TO RESTORE INDEPENDENCE
Izvestia, August 9, 2000, p. 2
On August 8 the Pan-Tatar Public Center (PPC) appealed to President of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev and Secretary of the State Council Farid Mukhametshin with a proposal “to pass a decree on restoring a declared independence and establishing contractual relations of the Republic of Tatarstan with the Russian Federation and other sovereign countries.” The project, which was proposed to the parliament of the republic, was created by the leaders of the PPC. According to this document, the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation which considered on June 27 the republican sovereignties inconsistent with the Constitution of the Russian Federation has encroached on the sovereignty of the Republic of Tatarstan. The authors of this document suggest that this decision of the Constitutional Court should be considered invalid on the territory of Tatarstan.
AMAN TULEEV: ASSASSINATION PLOT THWARTED
Izvestia, August 9, 2000, p. 2
An assassination attempt on Kemerovo Governor Aman Tuleev was forestalled by the Novosibirsk Counter-Intelligence Service and officers of the West Siberian Department for Combating Organized Crime. According to the public relations center of the Federal Security Service, on August 7 a few people who are suspected of preparing a murderous assault on the Kemerovo governor were detained in Moscow and Novosibirsk. Police have conducted search in their apartments. According to the FSB the assault was prepared by representatives of a certain financial-industrial group. Tuleev, who is currently on leave, has distributed a press release in which he said that “the matter concerns killers who were allegedly hired by a financial-industrial group which had to leave the region because of a tough redistribution of property in Kuzbass.” He noted that “during this year, new conscientious businessmen have come to the Kuznetsk Metallurgic Plant, the Novokuznetsk Aluminum Plant, the Chernigovsky mine and other enterprises.” According to the governor not all people like this situation. Despite the fact that Tuleev did not name the organizer of the assault, everyone knows that previosly the Kuznetsk Metallurgic Plant was owned by the Moscow Investment Company (MICOM), which was accused by the governor of damaging the plant.
THE CHECHEN AIR FORCE IN ACTION
Moskovsky Komsomolets, August 9, 2000, p. 2
According to the military intelligence service Chechen guerrillas receive aid from the air: weapons, night vision devices, food and uniforms are delivered to Chechnya by planes flying from Georgia.
On August 8 the military showed journalists a few cargo parachutes which were found by the military intelligence service near the Kharsenoi settlement. The packages had endorsements in Arabian, Turkish and Georgian. A few packages had American marking.
Representatives of the North Caucasian Department of the Russian Frontier Guard Service were surprised by the question of a journalist of “Moskovsky Komsomolets”: “The Russian air border has not been infringed in Georgian sector.” At the same time the Itum-Kali detachment which protects the Chechen sector of the Russian-Georgian border is not equipped with special devices for identifying aircraft. The detachment does not even have special anti-aircraft systems.
It should be noted that scandals around aid to Chechen guerrillas from “Georgian brothers” spring up very often. The command of the federal forces used to state that mercenaries from different countries, including Afghanistan gather on the territory of Georgia and after that they move to Chechnya. For instance a few months ago the federal forces fond a light aircraft at the Goluboe lake near the Dagestani border. Chechen guerrillas planned to use it for evacuating Shamil Basaev from the republic. One more aircraft was found in a garage in a Chechen settlement. When Russian paratroopers came to the Shatoi settlement they found a few special platforms for parachuting cargo from transport planes.
SECURITY COUNCIL WILL MEET, REGARDLESS OF THE WEATHER
Moskovsky Komsomolets, August 9, 2000, p. 1
The meeting of the Security Council on reforming the Russian Army, which was postponed last month because of the conflict between the Defense Ministry and the General Staff, is set for Friday.
The meting will be chaired by President Vladimir Putin. The Security Council will consider only one issue: the state of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the priorities for their development to 2010.
“The missile conflict” between Defense Minister Igor Sergeev and Chief of the General Staff Anatoly Kvashnin will not be considered at the meeting of the Security Council. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, neither party has submitted projects on reforming the Armed Forces. Secondly, President Putin has not decided yet whom he should support in this conflict.
Despite this fact a program for the development of the Russian Armed Forces is clear. Though the program will be based on the proposal of Anatoly Kvashnin to divide the Armed Forces into three combat arms (The Air Force, the Navy and the Ground Force) neither his conception, nor the conception of the defense minister in their initial alternatives will be accepted. Currently we can talk about third conception which was created by President Putin and Secretary of the Security Council Sergei Ivanov, his main advisor for the state security. This conception consists of the proposals of Kvashnin and Sergeev.
On the one hand, the Strategic Missile Forces will not exist as an independent combat arm, and will be merged with the Air Force. On the other hand the Strategic Force will not be cut by 75%. At the same time these reforms will not influence the battle worthiness of the Strategic Missile Forces because they will not be followed by a global reduction of “the nuclear shield”.
A VISIT OF THE PEACEMAKER
Izvestia, August 9, 2000, p. 2
Israeli General Prosecutor Elyakim Rubinstein has arrived in Moscow. The sources of “Izvestia” in the Israeli Foreign Ministry said that the arrival of the Israeli general prosecutor in the Russian capital is connected with imminent visit of the Palestinian leader in Moscow.
According to our sources, the Israeli leadership hurried to send Elyakim Rubinstein to Moscow. The Jewish state wants the Russian government to hear the Israeli interpretation of the results of the summit at Camp David first.
Rumors are circulating that soon Russia will be visited by a more high-ranking representative of the Israeli leadership.
CAN EXPLOSIONS IN MOSCOW HAPPEN AGAIN?
Komsomolskaya Pravda, August 9, 2000, p. 2
On August 8 officers of the Central Regional Department for Fighting Organized Crime detained in the district of the Varshavskoe highway a director of a private security enterprise. Policemen have confiscated two kilograms of TNT, three TNT blocks of 400 grams each, about 100 detonators, three hollow charges, 14 meters of Bickford fuse and remote controls for explosive devices. The businessman intended to sell these things.
The Department postponed all official statements to August 9. But it is clear without comment that this arsenal was stolen from a military unit.
Two kilograms of TNT is quite enough to blow up a five-story apartment block.
According to our sources, police are now checking if the seller and buyers are connected with the Chechen separatists.
THE KHAKASSIAN GOVERNOR REJECTS THE PRESIDENTIAL ENVOY
Parlamentskaya Gazeta, August 9, 2000, p. 2
According to the Agency for Business Information, Governor of the Republic of Khakassia Alexei Lebed does not intend to make use of the support of Leonid Drachevsky, Presidential Envoy for the Siberian federal district.
The regional leader made this statement at a meeting with journalists. According to him, he intends to use the Siberian Agreement Association – which consists of all Siberian regional leaders – in order to coordinate his work with the president and the federal government. Alexei Lebed noted that no one has abolished Siberian Agreement. In order to prove his words concerning his refusal to work with Leonid Drachvsky he said that he intends to abolish the administration of the presidential envoy in the republic.