ATTEMPT ON GENERAL ROMANOV’S LIFE REVEALED
Izvestia, June 30, 2000, p. 2
Anatoly Lubovinin, officer of the Federal Security Service, said in his interview with Izvestia that the Russian security services have detained four men in Chechnya who are suspected of organizing an attempt on the life of General Romanov. According to Lubovinin, all of them are ethnic Chechens; currently they are being held in a prison in Chechnya and are being interrogated. So far, only one of the arrested men, Ibrahim Aubov, has been definitely linked to the crime. The role of the others is being ascertained, which is why the Federal Security Service has refused to reveal their names. Lieutenant General Anatoly Romanov, Commander of the Joint Grouping of Federal Forces in Chechnya, was heavily wounded on October 6, 1995 in the center of Grozny. His car was blown up by a land-mine as it crossed a bridge. Romanov is still lying unconscious in the Burdenko hospital, Moscow; however, according to head of the hospital Vyacheslav Kalyuzhev, the doctors still hope that his health will improve.
MOSCOW NEO-NAZIS FIGHT POLICE
Izvestia, June 30, 2000, p. 2
In Moscow, late in the evening of June 28, drunken teenagers started fighting with police officers. About 150 youths participated in the fight, and the police had to call for reinforcements in order to calm down the infuriated teenagers. Seventy-four youths were detained by the police; two of them have been charged with hooliganism. Both accused are members of a radical racist party; however, the police do not consider them neo-Nazis. The police confiscated membership cards of the People’s Nationalist Party (PNP) from Semyon Tokmakov and Andrei Kail (both aged 25, unemployed residents of Moscow). As we learned, the PNP is one of the most radical parties in Russia. It was founded in 1994, by film director Alexander Ivanov-Sukharevsky. Ivanov-Sukharevsky has achieved no success in movie-making, but used to be a member of many nationalist organizations, from the moderate Russian National Union to the extremist Russian National Unity, before he decided to establish a party of his own. On May 24, 1995, the Ministry of Justice registered the PNP; its leaders at once stood for the 1996 parliamentary elections, but lost. The PNP is different from all other known neo-fascist parties: it is relatively small, involves only a few thousand people, mostly under 30, and it is openly racist. The members of the party call their ideology “national-ecologist”.
"LITHUANIAN SPY" WAS SLANDERED
Izvestia, June 30, 2000, p. 1
On Wednesday night, Lithuanian resident Pavel Ilyin, whom the Federal Security Service (FSB) declared a “spy for the Lithuanian security service and the CIA” made some sensational revelations on TV in Vilnius. Ilyin said that the FSB had slandered him: he had never been arrested in Moscow or in any other Russian city, and, consequently, he had never been deported from Russia. According to Ilyin, all that time he stayed in Kalinigrad, where he wanted to purchase some property. It was there, at his birthday party, that an FSB agent tried to recruit him. In his words, Ilyin, 24, rejected the proposal, but “got drunk very quickly during the party”. Having returned to Vilnius he informed the Lithuanian State Security Department (SSD) about what happened.
On June 27, when the FSB announced the arrest of Ilyin, Arvidas Potzus, head of the SSD, met with Lithuanian President Valdas Adamukas. After the meeting he told journalists: “We know the man who is under discussion, but he has not left Lithuania for a long time.” It was very strange that Ilyin was released from the FSB after “an explanatory interview”.
Ilyin does have a reputation as a computer genius. He was born in Klaipeda; he flunked out of Gyadimin Technical University; then he was treated for drug abuse and worked in the tax police department of provincial Trakai, Lithuania, where he was a network administrator. The FSB presents as physical evidence of Ilyin’s spying activities photocopies of his tax police inspector ID, two expired student cards, and social insurance certificates.
To date, we have been unable to get any comments from General Alexander Zdanovich, who first announced the news about Pavel Ilyin.
