TV-6 NETWORK: WHO BETRAYED BEREZOVSKY?

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TV-6 NETWORK: WHO BETRAYED BEREZOVSKY?

Argumenty i Fakty, January 23, 2002, p. 2

The idea that the staff of TV-6 betrayed owner of the TV-6 network Boris Berezovsky is widely discussed. Supposedly, contrary to his will they signed a statement renouncing their licence – and are ready to regain it, but without the oligarch being involved.

Meanwhile, Boris Berezovsky is not naive enough to surrender the TV channel, experts believe. He used to run larger businesses via his proteges, and nothing prevents him from doing the same in case of TV-6. This is still feasible, since the journalists are still grateful to Vladimir Gusinsky and him for making NTV and TV-6 both not outstanding only, but the leading TV networks.

There is other variant of the possible development of events. As became known, Gusinsky intends to start a Russian-language TV channel in Cologne, Germany. Allegedly, he is ready to invite almost all TV-6 journalist to work there. Would they accept the invitation, however? Most probably they wouldn’t. At least, by no means all of them. The game is underway at the moment. The backstage talks of the terms of handing over the licence for the right to broadcast to journalists continue. Media Minister Mikhail Lesin has seemingly become the key figure here, not as a Cabinet member only. However, the talks were discontinued on January 21 all of a sudden, and transmission of the TV-6 network was suspended.

THE BUDGET DOES NOT SPARE MONEY ON DEFENSE

Delovaya Khronika, No. 2, January 21-27, 2002, p. 5

The state defense order of 2002 will exceed the defense order of 2001 by almost 40%, Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov said after the first Cabinet meeting in 2002 was over. The state defense order for 2002 was approved at the meeting.

According to Klebanov, research and technology work over new generations of the materiel would be prior directions in the defense order of the current year. In the first quarter of 2002 the Defense Ministry will accomplish the tender for the research of the fifth-generation warplane, Ilya Klebanov said. A leading contractor for the work on creation of the fifth-generation warplane will be defined in the tender. However, the spending on the program has already been installed into the state order, Klebanov assured.

Comments of the military regarding modifying the armaments are also optimistic. Modernization of Su-27 and Su-30 fighters has already been initiated, a source in Russia’s Air Force said. Within the three years, 30 planes would be repaired completely and reequipped with new airborne electronics.

INDEPENDENT TV CHANNEL COSTS A DOLLAR A MONTH

Vek, January 25, 2002, p. 1

A defunct TV channel is only the sixth button for TV viewers. For businesslike people, especially after the former NTV team passed there, TV-6 was made a profitable investment. The increasing ratings, leading to rising rates for advertising, were making the channel an appealing investment prospect. Where are the investments now?

“Those who invested money in TV-6 only have to wait until the company’s assets are sold: the estate and intellectual property. As a rule, everything is sold very cheaply during liquidation, and investors hardly ever manage to recoup one-tenth of their investments,” says Duma deputy Vladimir Koptev-Dvornikov of the URF faction.

Together with his fellow deputies, Koptev-Dvornikov has said that the behavior of the government and the court verdict in relation to TV-6 network are damaging the investment climate in Russia and making potential investors doubt the safety of their investments. The fact that legal procedure in accordance with which TV-6 was liquidated is abolished should not deceive anyone. The whole matter is about the application of law, rather than what it says. In Koptev-Dvornikov’s opinion, it means that similar interference may also take place in other market sectors.

The Union of Russian Journalists has called on both houses of parliament, the president and the Cabinet to start creating the legislative basis for TV and radio broadcasting immediately. A bill for public television has been drawn up now under supervision of Union of Russian Journalists secretary Igor Yakovenko, according to our sources.

WILL THERE BE A THIRD?

Rossiiskiye Vesti, January 23, 2002, p. 6

The president’s statement that the federal security agencies have done much to change the situation in the North Caucasus was the most memorable event of the recent meeting of the Federal Security Service (FSB) board. The president’s intonation was likely to summing up a certain phase in the activity of these agencies.

Almost immediately after that, deputy presidential envoy for the Southern federal district Viktor Anpilogov said that in the near future the Interior Ministry would be made in charge of the counter-terrorist operation in Chechnya. It should be borne in mind that the Defense Ministry had also been in this position. However, the statement of the FSB, which was announced shortly after, denied this fact; seemingly, everything will remain as before. Presidential aide Sergei Yastrzhemsky did not comment on the possible shift of the responsibility.

