WILL COLONEL BUDANOV BECOME A POLITICIAN?
Rossiyskaya Gazeta, April 13, 2001, p. 2
It has been reported in the media that Colonel Yury Budanov, accused of murdering a woman in Chechnya, intends to run for a seat in the Rostov regional Duma.
The municipal election commission has not denied this report. The legal department of the commission stated that Budanov has the right to run for parliament. As a rule, criminal trials take a long time. It is most unlikely that the court will declare its verdict on Budanov’s case by May 27, when the parliamentary election in the Rostov region is scheduled. This makes it possible for Colonel Budanov to be elected. No one doubts that people will support him. If Yury Budanov becomes a Duma deputy, he will have parliamentary immunity from prosecution. However, it is not clear what Colonel Budanov thinks of becoming a politician. The next hearing of Budanov’s case has once again been postponed.
RUSSIAN SOLDIER KILLED IN KOSOVO
Tribuna, April 13, 2001, p. 1
Sergeant Mikhail Shuitsev, a driver with the field-engineer company of the 13th tactical group of the Russian peacekeepers in Kosovo, has been killed on the border between the autonomous region and Kosovo on Wednesday.
Russian peacekeepers, who were marking the border, were attacked by Albanian guerrillas. Sergeant Shuitsev was wounded in the neck by a sniper. A US Army helicopter (the tactical group is stationed in the zone covered by US forces) took the Russian soldier to a hospital at the Bondstill military base. However, surgeons did not manage to save him.
This is the eighth death in the Russian peacekeeping contingent. Five deaths were not related to the hostilities; they included electrocution, careless handling of weapons, and a heart atack. Three deaths have been military casualties. Private Alexander Semin was abducted and murdered on March 16, 2000. Private Igor Korshukov was shot by a Muslim fanatic. Mikhail Shuitsev is the third victim.
A NEW STATUS FOR REFUGEES
Izvestia, April 13, 2001, p. 2
Prime Minister Mikhail Kasianov has approved new regulations for temporary refugee status in Russia. Such well-known legal categories as “political emigre”, “illegal immigrant”, and “refugee” will now be supplemented by a new definition: “a person who has been granted temporary refuge”.
“There are quite a few potential candidates for this status now living in Russia. There are over 200,000 people from Afghanistan alone, who have been forced to leave their own country because of the civil war. Most of them have been living in Russia illegally, since they don’t fit into any of the existing categories,” said Sergei Burlik, deputy head of the migration control department at the Federation Affairs Ministry.
More and more migrants are entering Russia each year. According to official statistics, last year alone over a million foreigners came to this country; various sources place the number of illegal aliens in Russia at between three and four million.
The Federation Affairs Ministry says people applying for temporary refugee status will be thoroughly investigated to ensure that they have not been involved in any criminal activities and are not on Interpol’s wanted list. They will also have to have their fingerprints registered at the location where they submit their application.
GAGARIN WAS NOT THE FIRST?
Moskovsky Komsomolets, April 13, 2001, p. 2
Mikhail Rudenko, a former senior engineer of OKB-456 (Khimki), has made a sensational statement. According to him, three pilots died before Yury Gagarin’s flight into space in 1961.
Rudenko states that three rockets with cosmonauts Ledovskikh, Shaborin and Mitkov were launched from the Kapustin Yar space center in 1957, 1958, and 1959. Rudenko told Interfax: “All three cosmonauts died, and the names of these heroes were not announced.” He noted that the pilots participated in sub-orbital flights. In other words, their trajectory was a parabola. The former engineer said: “Their task was to go beyond the atmosphere and return to earth.” According to the specialist, Ledovskikh, Shaborin and Mitkov were ordinary pilots who were not trained for such flights: “To all appearances, the managers of the space project decided to improve the program and create a group of trained cosmonauts after this series of tragic launches.”