CHECHEN SECURITY MINISTERS ON ALERT
Izvestia, August 5, 1999, p. 1
The heads of all security ministries and departments in Chechnya are not allowed to leave their offices without the personal permission of Aslan Maskhadov, President and Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. This decree was signed by Maskhadov on August 4. For the next 15 days the president will directly command the operational headquarters previously headed by Magomed Khambiyev as the supreme commander-in-chief.
Selim Abdulmuslimov, Press Secretary of the Chechen president, denies any connection between the measures taken by Maskhadov and the recent clashes in Dagestan between police and Islamic extremists.
Abdulmuslimov: Maskhadov has instructed security ministers to put an end to the embezzlement and illegal export of oil and oil products.
CHANGES IN MILITARY-TECHNICAL COOPERATION ARE EXPECTED
Izvestia, August 5, 1999, p. 1
The draft presidential decree on improvement of the system of military-technical cooperation with foreign countries simplifies export procedures and establishes a more rigid management structure, according to Aleksei Ogarev, the new general director of Rosvooruzhenie.
The decree is supposed to be signed in the near future. The five addenda include provisions regarding licensing products meant for export and the procedure of passing all documents through the necessary structures. Presently, decision-making in the arms export sphere takes between several months and a year. The decree specifies that only two ministries are to be consulted in arms export: the Foreign Ministry and the Defense Ministry.
ZYUGANOV CALLS A PRESS CONFERENCE
Pravda, August 5, 1999, p. 1
Some regional leaders and legislators have made an appeal to all Russians, according to Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov. The appeal was signed by 17 persons known all over the country.
This news was released during Zyuganov’s recent press conference. Alexander Kravets, leader of the Omsk regional organization of the Communist Party, was also present. He announced that Omsk women and children who staged a protest action authorized by the authorities were brutally battered by OMON. The protesters were merely demanding payment of subsidies for children.
On Saturday morning OMON servicemen surrounded the picket near the building of the regional administration and legislature and began “dispersing the mob”. The women were forced to their knees and battered, and some were wounded. Several deputies of the local legislature who tried to put an end to the brutality were arrested.
According to Zyuganov, he has appealed to Premier Stepashin to take measures to pay these debts and to punish those guilty of police brutality.
COAL MINERS MAY GO ON STRIKE
Trud, August 5, 1999, p. 1
Primorie coal miners intend to stop bringing coal to local power plants if the energy complex does not release the arrested transit account of the Primorskugol company. This is the account to which all users of electricity and heat pay money, and the energy complex and coal miners take their share from it afterwards. The account is under arrest now, and coal mining enterprises have not been paid for the coal they have been supplying for five days already.
YELTSIN MEETS WITH SHAIMIYEV
NTV (Independent Television), “Segodnya” program, August 4, 1999, 12:00
Mintimer Shaimiyev, President of Tatarstan and a leader of the All Russia movement, was summoned to President Yeltsin. First and foremost, the president wanted firsthand information about what was happening in politics.
Shaimiyev: Boris Nikolayevich is genuinely interested in the creation of a broad coalition of centrist forces which will form a constructive majority in the Duma.
BORDER GUARDS ON THE CHECHEN BORDER WILL BE REINFORCED
ORT (Russian Public Television), News program, August 4, 1999, 12:00
A powerful contingent will be deployed soon in the Tsumadin and Botliv districts along the Dagestani-Chechen border. The decision to deploy the troops is attributed to the penetration of two armed gangs which have already attacked the village of Agvali on the territory of the Tsumadin district and are believed to be there now.
According to secret services, about 500 well-armed commandos have massed near the Tsumadin district.
The official Dagestani authorities admit that a greater part of the district has been controlled by religious extremists for a long time. Moreover, they have even established bases and outposts there. The commandos are better armed than the police.
THE GOVERNMENT DISCUSSES THE SITUATION IN KARACHAEVO-CHERKESSIA
Russian Television (RTR), “Vesti” program, August 4, 1999, 20:00
The situation in Karachaevo-Cherkessia was discussed at a recent working sitting of the government chaired by Premier Sergei Stepashin. The sitting was attended, specifically, by Vladimir Semenov, a candidate for the Karachaevo-Cherkessian presidency, Valentin Vlasov, acting head of the republic, and Vyacheslav Mikhailov, Minister for Ethnic Affairs.