THE ICE IS BREAKING?

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THE ICE IS BREAKING?

Versty, December 26, 2000, p. 1

According to expert appraisals, very cautious and with many reservations, lately there has been some improve in the financial-economic situation in the Russian industry. Should we trust such appraisals? Russia has so many times heard from the top governmental officials that the hardest times are over, the statements have even been confirmed by rather optimistic figures of the State Statistics Committee. That is why we do not want to refer to official sources, and will give the opinions of the leaders of Russian enterprises on the current situation in the Russian industry.

According to the All-Russian Center for Public Opinion Research (VTsIOM), four years ago only 22% of the Russian directors thought that the situation in their enterprises was more or less good. Currently, this number has increased up to 55%. What is very important, 60% of them are rather secure about their future, believing that in the next several months the positive trends will last out. According to 72% of respondents, over the past years, they have reconstructed the enterprise buildings; 63% of directors said they had renewed the equipment; 64% of respondents have forgotten what wage arrears are. What is the most important is that 68% of directors (against 22% in 1999) believe that they will no have to take such a cruel measure as staff reduction.

We only need to keep out fingers crossed and hope that the government will be clever enough not to interfere with the reviving enterprises. Especially, considering that the Russian enterprises have long learned how to survive without its help.

MILITARY COMMUNISM TO BE ESTABLISHED IN CHECHNYA

Izvestia, December 26, 2000, p. 3

According to Viktor Krokhmal, deputy presidential envoy in the Southern federal district, next year the government will carry out the politics of the “military communism” in Chechnya. He says, first of all it will concern choosing personnel for enterprises and local administrations: each candidature will be strictly selected by the security services and the administration of the presidential envoy. According to Krokhmal, currently the situation in Chechnya is the same as it was in Russia in 1918.

According to the plans of the administration of the presidential envoy in the Southern federal district, next year all the works for restoration of the strategically important objects and supplies of material resources will be carried out by federal ministries and departments. By the way, according to Krokhmal, private investors will be able to participate in restoration of consumer services only.

THE LAST ELECTION OF THE 20TH CENTURY

Trud, December 26, 2000, p. 1

According to preliminary data, Kostroma Governor Viktor Shershunov, Chelyabinsk Governor Pyotr Sumin, Volgograd Governor Nikolai Kaksyuta, and Chairman of the Khakassia Administration Alexei Lebed have retained their positions in the recent gubernatorial elections.

Roman Abramovich has become the new governor of the Chukotsky Autonomous District. He was supported by 90.61% of voters, which is the record in the Russian Federation.

Director of the Voronezh Regional Department of the Federal Security Service (FSB) Vladimir Kulakov has become the new governor of the Voronezh Region. General Lieutenant Vladimir Shamanov known for his participation in the current Chechen campaign has become the governor of the Ulyanovsk Region.

The final results of the elections will be published at the start of 2001.

RUSSIANS BECOMING OPTIMISTS

Trud, December 26, 2000, p. 1

According to opinion polls, 36% of Russians believe that 2000 has been the best year in the newest history of the Russian Federation. Some 47% of respondents believe that 2001 will be even better for the country.

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