NAVY COMMANDER WILL ANSWER FOR K-159 SUBMARINE

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NAVY COMMANDER WILL ANSWER FOR K-159 SUBMARINE

Moskovskii Komsomolets, September 12, 2003, EV

At the request of Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, President Vladimir Putin issued a decree yesterday temporarily suspending Admiral Gennadi Suchkov from his duties as commander of the Northern Fleet.

We were told by the Navy headquarters that Vice-Admiral Sergei Simonenko will be the acting commander of the Northern Fleet until the completion of the investigation into the deaths of nine crewmembers from the K-159 submarine, which sank in the Barents Sea.

The Navy has been conducting an investigation since August 30, the day the submarine sank. A Navy commission and the Main Military Prosecutor’s Office have found that Northern Fleet commander Gennadi Suchkov “failed to make decisions regarding the K-159 submarine in a timely manner.” The extent of the admiral’s guilt and any punitive measures will be decided by investigators of the Main Military Prosecutor’s Office.

CLEARING A PATH FOR KADYROV

Moskovskii Komsomolets, September 12, 2003, EV

The number of Akhmad Kadyrov’s rivals en route to becoming president of Chechnya is decreasing. Another of his chief opponents has dropped out of the race: Aslambek Aslakhanov. Aslakhanov, a member of the Duma, has been appointed as an aide to President Vladimir Putin; this automatically makes it impossible for him to run for president of Chechnya. It’s unknown at this point exactly what his new position will entail; according to the Kremlin administration, Aslakhanov will be entrusted with “issues in southern Russia.” Meanwhile, Kadyrov will find the election campaign much easier now: Aslakhanov was fairly popular. Thus, Kadyrov’s victory is becoming even more inevitable.

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