THE UNION HAS REFUSED BEREZOVSKY

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THE UNION HAS REFUSED BEREZOVSKY

Moskovsky Komsomolets, February 16, 2001, p. 2

Boris Berezovsky proposed in his open letter to Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs that he and his colleagues should collect money for Media-Most. He offered the media group a $50 million loan. He also promised to start negotiations with Credit Suisse First Boston (Media-Most received a loan from this bank with Gazprom as guarantor) concerning the possibility of buying out Media-Most’s debt ($262 million).

The RUIE has not supported this idea. However, well-informed sources say that Berezovsky has transferred $50 million to Media-Most and started negotiations with CSFB.

RUSSIA’S HONG KONG

Moskovsky Komsomolets, February 16, 2001, p. 2

Boris Nemtsov, leader of Union of Right Forces, has proposed new initiatives linked with reforming Russian regions.

This time Nemtsov turned his attention to Kaliningrad. He thinks that Russia should do what China has done with Hong Kong. In other words, the Kaliningrad region should become economically and administratively independent.

THE KURSK SANK BECAUSE OF A TORPEDO EXPLOSION?

Trud, February 16, 2001, p. 1

Rear Admiral Valery Dorodin, a member of the state commission for investigating the Kursk disaster, has announced the final conclusions of specialists concerning the Kursk nuclear submarine sinking. According to him, the first explosion on the submarine was caused by one of its torpedoes. The second explosion resulted from the first. Dorodin said that the torpedo exploded either because of a collision with some other vessel, or because of a defect in the construction of the torpedo. In other words, the commission could not determine the actual cause of the disaster.

CREATORS OF THE KOGOT WEBSITE DETAINED

Trud, February 16, 2001, p. 2

Police have detained the architects of the Kogot (claw) website, which circulated compromising material about well-known Russian politicians and economists. As it turned out, the site was created by several employees of a private security enterprise and a company established on the territory of the US.

This detention operation has been carried out by the Interior Ministry together with the FBI.

PUTIN HEADS FOR SIBERIA

Izvestia, February 16, 2001, p. 3

Vladimir Putin is going to Siberia on February 16. In the evening his plane will land in Tomsk. After that he will move on to Omsk. Though the distance between these cities is only 1,300 kilometers, the president will travel for 12 hours by train. He plans to hold a meeting concerning the problem of tariffs for Siberian and Far Eastern railroads in his train carriage. On Saturday the president plans to go sight-seeing.

"SPECIAL FORCES" IN REGIONAL ELECTION CAMPAIGNS

Izvestia, February 16, 2001, p. 3

In the near future special groups comprised of representatives of the Central Election Commission, the law enforcement agencies, and the Media Ministry will attend all elections in the Moscow region. This statement was made by Alexander Veshnyakov, head of the Central Election Commission. The main task of these groups is to help local election commissions “prevent illegal actions”.

This year there are 31 parliamentary campaigns and 14 gubernatorial elections scheduled in Russian regions. It is clear that all these campaigns will be monitored by the “visitors” from Moscow and the presidential envoys.

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