MOSCOW MAYOR IS NOT GIVING UP
Moskovsky Komsomolets, January 19, 2000, p. 2
Yesterday the Moscow Mayor’s Office announced that Yuri Luzhkov is planning to appeal against the decision of the Moscow City Court, which did not overturn the decision of Ostankino Municipal Court. In accordance with that decision, Luzhkov is to receive 50,000 rubles as compensation for defamation from the ORT television network, and 100,000 rubles from newsreader Sergei Dorenko. Luzhkov believes he should receive 450 million rubles. Now, after the Moscow City Court supported the the decision of the Ostankino Court, Luzhkov is planning to appeal to the Supreme Court of Russia.
DUMA DEPUTIES STILL BARGAIN OVER THEIR SEATS
Izvestia, January 19, 2000, p. 1
The Duma deputies have not determined their final positions yet. From applications for rooms, transport, office equipment and other things necessary for proper legislation it appears that there are 474 deputies in the Duma. Yet only 441 have been elected. The reason for such a discrepancy is that some deputies have applied to several groups at once. Some of parliamentarians have already changed their minds and switched from outsiders to leading factions. For example, Said Gutseriev (a brother of former Duma deputy Mikhail Gutseriev, who traded his Duma office for the post of head of the Slavneft oil company) preferred Unity to the Liberal Democratic Party he formerly belonged to; Ivan Grachev changed his People’s Deputy faction for the Fatherland – All Russia alliance. After long discussion, the situation with blocs and movements has finally become clear. There will be nine of them in the Duma: the Communist Party, Unity, Fatherland – All Russia, Yabloko, Liberal Democratic Party as factions; and People’s Deputy, Russian Regions and Agrarian and Industrial groups. Sixteen deputies have decided not to join any faction.
FINAL PLEAS IN CEMETERY BOMBING TRIAL
Izvestia, January 19, 2000, p. 2
The trial of the Kotlyakovo cemetery bombing case will soon be completed. On Tuesday, January 18, defendants Valery Radchikov, Andrei Anokhin, and Mikhail Samurov were given an opportunity to enter their final pleas.
Of course, there were no surprises. Radchikov, Colonel of the Chief Investigation Department, announced that he was not guilty, and asked to be vindicated. According to him, some evidence has been falsified by the investigation team. He also added that the state prosecutor should have had the courage to drop the charges.
Anokhin and Smurov, who entered their final pleas right after the main defendant, repeated his words and insisted on their innocence. The lawyers, who spoke before their clients, asked for the verdict “not guilty” too.
Now the court will have to make a decision. The verdict is to be announced in the near future.
TERRORIST ACTS PREVENTED
Tribuna, January 19, 2000, p. 1
Residents of two five-story apartment blocks in Krasnodar have almost become victims of new terrorist acts. The police founded explosive devices in the buildings. Terrorists acted according to the same scenario they used ten days ago, when the same type of bombs were found in three apartment blocks in Armavir. Exatly as in the previous case, people smelled gas, and called not the gas service but the police in order not to waste time. Terrorists took the faucets off gas pipes and fastened explosive devices to them, which included timers, batteries and blasting caps. Beside explosive devices the police found leaflets saying: ”Fighters of the Caucasus National Front, representatives of the people of the Caucasus. We support out Chechen brothers in their war against you. We are starting a total war in Russia and will continue it until they drive you away, behind the Don River, into your forests. Volgodonsk – Armavir.”
Unprecedented measures have been taken to provide security for people. The most important enterprises are being safeguarded, law enforcement bodies have once again asked people to be as watchful as possible.
RUSSIA PAYS ITS DEBTS
Rossiyskaya Gazeta, January 19, 2000, p. 1
According to the public relations department of the Finance Ministry, in January 2000 Russia paid $372 million to the IMF. The next repayment ($62 million), which will be the only one next month, will be made in February. Russia’s total debt to the IMF amounts to $15.233 billion.
MAKASHOV STILL HOPES TO BE A DEPUTY
Izvestia, January 19, 2000, p. 1
The notorious General Albert Makashov still has a chance to become a Duma deputy. The General agreed to run in a by-election to the Duma as a Communist Party candidate from the Ordjonikidze election district, Yekaterinburg. On December 19, the majority of voters in this district voted against all candidates, and the results of the election were declared invalid. During the last election in Samara the election commission of the Promyshlenny election district denied Makashov registration. He was accused of violating the election law: Makashov’s assistants paid for printing campaign leaflets in cash, whereas the rules say payment must be made through a bank account. The regional court, where Makashov appealed, confirmed the decision of the election commission.
WILL EXPORTERS SAVE THEIR HARD CURRENCY?
Komsomolskaya Pravda, January 19, 2000, p. 2
It is an open secret that the drop of the ruble rate in January has been provoked by a proposal from Viktor Gerashchenko, the head of the Central Bank of Russia. He suggested introducing a requirement to sell 100% of hard-currency export revenues to the state. Yesterday acting President Vladimir Putin tried to calm Russia. “There is no question of a 100% requirement for hard-currency revenues on the agenda of the government meeting,” he said to reporters.
PUTIN PROMISES NO DICTATORSHIP IN RUSSIA
NTV, Segodnya, January 18, 2000, 12:00
Acting Russian President Vladimir Putin made a very important announcement after he left the Duma and was interviewed by journalists. He commented on various rumors about the beginning of a dictatorship after he comes to power. Putin denied these rumors, saying: “Those who are talking about a dictatorship are dreaming of it themselves. However, in modern Russia this dream of theirs cannot possibly come true.”
DUMA DEPUTIES NOT FATIGUED
ORT, Novosti, January 18, 2000, 15:00
After the prime minister’s speech Duma deputies started on organizational procedures. Although consultations on the make-up of Duma factions and the identity of the speaker had been going on all through the previous day, deputies proved to be not ready to vote on these important questions. Between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Duma deputies worked for only 90 minutes. The rest of the time was spent on breaks for consultations, during which deputies coordinated their positions and decided on moving from one deputy group to another.
FIVE CANDIDATES HAVE SUBMITTED THEIR APPLICATIONS
ORT, Novosti, January 18, 2000, 12:00
On January 18 the acceptance of documents for registration of candidates for president began.
Five initiative groups have already nominated their candidates for president. They are Gennady Zyuganov, Aman Tuleev, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Conservative Party leader Lev Ubozhko, and businessman Umar Djabrailov. They will soon be followed by Spiritual Heritage party leader Alexei Podberezkin and Russian National Unity leader Alexander Barkashov. The Central Election Commission is to decide on January 18 whether or not the latter two may be presidential candidates. Now the candidates need to collect 500,000 signatures in order to pass through the official registration. In the opinion of Central Election Commission Chairman Alexander Veshnyakov, not all of the candidates will manage to do this. As for the terms of the registration, Veshnyakov thinks it hardly possible that any of the candidates may be registered earlier than February 1. Veshnyakov also thinks that there will be quite an influx of applicants with signature lists just before the deadline for registration, in mid-February.