Communists And Liberals
Challenge Duma Poll
RIA Novosti, August 31, 2004
"Our suit ushers in a legal dispute of political purport,"
says Sergei Ivanenko, YABLOKO first deputy president.
Liberals Want Duma Elections
MosNews, August 31, 2004
The liberal 2008 Free Choice Committee is set to sue the authorities over
the 2003 parliamentary elections that the group says were invalid.
Being 'European' Demands
New Type of Attitude
By Vladimir Kovalev, St Peterburg Times, August 27, 2004
Surprisingly enough, a clean up of dirty yards in the city center
has started. This year City Hall plans to spend 300 million rubles
($10.3 million) to put in order 10 yards on Nevsky Prospekt and
clean up and paint 46 buildings on the city's main thoroughfare.
Party: Non-Liquid Asset?
RIA Novosti, August 24, 2004
Yabloko has begun collecting voluntary donations from its members
and supporters. All major sponsors want confirmation that the Kremlin
does not have any objections to financial support of the party,
said Yabloko deputy chairman Sergei
Sponsor Is Unknown, Russia has a two-party system: one party
sponsored by the regime, the other by the citizenry.
By Kseniya Veretennikova, Vremya Novostei, August 24, 2004
"Our party is self-financing now," said Deputy Chairman
of the YABLOKO party Sergei
Mitrokhin. "We rely on voluntary donations. YABLOKO was
forced to switch over to this system because the system of bigsponsors
is about to become history. All major sponsors demand the Kremlin's
permission first. Since we are the opposition, we cannot accept
that. That is why we appeal to society and economic structures as
Is No Love Lost Between Gref andFradkov"
By Alexandra Samarina and Ivan Rodin, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, August 23, 2004
Sergei Mitrokhin, Deputy
Chairman of the YABLOKO Party: "I think it is a personal conflict
and the parties cannot refrain from mutual recriminations. Gref's future
will not be decided by Fradkov. That is beyond doubt.
on Two Chairs Which Are Unavailable.
By Leonid Batkin, Novoye Vremya, August 22, 2004
Vladimir Putin is much more competent and sane than his "unpredictable"
predecessor. Simultaneously, he is incomparably more secret and pragmatic,
is able to distinguish what Russia can cope with and what the Kremlin
cannot change anyway; what should be stated and which goals should actually
be sought for.
By Philip Marriott, Moscow News, August 18-24, 2004
According to a recent research paper (Kosmarskaya, 9/4/04)
only 5% of
Russians outside the dominant power industries contribute to a private
pension scheme leaving the rest reliant on the state pension to see them
through old age - a frightening prospect in a country with a falling birth
rate and an ageing population and, at the same time, with a lack of the
services provided in other ageing countries such as those in Western Europe.
Against Naming Moscow Street After Chechen President
MosNews, August 18, 2004
Russian democratic party Yabloko has made an announcement against
the decision by the Moscow authorities to name a street after the
killed Chechen president Akhmad Kadyrov.
Head of the YABLOKO party Sergei Mitrokhin perceives political motives
behind the criminal case against the former heads of the Noviye
Ekho Moskvi, August 17, 2004
"We live de facto in a state governed by the secret services.
In the given situation, in view of recent developments, in particular,
the extremely harsh sentence given to Igor Sutyagin, we cannot trust
any criminal trial against any politician or editor of an independent
media, or individual who expresses views which differ from those
of the authorities," noted Mitrokhin.
indisputable facts have been found yet" regarding the investigation
into Yuri Schekochikhin’s death
Newsru.com, August 15, 2004
Friends and colleagues of journalist and human rights activist Yuri
Schekochikhin continue their investigation into the
circumstances behind his death.
Are Not Extremists"
Moskovskiye Novosti, August 13, 2004
Interview with Alexei
Melnikov, one of YABLOKO's leaders, on the actions
of the Youth organisation of YABLOKO and party prospects in general
by MN's correspondent Stanislav Natanzon.
