UNCLE SAM WATCHING US FROM THE SKIES
Trud, August 15, 2003, EV
Despite growing trust between this country and the West, NATO intelligence activity is not diminishing.
According to the chief headquarters of the Russian Air Force, they annually register about 1,000 flights of spy aircraft of the neighboring states and the US along the national border. Obvious global positive changes in the international climate do not influence this process in any way. Air spies are flying up to our boundaries with the regularity of going to work. Since the start of the year, our interception planes have taken off more than 20 times, to intercept too persistent peepers. Radio and air defense units were put on high operational alert almost 3,000 times, aviation crews on duty more than 1,200 times.
In the chief headquarters, they told us the closest interest of our distrustful neighbors for some reason is about the region of Kaliningrad. The intensiveness of reconnaissance flights here has tripled lately. Particularly active are American RC-135 from the air base in Mildenhall (UK); Atlantik-2 patrol spy aircraft (Germany); British Nimrods; and Swedish Gulfstreams. They usually go “by a ribbon,” as air defense men say, i.e. 20-30 km away from the state border. If closer, our fighter aircraft take off.
The center foreign state’s spy activity against Russia has lately obviously been moving to the Far East. There, in late August, unprecedented exercises of our entire national military system will take place: the Pacific Fleet, Far East military district, strategic aviation, border guards, interior and railway troops, civil defense units, Federal Security Service, and others. Nothing of the kind occurred there even in the Soviet times, blessed for the military. Also, last week we announced having launched another spy satellite one of the tasks of which will be surveillance of the US.
MOSCOW-BASED CHECHENS FOR HONEST ELECTIONS
Trud, August 15, 2003, EV
Chechens living in Moscow have addressed President Vladimir Putin, requesting for equal conditions for all candidates at the upcoming presidential election in Chechnya on October 5. For this, says the document, “guarding the poll stations and all the candidates should be entrusted to federal service men.”
The Chechen community activists suggest reinforcing the degree of protection of election documents and arranging permanent public control of its safety. Besides, they also ask to allow voting for those former Chechen residents who were forced to leave Chechnya before 1991. Also, they solicit for granting suffrage at the presidential election to those Chechens who have temporary registration in various Russian regions.