Parlamentskaya Gazeta, April 4, 2002, p. 1

There are about six million illegal immigrants in Russia. Many of them are involved in construction, commerce, and other spheres of production. Practically none of them pay taxes. As a result, the state loses billions of dollars. These were the facts which deputy interior minister, chief of the federal migration service Colonel General Andrei Chernenko stated at yesterday’s press conference at RIA-Novosti. In the view of Chernenko, changing the situation requires making employers responsible for ensuring that their workers are lawfully in Russia.


Parlamentskaya Gazeta, April 4, 2002, p. 1

Radio Liberty started broadcasting to Chechnya yesterday, from its studio in Prague. Broadcasting in Chechen, Avar, Circassian, and Russian will be transmitted two hours a day. The time on the air will increase subsequently.

This news was no sensation, since the radio station had been broadcasting in Russian to this region for some time. In the view of Shamil Beno who was the Chechen Republic representative to Moscow at that time, up to 20% of the population listened to Radio Liberty. A year ago, when commenting on the statement of the radio about broadcasting in Chechen, Duma deputy Aslambek Aslakhanov noted he generally viewed this fact as positive, because “it is not that essential from where information will come; the main thing is its objectivity and accuracy”.

As for Chechnya itself, the government is least of all concerned about the problem of Radio Liberty’s broadcasting, the Chechen government’s press service reported. There is a lot of work in the republic currently that is much more important and essential – preparing and holding the sowing campaign, restoring the economy and the social sphere, and housing. The government pays priority attention exactly to these issues.


Moskovskii Komsomolets, April 4, 2002, pp. 1, 2

As expected, the new Duma majority (the centrists, the Union of Right Forces, and Yabloko, with the assistance of the Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia, LDPR) briskly and without much noise redistributed committee leadership posts in the Duma. The Communists and Agrarians were offended, and refused that handful of posts they were left with. Speaker Gennady Seleznev stated, “I also have to think it over under the present circumstances…”

To be sure, the Duma will have a lot of work apart from law-making in the next few weeks: the new committee leaders will be learning the ropes, possibly changing the administration of staff, committees, etc.

What does the new Duma-style justice look like now? The Unity faction (82 seats) has seven committees; the CPRF (84 seats) was left with two, then rejected them as well; the People’s Deputy group (57 seats) has five committees; the Agrarians were left with two committees plus the mandate commission (the Agrarians also rejected their posts); the Fatherland – All Russia faction (50 seats) has five committees; the Union of Right Forces (32 seats) has three committees; Yabloko (17 seats) has one committee; the LDPR (12 seats) has one committee; the Russia’s Regions group (48 seats) has two committees, although one of them, the budget committee is worth a lot. Apparently, the new Duma majority will have to handle a very exciting matter in a day or two: somehow sharing the four rejected committees and the one commission.


Izvestia, April 4, 2002, p. 5

A fundamental decision was made yesterday at a meeting with Prime Minister Mikhail Kasianov. The Property Ministry will gain the shareholdings of the banks, in which the state has a stock. Despite the desperate resistance of a number of departments, all of them will lose their clearing and investment structures. The shareholdings of branch and ministerial banks will be transferred to the Property Ministry and then to the Russian Federal Property Fund, after which they will be sold.

Sergei Ignatyev, deputy finance minister in February, headed an interdepartmental commission that did a study, according to which all the banks were divided into four groups. The banks, in which the state was directly concerned, made the first group. The banks with an indirect concern (through federal unitary enterprises and joint-stock companies) entered the second and the third groups. The forth group included banks with mixed concern (the banks whose capitals contained the shares of both federal unitary enterprises and joint-stock companies with a state concern). The destiny of the banks from the last three groups was determined regarding the state’s concern in them. Reserving less than a 50% concern was acknowledged inadvisable by definition.

Those present at yesterday’s meeting with Kasianov were surprised to discover that the list of banks, in which the state had a concern, did not include, for example, the International Joint-Stock Bank, whose co-owners are Kristall and Almazjuvelirexport. Guta-Bank whose was not mentioned in the list either. On the contrary, the State Fisheries Committee was by mistake entered to the list of shareholders.

As for the departments that were entered to the lists, no exceptions were made, despite their requests. The Transport Ministry, the Energy Ministry, the Atomic Ministry (it owns Conversbank) and the Railway Ministry were ordered to withdraw from every bank (the latter owns quite large banks such as the TransCreditBank and the Baltiyskiy Bank). Only the banks created on the instructions of the government will remain the property of their owners: Vnesheconombank (the Bank for Foreign Trade), Rosselkhozbank (the Russian Agricultural Bank), and the Russian Regional Development Bank. Besides, the destiny of the following banks was determined individually: the Vnesheconombank, Roseximbank (the Russian Export-Import Bank), the Russian Bank for development, the State Investment Corporation (GOSINCOR), and the Agency for Mortgage and Housing Loans. The government has adopted or is preparing resolutions on these.


Izvestia, April 4, 2002, p. 3

Chechen terrorist Salman Raduyev and his accomplices were brought to Moscow from Makhachkala yesterday. This is connected with hearing their appeal against the sentence passed by the Supreme Court of Dagestan. The hearings are scheduled for April 11. Neither Raduyev nor his accomplices will be taken to the court hearing. They will take part in the process via a television link between the detention center and the Supreme Court.

On December 25, the Supreme Court of Dagestan sentenced Raduyev to life imprisonment. His accomplices Turpal-Ali Atgeriev, Khusein Gaisumov, and Aslanbek Alkhazurov received fifteen, eight, and five years in jail respectively. All of them except for Gaisumov appealed against the sentence to the Supreme Court. Since Gaisumov did not wish to take part in the process, he remained in Makhachkala, the Intefax news agency reports.


Izvestia, April 4, 2002, p. 2

At yesterday’s expanded board of the Railway Ministry, first deputy finance minister Aleksei Ulyukayev stated that beginning from this year the government would not only approve investment projects, but also the budgets of natural monopolies for the next year. Thus, the government is actually gaining control over all spending by the monopolies, including operational costs. It is one step from this to day-to-day management of Russian Joint Energy Systems, Gazprom, Rosenergoatom, and Russian Railways, to be created in future.


Izvestia, April 4, 2002, p. 1

Yesterday saw some revelations about the backgrounds of two Russian citizens of the three whom an investigation group from the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Defense Ministry, and the Federal Security Service interrogated last week at the American military base in Guantanamo, Cuba, after being captured during fighting in Afghanistan. The investigator who personally questioned the Russian Talibs refused to talk to the media, citing instructions from superiors. However, we managed to learn that at least ten more Russian citizens are being held by the Americans.

On Tuesday, the names of the Russian citizen supporters of Osama bin Laden, who are now at Guantanamo, were released. These are Almaz Sharipov, Ravil Gumarov, and Rasul Kudiev. However, it was not confirmed that the Prosecutor General’s Office would demand extradition from the United States.