Rossiyskaya Gazeta, August 25, 1999, p.1

Yesterday Deputy Chairman of the Government Vladimir Sherbak introduced Alexei Gordeev, the new Agricultural Minister who previously worked as first deputy minister, to the staff of the ministry. The presentation ceremony was combined with a conference on urgent issues.

Vladimir Sherbak stated that currently it is necessary to concentrate all efforts on the fulfillment of the government’s decision to eliminate the price discrepancies between agricultural produce and industrial goods. The problems must be thoroughly considered because the budget for 2000 is not favorable for farmers. In his speech Alexei Gordeev stated that there will not be any revolution in the work of the ministry but an evolution, which will secure the development of agriculture.

But all this will be in the future. Right now, by order of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the government is forming a group for control over the harvest.


Izvestia, August 25, 1999, p.3

Former Press Secretary of the President of Turkmenistan Durdymukhamed Kurbanov appealed to the population of the republic with a request to guarantee Saparmurat Niyazov lifelong presidential authorities. Such appeals became usual in Turkmenistan. Kurbanov thinks that it is necessary to make amendments to the Constitution of Turkmenistan in order to allow the president to occupy his post for unlimited time. Kurbanov stated: “It will become a very important step within the framework of the democracy.”


Izvestia, August 25, 1999, p.3

Secretary of the dissolved Supreme Council of Belarus Semyon Sharetsky who currently is on a visit to Lithuania announced an appeal to the government, citizens of Belarus, and the international community. In his appeal the speaker of the parliament, which is not acknowledged by the current authorities of Belarus, stated that the documents and business papers signed by President Lukashenko after July 20, 1999 are not legitimate. According to the Constitution, Lukashenko’s term finished on July 20.


Parlamentskaya Gazeta, August 25, 1999, p.1

The government has proposed to carry out a 15% indexing of the pensions in November 1999. The information comes from Vice Prime Minister Valentina Matvienko.

According to her, the debts of the government to the pensioners will decrease to 4 billion rubles in comparison with 30.5 billion rubles a year ago.

The government intends to pay all the debts to pensioners by October 15. As for the debts in the budgetary sphere, the sum is worth of 7.8 billion rubles by the beginning of August 1999, which is 8.2 billion rubles lower than at the same date a year before.

The vice prime minister noted that the draft of the budget 2000 is socially oriented. Taking into consideration an increase of allocations by 39% in comparison with last year, it is possible to increase the expenses for the real sector by 52%. According to Matvienko the draft of the budget 2000 envisages an increase of pensions within 30.3% with the rate of inflation of 18%.


Parlamentskaya Gazeta, August 25, 1999, p.1

Grozny strengthens its security structures. About 8,000 reservists were called into military service. Spreading the myth about a threat of the invasion of the federal forces into the territory of Chechnya, Grozny continues a partial relocation of its forces to the districts bordering Dagestan, Ingushetia, and Stavropol. According to the information of the Interior Ministry, a range of the opposition leaders in Chechnya propose to strengthen the Chechen forces by adding volunteers in order to send them to the armed groups operating on the territory of Dagestan.


ORT, Novosti, August 24, 1999, 15:00

Leader of the NDR movement Victor Chernomyrdin stated in St. Petersburg that he hopes that a right-centrist electoral bloc will still be formed.

The official aim of Chernomyrdin’s visit to St. Petersburg is to participate in Russian Farmer World Fair. But Chernomyrdin also stated that he will meet there with Sergei Stepashin.

Nevertheless, Chernomyrdin did not wish to negotiate with another former member of the government, Pavel Krasheninnikov. The congress, which will take place on August 28, will determine the composition of NDR which will participate in the elections. According to Chernomyrdin, there is still time to unite with parties that share similar views. As Chernomyrdin said, “We did not form a coalition with the Right Cause movement and we have said from the very beginning that we will form a coalition not with Right Cause but with other parties and movements.”


NTV, Segodnya, August 24, 1999, 12:00

Conflicting reports have been received from Dagestan on the liberation by federal forces of villages that had been captured by guerrillas. The temporary center of the Defense Ministry in Makhachkala announced that the village Tando will be considered captured when infantry enter it. Considering the latest reports from Dagestan, as of the morning, Tando is being cleared of last groups of guerrillas and snipers. Trench battles are resuming around the villages of Ashino, Ansalta, and Rakhata. The Russian military has also announced mass gatherings of guerrillas in districts of Chechnya, which border Dagestan.

Secretary of the Dagestan Security Council, Magdigagiev, confirmed information that the federal forces established full control over the villages of Tando, Ashino, and Rakhata in the Botlikh district of Dagestan. Currently, the area is being cleared. According to Magdigagiev, mass graves of guerrillas were found in the aforementioned villages. So far the military does not include in their reports information about the complete liberation of Tando.

It was stated at the temporary press center that accumulation of illegal armed formations is continuing in Chechnya, in the area bordering the Novolaksk district of Dagestan. Some 800 guerrillas are gathered there under the command of Nadir Khachilaev. As asserted by the Interior Ministry, guerrillas in Chechnya are concentrated mainly around the villages Urus-Martan and Serzhen-Yurt, and they are comprised of residents of Abkhazia, Ingushetia, Ossetia, and also mercenaries from Asia, Africa, and Baltic countries.


ORT, Novosti, August 24, 1999, 15:00

Ukraine celebrated its eighth Anniversary of Independence with a military parade. Two years ago the country decided to demonstrate the might of the Ukrainian army, while it previously had limited the occasion to mass celebrations and fireworks. Currently, all forces and military equipment, from tanks to anti-aircraft defense complexes, paraded through the streets of Kiev.

Stability and absence of any armed conflicts is one of the country’s main achievements during its eight years of independence.

Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma thinks that during last eight years the mentality of people has changed and that, despite the difficult economic situation, people want to live in their state and build it.