|June 29, 2004
Continue Discussing Idea of a Democratic Coalition
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, June 28, 2004
SPS Presidium Secretary Boris Nadezhdin told "Gazeta"
on 25 June that the party is considering closer relations both with democratic
movements such as Yabloko and Committee-2008 and with "certain people
now working in the government and the Duma who share our worldview and
|June 27, 2004
2005 - new
for 2005 Outlined
By Mikhail Zadornov member of state duma budget committee, Moscow News, June 27, 2004
element in the draft is a redistribution of a number of obligations between
budgets of different levels. For instance, the federal center has taken
upon itself all civil defense outlays, the upkeep of military commissariats,
and care for the disabled. On the other hand, some responsibilities have
been shifted onto the regions: maintenance of all kindergartens, vocational-technical
schools, and some general-education schools - in all about 3,000 educational
institutions that will need around 25 billion rubles in expenses.
Moscow Times, June 25, 2004
The web site of the group, Russian Republic, posted Wednesday a "verdict"
issued by its self-styled government to "execute" Nikolai Girenko,
64. The statement described Girenko as "an enemy of the Russian people"
and said he was guilty of helping to jail "patriots."
Expert Shot Dead in St. Pete
By Oksana Yablokova, Moscow Times, June 22, 2004
"They (nationalistic-minded extremists) were able to carry out this vendetta largely because
city authorities have long ignored the existence of skinheads and
extremists in the city by portraying their activities as hooliganism,"
Yury Vdovin, representative of the St. Petersburg office of the
Citizens Watch human rights group said.
|June 25, 2004
Looking for Loyal NGOs
By Francesca Mereu, Moscow Times, June 25, 2004
When the Kremlin has its loyal NGOs in place, Ponomaryov said, "the
president is likely to say that there are good organizations that get
Russian financing and they back its policy, but he is likely also to say
that there are bad organizations getting Western funds and they need to
|June 24, 2004
Rights - updated
Fret Over Police Plan
By Maria Danilova, The Associated Press, June 21, 2004
Lukin had publicly lambasted law enforcement bodies Wednesday for alleged
human rights abuses when detaining, interrogating and holding people in
custody, calling their behavior "fierce, cruel and cynical tortures."
|June 22, 2004
created a Committee for the Protection of Muscovites to defend the
interests of the residents of the city in city construction
Finmarket News, June 16, 2004
The goal of the Committee is to unite over 200 different groups
currently standing for their rights in Moscow into a single powerful
organisation protecting the rights of Muscovites in city construction
and facilitating the creation of favourable living conditions for
the residents of Moscow. Deputy Chairman of the Russian Democratic
Party YABLOKO Sergei Mitrokhin was elected Chairman of the Committee.
|June 20, 2004
Interior Ministry Is the Major Infringer
By Alexander Kolesnichenko, Noviye Izvestia, June 17, 2004
Lukin attributes police brutality to the low level of crime-solving. Around
43% of registered crimes (including 20% of first-degree murders) remained
unsolved across Russia last year. And 42% of murders in Moscow were not
solved. In addition 130,000 cases were closed last year because of the
statute of limitations, but the criminals were never found.
Lukin: "Violations of human rights remain an acute problem
RIA Novosti, June 16, 2004
Five criminal cases have been opened over the past few months on
human rights violations committed by policemen and prosecutor's
office officials, Vladimir Lukin, Human Rights Commissioner in Russia
told a press conference at the RIA Novosti news agency on Wednesday.
June 15 the general assembly of the representatives of the initiative
groups fighting against unlawful building in Moscow adopted a decision
to create a Committee for the Protection of Muscovites.
Press release, June 16, 2004
The goal of the Committee is to unite over 200 different groups currently
standing for their rights in Moscow into a single powerful organisation
protecting the rights of Muscovites in city construction and facilitating
the creation of favourable living conditions for the residents of Moscow.
