Izvestia, January 25, 2002, p. 4

Yesterday the Media Ministry officially announced a tender for the right to broadcast on the sixth channel and the start of submitting applications.

Nine permanent members of the Federal contest committee, consisting of representatives of the Media Ministry and the Ministry of Communications (ministers included), and also well-known TV and radio personalities, will decide the fate of the frequency on March 27. Three to eight companies will take part in the tender, said deputy media minister Mikhail Seslavinsky.

Simultaneously with the Media Ministry’s announcement of the upcoming tender, it became known that a potential participant – TV-6 Ltd. – was officially registered as a company. Now Kiselev’s team intends to apply for participation in the tender as soon as possible.

According to the law on the media, the Federal TV and Radio Broadcasting Commission, formed in compliance with the law on television and radio Broadcasting, ought to issue broadcasting licences. However, in reality there is no such commission and no law on television and radio broadcasting. The Media Ministry has been issuing licences instead. Therefore, licences issued by this structure are rather dubious from the legal point of view.

If no law on television and radio broadcasting is passed, it will be possible to mount a legal challenge to the results of the tender which is to be decided on March 27. If the law is passed, the licences currently in force may lose their legal force if the law requires reissuing licences.


Parlamentskaya Gazeta, January 25, 2002, p. 2

Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz of Iraq is presently in Moscow. Yesterday Mr. Aziz visited the Duma, where he held a series of meetings. He met with leader of the Unity faction Vladimir Pekhtin and chief of the Security Committee Alexander Gurov. The leaders of the LDPR faction also intend to meet with the Iraqi guest, according to LDPR member Alexei Mitrofanov said.

At the initiative of the LDPR, at its session on January 25 the Duma will consider the bill “On Urgent Measures in connection with Aggravation of the Situation in the Republic of Iraq.” LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky will be arguing in favor of passing the bill.

The LDPR is asking the Duma to consider sending a recommendation to President Putin to dismiss Foreign Minister Sergei Ivanov, then to forward a proposal for lightening the economic sanctions against Iraq to the UN Security Council, followed by lifting the sanctions.


Izvestia, January 25, 2002, p. 1

Yesterday electricity suppliers cut off power to all of the military units in Primoriye (the Maritime Territory) for two hours. The power supplies were resumed only after the naval command sent a letter promising to pay debts for power supply immediately. Despite the assurances of the military that strategically important facilities did not experience black-outs and have self-contained power supplies, a reseller of electricity which has been supplying power to all military units of the Pacific Fleet was disconnected from the power supply line.

RJES was compelled to limit electricity partially for this very same contractor, since its consumers did not pay their debts, said Andrei Trapeznikov, a member of the board of directors of RJES.

Trapeznikov: “We have sent repeated warnings to the Pacific Fleet, but were given no reply. That is a pity that extreme measures alone made the military to address a letter of commitment for paying the debt already in early February.”


Izvestia, January 25, 2002, p. 2

Yesterday police forces supported by Cossacks surrounded the Kursk district of the Stavropol territory, adjacent to Chechnya. With assistance of near-border police stations of Chechnya and the federal structures, local police officers started investigating an incident in the village of Galyugayevskaya. A village of Cossacks, situated on the bank of the Terek River, came under fire from light weapons from the direction of Chechnya on Tuesday night. This was the first such incident in the past two years.

The gunfire came from the right bank of Terek River, from the direction of the village of Bratskoye, in the Nadterechny district of Chechnya. Fortunately, none of the residents were injured.

The territorial administration once again pointed out that the federal forces should have waited before leaving the border between Chechnya and the Stavropol territory. In accordance with the order of Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov, a united detachment of the Stavropol police which is guarding this administrative border lost federal funding from January 1. The Stavropol government has already decided to maintain this unit, although its size will be halved.


Trud, January 25, 2002, p. 1

According to the State Statistics Committee, the population of Russia decreased by 781,800, or 0.5%, between January and November 2001. As of December 1, 2001, Russia’s population was 144 million.

Compared to 2000, the number of Russians has been falling faster. Migration growth in 2001 was only sufficient to compensate for 8.3% of the natural losses of the population; it decreased compared to the previous year. Over the first eleven months of 2001, the number of people who immigrated to Russia exceeded the number of people who emigrated from Russia by only 61,500, whereas in 2000 this difference was 202,100.

The number of marriages exceeded the number of divorces, according to the State Statistics Committee.