NUCLEAR ENERGY MINISTER COMES UP WITH AN IDEA

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NUCLEAR ENERGY MINISTER COMES UP WITH AN IDEA

Izvestia, October 11, 2001, p. 1

Nuclear Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev has proposed that the defense sector invent a super-sensitive device to distinguish terrorists from ordinary airline passengers. He thinks all airports should be equipped with devices capable of picking out terrorists by their psychological state.

Rumyantsev: A person about to commit a crime, a terrorist act, always differs psychologically from ordinary passengers.

Sources at the Nuclear Energy Ministry refuse to comment on their patron’s initiative.

Vitaly Nasonov, deputy chief of the Nuclear Energy Ministry PR department: He just sets the tasks. He himself does not know yet how it may be implemented.

Scientists are not skeptical.

Igor Fedorov of the Bauman’s State Technical University: Science can do a lot. Take odors, for example. We already have devices hundreds of times more sensitive to scent than dogs are. That is why I do not consider devices for distinguishing potential terrorists to be an extraordinary idea.

ABKHAZIA UPDATE

Izvestia, October 11, 2001, p. 2

Captain Denis Lobkov, officer of the Collective Peacekeeping Forces stationed in Sukhumi, Abkhazia: Everything is all right here in Sukhumi, but reports from the Kodor gorge are alarming. The Abkhazian army is fighting guerrilla teams there. Units of the Collective Peacekeeping Forces perform their usual tasks preventing a direct armed conflict between Georgia and Abkhazia. All units were put on alert in case the guerrillas make a breakthrough.

Russian units are not involved in the hostilities.

Zurab Abashidze, Georgian Ambassador to Russia: First and foremost, I would like to comment on the clearly biased nature of reports on the developments provided by the Russian media. Immediately after the reports on the crash of the UN helicopter in Abkhazia, the media began accusing Georgians without even bothering to wait for results of the investigation. As the matters stand, Georgia itself wants as complete and thorough an investigation as possible.

As for the allegations that the helicopter was brought down by a “gang of Chechen and Georgian criminals”, they have nothing to do with the true state of affairs.

ON THE LAND CODE

Rossiiskaya Gazeta, October 11, 2001, pp. 1-2

The Federation Council has passed the Land Code by 103 votes in favor to 29 against.

Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov announced right away that he would support the Code, surprising everyone. He says Russia is losing millions because investors never come to a country where land cannot be bought or sold. Luzhkov complains, however, that authors of the Land Code have introduced significant price restrictions. Why isn’t a city allowed to sell land for what it is really worth? Moscow is losing 90% of the dividends to the provision. At the same time, Luzhkov opted to pass the document without delay, merely suggesting proper amendments to the law when it comes into effect, “particularly since there are many other flaws as well.”

Representatives of Tatarstan also spoke out. This republic adopted its own Land Code long ago. Agricultural land can be bought and sold in Tatarstan. As a result, there was a record grain harvest of 6 million tons this year. Peasants grow richer, investment is flowing in, and not a single foreigner has ever bought land in Tatarstan yet. Representatives of the Saratov region (which also has its own Land Code) supported Tatarstan.

CHIEF EDITORS MEET WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF THE MEDIA MINISTRY, FINANCE MINISTRY, AND THE DUMA…

Tribuna, October 11, 2001, p. 1

Chief editors have met with representatives of the Media Ministry, Finance Ministry, and the Duma to discuss abolition of tax exemptions for the media.

All chief editors agree that this policy (it concerns VAT) will be destructive for the media, for the state, and for its Constitution.

THE LAND CODE IS PASSED

Tribuna, October 11, 2001, p. 1

Azaliya Dolgova, an independent analyst and president of the Russian Association of Criminology, says the Land Code contains eleven flaws.

Professor Dolgova says the Land Code contains over 100 references to various federal laws, some of which haven’t even been passed yet.

CAN BIN LADEN FIND SHELTER IN CHECHNYA?

Trud-7, October 11, 2001, p. 3

Salautdin Bakhayev, deputy head of the Itum-Kale district administration: We have mountains here with caves that will hide a lot. There are lots of hiding places for terrorists here. However, it won’t be easy for them to do so. All caves are guarded, all mountain paths watched. Even small gangs, to say nothing of bin Laden with his entourage, would encounter serious problems if they try to come here. Besides, the locals hate terrorists…

Ruslan Martagov, former minister for information and media in Chechnya: As I see it, bin Laden can find shelter anywhere in Chechnya, not only in the mountains. Everything depends on the sum he is prepared to pay.

THE TU-154 MUST HAVE BEEN HIT BY A MISSILE

Trud-7, October 11, 2001, p. 5

Tatiana Anodina, chairwoman of the International Aviation Committee and member of the State Commission, says Russian and Ukrainian experts are still examining “objects that could not have been parts of the plane” extracted from salvaged fragments of the TU-154 and bodies of its passengers. Anodina says the matter concerns metal balls 7 mm in diameter.

Marshal Yevgeny Shaposhnikov, another member of the Commission and presidential advisor for aviation and space exploration, says the balls in question are elements of the warhead of a S-200 missile. Personally, Shaposhnikov is convinced that “the plane was brought down by an S-200 missile.” He does not doubt the State Commission will eventually come to the same conclusion.

Shaposhnikov rejects the statement of Ukrainian Air Defense Forces Commander Vladimir Tkachev to the effect that “we forwarded evidence of our non-involvement in the disaster to Russia.”

“All materials we have compiled so far indicate quite the opposite,” Shaposhnikov says.

NUCLEAR ENERGY MINISTER SAYS NUCLEAR PLANTS ARE PROPERLY GUARDED

Trud-7, October 11, 2001, p. 6

Nuclear Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev: Security at nuclear power plants was not tightened after September 11. In fact, it had been tightened long ago, right after the first terrorist acts in Russia.

Question: What if there is a suicide bomber employee at some nuclear power plant? Could he blow it up?

Alexander Rumyantsev: Impossible.

Question: But the Chernobyl disaster was caused, among other things, by human error.

Alexander Rumyantsev: The Chernobyl disaster was caused by three factors that coincided in time.

By the way, we suspected foul play after Chernobyl, we thought it might have been a terrorist act. An exact copy was built and specialists were invited and asked to do anything necessary to blow it up. They failed, no matter what they did.

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