State Duma refused to grant families with low incomes an additional
child allowance by the beginning of the next school year
Rosbalt, June 9, 2004
The authors of the draft law Tamara Pletnyova (the CPRF) and independent
deputy Sergei Popov proposed providing the allowance to parents
(those who adopt children, trustees and guardians) of a child under
18, provided the average per capita income in this family does not
exceed the subsistence minimum.
Strugatsky: "We cannot do it any other way yet"
An interview with Boris Stugatsky by Boris Vishnevsky, Moskovskiye Novosti, June 4, 2004
The fact is that the state is
always an abstraction, a symbol, a highfalutin word, while the civil servant
is always an embodiment of this symbol - the bureaucrat, who alone by
definition, knows exactly what the state needs. This is why all developments
in Russia are based, essentially, on a recurring pattern, and only one
thing remains immutable: the power of the bureaucracy.
|June 18, 2004
Artemyev proposes a competition-based mechanism for state purchases
of oil products
Rosbalt, June 9, 2004
Moreover, the head of the Antimonopoly
Service also noted that introduction of competition-based procedures would
make it possible to cut the costs of such purchases. Practical introduction
of this mechanism requires insignificant amendments into 17 current laws.
"However, the return will be colossal," said Artemyev.
legislation - new
Antimonopoly Service prepared a concept of a draft law "On Protection
of Competition in the RF"
Rosbalt, June 9, 2004
The Antimonopoly Service developed
a concept of a draft law "On Protection of Competition in the RF".
According to Rosbalt correspondent, such a statement was made on Wednesday
by the head of the Antimonopoly Service Igor Artemyev
|June 16, 2004
By Orkhan Dzhemal and Yana Serova, Novaya Gazeta, June 10, 2004
A referendum is a form of direct democracy. The people themselves take
decisions on state issues, without using legislators as intermediaries.
Early democracies functioned in this way: the citizens of ancient Athens
or medieval Novgorod engaged in what amounted to constant referenda.
Pale Imitation The impending reforms are worse than unfair -
they're simply stupid
By Yulia Kalinina, Moskovskiy Komsomolets, June 11, 2004
For the past four years the regime has been busy clearing
away the rubble of perestroika. Now it is starting to set "truly long-term
goals" to replace the rubble - to borrow the phrase used by President
Putin in his annual address to parliament.
|June 15, 2004
Down on the Web
By Boris Kagarlitsky, Moscow Times, June 11, 2004
The Internet has long been a headache for those that wish
to uphold public
decency. Controlling the enormous flow of information on the net, chopping,
spiking or "correcting" the innumerable texts and images lodged
on the web
is surely the dream of any censor.
Vows to Aid Poor
By Vladimir Kovalev, St Peterburg Times, June 11, 2004
Boris Vishnevsky, a
member of the liberal Yabloko faction of the Legislative Assembly, said
the address appeared to be a selection of the right words and good intentions,
but without any firm basis.
|June 13, 2004
meeting of the Russian Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin with representatives
of the initiative groups of the Muscovites protesting against unlawful
construction in the capital.
Press release, June 9, 2004
The meeting of the Russian Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin with representatives
of the initiative groups of the Muscovites protesting against unlawful
construction in the capital took place on June 9, 2004
meeting of the Public Council of the YABLOKO party took place on
June 9, 2004.
Press release, June 10, 2004
It was noted that in this sense the task of the party is to maintain
YABLOKO's identity. The participants of the meeting also stressed that recognition
of the mistakes and crimes of the Yeltsin's decade as one of the main streams
of the public opinion confirms that YABLOKO was right to criticise the authorities
during that period and propose alternative solutions to the key issues of
the Russian policies.
Yavlinsky: the state clan replaced the State Planning Committee
Rosbalt, June 8, 2004
"I categorically disagree with the
political system that has been built in Russia recently." Such a statement
was made by the leader of the YABLOKO party Grigory
Yavlinsky during live broadcast by Ekho Moskvi radio station. According
to Yavlinsky, despite some correct solutions, this system lacks an independent
court, independent parliament and civil or some outer control over the
secret services and law enforcement agencies: it also lacks politically
important and independent mass media, and elections are controlled.
