Segodnia, February 5, 2001, p. 2
The family of every Russian serviceman killed on duty may expect approximately $5,000 and every wounded serviceman $2,000 from the National Foundation for Assistance to Servicemen who fought in hot spots and to their families, says Arkady Volsky of the Russian Union of Businessmen and Entrepreneurs.
Volsky emphasized that “this are but rough sums” because “the ideology of the payments is yet to be worked out”. 1.5 billion rubles have been raised for the purpose already, even though Vladimir Putin announced its establishment only ten days ago (January 24) at his meeting with activists of the Russian Union of Businessmen and Entrepreneurs.
According to Volsky, the funds are from “voluntary donations from all 27 members of the Union’s Board”.
The sum raised will be distributed by the Board of Trustees under the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Aleksii II. The process will be monitored by the Auditing Commission.
KENNETH GLUCK SET FREE
Moskovsky Komsomolets, February 5, 2001, p. 2
Sources at the Chechen Commandant General’s Office say that no ransom was paid for the abducted missionary. We only know at this point that special assignment units of the Federal Security Service were involved in the operation. Alexander Zdanovich, spokesman for the FSS, says that Gluck’s health is all right for a man who spent almost a month in captivity.
CHECHEN PREMIER STANISLAV ILYASOV: THE GOVERNMENT WILL BE FORMED BY FEBRUARY 10
Kommersant, February 5, 2001, p. 2
The first meeting of heads of local administrations in Chechnya and representatives of the republican administration took place in Gudermes. The Kremlin-appointed leader introduced Premier Stanislav Ilyasov to the officials.
Ilyasov outlined the priorities of the federal program for the post-war economic and social restoration of Chechnya. “The return of refugees is going to be tricky,” he said, “but they should be back here by the end of the year”. Ilyasov listed among the priorities registration of all enterprises in the republic and establishment of field banks in all districts.
Ilyasov: Taxes have to be paid. All these matters should bee handled in February.
Afterwards, Ilyasov told Kommersant’s correspondent that “I planned to introduce the new government today but discovered that more time was needed. All candidates have to be approved by the presidential plenipotentiary representative in the Southern Federal Region. The government will be formed by February 10”.
BASAYEV’S ASSISTANTS WILL FACE TRIAL
Izvestia, February 6, 2001, p. 3
The Main Directorate of the Prosecutor General’s Office in the Caucasus completed investigations into the activities of the first four terrorists from the gang of Shamil Basayev which attacked the town of Budennovsk in June 1995.
Raisa Dundayeva, Vakhid Aidamirov, Aslan Yakubov, and Salambek Daudov are in a detention cell in Stavropol, acquainting themselves with the materials of the case. They are charged with banditry, terrorist, abductions, and illegal possession of firearms. One of them is also facing charges of manslaughter.
The materials will be forwarded to court this month. The law enforcement agencies are still on a lookout for 30 other identified armed militants involved in the attack.
THE PROBLEM OF STATE DEBTS: AN UPDATE
Versty, February 6, 2001, p. 1
The problem of state debts is pressing indeed, and some of the offered solutions are such that no civilized person can ever dream of. This state of affairs is ascribed to the fact that money borrowed by somebody will now have to be paid by taxpayers. It is common knowledge that Russians are not really rolling in money. An average Russian receives 2,165 rubles in wages, and finding $3.5 billion is really a task.
Sociologists of the Public Opinion Foundation say most Russians are for the payment. 21% says that debts should be paid back out of general principles, 9% claim that since Russia has succeeded to the Soviet Union, it inherited the debts too, 4% say that “face has to be preserved”, and 2% pragmatists claim that debts should be paid or nobody will give Russia anything anymore.
DEFENSE MINISTER IGOR SERGEEV IS DEPARTING FOR YUGOSLAVIA
Nash Vek, February 5, 2001, p. 1
Not so long ago Sergeev met in Moscow with his counterpart from Macedonia. It seems that the Russian Defense Ministry is turning to the Balkans. This is understandable. Yugoslavia is one of the few countries in Europe where Russia can pursue an active military policy. Some analysts even say that Yugoslavia is Russia’s second (after Belarus) bulwark in Europe.
Official Moscow is facilitating its positions in the Balkans as the new US Administration almost daily reminds the world that its position towards Russia is going to change. NATO claims to plan to grant membership to three new countries, Lithuania among them. The Alliance is approaching Russian borders.
In general, Moscow’s intensifying actions in the Balkans is important for the state on the whole.