CHIEF COMMANDER OF THE AIR FORCES RETIRING

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CHIEF COMMANDER OF THE AIR FORCES RETIRING

Izvestia, January 11, 2002, p. 3

Chief Commander of the Air Forces and Air-Raid Defense General Anatoly Kornukov turned 60 yesterday. According to the law, only Vladimir Putin can prolong the term of his ervice now. According to our sources, the president is not intending to do so.Kornukov, known for his critics at alertness and financing of the air forces, is highly likely to retire and take a position in a civil organization.

The most probable candidacy for the vacant position is Commander of the Moscow Military District Colonel-General Gennady Vasilyev.

SYNCHRONIZATION OF WATCHES

Rossiyskaya Gazeta, January 11, 2002, p. 2

“We have no contradictions with Uzbekistan in understanding the new world order, the situation in Central Asia and future political settlement in Afghanistan,” said Foreign Affairs Minister Igor Ivanov of Russia in Tashkent after a three-hour-long meeting with Islam Karimov in his residence Ak Sarai (“White Palace”).

A year earlier in Ashgabad the head of the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Russia met with Saparmurat Niyazov, who also confirmed that Russia and Turkmenistan sis not have “disputable, intriguing questions”, disagreeing with those saying that “we have grown cool toward each other”. This is evidently a synchronization of watches.

Central Asia has good perspectives now. Islam Karimov, fpr example, is impatiently waiting for January 22. on this day in Janan a meeting of donor-countries on restoring Afghanistan will start, where they will share a pie of $9 billion. It is clear that the southern republics can count on a large sum, due to their geographical position and as loyal allies of the anti-terrorism coalition.

It is also clear that this plays in Moscow’s hand, which takes a fifth part in Uzbekistan commodity circulation, not to mention other republics.

NO INDULGENCE TO CRIMINALS

Rossiyskaya Gazeta, January 11, 2002, p. 2

Yesterday head of the Joint Staff of the Russian Federation Anatoly Kvashnin in a harsh tone appraised the situation in Chechnya.

According to him, there are no longer big gunmen groups in the republic, only separated groups of foreign mercenaries headed by Hattab. They are financed both from Russian and abroad.

Kvashinin says, “This is a real bandit labor exchange. As soon as this cash flow stops, bandits will scatter, and all will settle down in Chechnya”.

In his words, Maskhadov and Basaev have long been deprived of financial leverage, and thus, of power over gunmen. As for negotiating with them, the head of the Joint Staff announced that “there will be no more mistakes. We have a firm position – no indulgence to bandits”.

Placing Maskhadov, Basaev and Hattab in one line, Kvashnin practically excluded any possibility of holding talks with them.

RUSSIAN EMERGENCY MINISTRY HELPING VICTIMS OF EARTHQUAKE IN TAJIKISTAN

Izvestia, January 11, 2002, p. 2

Yesterday an operative group of the Emergency Ministry of the Russian Federation headed by Konstantin Fateev, director of the Department for Organizing Activity of the Russian National Unit of humanitarian emergency help, set off for Tajikistan for assessing the damage of the earthquake, which took place in the republic in the morning yesterday, and coordinating distribution of humanitarian aid among victims.

The intensity of the earthquake amounted to 6 points by Richter scale. The epicenter was located 100 km to the east of Dushanbe, in the Pamirs.

“As a result of the earthquake, three people were killed, six were seriously wounded, around 50 – hospitalized with different injuries, said Tatiana Andreeva of the EM cutting service, Besides, 52 buildings have been destroyed, around 580 people lost their homes. A brigade of Centrospas of Tajikistan is working in the natural disaster zone, but the Emergency Ministry of Russia decided to render humanitarian aid to victims.”

According to the EM clipping service, the amount of the aid will come up to 580 tons. This will be taken from the humanitarian cargo meant for Afghanistan and other countries of the region. Now it is in Tajikistan.

The operative group of Konstantin Fateev will have to see if Tajik rescuers will be able to cope with the consequences of the earthquake by themselves.

Tatiana Andreeva said, “if they need help, a unit of EM employees is ready to go to Tajikistan”.

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