KURSK CUTTING FINISHED

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KURSK CUTTING FINISHED

Moskovskii Komsomolets, September 14, 2001, p. 2

Specialists of the Mammoet company report that separation of the first compartment from the rest of the submarine’s hull is complete.

The process took approximately eight days. However, officials from the headquarters of the Northern Fleet do not share the enthusiasm of the Dutch, who are hurrying to report completion of the work. According to the military, it will be possible to talk of this phase of work as being completed only after divers check the cut line and free it from parts of the submarine which may hamper the salvage operation. Signing the act of accomplishing the work will be the final stroke.

LUKASHENKO CHANGED HIS TEAM

Moskovskii Komsomolets, September 14, 2001, p. 2

Alexander Lukashenko celebrated his new “reign” with a multitude of staff reshuffles. As a result of them, KGB General Ural Latypov (until recently he chaired the Security Council) was appointed new Director of the Presidential Administration.

Mikhail Myasnikov, former Director of Lukashenko’s administration, and Lukashenko’s two deputies – Zametalin and Sivakov were dismissed. In his due time Zametalin had buried many local independent newspapers and suffocated freedom of speech. Sivakov’s glory had been tougher: all notorious disappearances of politicians had happened when he was Interior Minister, and therefore he is ascribed authorship of “squadrons of death” by the local press. According to reports, which leaked out through the Presidential Administration, an interior investigation had been initiated against Sivakov after a journalist of an oppositional newspaper had at a press conference managed to deliver Lukashenko an envelope with a letter, containing heretofore unknown accusations against Sivakov. Quite possibly the Belorussian president decided to use this circumstance in order to dispose of an officer who had damped his own reputation and simultaneously try to improve his own image in the eyes of the public.

Mikhail Myasnikovich was appointed presidential special aide. Truly speaking, many experts had predicted the ruination of his career immediately following the presidential elections, since Myasnikovich had not connected his hopes with Lukashenko at once, but tried to play his own game, having launched “candidate for presidency Mikhail Marinich” project. Lukashenko might want to get rid of Myasnikovich forever, but it is not that simple. Myasnikovich has been lobbying Russia’s interests, and any “assault” on a superior official is fraught with a serious quarrel with the Kremlin. As far as Ural Latypov is concerned, six months ago Lukashenko had temporarily transferred this “cunning fox”, as the press calls him, to the position of the chairman of the Security Council instead of Sheiman, in order to relieve tension in society. Latypov is capable of working quietly, unnoticeably, but efficiently. He was expected to occupy the prime minister’s office, since it would have been the best place for him to “take care” of Russia’s interests – Latypov’s pro-Russian positions are well known, as well as his closest contacts with the Russian Federal Security Service. By the way, Latypov was specializing in combating terrorism…

SECURITY COUNCILS OF CIS MEMBER NATIONS TO COMBAT TERRORISM

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, September 14, 2001, p. 2

Yesterday Russia’s Security Council secretary Vladimir Rushailo dispatched telegrams to secretaries of security councils of CIS member nations, in which he proposed to set combating terrorism as the priority in the joint cooperation. Since Rushailo is chairman of the Committee of secretaries of security councils of the Collective Security Agreement member-states, he proposed to establish a similar committee within the framework of the entire CIS. Telegrams addressed at his counterparts in CIS states which did not conclude the Collective Security Agreement (the agreement unites seven states only), contain such a proposal. Among joint measures Vladimir Rushailo proposes to coordinate the work of investigating reasons for the events, disclose and punish severely executors and initiators of acts of terrorism, take measures to prevent similar crimes.

"PANDZHSHERSK LION" DEAD?

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, September 14, 2001, p. 1

According to reports of reliable sources, Vice-President of Afghanistan Ahmed Shah Masood, Commander of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, died on September 12 of heavy wounds in a district hospital in Tajikistan. An assassination attempt on General Masood was committed a few days earlier at his residence, allegedly by members of the Taliban movement. In the near future the legal government of Afghanistan is expected to make an official announcement of Ahmad Shah Masood’s death.

MAJOR TRUSTEE

Izvestia, September 14, 2001, p. 2

At its first meeting the recently elected board of directors of the ORT channel (the definitive list was approved on September 7) is supposed to solve many urgent problems, election of chairman and deputy chairman being the major issue. As we found out, candidacies of Vitali Tretiakov, Alexander Dzasokhov, Nikita Mikhalkov and one more member of the board of directors are thought the most probable.

On the eve of the meeting, the issue of electing chairman of the ORT board of directors was also discussed at other TV channels, and many coincided in opinion that neither Mikhalkov, nor Lyubimov and Ernst cannot count to be elected to this position: the first of them has many other occupations and the latter two are people from the inside. Therefore, however strange it may seem, chances of present-day President of North Ossetia Alexander Dzasokhov, who may need a new job in the near future, are most preferable.

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