Moskovsky Komsomolets, August 23, 2000, p. 2

Aslanbek Aslakhanov’s supporters are celebrating his victory in the parliamentary election in the Chechen single-mandate electoral district. According to the Chechen Election Commission, he has gained 27.5% of the vote and beaten his closest rival, Deniev, by 5%. Aslakhanov intends to use the Duma tribunal to speed up regulation of the Chechen conflict by political methods. He has already met with head of the Chechen Provisional Administration Ahmad Kadyrov for this purpose.

At the beginning of the decade Aslakhanov considered himself to be a democrat and an advocate of the market economy. He has a degree in law, holds the rank of major general of police, and has a Red Star order for participation in releasing hostages seized by terrorists. Aslakhanov has been a road worker, a worker on the Baikal-Amur Railroad, and chief of a police station. He was Boris Yeltsin’s envoy during his election campaign in 1991, and later he was chairman of the Supreme Council Committee on Fighting Crime, disbanded in 1993. At that time Aslakhanov asserted that he would curb the criminal forces of the CIS that had allegedly united and were dividing spheres of influence. Aslakhanov opposed Djokhar Dudaev and protested against the dismissal of Yegor Gaidar’s government.


Moskovsky Komsomolets, August 23, 2000, p. 2

Staff of the Russian Federal Security Service have arrested Lechi Islamov, a notorious Chechen separatist field commander, who has been sought for a series of major crimes, such as kidnapping, blackmail, etc.

Islamov often participated in purchasing and delivering weapons from abroad.

This is not his first arrest. In 1994, Lechi led the “central” Chechen gang in Moscow controlling about 300 firms, markets, and prostitution in the center of the capital city. At that time he and his gang occupied 19 rooms in the Rossiya hotel (these rooms were reserved for the Supreme Council of the Russian Federation). After the first Chechen war he was sought for extorting a lot of money from an Afghani businessman. Then Islamov had plastic surgery and changed his name. Even his last wife knew him as Beridze.

After that he was detained by the Russian Department for Combating Organized Crime, but then released for unclear reasons.

Now he is in the detention cells of the Federal Security Service.


Izvestia, August 23, 2000, p. 1

Executives of the company Ukrainian Joint Energy Systems, including the husband of current Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko, have been arrested. Simultaneously, former Ukrainian Prime Minister Pavel Lazarenko has started to talk in the US. He is suspected of criminal links with a number of Russian high-ranking officials, including some figures in the Defense Ministry.


Izvestia, August 23, 2000, p. 3

On August 22, the leader of the Communists Gennady Zyuganov suggested that a special conference be convened to analyse the circumstances of the accident of the submarine Kursk and other extraordinary recent events.

The Communist leader repeated once again that as a result of the damaging liberal reforms over the past decade all systems in Russia, and not only military ones, have been destroyed. These systems are so worn out that if the state policy is not changed, the series of disasters will continue.

Zyuganov noted that the president presented a liberal model of national development in his annual address to the Federal Assembly, whereas this model is unacceptable for the economy and damaging for the Army. The Communist leader has proposed documents containing an alternative economic policy for the state.

This was not Zyuganov’s first attempt to publicize the alternative economic program elaborated by Sergei Glazyev and Yury Maslyukov.


Izvestia, August 23, 2000, p. 2

Alexander Katusev, one of the initiators of the most scandalous disclosure of the early 1980s, the so-called “cotton case,” the last main military prosecutor and deputy general prosecutor of the USSR, has committed suicide. Monday morning, he went to the attic of his dacha in the settlement of Golubitskaya in the Krasnodar Territory and shot himself in the head.

Katusev gained his fame in the “cotton case” connected with corruption of the Communist party authorities of Uzbekistan, then he led the investigation of the firing of Polish officers in Katyn during the Second World War. During perestroika many of Supreme Council deputies accused Katusev of having provoked the massacre in Sumgait by his announcements. In 1991, the legendary prosecutor retired but did not stop his activity and even participated in the conflict in the Nosta metallurgic plant.

It is not clear so far what caused his suicide, but it is possible that this was the tragedy of the submarine Kursk.

In the early 1980s Katusev was the prosecutor of the Northern Fleet. He instituted over 120 proceedings in the Fleet against officers, but all of them were discontinued because of absence of corpus delicti. But the main point is that it was he who was responsible for accidents on nuclear submarines.


Parlamentskaya Gazeta, August 23, 2000, p. 7

In Russia, there are about 150,000 immigrants from Afghanistan, and only 500 of them have the status of refugee. The rest of them are illegal immigrants.

The Afghanis are only one example of Russia’s migration policy.

Migration Minister Alexander Blokhin is of the opinion that it is necessary to establish a unified database for collecting information from all the 140 points of immigration entry.