EMERGENCY MINISTER SERGEI SHOIGU REVEALS STATISTICS

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EMERGENCY MINISTER SERGEI SHOIGU REVEALS STATISTICS

Moskovsky Komsomolets, December 27, 2001, p. 2

According to Sergei Shoigu, there were 768 emergencies in Russia in 2001. They claimed the lives of 1,098 people, and injured 10,971 people. Shoigu listed 14 terrorist acts in the Caucasus and the Lensk flood as the worst ones: 23,000 residents of Lensk were evacuated.

The number of Emergency Ministry staff will grow to 300,000 in 2002. These days it has only 70,000 staff.

RUSSIA IS THE SECOND LARGEST ARMS EXPORTER

Moskovsky Komsomolets, December 27, 2001, p. 2

The structure of the Russian arms exports remains unchanged: aviation accounts for 60%, land weapons for 30%, and naval equipment and air defense weapons for 5% each. Experts predict that the aviation will remain in high demand in world markets until 2010 at least.

Some problems were solved recently, making arms exports easier for producers. Putin signed a decree permitting producers to promote their goods independently. The Committee is empowered to sell arms to the countries on List One.

NO MORE LARGE GANGS IN CHECHNYA

Rossiiskaya Gazeta, December 27, 2001, p. 1

Capturing the ringleaders will be the major task of the federal troops in 2002, Kormiltsev said. “We have information on all their movements but the information is always two or three hours old,” he said. Evaluating the situation in Chechnya, Kormiltsev said: “There are no longer any large gangs in Chechnya. They are groups of five to ten people. There are only three or four gangs which have about 50 members.”

MINISTRY OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT REPORTS SUCCESSES

Parlamentskaya Gazeta, December 27, 2001, p. 1

The analysts maintain that the Russian economy has adapted to the new conditions. Russia’s GDP in January-November 2001 exceeded the similar parameter for 2000 by 5%.

There are comments on the general deterioration in a combination of domestic economic factors, and the analysts say that all this may affect economic growth in 2002.

There is a tendency towards falling real incomes, even though they will have grown by 6.4% by the end of the year (against 9.3% in 2000).

CABINET ISN’T DOING ENOUGH TO COMBAT DRUG TRAFFICKING

Parlamentskaya Gazeta, December 27, 2001, p. 2

The document describes the disastrous drug trafficking situation, and criticizes the Cabinet, urging President Putin to take the problem under his personal control. Harsher penalties for drug trafficking are proposed.

The parliamentarians suggest that Putin consider the feasibility of a federal agency responsible for protecting the rights of children and adolescents, and for preventing drug trafficking.

The appeal urges Putin to “introduce life imprisonment for drug traffickers and dealers.”

OPINION POLLS RESULTS

Trud-7, December 27, 2001, p. 3

Opinion polls done by the National Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) indicate that Russians consider 1990 to have been the most difficult year: 93% of respondents say it was more difficult than 1989, and only 6% say it was “equally difficult.” Many Russians still remember the queues in mostly empty shops, ration coupons, etc.

In December 1997 only 37% respondents described that year as the worst.

The crash of August 1998 set Russia back by several years. The number of negative statements reached the level of 1992 (82% again). Half of respondents described 1999 as more difficult than 1998. The breakthrough was achieved in 2000. These days, 23% say that 2001 has been worse than 2000. A quarter of respondents see no changes for the better.

Most respondents named Vladimir Putin as Man of the Year for 2001.

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