Yavlinsky: All the bright journalists have been shut up in Russia
Rosbalt, June 8, 2004
Yavlinsky is certain that the authorities should be criticised, “but
there should be no insulting.” “And in general one should
not insult any one, either the authorities, the public or people in jail,”
second part of the 12th congress of the Russian Democratic Party
YABLOKO will take place on July 3, 2004.
Press release, June 9, 2004
The congress will draw up the
results of internal party discussions on making changes to YABLOKO’s
charter (a working group specially created by the Bureau of the Federal Council
has been functioning for 2.5 months already and conducting seminars). The
congress will listen to the reports and elect the leadership of the party,
as the term of proxies of all the governing bodies of the party finishes
|June 11, 2004
Sakhalin test-cases for US investment in Russia: ambassador
AFP, June 10, 2004
US investors are closely monitoring the Yukos oil case
and are growing
increasingly worried about Russia's commitment to private property rights,
the US ambassador to Moscow said in an interview published Thursday.
|June 10, 2004
Skinny on Campaign Election Coverage
By Alexei Pankin, The Moscow Times, June 8, 2004
In May and June 1996, I served as coordinator of a program devoted
to monitoring press coverage of the presidential election... ...After
the first week of monitoring, our observers released a report demonstrating
that all of the major television stations, both state-owned and
independent, were actively promoting the incumbent Boris Yeltsin
and giving short shrift to his rivals, including Yabloko leader
Must Be True to Its Words in Chechnya
By Andrei Piontkovsky, The Moscow Times, June 8, 2004
What are we fighting for in Chechnya? For the territorial integrity
of Russia, of course. But territorial integrity does not mean uninhabited
scorched earth. We are fighting in order to prove to the Chechens that
they are citizens of Russia. In doing so, however, we are destroying their
cities and villages and kidnapping innocent civilians whose corpses turn up bearing
evidence of torture.
On June 9 Yuri Schekochikhin
would have turned 54
Yavlinsky's afterword to a new book on Yuri Schekochikhin "With
love, Yuri Schekochikhin."
Yuri Schekochikhin always demonstrated the real freedom
of the Russian intelligencia, as well as bravery and at the same time
concentration and an ability to listen to his inner voice. He used
to say that the key issue is what you write, as it is immortal.
economy - updated
Is Our Country Poor?
By Boris Gordon, Novaya Gazeta, June 3, 2004
Strictly speaking, Russia's recent history has seen two
prescriptions for fighting poverty. The first involves raising taxes and
thus raising payments to all welfare recipients: veterans, the disabled,
and so on.
|June 9, 2004
Construction Proceeds In Spite of Legal Ban
By Vladimir Kovalev, St Peterburg Times, June 8, 2004
Shortly before a city-wide law to protect green areas
of the city from being
destroyed by construction companies came into force
Sunday, Governor Valentina Matviyenko reportedly signed a decree allowing
local developer LEK ESTATE to chop down trees
around buildings No. 45 and No. 51 on Zanevsky Prospekt.
TV Might as Well Stay Switched off
By Ilya Zhegulyov, Gazeta.ru, June 2, 2004
NTV's move to sack Leonid Parfyonov and close his flagship
weekly Namedni review program is politically motivated, Russian politicians,
political observers and human rights champions are convinced. Some of
them interviewed by Gazeta.Ru believe that with Parfyonov's departure
the NTV team of journalists is likely to fall apart.
Conference with Serge Ivanenko, Garry Kasparov, Boris Nemtsov and
other Committee-2008 officials
Interfax, May 18, 2004
Today we welcome members of Committee-2008 -- Freedom of Choice.
