BERTOSSA DOES COMMUNICATE WITH IZVESTIA
Izvestia, February 1, 2001, p. 1
Question: Stanislav Yakobi calling, from the Russian newspaper Izvestia. We had a talk last Wednesday.
Bernard Bertossa: That’s right, we did.
Question: You said last time that you had requested Pavel Borodin’s extradition from the United States to Switzerland. Has the request been delivered to the United States yet?
Bertossa: Here in Geneva we communicate only with the federal bodies in Bern. It is Bern that has to contact the authorities in Washington.
We made the request last week. I hope Bern forwarded it to the United States without delay.
ATTEMPT ON THE LIFE OF IZVESTIA CORRESPONDENT IN UKRAINE
Izvestia, February 1, 2001, p. 1
Talking to police officers called by neighbors, Sokolovskaya attributed the attack to the interview with former deputy prime minister Yulia Timoshenko, which Izvestia had featured last Friday. Someone had ordered the interview cut from the Ukrainian edition of Izvestia. Sokolovskaya also doesn’t rule out the possibility that the attack might be linked to her articles on the so-called “Kuchmagate” scandal.
An investigation is underway.
MAJOR SUSPECT DEAD IN CAR CRASH
Izvestia, February 1, 2001, p. 3
Radchikov was driving to Moscow with his acquaintances Markin and Dashko. The car was driven by Vladimir Berezutsky, a driver from the Russian Public Fund for Military Service Invalids. Radchikov himself could not drive, because he had lost both legs in Afghanistan. Traffic police say that the driver must have lost control, and the Moskvich-2141 crossed onto the wrong side of the road, where it smashed head-on into a Volvo-M12 truck registered with a Lithuanian company. Radchikov and Markin died instantly, and the other two men were hospitalized with serious injuries. The truck driver was unhurt. Police found him to be completely sober.
Radchikov’s lawyer Gulmira Orozaliyeva says: “I don’t know the details yet – but I doubt it was just bad luck, you know.”
KAZAN RAILROAD TERMINAL BOMB SCARE
Moskovsky Komsomolets, February 1, 2001, p. 1
An FSB bomb disposal squad has dealt with a powerful bomb at the Kazan Railroad Terminal. The device had been hidden in a large bag of the kind favored by shuttle-traders. It was discovered at 7:45 p.m. by police.
The bomb was destroyed by two remote-controlled water cannons. Examination of the remnants revealed 2.5 kilograms of a grey substance, and two detonators.
RUSSIAN PRISONERS SHOULD NOT EXPECT ANY IMPROVEMENTS
Rossiiskaya Gazeta, February 1, 2001, p. 1
The Federation Council has rejected the federal bill “On amendments and corrections to the Criminal Code, the Criminal Procedural Code, and Criminal Punishment Code and other legal acts”. Inmates in Russian prisons and labor camps should not expect any improvement in their conditions.
The amendments were initiated by members of the upper house; but Federation Council Speaker Yegor Stroyev says that these amendments protect criminals instead of protecting the public.
Debates were particularly heated over three proposals – to restrict the time for which suspects could be detained from 18 to 12 months; to deprive special prosecutors of the power to issue arrest warrants; and to replace detention with a written undertaking not to leave the area for people suspected of bribery and other white-collar crime. These particular proposals were criticized by Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov, whose letter circulated in the Federation Council prior to the debates. According to Stroyev, the letter did not have anything to do with the final decision of the upper house. Common sense prevailed, Stroyev said.
A conciliation commission has been set up by the Federation Council to continue work on liberalizing the Criminal Code.
YABLOKO LEADER YAVLINSKY SENDS A LETTER TO PRESIDENT BUSH
Rossiiskaya Gazeta, February 1, 2001, p. 2
This is what Yavlinsky replied when asked about his letter to the US president.
Grigori Yavlinsky: “I did what I did. All the newspapers which published this letter considered its contents to be important, not its form. All the topics mentioned in the letter are important.”
According to Yavlinsky, the problem of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense Treaty has been discussed in the Russian corridors of power since 1997. Fair enough. But why did Yavlinsky try to present his words as though they were President Putin’s?
Of course, all this might be written off as a publicity stunt, but it seems reasonable to assume that there is more to it than that. Yavlinsky was forced into this by circumstances. Yabloko is not what it used to be. The organization has been losing influence in Russian society. Moreover, observers say that Yabloko stands to lose support in the United States, now that the Democrats are no longer in the driver’s seat. Yavlinsky had to think of something to remind the world of his existence.
THREE-QUARTERS WOULD PREFER TO BE BACK IN THE USSR
Trud-7, February 1, 2001, p. 4
In late 2000 the National Public Opinion Research Center did a poll in an attempt to gauge responses to the disintegration of the Soviet Union.
Question: Do you regret the collapse of the Soviet Union?
Young people mostly don’t care. Almost a third of respondents aged under 24 said they did not regret it. But 82% of respondents aged over 40 do regret the loss of the country in which they grew up.