NO PARDONS

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NO PARDONS

Izvestia, June 28, 2001, p. 3

The presidential clemency commission reported yesterday that Vladimir Putin has only issued pardons to eight people over the last ten months. In contrast, the president pardoned almost 10,000 people in the first half of 2000.

Commission Chairman Anatoly Pristavkin attributes this difference in the number of pardons to the fact that “bureaucrats have closed ranks against us and are trying to regain the prerogative of issuing pardons”.

Pristavkin and his colleagues have written to President Putin and hope for an audience.

REGIONAL TV IS BEING CREATED

Izvestia, June 28, 2001, p. 3

Addressing journalists in the city of Salekhard, Pyotr Latyshev, presidential envoy for the Urals federal district, said the authorities were working on creating a federal television station for this federal district. Latyshev emphasized that it would be a federal television station. He met with President Putin yesterday and informed him of the television plans.

These days, there are more television companies in Yekaterinburg, the capital of the Urals federal district, than anywhere else. The new television station will be the sixteenth.

ABDUCTORS WILL SOON FACE TRIAL

Izvestia, June 28, 2001, p. 3

The prosecutor’s office of Dagestan has completed its investigation into crimes committed by a gang of abductors. The gang was formed by Zhalu Uspakhadzhiyev in the Kurchaloi district of Chechnya in 1995. There were over ten criminals in it. They had weapons, vehicles, radios, and police uniforms. The investigation solved 15 abduction cases involving people who were well knowin in Dagestan and Chechnya. Their relatives were forced to pay ransoms ranging from $15,000 to $2 million.

Six members of the gang (Idalkhadzhiyev, Visirkhadzhiyev, Kaimov, Dikiyev, Mudarov, and Borshukayev) will be tried by the Supreme Court of Dagestan. Uspakhadzhiyev is still at large.

DIVERS IN TRAINING FOR THE KURSK SALVAGE OPERATION

Parlamentskaya Gazeta, June 28, 2001, p. 1

The drills will take two days. After that Russian divers will return to the training facility of the 40th Naval Research Institute near St. Petersburg and fly to Holland to continue preparations for the salvage operation there.

The operation in the Barents Sea is to be completed by September 20.

RUSSIA: THE LAND OF MILLIONAIRES

Trud-7, June 28, 2001, p. 2

The largest sums were declared by residents of Moscow: 7,300 Muscovites declared incomes between 1 million and 10 million rubles, and 125 over 10 million rubles.

News agencies report that tax receipts based on individual income tax returns amounted to 4.2 billion rubles, or 50% higher than the figure for 1999.

Natalia Rimashevskaya, Director of the Institute of Social and Economic Issues: “I do not trust these figures. My calculations show that we have many more ruble millionaires than that, about two million of them in fact. Almost half a million of them reside in Moscow alone.”

The state is failing to collect around 40 billion rubles in income tax each year.

Our estimates indicate that 3-5% of Russian citizens can be classed as rich or very rich: this represents about 2 million families or 6 million people. This is equal to the population of some European states. Unfortunately, a vast number of Russian citizens are impoverished. They have incomes of only 2,500 to 3,000 rubles a month.

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