NEW APPOINTMENTS IN THE DEFENSE MINISTRY

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NEW APPOINTMENTS IN THE DEFENSE MINISTRY

Moskovsky Komsomolets, November 16, 2000, p. 2

Mikhail Dmitriyev, 53, has appointed a deputy defense minister in charge of arms exports.

Before the appointment, General Dmitriyev of the Foreign Intelligence Service was a deputy minister for industry, science, and technology. Dmitriyev spent years in the Foreign Intelligence Service, and is known as a technocrat. There are rumors that his appointment was promoted by Prime Minister Mikhail Kasianov (at the same time, Security Council Secretary Sergei Ivanov was pushing for Grigori Rapota, senior deputy minister of industry and ex-director of the company Rosvooruzhenie).

The final decision was made by President Putin, who took over arms exports by establishing the Rosoboroneksport company and shoving aside Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov.

FUEL SHORTAGES KEEP RUSSIAN PILOTS GROUNDED

Moskovsky Komsomolets, November 16, 2000, p. 2

Russian fighter pilots get only 7.5% to 10% of the flying time which their NATO counterparts get, according to Colonel General Gennadi Vasiliev, Commander of the Moscow Military District of the Air Force and Antiaircraft Forces. He says that the time pilots spend in cockpits has fallen significantly. In the last training year, the military district received only 35% of the fuel it needed.

At the same time, the Air Force command claims that fighter pilots still have adequate skills for combat missions.

STARVING TO DEATH IN PROTEST

Moskovsky Komsomolets, November 16, 2000, p. 2

Once again, the state is choosing to save money at the expense of its citizens. The government considers it is time to establish a new system for monthly compensation payments to Chernobyl clean-up workers. The state already owes them 250 million rubles, and the courts are swamped with lawsuits.

The Supreme Court is now involved in the conflict. At its plenary session on November 21 it will discuss a draft resolution restricting the rights of clean-up workers.

The men who worked at Chernobyl right after the disaster are organizing protest actions across the country. In the Rostov region, they called a hunger strike. Two strikers have already died.

SECURITY SERVICE BILL FAILS TO PASS THE DUMA

Izvestia, November 16, 2000, p. 3

The attempt to begin a process of restoring a secret service superstructure, the State Security Ministry, failed on November 15. Only 81 Duma members voted in favor of the bill “On state security structures in the Russian Federation”, 123 voted against, and six abstained.

The bill was presented to the previous Duma by Sergei Skurekhin of the LDPR. His arguments were simple: NATO was expanding, foreign intelligence services were getting more and more active, the list of ethnic conflicts was growing, the underworld was getting bolder by the day…

What does Russia have as state security structures? In the past, there were two structures – the KGB and the GRU (army intelligence). There are six of them nowadays – the Federal Security Service, the Foreign Intelligence Service, the GRU, the General Staff, the Federal Agency for Governmental Communications and Information, and the Federal Border Guards Service. The document accompanying the bill states that “Growth of the number of security structures has not resulted in higher efficiency, because of a lack of coordination of their work.” Hence the proposal to restore the State Security Ministry. Authors of the bill say that it would not require additional expenditure or drastic reorganization of the existing structures.

EDMOND POPE CASE: AN UPDATE

Izvestia, November 16, 2000, p. 2

Experts led by Academician Georgy Logvinovich announced in the courtroom yesterday that the materials Professor Anatoly Babkin had given Edmond Pope did contained state secrets.

Pope’s lawyers doubt and dispute the experts’ conclusion. They had planned to demand an additional independent analysis, even before the hearing began.

The prosecutor himself was absent from the courtroom, and the defense could not get a coherent explanation from the judges.

The defense asked the court to include in the record the letter from Professor Daniel Kylie of Pennsylvania University, who had been detained together with Pope. Kylie claims that FSB officers told him right away that he was not suspected of anything, but that after the interrogation he had been forced to sign the statement in its Russian form, not being shown its translation into English.

POWERS OF PRESIDENTIAL ENVOYS MAY BE EXPANDED

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, November 16, 2000, p. 1

President Putin may sign a decree expanding the powers of his seven envoys in federal districts as soon as this week. Yesterday, the draft document was signed by Sergei Samoilov, Chief of the Main Territorial Directorate, and Alexander Abramov, Deputy Director of the Presidential Administration. In the evening, the document was laid on the desk of Alexander Voloshin, Director of the Presidential Administration.

Our sources do not rule out the possibility that the document will be signed as soon as the president returns to Moscow on Friday evening, on the eve of Voloshin’s planned meeting with the presidential envoys. The following day they may be acquainted with the document in the Kremlin. Not a single one of the presidential envoys is confident that his proposals and suggestions have been incorporated in the decree.

Virtually all presidential envoys support expanding their economic powers. Sources in the Kremlin deny that these issues will make it into the decree and say that the matter is still being worked on.

Sources in the Kremlin hint that presidential envoys’ powers may be broadened in the matter of bringing regional laws into compliance with federal law.

ON US NAVAL EXERCISES

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, November 16, 2000, p. 1

Two pairs of Russian SU-24MR reconnaissance planes, covered by SU-27 fighters, have flown over a US aircraft carrier, part of a group which also included a missile cruiser, two destroyers, a Los Angeles class nuclear submarine, and several auxiliary ships. The US naval group was taking part in exercises in the Sea of Japan. The Russian planes photographed the aircraft carrier when no planes were landing or taking off. After the second fly-by, the Americans sent a couple of FA-18C Hornets into the air.

After that, the aircraft-carrier with its escorts visited South Korea and returned to the Sea of Japan.

BEREZOVSKY DID NOT TURN UP

Tribuna, November 16, 2000, p. 1

Boris Berezovsky was summoned to the General Prosecutor’s Office for questioning this week, but opted not to turn up. He is abroad. Berezovsky probably made the right choice, because he might have ended up in jail. He chose the image of a political martyr, to refute the picture of him as a thief, painted by the authorities.

Media-Most owner Vladimir Gusinsky is abroad as well, and wanted in Russia. His lawyers say Gusinsky is under political pressure.

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