GORBACHEV: NO NEED TO FEAR A SMALL DOSE OF AUTHORITARIANISM
Independent Television, Segodnya, April 1, 2000, 19:00
Former President of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev thinks that Vladimir Putin should distance himself from his predecessor Boris Yeltsin if he wants to succeed. Gorbachev made this statement in an interview with “La Republica”, an influential Italian newspaper. According to Gorbachev, Vladimir Putin can move in the right direction, but he must break with the past and distinguish national interests from the interests of those who supported him on his way to the presidency. It is hard for Vladimir Putin to break the agreement with Yeltsin’s family, but Gorbachev does not doubt that the new president is aware of the need for this decision. According to Gorbachev, the new president should implement policies which would suit the interests of 90% of the population, rather than 10% as is currently the case. Otherwise Vladimir Putin will lose his supporters as quickly as he won them. The former president noted that Russia needs a strong government and we should not be afraid of a small dose of authoritarianism.
ALL SEVEN GOVERNORS RE-ELECTED
Russian Television, Federatsia, April 1, 2000, 13:20
On March 26 seven Russian regions held gubernatorial elections concurrently with the presidential election. All seven governors risked early elections; the terms of some still had six months to run. The initiative to combine the gubernatorial elections with the presidential elections is explained by pragmatism and the intention to save state funds. But strictly speaking, the governors were running a risk. They preferred a campaign to their everyday work. The governors have risked, and they have won: all seven governors have been re-elected. The result of Alexander Filipenko, Governor of the Khanty-Mansysk Autonomous Region, can be considered a record of the season: about 91% of voters supported him.
BASAEV DEMANDS HANDOVER OF COLONEL BUDANOV
Independent Television, Segodnya, April 1, 2000, 22:00
According to AFP, Shamil Basaev, leader of the Chechen separatists, is threatening to shoot nine prisoners of war if Russia does not hand over Colonel Budanov to them. Budanov, the commander of a tank regiment, is accused of murdering a Chechen woman.