ECOLOGIST AGAIN

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ECOLOGIST AGAIN

Izvestia, April 4, 2000, p. 2

On April 3 the Primorie Territorial Court sanctioned the verdict of the Sovetsky District Court of Vladivostok (which ruled that the counterintelligence service had been wrong in the way it handled ecologist Vladimir Soifer). The court approved an inspection of the scientist’s flat last August but Soifer calls what actually happened a search with confiscation of documents.

THE ELECTION IS OVER. BRACE YOURSELVES FOR CHANGES FOR THE WORST

Izvestia, April 4, 2000, p. 2

Its only a week after March 26, but certain changes have already taken place in the country: pensions and allotments are late in Chechnya. Needless to say, before the election the money was paid regularly and on time.

Akhmed Barakhayev, director of the center for assistance for refugees and displaced people in Nazran, says that budget sphere employees in the Nadterechny, Naur, and Shelkovsk districts of Chechnya were supposed to be paid on March 30 and 31, but payment was postponed. Mikhail Borikov, head of the PR department of the Russian government mission in Chechnya, says that the reasons are purely “technical” and not political in the least.

It is clear all the same that the mechanism of payment which worked with clockwork precision before the election is not working as it should any longer.

Similar unpleasant changes are occurring in other regions of the country as well.

A MEETING OF DIRECTORS OF UNIFIED ENERGY SYSTEMS PLANNED

Rossiiskaya Gazeta, April 4, 2000, p. 1

An extended sitting of directors of the Russian Energy Systems (RAO EES) is scheduled to take place in the Kremlin. According to a representative of the company, the venue chosen for the meeting is ascribed to the planned participation of high ranking state executives.

ANOTHER EXPEDITION WILL BE SENT TO THE MIR SPACE STATION

Rossiiskaya Gazeta, April 4, 2000, pp. 1-2

The 28th expedition to the Mir sapce station (comprising Commander Sergei Zaletin and Engineer Alexander Kaleri) will be launched at 09:01 a.m. Moscow time from the Baikonur complex.

This is truly a special expedition. It is supposed to restore to life the station which has been left unmanned for seven months. Specialists expect Zaletin and Kaleri to spend 45 days aboard the Mir.

If their is necessity for it and if money is found, the stay may be extended to 70 days and more. The crew will have to find the leak in the hull, make necessary repairs, and receive a transport spacecraft. EVA and other scientific experiments are planned.

INAUGURATION WILL TAKE PLACE ON MAY 7

Trud, April 4, 2000, p. 1

On April 5 the Central Electoral Commission will officially end the discussion of the outcome of the presidential election and publish its findings two days later. Consequently, the official date of inauguration of Vladimir Putin is set. It is to take place 30 days after the publication, on May 7, according to Chairman of the Central Electoral Commission Alexander Veshnyakov (some observers say that it would take place on the Victory Day, May 9).

Veshnyakov says that the official publication of the outcome of the presidential election will not include any unexpected surprises. Putin is far ahead of all other candidates with 52.9 per cent. Zyuganov still has about 30 percent. The only question is whether or not Aman Tuleev scaled the 3 percent barrier. If he did not, the Kemerovo governor will have to return the budget money spent on his presidential campaign.

THE CENTRAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION IS OWED…

Moskovsky Komsomolets, April 4, 2000, p. 2

… 2.1 million rubles by twelve coalitions that aspired for seats in the State Duma last December.

The law on election of deputies of the lower house of parliament is explicit: when any party or movement polls below 2 percent of votes, is must return the money it received from the state to fund its electoral campaign and transport expenses. Some debtors are openly mocking Alexander Veshnyakov’s commission. The Russian Conservative Movement transferred only 50 rubles to the account of the Central Electoral Commission even though its debts amounted to 220,000 rubles. Peace Movement, Labor Movement, May Movement, For Civilian Dignity, Congress of Russian Communities, Yuri Boldyrev’s Movements and the bloc of Andrei Nikolayev and Stanislav Fedorov owe the commission 215,000 rubles each. The Stalin’s Bloc for the USSR, Russian Cause movement, the All-Russian Political Party of the People, and the Socialist Party owe 220,000 each. Eight parties did not forward any financial documents to the Central Electoral Commission at all.

PUTIN SIGNED A DECREE

ORT (Russian Public Television), News program, April 3, 2000, 12:00

Vladimir Putin has signed a decree “On additional measures for providing safe functioning of vital branches of the economy”. The document states that individuals may sell ferrous and non-ferrous metals only on the basis of their private ownership of such metals. The decree was prompted by frequent thefts of ferrous and non-ferrous metals from vital objects, as a result of which operations were frequently sabotaged at the objects.

CHAIRMAN OF THE AUDIT CHAMBER TO BE REPLACED

NTV (Independent Television), “Segodnya” program, April 3, 2000, 14:00

Today, the Budget Committee of the State Duma discussed the issue of jurisdiction of the chairman of the Accounting Chamber. The current chairman, Khachim Karmokov, has held this post for six years. According to the legislation, his term in office is over. The fact that the current law was adopted five years ago however caused some controversies. The controversy has to do with the issue of when Karmokov’s assumption of office should be dated. Should it be from the moment of his election or from the moment the current law was adopted? If dated from the moment of adoption of the law, Karmokov, who is supported by the communists, has one more year to spend in office.

It seems, however, that most factions of the Duma want another chairman. Off the record, the probable successor was even identified last week in the person of Sergei Stepashin. It goes without saying that the communists do not want their man in the Accounting Chamber to be replaced. On the other hand, they do not have a majority in the Duma. It did not take the Budget Committee too long to conclude today that Karmokov’s term in office was over. Anatoly Lukianov, chairman of the committee for state construction, a communist, was the only one who backed up Karmokov.

Karmokov himself disagrees with the decision, saying that the issue should be decided upon by the Constitutional Court.

The draft resolution of the Budget Committee will be discussed by the Duma at its plenary session on Wednesday. If it is approved, State Duma factions will be allowed to nominate their candidates for the vacancy.

"CONSIGNMENT 200" IS EXPECTED IN ROSTOV-ON-DON

ORT (Russian Public Television), News program, April 3, 2000, 12:00

The saddening “consignment 200” has arrived in the city of Rostov-on-Don soon. The plane carrying the bodies of 25 servicemen of the Perm OMON detachment ambushed in Chechnya has touched down there. Seven bodies have not been identified yet. Eleven servicemen are missing. The bodies will be interred tomorrow, and the day has been declared a mourning day by the Perm authorities.

The Perm OMON detachment was ambushed on March 29 in the vicinity of the settlement of Dzhanoi-Vedeno. Only six servicemen escaped the massacre. Defense Minister Igor Sergeev says that the incident was being thoroughly investigated and he blamed the central command for the tragedy.

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