Novaya Gazeta, June 30, 2003, EV

This week, the Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) published data of the June opinion poll. The rating of Vladimir Putin grew up to 77%, while the number of respondents disapproving the president’s activities reduced from 27 to 22% in June.

What made the president even more popular? The main thing that worried and still worries potential voters is not foreign political successes, the situation in Chechnya, or the freedom of speech. According to results of the poll, people were most interested in the president’s position on the country’s economic prospects.

According to the Russian tradition, the tsar is always good and his retinue is evil, and so it is a rule to accuse the government of all troubles. But this year the president announced in his address to the federal assembly that the government’s work appeals to him in general. Thus, the president shared the responsibility for all failures in the economy with the prime minister. But the rating remained the same. In May, it was 70%, while only 30% approved of the Cabinet.

On the eve of the poll in June, the president announced that if the government continues working this way and the economy goes on developing at the same tempo, we will fulfill all the tasks set by the president in his message (e.g. the notorious doubling of the GDP).

How did the population react to this? According to VTsIOM, Putin’s rating increased by another 7% in June.


Novaya Gazeta, June 30, 2003, EV

Deputy Energy Minister Viktor Kudryavy has brought in a suit against Anatoly Chubais to the Moscow Arbitration Court. However, he acted not as the deputy minister but as an individual and a minority shareholder owning 0.004% of shares of Russian Joint Energy Systems (RJES).

In Kudryavy’s view, Chubais illegally occupies his position of chairman. According to the Bylaws of RJES amended in 1999, chairman of the governing board should be elected by all shareholders of the company. Meanwhile, Chubais has been re-elected according to the old edition of the Bylaws by the board of directors of the company.

The legal ground of this suit is clear, but are used to the fact that impeccable legal formulations have some secret motives.

In his talk with our correspondent, Kudryavy has said, “Under the guidance of Chubais, the system of allocation of money to accounts of RJES has radically changed. Before him, only 20% were paid in cash, and other payments were performed as barter transactions, and now 90% of allocations are in cash. This means that more money should be invested in the technical basis of the company and new scientific research developments, but this does not take place. Instead, expenditures on maintenance of the administration of the company are steadily growing, and a lot of money simply disappears, and it is impossible to trace it because of the absence of transparency of accounting of RJES.”

Therefore, overthrowing Chubais through the court seems too cumbersome. In all likelihood, he has been thus hinted that something is wanted from him. And if does not get this hint, a person entitled to vote on behalf of the 52% belonging to the state (e.g. Kudryavy) can send him to retirement even if other shareholders support him.


Izvestia, July 1, 2003, p. 3

On June 30, Chief of the Presidential Administration Alexander Voloshin held the first meeting of the working group preparing proposals for the draft agreement on distribution of powers between the federal center and Chechnya. Opening the meeting, Voloshin announced that the future agreement should determine the powers that the federal center and government agencies of Chechnya should have. Corresponding suggestions are to be sent to the president until October 1, 2003.