201ST DIVISION STARTS EXERCISES

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201ST DIVISION STARTS EXERCISES

Izvestia, September 3, 2003, p. 3

On September 2, exercises of the 201st motorized-infantry division stationed in Tajikistan began. The exercises will last until September 6. They will address some issues in interaction between 201st motorized-infantry division units and the Russian border guard group and law enforcement agencies of Tajikistan, as well as issues of combat appliance of motorized-infantry, artillery, tank, and logistics units. The exercises are being supervised by Major General Alexander Stolyarov, Deputy Troop Comamnder for the Volga-Urals military district.

CENTRAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION CHIEF AGREES WITH JOURNALISTS

Izvestia, September 3, 2003, p. 3

On Monday, Central Election Commission (CEC) Chairman Alexander Veshnyakov met with senior executives of news agencies and national newspapers, including the editor-in-chief of “Izvestia”. After the meeting, Veshnyakov said: “We’ve had a serious and constructive discussion, not an argument between people who don’t understand each other.” According to him, there are no principal disagreements between the CEC and the media on the most important issues of campaign coverage. In speaking of the need for the media to observe the new, stricter law on elections, Veshnyakov noted: “We don’t mean to take anyone out with an axe: we have civilized rules.” A special working group will be set up to resolve disputed situations. Along with officials from the CEC, this group will include independent lawyers and representatives of the media.

5,000 TROOPS TO BE WITHDRAWN FROM CHECHNYA

Izvestia, September 3, 2003, p. 3

On Monday, Ilya Shabalkin, official representative of the Regional Operative Headquarters, announced: “The command of the Joint Group of Forces has reported that it is planning to withdraw 5,000 servicemen from Chechnya in the near future. Mostly this concerns Defense Ministry troops.” According to Shabalkin, 500 to 1,000 servicemen are being withdrawn from Chechnya every month.

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