MEDVEDEV TURNS GAZPROM REVENUES TOWARD THE KREMLIN

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MEDVEDEV TURNS GAZPROM REVENUES TOWARD THE KREMLIN

Stringer, No. 7, July, 2001, p. 2

Although the appointment of Alexei Miller as chief executive of Gazprom is generally thought to have been spontaneous, it was in fact no coincidence.

The foundation for Miller’s appointment was provided by Dmitrii Medvedev, chairman of the board at Gazprom. During his year as chairman, Medvedev wasn’t involved in running the company – he left all the key decisions to Rem Vyakhirev. Medvedev spent this time meticulously collating and categorizing information provided to him by FSB agents working at Gazprom.

Thanks to this information, President Putin now has the full picture about which Gazprom executives are linked to which other companies, and how the flow of natural gas revenues is distributed. All Miller has to do now is bring these flows under control.

VOLOSHIN TO JOIN THE OLIGARCHS?

Stringer, No. 7, July, 2001, p. 2

There has been a revival of the old rumor that once Alexander Voloshin resigns from the Presidential Administration, he will take charge of Russian Railroads.

In the process of restructuring, Russian Railroads is set to inherit all the infrastructure now controlled by the Rail and Transport Ministry, with the ministry retaining purely bureaucratic functions.

Rail and Transport Minister Nikolai Aksenenko is hoping to head Russian Railroads himself – but the Kremlin has its own plans. These plans are the major reason why there has been practically no opposition to the restructuring plan for the Rail and Transport Ministry – unlike the situation at Russian Joint Energy Systems.

ABRAMOVICH IN TROUBLE OVER FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Stringer, No. 7, July, 2001, p. 2

The president has issued orders to punish Roman Abramovich, as an example to others.

Putin’s displeasure was aroused by Abramovich’s trip to the United States. The goal was to set up business cooperation between the US and the Chukotka autonomous district. But Abramovich didn’t consult with the Kremlin on his plans – he simply informed the Presidential Administration of his forthcoming trip.

METALS BEING STOLEN FROM THE RAILROADS

Promyshlennaia Gazeta, No. 28, July-August, 2001, p. 11

During the first five months of this year, nine tons of aluminum and 920 kilograms of copper were stolen from Moscow Railroads. To be more precise, these materials were literally ripped out of the rail power grid and the automated systems and telecommunications infrastructure which are meant to ensure rail transport safety.

RADIOACTIVE WASTE FOUND IN CHECHNYA

Kontinent, No. 30, July, 2001, p. 2

In Grozny, next to a ruined chemicals plant, the Emergencies Ministry has found a pile of radioactive material. The exact nature of this substance has not yet been determined. Viktor Reznichenko, deputy emergencies minister of Chechnya, said the radiation level at the site was 1,500 roentgens per hour.

According to Reznichenko, it’s dangerous to remain in the area for even a few minutes without protective gear. Two ethnic Chechens who had been digging through the rubble are known to have died. Work on disposing of the hazardous materials in a special burial site has begun.

The chemicals plant is the second location in Grozny this month where radioactive contamination has been found. Previously, over 50 kilograms of Cesium-137 was found in the grounds of a former school.

THE CHILDREN OF CHECHNYA

Kontinent, No. 30, July, 2001, p. 13

Children in Chechnya these days love to play at being guerrilla leader Shamil Basaev. The bravest and cleverest boy gets to portray the “national hero” himself, and the strongest, most daring boys become his fighters. No one wants to be Russian soldiers or hostages, so these roles are assigned to the smallest and weakest boys. Just like among adults.

Statistics show that over 5,000 children have been killed during the two campaigns in Chechnya. Over 2,000 children have been crippled, 3,000 have lost both parents, and several thousand more have lost one parent. Many more children have been emotionally damaged by the war.

Of course, there are some leaders in Chechnya who don’t approve of this treatment of young people there. However, they are soon sorted out. For example, Mullah Nasrudi Matushev, who headed the main mosque in the town of Novye Atagi since 1976, was shot by bandits not far from his home. They eliminated Matushev because he called on people to resist attempts by guerrillas to force adolescents into one of their armed formations.

Matushev was not the only person to display quite understandable resistance when it was announced that adolescents and children would be mobilized “to fight the occupation forces”. Most parents don’t want to see anyone from their family gain the “honor” of dying for the faith.

Arbi Baraev, a bandit who was killed recently, went further than other “field commanders” in his cruel treatement of children. He used children aged eight to ten for gathering intelligence and planting explosives. In the past few months, over ten of these children were killed in minefields and while setting fuses. Adolescents who are prepared to do anything to help their families often don’t tell their parents about how they are earning extra money. When setting out on a mission, they leave their home address with the group’s “treasurer”.