Representatives of the Chechen administration are inclined to act more radically. As they think, police functions of the counter-terrorist operations must be reinforced now. Moreover, the republican department of the interior has been formed slowly, but surely. The mere fact that the FSB abandons the control of the counter-terrorist operation will become another example confirming that the life in the republic is getting stable. Even the capture of Basaev, Khattab, and Maskhadov will be done quicker, as is thought at Kadyrov’s administration. The Chechens are more likely to surrender the guerrilla leaders to their compatriots, since they still treat the FSB as a purely federal structure.

The Interior Ministry will be made in charge of the counter-terrorist operation all the same, Boris Gryzlov said about this third phase of the operation assuming office of interior minister. For this very purpose the Interior Ministry has been implementing a series of measures meant to form the law enforcement agencies in the republic, prepare a permanently based Interior Forces brigade.

At the same time, however, the Interior Ministry does not force to precipitate the events. The branched and, most importantly, reliable structure has not been set in Chechnya yet, and it will be very hard to capture the guerrilla leaders without it. It is not ruled out that commissioning of the control is a mere trick to shift the responsibility. Sooner or later, the president may ask who is to blame for the fact that Basaev and Khattab walk freely around Chechnya and acts of terrorism, similar to that of Argun, continue…

RAISING THE REMNANTS OF THE KURSK

Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye, No. 2, January 25, 2002, p. 3

Coordination of the plan to raise the first compartment of the NPS Kursk will be completed in late January, says Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov. As Navy Commander-in-Chief Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov already stated, this operation will take place in 2002; the personnel to carry this out are available already, while the required equipment is being purchased. Therefore, foreign companies and experts will not be involved. The first compartment contains undetonated torpedoes, as an examination of the compartment by the divers showed. Klebanov said on January 22 that no signs of external activity on the submarine were discovered in the examination of the hull fragment which was cut off in the area of an indentation in the side of Kursk. The Rubin and Prometei cenral design bureaus did the examinations.

SIX PRINCIPLES

Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye, No. 2, January 25, 2002, p. 1

During talks in the US, the Russian delegation outlined the six principles for approaching the issue of reducing strategic offensive weapons. According to Colonel General Yuri Baluyevsky, these are: equal security of the parties; transparency of the states’ nuclear policies; correlation of strategic offensive weapons under reduction to strategic defensive arms; irreversibility of reducing strategic offensive treaty; cooperation in the search of the mutually acceptable solutions and finance for liquidating the radically reduced strategic offensive weapons. Russia’s and US’s experts still have discrepancy in the issues of reducing strategic offensive weapons, a Washington’s intention to stockpile the nuclear warheads dismounted from the carriers also belonging here, general Baluyevsky said. Thus the US “is trying to reduce the process of a radical limitation of strategic offensive weapons to decreasing the combat readiness of the nuclear weaponry.”

RUSSIA OPPOSED

Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye, No. 2, January 25, 2002, p. 1

Russia would attentively observe any possible withdrawal by a nuclear power from the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, said Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov on January 17. Moscow has no intention of violating the moratorium. The methods of mathematical and other kinds of simulation used by the nuclear powers are sufficient to confirm the parameters specified in the design of nuclear weapons. Russia will act based on requirements to provide for its national security, Klebanov also said.

THE FUTURE OF GARRISONS

Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye, No. 2, January 25, 2002, p. 1

Reforms to garrisons in the Russian Armed Forces will be started in 2002 under control of Colonel General Nikolai Kormiltsev, Commander-in-Chief of the Ground Forces and deputy defense minister. According to Interfax-AVN, it is envisaged to reduce them considerable and consolidate them in the districts and fleets, transfer the control services on the regular basis and assign them tasks, connected with organization of the service in garrisons and strengthening the discipline.

RUSSIA IN FIGURES

Kommersant-Vlast, January 22, 2002, p. 6

Around 250 foreign mercenaries are fighting the federal troops in Chehcnya, whereas only six months ago there were twice as many, according to Major General Leonid Babkin, head of the FSB department in Chechnya.

According to preliminary calculations, in 2001 the Taxes and Duties Ministry paid over 982 billion rubles into the federal budget. Thus, in 2001 the Taxes and Duties Ministry increased tax collection by over 40%.

The amount of the state defense order in 2002 was increased by 40%, which is in full compliance with Russia’s armaments program, approved last year.

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