Izvestia, June 25, 1999, p. 2

An operational meeting of heads of security ministries and departments chaired by Colonel General Ivan Golubev, Deputy Interior Minister, took place on June 23 in the Kursk district of Stavropol. Organized on the orders of Premier Stepashin, the meeting ended with the decision to establish a chain of police field departments along the Chechen border. There will be seven of them at first, and they will begin their service on July 1 using existing police checkpoints as bases.

Essentially, the field detachments will carry out the functions of border guard outposts. Their zone of responsibility will not be limited to sectors of visibility from the concrete-reinforced checkpoints as before, but will cover all 133 kilometers of the Stavropol-Chechen administrative border. Among other things, their servicemen will handle machine guns and grenade launchers and have armored vehicles in their possession, to say nothing of several helicopters of the Mozdok group of the Internal Troops. In case of emergencies, commanding officers are empowered to summon the helicopters to give them fire support.

According to a well-informed and trustworthy source, those present at the meeting admitted that law enforcement agencies have been making mistakes in the Kursk district which have resulted in casualties.


Izvestia, June 25, 1999, p. 2

The Duma has adopted in the second and third readings the law “On Money for the Strategic Nuclear Forces of the Russian Federation until 2010”. The Defense Ministry expects the law to guarantee financial support for missile-nuclear construction programs.

The law was discussed at a closed sitting mostly because of its financial nuances. The authors of the bill see it as the most they can do to protect and support nuclear armament programs.

The law restores a semblance of financial order to the Strategic Nuclear Forces. It states specifically that money allocated to the Strategic Nuclear Forces may not be used by the government to pay its debts. It also states that money for the Strategic Nuclear Forces should be transferred by the Finance Ministry to the Nuclear Energy Ministry and the Defense Ministry every three months. At least 40% of the annual allotment should be transferred during the first three months of every year.

The fact that the law is oriented toward the future is another advantage. By 2010 Russia is supposed to fulfill its financial obligations concerning nuclear armaments (although START-2 has not been ratified yet, it has not been scrapped either) and simultaneously renovate its defense potential without putting a dent in national security.


Izvestia, June 25, 1999, p. 1

567 assassinations of “marked” persons were engineered throughout the country during the first five months of the year, according to Anatoly Khairov, Deputy Director of a Department of the Criminal Police of the Interior Ministry.

Khairov: During the first five months of 1997, 232 such assassinations were registered, but now their number has doubled already.

The official noted that the “collapse of August 17” particularly affected the growth of the number of assassinations (mostly of bankers and businessmen).

According to Khairov, more and more assassins are turning out to be former officials and servicemen of the Interior Ministry, special services, and special police detachments. The Main Information Center of the Interior Ministry has had a database of mercenaries since 1998 which compiles operational data from all regions of the country. Khairov says that if money for the “target” has been paid, no matter how professional or impressive the person’s personal bodyguards are, “the assassin will do him.” Most assassinations are related to failure to pay debts and return credits, Khairov said.


Moskovsky Komsomolets, June 25, 1999, p. 2

Leaving Boris Yeltsin’s apartment yesterday, Premier Sergei Stepashin announced that the leadership of the country should not remain a disinterested observer when the entire country has all but begun the election race.

Last Thursday, the president finally finished creating the government. Boris Ivanyuzhenkov, 33, a deputy of the Moscow Regional Duma and Senior Vice President of the Athletic Fighting Federation, became minister for sports and tourism. The appointee is virtually unknown in the world of Russian politics and has nothing to show for past experience but a handful of medals earned in athletic contests (and the prestigious order “For the Service to the Fatherland” 2nd class, incidentally).

In any case, the latest appointment went unnoticed in the wake of Stepashin’s ambivalent statement about the role the regime should play in the coming elections. Many analysts do not eliminate the possibility that by doing so the premier was indicating his own inclination to run for president.


Russian Television (RTR), “Vesti” program, June 24, 1999, 14:00

Boris Yeltsin and Annan of the United Nations discussed the entire spectrum of international problems today. Moscow supports the general secretary in his eagerness to restore the repute and respect the United Nations once wielded in the international community. Annan said that he appreciated Yeltsin’s contribution to the establishment of peace in the Balkans and expressed his hope that Russia would continue playing an important role in world affairs.

Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov: The president assured the visitor that we would abide strictly by Resolution 1224 of the UN Security Council on settlement of the Yugoslavian conflict and would take active part both in the peacekeeping operation and in the civilian mission to restore Kosovo and Yugoslavia as a whole.

The Yugoslavian subject was not the only one which was discussed.

Sergei Prikhodko, Deputy Director of the Presidential Administration: the UN’s efforts to resolve the Iraqi crisis were also touched on at the meeting. The president confirmed our determination to actively cooperate with all partners within the framework of the United Nations to settle the conflict situation there as soon as possible. Lifting the sanctions is what we consider to be the most important thing now.


NTV (Independent Television), “Segodnya” program, June 24, 1999, 14:00

The issues on the agenda of the meeting of President Yeltsin and Premier Stepashin were numerous: from foreign debts to the situation in the country on the eve of the parliamentary elections. Stepashin made some optimistic statements, specifically about economic matters, contacts with the International Monetary Fund, and foreign debts.

Stepashin: In the first place, we turned back to Cologne again in terms of practical implementation of the agreements which were made there pertaining to the so-called debt problem. Specifically, we are now negotiating prolonging payments on them and writing off part of them. The problem that was hanging over us all this year… it has been taken care of. In the second, I briefed the president on preparations for the meeting with Vice President Gore.

As for the domestic situation, Stepashin announced an important function which he said would take place soon.

Stepashin: We discussed the political situation in the country in relation to the upcoming parliamentary elections as well. In the near future I hope that we will convene a special meeting of the president, the chairman of the government, the head of the presidential administration, a number of heads of Federation subjects and governors, and the leaders of some blocs.


NTV (Independent Television), “Segodnya” program, June 24, 1999, 14:00

Sergei Kirienko: I propose a plan for a normal, peaceful, and constitutional handover of power from the hands of the president. We currently have an authoritarian regime, with all the pros and cons that that implies. As I see it, a plan to hand over power is the most important thing now. In this case, the president is truly a key figure. If he accepts what I propose and starts acting according to the plan, he will admit that a constitutional transition of power is his most important task. Pre-term resignation is only one element of the plan. As we see it, the president will have to step down a bit earlier than the end of his term. At the same time, this will give him the moral right to head the process of replacing personnel.