CHAUVINISTS CONVENE A RALLY IN MOSCOW
Izvestia, November 27, 2000, p. 2
About 50 activists of the National-patriotic front Pamyat convened a rally in Moscow with the municipal authorities’ permission. The rally took place in front of the German Embassy. It was a solidarity function to support the German National Democratic Party which the Pamyat fears may be outlawed.
Pamyat leader Dmitry Vasiliev says that these two organizations pursue similar goals and promote similar demands: “Germany for Germans!” and “Russia for Russians!” Closing the rally, the protesters had a resolution sent to the Embassy promising some “resolute measures in Germany and Russia” if the German National Democratic Party was not let alone.
THE FEDERATION COUNCIL APPEALS TO THE PRESIDENT
Rossiya, November 27, 2000, p. 3
At a closed sitting of the upper house of the parliament attended by Defense Minister Igor Sergeev the Federation Council adopted an appeal to the president in light of the military reforms. Backing up the president in his determination to pursue the military reforms, the Federation Council “is seriously worried by delays with some issues.” The Federation Council appeals to the supreme commander-in-chief to “have the government and executive power structures to thoroughly consider and calculate economic and social consequences of the planned reduction of the military organization and the additional pressure it will put on Federation subjects.”
That same day the planned reduction of the Armed Forces was discussed at the Duma to which Chief of the General Staff Anatoly Kvashnin had been invited. Deputies want to know where money for the planned reduction will come from. According to deputy Vyacheslav Volodin, “we should know whether or not we can afford it before initiating the reduction. Every serviceman has to be paid a hefty sum and provided with a flat. The budget does not have money for it. Without the resources, the military reforms are impossible.”
PAY-RAISE FOR JUDGES AND PROSECUTORS
Vremya Novostei, November 27, 2000, p. 1
According to the decree signed by the president last week, all judges and prosecutors will be paid 20 per cent more as of December 1, 2000.
ANPILOV’S WORKING RUSSIA ORGANIZED A DEMONSTRATION
Segodnya, November 27, 2000, p. 2
About 200 activists of Viktor Anpilov’s Working Russia organized a demonstration in Moscow. Waving red flags, they marched from the All-Russian Exhibition Center to the Ostankino TV complex condemning Yeltsin and Jids and praising “revolution in America”.
KASIANOV: ALL DEBTS ARE EQUALLY IMPORTANT
Vedomosti, November 27, 2000, p. A1
Acting on Kasianov’s orders, the Finance Ministry will compile by December 5 a roster of enterprises which have not been paid by the treasury since 1995, according to Senior Assistant Finance Minister Aleksei Ulyukayev. On a trip to the Arkhangelsk region, Kasianov announced that he had demanded from the Finance Ministry transaction of half the whole sum (the total amounts to 32.5 billion) to the military-industrial complex before the end of the year.
Kasianov: No more debates over what debts are important and what are not. An enterprise does not care whether he worked for the Defense Ministry within the framework of the budget or not. It has done what was needed from it.
Ulyukayev admits that the Finance Ministry will not be able to transact all the demanded money by January 1, but promises transaction of 35-40 per cent of the debts via the Federal Treasury.
Ulyukayev: What matters is that we confirmed sufficiency of resources, and the remaining money will be transacted in January.
About 15 billion rubles will have to come from additional revenues. It means that they have to be legalized by the Duma as amendments to the budget. Along with that, some corrections will have to be made in the 2001 draft budget: the limits of the domestic debt will have to be increased by the amount of Finance Ministry securities the debts to the military-industrial complex will be converted into.
Ministers say that there will be no exceptions to the rule “50 per cent of the debt in money and 50 per cent in securities”. Kasianov says that he objects to “individual approach”.
All of that does not mean that Kasianov’s orders to pay to defense enterprises regardless of whether they worked for the defense order or not are good. The Defense Ministry is getting a stimuli to place orders with defense enterprises regardless of whether or not money for the end product is available. The enterprises in their turn will be taking loans from banks regardless of the interest and assembly everything they have been assembling since the Soviet era regardless of whether it is actually needed by the country or if the country can afford it. And they will be demanding their money from the treasury afterwards again and again.
