to Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Yakushkin, Yeltsin’s visit to the Central Clinical Hospital is quite logical: the president wants to make the best use of his vacation.

Yakushkin announced that the president was scheduled to meet with some state officials tomorrow, but refused to elaborate.

UPPER HOUSE OF PARLIAMENT IS ON VACATION

NTV (Independent Television), “Segodnya” program, July 26, 1999, 12:00

According to Leonid Sukhov, Chairman of the Anti-Corruption Commission of the Federation Council, Boris Berezovsky is very unlikely to address the commission because the upper house of parliament is on vacation and all governors are in their respective regions. They are unlikely to return to Moscow before October.

GENERAL PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE: PERSONNEL RESHUFFLES CONTINUE

ORT (Russian Public Television), News program, July 26, 1999, 12:00

Vladimir Ustinov, acting General Prosecutor, chaired the first working conference attended by deputy general prosecutors. His predecessor Yuri Chaika has been on vacation since last Friday.

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