GENERALS KULIKOV AND BARSUKOV REFUSE TO TESTIFY AGAINST RADUYEV
Izvestia, November 29, 2001, p. 1
Barsukov and Kulikov have always avoided investigators working on Raduyev’s case. By January 1997, investigator Valery Popov of the Prosecutor General’s Office had compiled 87 volumes of evidence – which did not, however, include testimony from Kulikov or Barsukov. He summoned them repeatedly, but both inevitably turned down the invitations, referring to state affairs that kept them busy. When investigator Murat Umariyev took over, Kulikov and Barsukov were forced to answer some questions.
They are refusing to turn up in the courtroom. This is understandable. There is a difference between a private conversation with investigator and a public appearance in court. Moreover, neither wants to talk about their failure. Thirteen hostages and 29 servicemen were killed in the operation, and Raduyev’s gang escaped to Chechnya virtually without casualties, but still with 64 hostages. Only 16 raiders were captured.
In working out the plan of the attack, the generals gave the terrorists almost a week of respite. Raduyev used the delay to fortify the village. Statements of Federal Security Service officials that the village had been fortified long before the raid were a blatant lie. Trenches were dug by the hostages themselves.
Officially, sources from the Prosecutor General’s Office refuse to comment on the generals’ refusal to turn up in Makhachkala. Off the record, all of them are only glad. Barsukov’s and Kulikov’s answers to certain questions could return the matter to the political plane, and the last thing Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov wants is to have public attention distracted from the terrorist himself and focused on errors made by former heads of security structures.
SKLYAR PRESS CONFERENCE
Izvestia, November 29, 2001, p. 2
Gennadi Sklyar, General Director of the Russian TV and Radio Broadcasting Network federal state unitary enterprise, called a press conference to discuss future plans. The Network was registered by the Moscow Chamber of Registration the other day, and media reports are calling it a new Gosteleradio (it comprises organizations that transmit TV and radio broadcasts).
UNIDENTIFIED AIRCRAFT BOMBING GEORGIA AGAIN
Izvestia, November 29, 2001, p. 2
The Russian Federal Border Guards Service considers all allegations groundless. Russian border guards on the Russian-Georgian border did not see a single aircraft. The Russian Air Force denies any flights over Georgia. “Our aircraft did not cross any borders to bomb anybody,” says Colonel Alexander Drobyshevsky, chief of the Air Force PR department. He pointed out that Russian aircraft were being used to disperse two gangs trying to get from Chechnya to Georgia.
Drobyshevsky: The aircraft did not cross the border, much less bomb the territory of Georgia. Besides, neither planes not helicopters flew any night missions then.
The matter will probably be clarified at the upcoming CIS summit in Moscow when Russian and Georgian presidents meet to discuss the incident.
For the time being, Georgian Chief of the General Staff Johni Pirtskhalaishvili does not rule out the possibility that troops may be moved to the Pankisi gorge.
CABINET DISCUSSES RAILROADS MINISTRY INVESTMENT PROGRAM
Rossiiskaya Gazeta, November 29, 2001, p. 1
According to the Railroads Ministry’s calculations, this sector will require 161 billion rubles in 2002. Of the sum, 123 billion rubles is needed to ensure accident-free operation. The rest will be spent on development of infrastructure.
Addressing the Cabinet, Prime Minister Mikhail Kasianov said, “We have started reforming the railroads. Just equalizing tariffs across the regions has cost us 20 billion rubles. The reforms continue, which means that money is going to become even scarcer. If Aksenenko can compensate for it, I’ll say he is a great minister.”
Kasianov mentioned the criminal charges against Aksenenko in the interview with one respected Moscow-based newspaper on Wednesday. “I’ve read the materials from the prosecutor’s office,” he said. “Try as I might, I have failed to uncover anything criminal there. I do not understand all this attention from the law enforcement agencies focused on the minister… Here is my opinion of Aksenenko. He is an experienced administrator. Naturally enough, he took care of his department… Sure, he made mistakes, but nothing that cannot be corrected.”
4TH CONGRESS OF FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT TRADE UNIONS
Parlamentskaya Gazeta, November 29, 2001, p. 1
Firstly, they share the ultimate objective of making Russia and its citizens prosperous.
Secondly, the president mentioned that the structure of employment is changing dramatically in Russia at present.
Thirdly, Putin placed special emphasis on the issue of social partnership.
Fourthly, the president mentioned pension reforms and the need to upgrade the social and health insurance systems.