RUSSIAN DEFENSE INDUSTRY IS MORE ALIVE THAN DEAD
Trud, March 14, 2003, EV
The Sukhoi aviation has announced the development of new stealth-technologies that make aircraft barely perceptible to anti-aircraft radar stations. It plans to use its inventions for a fifth generation fighter, the development of which is already in progress.
According to the Sukhoi press service, the new system of stealth-defense is a whole complex of modern constructions. It includes the developments, based on the laser processing, plasma, arc and nanotechnologies. It is very important that, despite all the rumors, the Russian defense industry is alive and, as this fact shows, it can create various technological solutions up to world standards. However, will this invention be in demand anytime soon? The fifth generation of Russian planes hasn’t been even designed yet. The specialists got the task to develop a draft of a future plane only last year. Moreover, the experts are sure that such machines will be put into regular production not earlier than in 12 years from now.
According to the military and scientists, the basic problem is funding. The aviation industry gets only a fifth of its necessary financial minimum.
UNITED RUSSIA HELD A MEETING ON WEDNESDAY
Izvestia, March 14, 2003, p. 3 EV
The General and Supreme Councils of United Russia held a combined meeting on Wednesday. The main issue at this meeting was not the routine intra-party discussion, but objections to a new form of its leaders’ behavior, including that of Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov.
The unusual nature of “the format” consisted in the fact that the fourth United Russia leader – President Mintimer Shaymiyev of Tatarstan – participated in the meeting in absentia (by means of a selector). There were eight items on the agenda, starting with the creation of a commission for agricultural issues and ending with the discussion of some shortcomings in the design of party-membership cards.
Yesterday’s meeting was important enough for Gryzlov. The personnel “castle” in the “St. Petersburg social and security” bloc gave rise to various theories concerning the political future of Gryzlov. For example, it is said that Boris Gryzlov would turn his police work into party work. A high-ranking official from the presidential administration told us that Gryzlov will retain his present post until December. However, he noted that there are different opinions in the Kremlin concerning this question.
As for Boris Gryzlov himself, he doesn’t intend to leave the ministerial post in favor of his political activity. “I am a minister, and I hope to remain a minister for a long time,” he said.
United Russia holds high hopes for support from regional leaders. For example, it is planned to grant United Russia supreme council membership to Governor Alexander Khloponin of the Krasnoyarsk territory at the congress on March 29.
COMPLICATIONS OF FUTURE ELECTION IN DAGESTAN
Izvestia, March 14, 2003, p. 3 EV
Dagestan Interior Minister Adilgerey Magomedtagirov stated that an exacerbation of the crime situation is quite possible in Dagestan on the threshold of the upcoming elections for the Popular Assembly (parliament). By the way, a diversionary-terrorist group, which prepared series of the terrorist acts, was arrested yesterday in Dagestan. Besides, the parliamentary election will take place in accordance with the new federal legislation for the first time.
The Dagestan authorities tried to solve two problems in the present of the federalism consolidation. They are to bring the legislation to conformity with the federal one and to preserve the proportional representation of the nationalities in the parliament. There are 87 election districts in Dagestan – 68 single-mandate, 10 two-mandate, six three-mandate, and three five-mandate. More than 400 candidates are competing for 121 seats in parliament.
The main innovation concerns the multiple-mandate districts, where the election takes place in accordance with a very complicated scheme. A voter has to vote for several candidates at once – representatives of one ethnic group or another. Moreover, there is another “free” mandate and the representatives of any ethnic group can compete for it. It would not be difficult for malcontents to disrupt the election. If the election is non-alternative concerning at least one mandate, they will be considered invalid for the whole district.
According to Dagestani experts, the introduction of a new system is potentially fraught with such conflicts that Chechnya will turn out to be just a rehearsal in comparison with them. They say that if Russia is a federal state, than, as for the legislation, it shouldn’t be totally unified. The coming Sunday will show if Dagestan is ready to conform to national standards.