AN INTERVIEW WITH YEVGENY SATANOVSKY, PRESIDENT OF THE RUSSIAN JEWISH CONGRESS

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AN INTERVIEW WITH YEVGENY SATANOVSKY, PRESIDENT OF THE RUSSIAN JEWISH CONGRESS

Vremya Novostei, January 21, 2002, p. 1

Question: Is there anti-Semitism in Russia today?

Yevgeny Satanovsky: I would not say it is institutionalized on the state level. The elite is what matters, and the Russian elite is not on the caveman level of consciousness anymore. There is mundane distrust of Jews in every country every day. Where there are no Jews, someone will inevitably be suspected of being one. Not only Jews are affected however. That goes for all ethnic groups. They all are distrustful of others to some degree or the other.

Question: Does it occur to you that the negative historical experience could have bred certain complexes in some Jews? For instance the victim may think that he or she is entitled to a great deal by way of recompense?

Yevgeny Satanovsky: For Jews with their memory of Holocaust, this is not a complex of the victim. It is rather a manner of behavior.

Question: French ambassador to Great Britain calls Israel a “small shitty country” in a private conversation, thereby generating an international conflict. Russia may be castigated without anybody giving a damn. But when you criticize a Jew, you automatically become an anti-Semite…

Yevgeny Satanovsky: What really matters is who criticizes and what for. I’d recommend that Russian politicians take a lesson or two from the Israelis. He who does not respect himself cannot expect to be respected by anybody else. The Jews have learned to defend themselves and their dignity.

Question: On what level do you communicate with Russian authorities? Do Jewish organizations experience problems with state security structures nowadays?

Yevgeny Satanovsky: I regularly meet with the authorities. What can I say? Jews do not threaten Russia’s security. They do not pose a threat of separatism or terrorism.

RUSSIAN-TURKMEN TALKS TAKE PLACE IN MOSCOW

Moskovsky Komsomolets, January 22, 2002, p. 2

President of Turkmenistan Saparmurat Niyazov meet with President Vladimir Putin yesterday. State executives call the visit one of the most important in early 2002.

The two presidents discussed problems relating to gas and splitting of the Caspian Sea. The final decision will probably be made in Ashkhabad at the coming summit of five Caspian states.

Putin suggested the establishment of a European-Asian alliance of gas exporters, comprising of countries across which gas pipelines run including Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan.

ON THE NEXT MEETING OF THE PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY

Moskovsky Komsomolets, January 22, 2002, p. 2

The next meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will start soon in Strasbourg.

After the terrorist acts of September 11, official Moscow hoped that the West would express its attitude towards the war in Chechnya. Moscow is waging war on international terrorism there as well. The United States, however, have shown to the world that everything goes. Once again Lord Russel-Johnston of the Parliamentary Assembly is worried about the sweeping operations in Chechnya.

The future of the Kaliningrad region will also be discussed.

A TV-6 UPDATE

Izvestia, January 22, 2002, p. 2

Yesterday, TV-6 television channel sent a letter to the Media Ministry requesting that its previous rejection of the broadcasting license be considered invalid. According to the channel’s PR department head, Ms. Tatiana Blinova, the letter was signed by General Director Yevgeny Kiselev.

SHAMIL BASAYEV’S FATHER KILLED IN A SPECIAL OPERATION

Izvestia, January 22, 2002, p. 2

Salman Basayev, the father of Shamil Basayev and “volunteer” father of Khattab has allegedly been killed in the course of a special operation conducted by the federal forces in the settlement of Akhkinchu-Borzoi, Kurchaloi district, on January 12. The news that he might have been among the killed gunmen became public on January 22 only.

“Forensic examination for the purposes of identification is underway,” said Sergei Babkin, chief of the Chechen Regional Directorate of the Federal Security Service.

The separatists’ web sites do not refrain from comments.

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