VEDENO: SEPARATISTS COUNTER-ATTACK

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VEDENO: SEPARATISTS COUNTER-ATTACK

Kommersant, August 27, 2001, p. 1

Headquarters of the united federal group confirm the attack on the Vedeno commandant’s office. Some federal servicemen are reported wounded. However, sources maintain that all attacks were repelled and that the federal troops have the situation in the district under control. Moreover, it is reported that a separatist gang retreating toward the mountains has been discovered and destroyed by federal aviation. At least ten guerrillas were killed. One of them was carrying a videotape of a conference of Chechen field commanders chaired by Khattab on August 11. Participants discussed the Vedeno operation.

According to the united federal group, several other gangs were discovered and trapped in the highlands of the Vedeno district. Aviation was brought in to destroy them, and several teams of paratroopers and commandos were dispatched into the mountains.

There was a series of bomb blasts on Saturday in Gudermes and Grozny, perhaps intended to distract the federal forces.

There was an explosion near the Gudermes marketplace. While the town was being searched afterwards, there were two more explosions in Grozny. Two policemen sustained shrapnel wounds when a Lada car parked in the street exploded, and four other Chechen policemen were wounded when their KamAZ truck triggered a landmine.

Sources say that there would have been many more bomb blasts were it not for the skills of the federal bomb disposal squads. They defused at least five explosive devices placed near government buildings and roads used by federal convoys.

USE THE PROCEEDS OF CRIME TO RAISE POLICE SALARIES

Kommersant, August 27, 2001, p. 2

Tatarstan is considered a region where police are more or less well-off. Even so, they earn barely $100 a month.

That is why Vasiliev, who flew to Tatarstan to attend Police Day celebrations, began his speech by describing this initiative of the Interior Ministry. According to Vasiliev, using money confiscated from the underworld would only legalize this money. After all, “the money circulating in the underworld is mostly used for bribes to police and other law enforcement agencies,” Vasiliev said.

MOSCOW WOULD LIKE TO ARM IRAN

Vremya Novostei, August 27, 2001, p. 2

Russia isn’t abandoning its attempts to return to its traditional arms markets. Russia and Iran are supposed to sign an agreement on military-technical cooperation in the near future. According to Mikhail Dmitriyev of the federal committee for military-technical cooperation, this agreement will launch bilateral cooperation in the arms trade. The next step will be to establish a government commission, which will prepare specific contracts for signing. According to our sources, the first such contracts may be ready by the end of this year.

According to Dmitriyev, military-technical cooperation with Iran will be restricted to upgrading military hardware Iran bought from the Soviet Union and selling defensive systems.

Dmitriyev said he does not expect any new reorganizations in the Russian arms export system.

2002 DRAFT BUDGET REACHES THE DUMA

Vremya Novostei, August 27, 2001, p. 2

On Saturday, the Finance Ministry submitted the 2002 draft budget to the cabinet. After being checked over one final time, it was then submitted to the Duma yesterday morning. The major parameters of the budget remained unchanged. Alexander Zhukov, Chairman of the Duma Budget and Taxes Committee, says the draft budget will be considered in the first reading in late September. He emphasized: “The concept of the 2002 draft budget should be approved.”

Zhukov’s deputy Vitaly Shuba says: “The debates on the draft budget in the lower house will be difficult. There are many budget items that will be questioned and challenged.” Shuba was referring to budget revenues, the size of the surplus, the stabilization fund, and distribution of revenues between the federal government and the regions.

FEDERAL FORCES CAPTURE A VIDEO TAPE FEATURING GUERRILLA LEADER KHATTAB

Izvestia, August 28, 2001, p. 2

The Federal Security Service (FSB) confirms the authenticity of the tape, but refuses to comment on how it came to fall into the hands of the federal forces. A source in the FSB only says: “The tape is further evidence that the extremists commit crimes against civilians, disguising themselves in federal uniforms.”

A source: “Judging by the date, the tape was recorded on the eve of the first attacks in Vedeno. It was intended for the extremists’ sponsors abroad…”

PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE TERRITORIAL STRUCTURE OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Moskovsky Komsomolets, August 28, 2001, p. 2

The Euro-Asian Party of Russia is proposing a revision to the territorial structure of the Russian Federation. The suggested starting point involves merging the Belgorod and Kursk regions.

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