GENNADY FADEEV HEADED THE ROADS AND TRANSPORTATION MINISTRY
Izvestia, January 9, 2002, p. 3
Last week Gennady Fadeev was appointed new Roads and Transportation Minister. It means that another supervisor of an almighty monopoly did not outlast the outset of the industry’s reformation. However, a steep turn of his fate does not resemble, for instance, resignation of Rem Vyakhirev, a monumental director of Gazprom. Undistinguished native of St. Petersburg Alexei Miller replaced him on the threshold of changes in a split second. Nikolai Aksenenko, who headed the ministry, which combined state administrative functions and the biggest economic structure was not devoid of political ambitions. Having succeeded in attaining the rank of deputy prime minister, and having aimed for the prime ministerial portfolio, he was gradually losing his influence and now he passed his office to his former supervisor and brother-in-law: Aksenenko and Fadeev are married to sisters.
As is said in the government, Fadeev turned out to be the only person whom it was possible to make in charge of the ministry fearlessly. Moreover, the minister was replaced during the structural reformation of the Roads and Transportation Ministry. “Fadeev possesses extensive work experience and enjoys at least the same prestige in the industry as Aksenenko has. We should be certain that employees of the ministry would accept their new supervisor implicitly,” a source in the staff of the White House stated to Izvestia.
BORIS YELTSIN TREATED JOURNALISTS WITH A PIE
Izvestia, January 9, 2002, p. 3
In the New Year’s celebrations a few journalists, who had worked together with Boris Yeltsin in the time of his presidency were invited to his residence in Barvikha near Moscow.
The table talk lasted over an hour, and several conclusions could be drawn from it. Firstly, Yeltsin is well posted on the events taking place both in Russia and abroad. He confessed that he possesses less information now, than when he had been president, but sometimes a detached view provides for a better outlook. He was speaking ironically about the “capitalized Family”, as he said, about the prosecutor’s office and criminal cases against some of the ministers, about TV-6 network, which must be retained, and about Putin.
It was obvious that he is still satisfied with the decision and choice of his successor he mad two years ago. By the way, Putin considers remarks of his predecessor, our sources report.
CHANGES TOOK PLACE IN THE KREMLIN
Izvestia, January 9, 2002, p. 4
Chief of the Presidential Protocol was replaced and a vacancy of the director of the Press Service appeared in the Kremlin after the celebrations. Vladimir Rakhmanin, who had been transferred to the Kremlin from the Foreign Ministry, ceased to be in charge of the Presidential Protocol and was appointed a diplomat again: Vladimir Putin appointed him ambassador to Ireland. Igor Shchegolev, former journalist and a recent director of the Presidential Press Service, replaced him. Now the Kremlin is seeking for a candidacy to be in charge of journalists.
As for the president, Shchegolev would take care of him together with his assistant Marina Yentaltseva. She worked as Putin’s secretary yet in St. Petersburg, was transferred to the Kremlin some time ago and many officials perceived her transfer with immense relief. She was adroit at Putin’s itinerary, visitors, who were crowding the “first reception” (as the presidential reception hall is called) and assumed a part of the functions, which Rakhmanin could not cope with physically.
The candidacy of director of the press service is sought for already, our sources report. Several candidates are considered, including some among current employees of the service. However, newcomers from the Foreign Ministry are viewed also.
LAPSHIN’S MOUNTAIN SUMMIT
Trud, January 9, 2002, p. 2
The second round of electing head of the republic took place on the eve of Christmas in the Republic of Altai. Mikhail Lapshin, leader of Russia’s Agrarian Party, who collected 68% of the vote won the elections. Some 30% of the electorate voted in favor of his opponent Semen Zubakin, who is now former head of the republic. Overall, 56.89% of citizens enjoying the suffrage fulfilled their civil duty.
According to Valery Fedorov, director of the Political Environment Center, elections which took place in the Gorny Altai became a ground for polishing the dual-party electoral system. The thing is that the Unity and Fatherland nationwide party seconded Mikhail Lapshin, while Union of the Right Forces supported Semen Zubakin.
Commenting on results of the elections for Trud, Franz Klintsevich, leader of the Unity and Fatherland party noted that each political force had forcible motifs to win. “However, the people chose the party, which supports consolidation of the society, assumes responsibility for the events happening in Russia. Following uniting congress of December, the trial of strength proves serious political influence of our party,” Klintsevich stressed.
THE DUMA HOPES FOR UNDERSTANDING
Tribuna, January 9, 2002, p. 1
Yesterday Duma chairman Gennady Seleznev arrived to Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan with a working visit. Today he will hold talks with leaders of the leading factions of the Kazakh parliament on problems of expanding the relations and strengthening cooperation between parliamentarians of Russia and Kazakhstan. It is scheduled to discuss issues of developing integration processes inside the CIS, combating terrorism, crime, observation of human rights and the rights of ethnic minorities.
The same topics will dominate in Dushanbe at the talks between the Duma Speaker and Tajik parliamentarians. Furthermore, in the course of his visit to the Tajik capital Gennady Seleznev will meet with Russian servicemen and border guards, who have been protecting stability of the CIS’s southern borders.
THE PRESIDENT’S SUPREME PILGRIMAGE
Moskovskii Komsomolets, January 9, 2002, p. 2
The president’s itinerary, which was thoroughly planned not by the director of the Presidential Protocol, but also by his confessor, archimandrite Tikhon Shevkunov is striking. His first stop was at Pereyaslavl-Zalesskii. This is now a minor town with a small fishing plant and crumbling monasteries. Here the president visited the famous cathedral, where the remains of the son and the grandson of Saint Alexander Nevsky, a boat of Peter I and a convent are situated. Further on, his road led to Gus-Khrustalny, which is famous for its cathedral and its glass-works.
After that the president’s helicopter landed in Vladimir, where the president together with presidential envoy Poltavchenko (just the two of them!) attended the nocturnal ceremonial Christmas divine service. Maloyaroslavets, where the president visited a convent, at which orphan girls are nurtured, was his last stop.
President Putin’s pilgrimage journeys have huge significance. A trip to the Pskov-Pechora monastery two years ago, when the president congratulated archimandrite Ioann Krestyankin, the cloister’s confessor, on his 90th birthday anniversary. Other trips followed: to Valaam and Kizhi, an attempt to visit the Aphon monastery in Greece, meetings with bishops of foreign Church in the US. All of this proves that the president is in the process of an intellectual search, that he is seeking support in the bosom of the Church, being fully aware of the acuteness of the economic, political, and psychological crisis in Russia. It is important to know whether the Church would be able to respond to this search. Who will stand close to the President – Patriarch Alexiy II, Metropolitan Antony Surozhsky, or Archimandrite Tikhon Shevkunov?