The topic of the press conference is "Ways to Unite Democratic
Liberal Political Forces." Taking part in the press conference
are Sergei Ivanenko, Garry Kasparov, Boris Nemtsov and Irina Khakamada.
meeting against the law on the virtual ban on referenda
Press release, June 2, 2004
The action began at 9-45 a.m. Before the meeting the police barred all
the passages to the building of the Duma, therefore the activists gathered
at the corner of Tverskaya and Mokhovaya streets. They held banners reading
"No to the Authority's Disgrace!", "Protect Democracy!",
"No to a Police State!" and "Respect the Constitution!".
Spectrum of a One-Party System
Argumenti i Fakti, June 2, 2004
Shortly before the president delivered his annual address, two innovations
were announced which could fundamentally change the political climate
in Russia. Although these ideas are controversial, both have been
approved by the Kremlin - so they have every chance of being implemented:
No more independent Duma members, The luxury of referenda...
Benefits for the Poor
By Ella Paneyakh, Vedomosti, May 31,2004
Take any radio talk broadcast whatever journalists and experts might discuss,
the air is flooded by calls from pensioners who ask one and the same question:
how can a pensioner survive now that the government has dared to lay its
hands upon fringe benefits
Russia Is Not the USA
Based on BBC Monitoring, NTV channel, "Freedom of Speech" programme, May 28, 2004
Grigory Yavlinsky's comment was applauded
by the audience: "I feel a free man in a society that isn't free."
In his comments on an opinion poll which suggests that more than three-quarters
of all Russians approve of Putin's performance to date, Yavlinsky thought
that little if anything had been achieved in reality.
By Kseniya Veretennikova, Vremya Novostei, June 3, 2004
A draft law submitted by the President, amending the law
"On Referenda", was adopted at its first reading by the Duma
yesterday. This draft law has been one of the major events in Russian politics
over the past two weeks.
meeting to be dispersed in Moscow
RIA "OREANDA", June 3, 2004
Moscow. On Wednesday, at the building of the State Duma
of Russia, a protest meeting against adoption of new edition of the federal
constitutional law "On Referenda of Russian Federation" was carried
out. The meeting ended in a quarrel between participants of the action
|June 7, 2004
Media and Terrorism
By Alexander Alekseev, Rosbalt Information Agency, Translated by David M. Rosbalt, June 6, 2004
It is often said the mass media plays into the hands of
in detail their acts of terrorism. On the other hand, informational
limitations can turn into a complete absence of reliable information and
a loss of the media's independence.
|June 4, 2004
The Economist (UK), May 22-28, 2004
That may have helped to keep the liberal parties below the 5% threshold,
but their real problem is that nobody wanted to vote for them. "They
the ones to blame," says Alexander Yakovlev, who as Mikhail Gorbachev's
right-hand man helped engineer the end of the Soviet regime, "for
working on the creation of a social-democratic base, for not attracting
those who should have been on their side-doctors, teachers, pensioners."
|June 3, 2004
Policies - new
poorest face huge cuts in benefits
Nick Paton Walsh in Moscow, The Guardian (UK), June 1, 2004
Galina Mihaleva, director of the Centre for Modern Politics Research,
"Putin and the government declare the fight with poverty [is] their
priority. But in reality they are pursu ing the social policies of the
extreme right, depriving the most vulnerable elements of society of the
minimal benefits they still have."
She added: "These measures hit the disabled, veterans and pensioners
hardest, because in reality the privileges they have today are much bigger
than the compensation the government is offering."
Friends through Parties
By Sergei Ivanenko, Yezhenedelny Zhurnal, May 25, 2004
Consolidation of the democratic movement is the priority now. We
have to collect everybody who shares and defends democratic principles
without bartering them for any material gains.
Gives Nod to Referendum Bill
Associated Press, June 3, 2004
The State Duma on Wednesday tentatively approved a government-proposed
bill on referenda, which critics have described as backtracking on
The Duma, controlled by the pro-Kremlin United Russia party, voted
343-96 to pass the bill in the first of three required readings.
