THE LATEST REPORTS FROM CHECHNYA INDICATE…

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THE LATEST REPORTS FROM CHECHNYA INDICATE…

Izvestia, August 7, 2001, p. 3

One Brian Graham, a citizen of Great Britain, was arrested in Urus-Martan, Chechnya, by officials of the commandant’s office. The citizen of Britain was found to be without an official permit to be in Chechnya. In Grozny, law enforcement agencies took Vialdy Aidayev, the deputy minister of the communal services of Chechnya into custody.

Aidayev was detained in connection with the investigation of the embezzlement of $600,000 in the government. The Chechen Chairman of the Security Council, Abdurashid Dudayev, confirms Aidayev’s arrest. No one in the government or the republican prosecutor’s office agreed to comment on the arrest.

As for Graham, 61, he was discovered not to be connected with any humanitarian organization operating in Chechnya and therefore was in Chechnya illegitimately. Moreover, he had a camera with him and no permit to take photos. The military put him on a helicopter that took Graham to Nazran. From there he took a flight to Moscow.

According to INTERFAX news agency, Graham spent 25 years in the British army and retired as a sergeant. A source in the Informational Directorate of the presidential administration told this correspondent that a year ago Graham had come to Chechnya as a representative of the humanitarian mission Dutch Council for the Affairs of Refugees. Graham was fired from the organization for violating the visiting regimes. The current visa in his passport allows Graham to only visit Moscow and St. Petersburg.

The press secretary of the British Embassy in Moscow, Richard Turner, says that official London is not going to object if Moscow decides to expel Graham because the latter has been warned of this possibility.

Turner: I talked to Mr. Graham. He is going to leave Russia. Everybody who is in Russia should respect the Russian laws. As for the British in general, we do not recommend that they travel to the Caucasus where we cannot guarantee their safety.

FBI WILL HELP THE GEORGIANS

Izvestia, August 7, 2001, p. 3

In his traditional address to the nation on Monday morning and at the briefing that followed it President of Georgia Eduard Shevardnadze commented on the investigation of the assassination of Georgy Sanaja, anchorman of the program Nocturnal Courier (TV channel Rustavi-2). He said that the truth would be unearthed. Georgian law enforcement agencies are assisted in the investigation by a team of FBI experts.

AMENDMENTS TO THE LAWS SIGNED

Izvestia, August 7, 2001, p. 4

Senators have already been expecting the amendments for a long time. The personal composition of the Federation Council is to be completely renovated by 2002, with professional parliamentarians replacing governors and chairman of regional legislatures coming to Moscow once a month. Until now, the newcomers were not entitled to salaries. Governors and speakers get their salaries in their respective regions.

In March, Putin forwarded draft amendments to the Duma aiming to make senators equal members of the nomenclature in salaries and privileges.

Duma deputies have been paid 12,000 a month for a long time already. As of now, Federation Council members will be entitled every month to “compensations for the expenses involved in the process of carrying out their duties.” The money does not amount to too much – only five minimal salaries. Moreover, the expenses incurred by the senators and their families during the move to Moscow are to be compensated as well. These are but only a few privileges senators are entitled to.

These senatorial privileges are going to cost the federal budget. According to the government, bringing senatorial salaries to the level of ministerial ones will cost the budget 15 million. With the last salaries to senatorial assistants to be dismissed, the moving of new senators and their families to Moscow, and the manufacture of new badges will cost 16.7 million. Throughout the year, senators will “eat up” 115 million additionally.

THE RUBLE FOUND TO BE ONE OF THE MOST STABLE MONETARY UNITS?

Moskovsky Komsomolets, August 7, 2001, p. 1

Some foreign economic editions including The Financial Times featured the results of a survey conducted by the British analytical company Thomson Financial Datastream that monitored the global financial market. Even researches themselves were stunned by what they discovered: the Russian ruble is one of the most stable monetary units in the world.

A CHECHEN UPDATE


The military has braced itself for the Day of Independence of Chechnya. Additional security measures have been taken in Chechnya and other townships and settlements. A tighter control regime was enforced at all checkpoints. The Director of the Federal Security Service, Nikolai Patrushev, chaired a meeting of the operational headquarters in Yessentuki where guerrillas’ possible operations were discussed. United federal group commander Baranov even asked for “elements of the state of emergency” in Chechnya. The request was turned down.

Guerrillas were true to their modus operandi and attacked where they were least expected. Russian servicemen were attacked in the Shelkovskoy district in northern Chechnya, a district traditionally considered to be the most peaceful. Twelve policemen were shot there. Even General Sergei Arenin, chief of the republican internal affairs directorate, was forced to fight the attackers.

Currently the guerrillas are unlikely to pull off what they had accomplished five years ago in Grozny. They do not need to do this. Neither warring side can take the city over completely. Federal troops and guerrillas in Grozny use guerrilla warfare tactic, ambushes and suchlike methods. And everybody knows that winning this war is next to impossible.

Moskovsky Komsomolets, August 7, 2001, p. 2

40% of respondents do not think that the situation in Chechnya has improved since the summer of 1999, before the hostilities in Chechnya began. 36% believe that the situation improved, and 14% say it deteriorated. 55% of respondents think the sweeping operations in Chechnya are necessary, 24% believe them pointless and inhuman. 29% say that nobody wields power in Chechnya, 21% believe it is wielded by the Russian military, 18% by the guerrillas, and 9% to Kadyrov’s administration.

AIRBORNE TROOPS TO BE DEPRIVED OF PEACEKEEPING FUNCTIONS

Rossiya, August 6, 2001, p. 2

These days, over 5,000 paratroopers are involved in peacekeeping operations under the UN aegis. The largest contingent is in Kosovo (over 2,000 servicemen). Just over 1,000 servicemen are assigned to contingents in Bosnia and Herzegovine and in Gudauta, Abkhazia. The Defense Ministry plans to get them back into Russia.

Most probably, the Defense Ministry is out to reinforce military contingents in various hot spots in Russia with paratroopers. The command says that the Airborne Troops will not be reduced. It stands to reason to therefore assume that paratroopers will be assigned to the Caucasus. 20,000 of paratroopers have already participated in the hostilities in the Caucasus. Presently there are 2,000 servicemen from the Airborne Troops in Chechnya.

Airborne Troops Commander Georgy Shpak says that the process of replacing paratroopers with the Ground Forces will take at least one year.

CHECHEN ADMINISTRATORS WILL BE ISSUED GUNS

Rossiya, August 6, 2001, p. 2

Governmental officials and heads of local administrations in Chechnya will be issued guns. On August 7 current Deputy Premier Yuri Em is to come up with the procedures and orders of issuing guns.

IVANOV AND RICE TALK ON THE PHONE

Rossiya, August 6, 2001, p. 2

Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice had a telephone talk on Saturday. According to the PR department of the Defense Ministry, the conversation continued the dialogue that began when Rice was visiting Moscow this July. The conversation was centered around problems of international security, measures of trust, and Washington’s determination to deploy a national anti-ballistic missile defense system.

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