YURI LUZHKOV WANTS SOME ANSWERS

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YURI LUZHKOV WANTS SOME ANSWERS

Moskovsky Komsomolets, August 15, 2000, p. 2

Last week Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov received a letter from the Investigation Committee of the Interior Ministry. The letter listed atrocities in which Moscow city government executives were suspected of. According to a source in the Moscow city hall, Luzhkov would dearly like to receive answers to certain questions.

Luzhkov is said to have been very surprised that the letter is so “vague”. Listing numerous atrocities, it did not identify the accused. Moreover, the letter listed a huge number of structures and joint-stock companies that do not have anything to do with the Moscow government.

Luzhkov wants explanations from the Interior Ministry and hopes to be updated on ongoing investigations into criminal charges of bribery filed against Igor Aleksandrov, Chairman of the Moscow Registry Chamber, and Lyudmila Lazkova, Director of the Tax Directorate of the municipal Department of Finances.

"CHECHEN INVOLVEMENT" ABROAD

Moskovsky Komsomolets, August 15, 2000, p. 2

Chechen separatists are out to wage war both on the territory of the Russian Federation and abroad. Russian diplomatic and commercial missions abroad may become the next target.

The other day the Polish police arrested a Pole and three Chechens with almost six kilograms of explosives, according to the German newspaper B.Z. In a special operation in a hotel close to the German border, polish secret services confiscated a certain amount of explosives with fuses. Citing Polish and German secret service sources, the newspaper states that the explosive devices could have been meant for use against Russian diplomatic and commercial missions in Berlin.

A CREEPING WAR

Moskovsky Komsomolets, August 15, 2000, p. 3

Federation subjects close to Chechnya are bracing themselves for possible attack on their territory. The office of Presidential Advisor Sergei Yastrzhembsky has operational data, according to which Chechen separatists are forming mobile groups to infiltrate Dagestan. This particular republic is prepared to repel attacks after last year’s incidents, but others are not…

Reports from the federal military command in Chechnya indicate that “Units of the united federal group subjected to artillery fire a terrorist base close to the Chechen-Ingush border to the west of the settlement of Bamut in the mountains. Six bodies were found there afterwards, though the actual losses must have been greater”.

Another report said that “on August 10 a reconnaissance battalion assigned to a special operation engaged in combat with a gang in the mountainous settlement of Nizhny Alkun in the Sunzha district of Ingushetia. The criminals later retreated to the Yerdykort mountain where they had prepared a hideout. Helicopters were summoned and the gang was wiped out. Several servicemen of the federal troops sustained injuries of varying severity”.

The territory of Ingushetia provided R&R for Chechen extremists. The road from the Targim (a mountainous plateau in Ingushetia where a large base of the Interior Ministry and border guards is located) to Nazran runs near the Bamut forests and is virtually unguarded. Federal convoys following it are always heavily protected.

Ingush President Ruslan Aushev regularly denies that Chechen guerrillas can be found on the territory of his republic and is quoted as repeatedly saying that “the situation on the administrative border between Ingushetia and Chechnya remains calm”. The military says, however, that a lot of Chechen extremists in Ingushetia are posing as refugees. Officials of the Interior Ministry and Ingush Directorate of the Federal Security Service confirm this.

A CABINET UPDATE

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, August 15, 2000, p. 1

Prime Minister Mikhail Kasianov said that the session of the Cabinet commission for military-technical issues will today discuss the financial problems of security structures for the year 2001. Opening the regular session with deputy premiers, Kasianov announced that all financial decisions in this area should be made with the latest decision of the Security Council taken into account. According to the premier, there are some “bugs” in the draft federal budget prepared by the Finance Ministry. Kasianov says that President Vladimir Putin wants arms export to become more effective than it currently is. Arms export should be bringing in more revenues so as to channel the money into reforms. The task was given to Deputy Premier Ilya Klebanov. Kasianov also says that industrial growth in the last seven months amounted to 10 percent. Some growth of the GDP is also expected, according to the premier.

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