Look at the wages these children earn. Monitoring the movements of federal military convoys pays 100 rubles a day. Providing details of where federal troops are stationed is worth 300 rubles. A successful explosion is rewarded with $100 (often counterfeit). Of course, this involves hiring someone with a video camera to confirm the results (solid proof being a prerequisite for payment). The extremists also try to use girls in their bombing activities. For example, an attempt to blow up the commandant’s office in the Lenin district of Grozny was prevented: and one young female suicide bomber was found behind the wheel of the explosive-packed car.

It must be admitted that the “Chechen Youth” do pose a real threat – it’s easier for children to get through checkpoints. There was one case where four youths opened fire from grenade launchers on the rest camp of a federal reconnaissance team, totally destroying it. All federal officers warn their troops to beware of grenades thrown by Chechen adolescents.

RUSLAN AUSHEV ON CHECHNYA AND THE REFUGEES

Novaya Gazeta, No. 52, July 26-29, 2001, p. 2

President Ruslan Aushev of Ingushetia, comments on the current situation:

The population of Ingushetia is 325,000. After the first campaign in Chechnya, we had 21,000 refugees. Now there are 180,000 refugees, which is a heavy burden for Ingushetia. The federal government owes us over 530 million rubles for refugee needs.

It is possible to negotiate with Chechens only through their president Maskhadov. It is not true that he does not control the situation. Before Basaev and Khattab attacked Dagestan in August 1999, Maskhadov confronted them and was ready to fight terrorism. But this fight would give Russia a good reason to intervene. That would lead to a war. In this case Maskhadov would have been accused of inciting a war against the Chechen people.

I have met with President Putin many a time. He always listens to my point of view, but he refuses to negotiate with Maskhadov, because he is sure than he does not control the situation.

President Putin is influenced by the military. They warn him that negotiations would end in another Khasavyurt. Putin is afraid of that, and he fears to lose the support of the military.

The military believe that Putin owes them his current position. And the military would only benefit by the war – the money cannot be controlled in Chechnya.

As for Akhmad Kadyrov, he will never succeed. Practically the military have the full power. And they frame Kadyrov and the civil administration by their illegal actions.

We should reckon with the Chechen mentality, we cannot ignore it, if we want to settle the problem.

I would never agree to head an anti-terrorist operation, even if I were offered the broadest powers.

GENOA SUMMIT RESULTS

Zavtra, No. 30, July, 2001, p. 1

The minutes of the summit in Genoa did not correspond with the real contents. Moreover, due to the media the anti-globalization protests captured the foreground, and the negotiations of the G-8 remained in the background. According to the program of the meeting, the five-hour discussions of the G-7 on July 20 were the most important, they were dedicated to the global financial crisis. At that, President George Bush addressed the European leaders with rather a harsh program, which provides for revaluation of the yen and the euro in order to improve US exports, united efforts to reduce raw materials prices, and establishment of an emergency fund of $500 billion to $1 trillion, where the European states and Japan are to place most of their shares in US companies. These suggestions were not accepted by the junior partners of the United States, who considered the ideas to be an attempt to “move the burden of the crisis onto Europe, instead of balancing out US credit-financial policies”.

At the same time, the US president was strongly criticized for his view on implementing the Kyoto agreements. The attempt of the US to get control over all debts of developing countries was not welcome either. But for the support of Russia’s president, who met him halfway on missile defense, the results of the summit would have been very bad for Bush. However, Putin lent Washington a helping hand, agreeing to sort out the problem of the ABM treaty and reduction in nuclear arms. Thus, Putin provided support for the sensational speech of Marshal Sergeev, who had announced on TV that “there are 30 options for resolving this problem”, but the “most important thing is to reduce the number of warheads and missiles”. This attitude practically allows the US to go on working out its national missile defense plans.

JIANG ZEMIN VISITING THE CIS

Zavtra, No. 30, July, 2001, p. 1

Chinese President Jiang Zemin’s tour of the CIS member states demonstrates the new quality in Chinese policy, which aims to give an adequate response to US global activity. It is noteworthy that the Chinese leader supports President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, whom pro-globalist and Russian democratic media categorically oppose.

A REVOLUTION IN AUGUST?

Zavtra, No. 30, July, 2001, p. 1

According to our sources in the Kremlin, there are plans to conduct a “personnel revolution” by mid-August at the highest executive level. It includes replacing Alexander Voloshin with Anatoly Chubais, as well as Mikhail Kasianov’s dismissal.

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