Rossiiskaya Gazeta, April 5, 2002, p. 2

On April 4 Duma chief-of-staff Nikolai Troshkin was invited to the Committee for Regulations and Organization of Work of the Duma and informed that it had no confidence in him.

The decision about whether the Duma agrees to the dismissal of Troshkin will rest with the speaker, Gennady Seleznev. This uncertainty in the regulations keeps the figure of the head of the apparatus the item for bargain. As is known, the bargain has been underway for a few months already.

Meanwhile, a question of the moral image of communists has again been raised at the house’s session. Deputy Alexander Fedulov has finally decided to get it his own way and prohibit the Communist Party and bring its leader Gennady Zyuganov to trial for his defamatory statements. Even though Vladimir Zhirinovsky has proved to be the only one to support Fedulov, and other deputies have, to put it mildly, advised that their colleague considered the formulations more, the draft decree of liquidating the Communist Party drawn up by Alexander Fedulov has been placed to the agenda for the meeting of April 19.

However, other centrists also announced their claims against the Communist Party. They did not like the tone of the statement, which had been distributed at the Okhotny Ryad on behalf of the leadership of the National Patriotic Union of Russia under the headline “Purge.” The deputies were hurt by insulting phrases addressed to the left-winged deputies by their opponents.

At the plenary session of April 5, the deputies will recur to the draft laws to consider which the house, which was busy with redistribution of portfolios did not have enough time last Wednesday.


Trud, April 5, 2002, p. 2

Groups of separatists from the detachment of Chechen field commander Ruslan Gelayev were seen on Grozny and the Achkhoy-Martan districts, special services reported. “Special operations aimed at obtaining reliable information about the routes of the fighters’ migration to Russia from Georgia are underway now,” a source in the United Federal Group of Forces in Chehcnya said.

The military have taken control of mountainous paths and roads via which jeeps and pack animals can pass. However, there is a multitude of hard-to-access footpaths in the mountains and it is impossible to observe all of them; moreover, the green, a reliable cover for migrations of the bandit groups – has beginning to cover the southern districts of Chechnya.

Gelayev is residing Tbilisi and from there he supervises the actions of his subordinates, their quantity exceeding 1,500, the special services reported.

There is an opinion at the regional operational headquarters for control of the counterterrorist operation in the North Caucasus that already since mid-April the fighters can activate their subversive-terrorist activities in the plain part of the republic. As reports have it, in the Staroshchedrinsky forest the fighters have been secretly equipping their bases, replenishing ammunition and armaments supplies.


Izvestia, April 5, 2002, p. 4

The latest events surrounding the CPRF could have unpredictable consequences. The point is not in the intrigues of the Duma centrists or even restoration of the “historical justice,” as representatives of Yabloko and the UFR proudly announce the latest redistribution of portfolios.

The situation is much more complicated. In accord with results of the recent polls done by the National Center for the Study of Public Opinion, the popularity rating of the Communist Party (unlike that of the party at power, United Russia) has been growing steadily over the past few months (from 32% in favor in January to 34% of supporters in March 2002). At the same time, Shoigu’s and Luzhkov’s favorites have only been losing their weight: over the past three months the popularity rating of their united structure decreased 9% (it would mean a complete catastrophe for any other political bloc). These figures mean that the protest spirits of the public have been gradually growing. At the same time, the Duma rearrangements deprive the public of an opportunity to blow of the steam through the legalized safety-valve – the CPRF. Depriving the communists of their powers, the Duma truth-seekers unintentionally provoke the growth of aggression and strain in the society.


Izvestia, April 5, 2002, EV

On April 4, presidential aide Sergei Yastrzhembsky summarized the first results of broadcasting of Radio Liberty in the Chechen, Avar and Circassian languages. Yastrzhembsky announced that “Analysis of the first programs shows at least their narrowness.” “It seems pessimistic forecasts about the attitude of broadcasting of the North Caucasus service of this radio station are starting to come true.” According to him, “the problem, namely actions of servicemen, was shown only from one side.”

On April 4, it was also announced that the Duma international affairs committee was preparing a draft appeal to the government requesting revoking of the license for broadcasting in the territory of Russia from Radio Liberty.

Sergei Shishkarev, deputy chair of the committee, explains, “Broadcasting in a territory, where an antiterrorist operation is underway, can be considered as interference into our internal affairs. We have the right to presume that Radio Liberty will not observe information neutrality in its programs.”


Izvestia, April 5, 2002, EV

On April 4, leaders of the Krasnoyarsk Territory and the Taimyr Autonomous Area attempted to regulate their own relations.

The reason of the conflict is the “matreshka” structure of the Krasnoyarsk Territory. The Taimyr Peninsula is an autonomous area, and Norilsk with the huge Norilsk Nickel company is a city subordinated to authorities of the Krasnoyarsk Territory. During his recent visit to Norilsk and Krasnoyarsk Vladimir Putin advised the leaders of the regions to come to agreement as soon as possible. On April 4, Lebed and Khloponin tried to do this in Krasnoyarsk. The leader of Taimyr insisted that first of all it was necessary to fulfill the inter-budget agreement signed in December, which regulated distribution of taxes collected in Norilsk between the Krasnoyarsk Territory and the Taimyr Autonomous Area. Lebed said once again that should the regions unite no agreements would be necessary, and giving up of the “matreshka” structure was the most obvious solution for the problem. Khloponin promised to think about the offer and took a timeout for a day.

After the negotiations it turned out that the legislative assembly of the Krasnoyarsk Territory was inclined to support the attitude of Khloponin and not Lebed. The legislative assembly wants to settle the issue of controllability and taxes first and to think about unification only then.

Nonetheless, Lebed offers organization of the council of governors of the “matreshka” (leaders of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, Taimyr and Evenk autonomous areas) in mid-April to decide when and how the three regions may become one.