STATE OF EMERGENCY BILL PASSED
Trud, June 30, 2000, p. 1
At a Thursday special meeting the State Duma passed in the first reading a bill on states of emergency.
This draft law was first submitted to the Duma in 1995 by Boris Yeltsin – then the deputies defeated it. A year later the first Russian president again introduced the amended draft to the lower house of parliament, but the Duma did not consider it. At the same time, when Russia was sending its forces into Dagestan and Chechnya, politicians and deputies remembered that it would be good to declare a state of emergency there – unfortunately, there was no appropriate law. Of course, there was a similar Soviet law, but it was out-of-date; besides, it restricted the use of the Armed Forces on the territory of the USSR against residents of Soviet republics, even if they were guerrillas and terrorists.
Obviously, the bill debated by the Duma yesterday leaves much to be desired, since it had been developed by the Yeltsin administration and is also now out-of-date. Alexander Kotenkov, presidential representative in the Duma, also agrees with this.
There is an alternative to the bill, which has been proposed by the Union of Right Forces Duma faction; according to Kotenkov, this is an updated version. However, having made his note, the presidential representative suggested that the deputies should first of all take into account the president’s version, and only after that consider the alternative version while working on the bill. Authors of the alternative bill – Sergei Yushenkov, Viktor Pokhmelkin, and Eduard Vorobyev – agreed with the suggestion.
Overall, the first reading of the bill was very calm; 395 deputies supported the bill on declaring a state of emergency, and it was passed in the first reading. The second reading is likely to take place this autumn, right after the parliamentary vacation.
Parlamentskaya Gazeta, June 30, 2000, p. 3
Viktor Ilyukhin, head of the Duma security committee, explained the need to amend the current amnesty resolution: “When the text of the amnesty resolution was prepared for the second reading, for a number of reasons some deviations from the concept of the resolution were made.” According to him, “the idea was not to amnesty people guilty of major crimes, such as murder, robbery, rape, gangsterism or terrorism, bribe-taking, major fraud, etc.”
However, it turned out that people who committed major crimes, but who had been awarded orders or medals of the USSR or Russia, as well as disabled people and those infected with TB, had become eligible for the amnesty.
According to the Interior Ministry, 3,000 people awarded with orders or medals who have committed white-collar crimes are to be amnestied; 150 bribe-takers are to be amnestied as well. According to the memo of the General Prosecutor, 205 prisoners from Samara region penitentiaries and 180 prisoners from Ulyanovsk region penitentiaries who had been sentenced for first-degree murder are to be amnestied; and so on.
In order to improve the situation, the Duma made a number of amendments to its own resolution.
However, the amnesty resolution has already come into effect. The question is: what should be done to prisoners already released, who should not have been released. According to Ilyukhin, there is no legal basis for putting these people back in jail. Consequently, the new resolution will not apply to those who have already been released.
SENATORS DO NOT WANT CONFRONTATION WITH THE REGIME
Rossiyskaya Gazeta, June 30, 2000, p. 2
Now that the Federation Council has voted against the bill on its own reformation, the lower house of parliament will reconsider the bill in the near future. If at least 301 deputies support the bill, the Senate’s veto will be overriden. Here are several opinions on the present situation.
Boris Gryzlov, leader of the Unity Duma faction: “My colleagues in the lower house of parliament will be consistent in their support of this bill, which is aimed at consolidating Russia’s territorial integrity and a uniform understanding of the law. Some media and their leaders have gone to great lengths to stir up the Senate, to make senators feel misunderstood and humiliated.”
Yegor Stroev, Speaker of the Federation Council: “There will be no confrontation; there will be only full agreement of the branches of power. To start a confrontation once again would be crazy.”
President Mintimer Shaimiev of Tatarstan: “We should use the constitutional right of the regions of the Russian Federation in order to initiate a general referendum. The people should decide whether regional leaders and other deputies need parliamentary immunity. After such a referendum, the Duma will become cleaner.”