CONFERENCE TOOK PLACE AT THE GORBACHEV FOUNDATION
Moskovsky Komsomolets, November 27, 2000, p. 2
Organized by the Russian United Social Democratic Party, the conference discussed… lamentable position of women politicians in Russia.
Delegates of the conference referred to Sweden, Norway, and Finland, i.e. countries with the highest living standards. Everywhere “where women amount to 45 per cent of the total number of parliamentarians and ministers,” national budgets are centered on education, health care, and so on and not on arms spendings.
Political scientist Nadezhda Shvedova: There are too few women in the corridors of power in Russia. There are only 11 per cent of them in the Duma, to say nothing of the government. According to UN experts, 15 per cent of women in the parliament is the barest minimum or the country will face degradation.
OMBUSDMAN OLEG MIRONOV ABOUT THE STATE OF AFFAIRS WITH HUMAN RIGHTS IN RUSSIA
Moskovsky Komsomolets, November 27, 2000, p. 2
According to mironov, human rights in Russia are abused in all spheres. That goes for economic, political, civilian, civil, and cultural rights. Every month Mironov gets about 2,000 complaints and appeals. He received over 20,000 of them between January and October, including 9 per cent right from Moscow, 6 per cent from Krasnodar, and 5 per cent from the Moscow region.
BORIS BEREZOVSKY WAS EXPECTED AT THE GENERAL PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE YESTERDAY
Moskovsky Komsomolets, November 28, 2000, p. 1
The businessman was to be questioned on the matter of embezzlement of hard currency dividends of the company Aeroflot to the tune of about $175 million. Boris Abramovich never turned up.
According to what information we have compiled, had he appeared, Berezovsky would have had to answer even more delicate questions, including the ones about subsidies to the election campaign of the movement Unity.
Certain rumors indicate that Berezovsky is unpleasantly struck by all this activeness of the General Prosecutor’s Office. He still hopes to come back. Circles close to Berezovsky reverberate with rumors that he has chosen himself a new role, that of a governor.
Berezovsky plans to begin his new crusade in the Irkutsk region where the gubernatorial campaign is scheduled for next summer. The region is wealthy. Many strategically important enterprises are situated in the Irkutsk region – the Bratsk and Irkutsk water power plants, the company Vostsibugol, the Bratsk and Irkutsk aluminium plants. Taking over the lot, Berezovsky hopes to regain his influence.
There is, however, another explanation. A registered candidate for governor has immunity. And Berezovsky can apply for registration even remaining safely abroad.
MINISTER SERGEEV IN JAPAN
Moskovsky Komsomolets, November 28, 2000, p. 1
Sergeev’s time is gone. It is the era of younger and more energetic generals. It seems that President Putin does not know how to get rid of the defense minister. He cannot find an excuse to kick out the elderly marshal.
It is impossible to explain Sergeev’s trip to Japan. It would have been more logical to send the interior minister to sign such a treaty.
Everybody in the Defense Ministry is confident that Sergeev’s time is gone, and that Anatoly Kvashnin of the General Staff is the new favorite.
The presidential administration has not yet found a replacement to Sergeev, and Kvashnin is only one of the several candidates. A civilian may be appointed. List of the candidates includes Secretary of the Security Council Sergei Ivanov, assistant secretary Moskovsky, and some others.
ANOTHER EMBEZZLEMENT ON A GRAND SCALE
Trud, November 28, 2000, p. 1
Some reports indicate that the checking the use of the federal money channelled into socioeconomic post-war restoration of Chechnya, Auditing Commission has unearthed some serious embezzlements. Results of the audit are classified, but there are reasons to assume that the whole sum (amounting to 1 billion 150 million) allocated to the republic in 2000 has been misused. Sergei Stepashin of the Auditing Commission says that “financial stabilization in Chechnya is out of the question… Salaries are not paid, nothing is being rebuilt, the money is still in the banks.”
Akhmed Kadyrov of the Chechen administration regularly complains that the money allocated to the republic disappears somewhere within the Garden Ring, Moscow. Nevertheless, it stands to reason to assume that some Chechen leaders are also lining their pockets. Not so long ago the republic requested almost 30 billion for stipends to 30,000 students of the Grozny university. There cannot be that many students in the ruined city.