Sends Parfyonov Packing
By Caroline McGregor, The Moscow Times, June 3, 2004
Parfyonov was fired for breaking his contract, which required him to
"support the policies of the company's leadership," according
statement signed by NTV general director Nikolai Senkevich.
gives first nod to tougher referendum rules
Reuters, June 3, 2004
Opponents say the change to a multi-step procedure for demanding
referendums, complicated by tight deadlines, would mean no political or
public force would be able to call one - except the Kremlin itself, with
its vast administrative reach. Earlier on Wednesday police broke up a protest
outside the Duma building in central Moscow, which was called by Communists
and the liberal Yabloko party, and detained some of the 100-odd people
demonstrating against the new rules.
rally outside Duma turns violent
MosNews, June 2, 2004
The organizers had obtained permission for the demonstration, which
totaled about 50 people, a Yabloko source told MosNews. However, police
detained four people, including the head of Yabloko's youth organization,
Ilya Yashin. One of the detainees was beaten up in a bus on the way to
the police precinct, the source told MosNews.
fires anchorman Parfyonov over censorship row
Gazeta.ru, June 2, 2004
The move comes just one day after Parfyonov aired an interview with the
widow of a former Chechen rebel leader Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, violating
orders from the channel's management. Russian Special Forces had reportedly
ordered NTV's deputy director Alexander Gerasimov not to air the interview,
Russian media reported.
Yavlinsky: courts backed some of YABLOKOís lawsuits on the State
Gazeta.ru, May 20, 2004
"...In a number of cases it was proved that we were right and
the courts admitted that serious and considerable violations had
been committed during the vote-counting,” said Yavlinsky.
He also noted that some of the lawsuits are still at trial stage
and that appeals are also being considered by courts in a number
|June 2, 2004
action against the new version of the federal constitutional law
"On Referenda in the RF"
Press release, June 1, 2004
On Wednesday, June 2, 2004, at 9-45 a.m. the Russian Democratic
Party YABLOKO, the CPRF and human rights and ecological organisations
of Moscow will conduct a protest action against the new version
of the federal constitutional law "On Referenda in the RF"
by the building of the State Duma.
the virtual ban on referenda
The Russian Democratic Party YABLOKO, Statement, Moscow, May 20, 2004
By making the notification procedures more complex and necessitating
registration of initiative groups 45 times instead of once, associations
citizens that are independent from the authorities are deprived of any
chances to appeal for a national vote.
|June 1, 2004
increase is the number of spy trials, involving human rights activists,
is quite possible now."
By Sergei Mitrokhin, IA MiK, May 26, 2004
The first thing I find depressing is the dismal monotony
of the President’s state of the nation addresses and the use of a
vast number of right words, which are not backed up by deeds.
The Presidentís state of the nation address indicates that nothing
will change in Russia over the next four years
Rosbalt, May 26, 2004
“Putin has clearly confirmed
the continuity of his plans for a second term where great power statehood
will come to the fore, with human rights and democratic freedoms placed
on the backburner,” stressed Ivanenko.
Popov: Presidentís State of the Nation Address was interesting,
but I listened in fear
Rosbalt, May 26, 2004
"I hope that the provisions of this address will come true, as
we all would like affordable housing, the rouble to become a convertible
currency and our armed forces to become powerful," said Popov.
Bunimovich Has Turned 50!
By Grigory Yavlinsky, www.yavlinsky.ru, May 27, 2004
The best Russian poets and writers personify the conscience of the nation.
We are happy that poetically you made the right political choice.
Citizens Not Warm To Price Reform
By Vladimir Kovalev, St. Petersburg Times, May 28, 2004
Some will say more money is needed to fix the system, and therefore
charges must be raised. If I thought the extra money would be well spent, I would
have to agree, but my recent experience does not give me any hope.
Says Manezh Can't Be Restored
By Valeria Korchagina, The Moscow Times, May 19, 2004
The nearly 200-year-old architectural gem has long been
eyed by city authorities as a prime spot for investment. However, the
Manezh is protected by the status of a national architectural monument, and little
could be done with it before the fire. The building for decades was a
popular exhibition site for the arts.