Ombudsman Blasts Pretrial Detention Centers
MosNews, August 13, 2004
Russia's ombudsman Vladimir Lukin has denounced the nation’s
pretrial detention system whereby a suspect can spend months —
even years — in a pre-trial detention center before being
convicted, like the former Yukos head, Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
and Bolts of Social Reform
By Oksana Yablokova, The Moscow Times, August 13, 2004
Supporters of the controversial bill, which was rushed through both
chambers of parliament and is now awaiting President Vladimir Putin's
signature to become law, say the changes will make welfare assistance
more targeted and fair.
Opponents, who have staged nationwide rallies against the legislation,
fear the plan will only impoverish retirees, war veterans, the disabled,
Chernobyl cleanup workers and others. They say cash payments will soon
be eaten up by inflation and not cover the cost of the benefits that recipients
now enjoy, while groups paid by cash-poor regions and not the federal
government may be left empty-handed.
Poor Cut Adrift by Putin's Revolution
The Guardian (UK), August 12, 2004
A plan to replace this treasured system of social benefits, which includes
housing subsidies, free public transport, discounts on prescription
medication, free artificial limbs and spa treatment, with a straight cash
payment has sparked weeks of noisy demonstrations, the first since Mr
took power in 2000.
Case of Racially Motivated Murder Goes to Court
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, August 12, 2004
Three local men aged 16 to 22 are charged with the 21 February murder
of Amar Lima, an African student. Two of the three are believed
to be members of the nationalist organization Russian National Unity,
which has long been particularly active in Voronezh Oblast.
Fades into a Legend Losing Its Link to Reality
By Irina Romancheva, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, August 11, 2004
...However, the question remains: is the absence of the Svoboda Slova (Freedom
of Speech) programme on TV sufficient reason for some prominent Russian
politicians to retreat into some sort of underground? Prominent Yabloko
members debate this topic.
By Valery Vyzhutovich, The Moscow News, No 28, 2004
In late June, Vladimir Lukin, the RF plenipotentiary on human rights,
visited Voronezh. The ombudsman's interest in the region that has
recently seen a marked rise in nationalism sentiments is quite natural.
Law on Preservation of Benefits
By Boris Vishnevsky, Novaya Gazeta, August 9, 2004
"Someone must have got what we didn’t receive,
right?" my intelligent Dad used to say. And again I see that he was
right here: the citizens lost their benefits, whence the bureaucrats obtained
Won't Spare Us this Autumn
Poll for politicians prepared by Lyudmila Uvarova, Nezavisimaya
Gazeta, August 9, 2004
Sergei Mitrokhin, Deputy
Chairman of the YABLOKO party: The second part of anti-social reforms
- the Housing Code, which will affect the lives of more people -
will be viewed this fall. It will affect almost all residents, probably
with the exception of 5% owners of the elite housing. Therefore,
the strain will be enhancing in our society.
Journalism in Search of Professional Ethics
Moscow. (RIA Novosti political commentator Vladimir Simonov), RIA Novosti, August 6, 2004
It seems that following the downfall of the Soviet state, the Russian
community did a deal with Mrs Corruption. And she is aggressively driving
out honest journalism as it tries to remain faithful to ethical norms.
is going to question in the Constitutional Court of the RF the lawfulness
of the draft law on monetization of social benefits after this law
comes into force
Finamarket, August 5, 2004
Such a statement was made by deputy of the State Duma and member
of the YABLOKO party Sergei Popov to the Ekho Moskvi radio station.
He also noted that there is no doubt that the President would sign
State TV Is Mopping up Some Terminology
By Sergey Varshavchik, Nezavisimaya
Gazeta, August 2, 2004
prohibited to pronounce during broadcasting "Chechnya" (only
republic") and "Kadyrov" (should be pronounced only "Akhmad-Khadzhi
Kadyrov") and not "replacement of benefits by money" but
benefits", and not "shahid" but a "shahid belt".
Viktoriya Arutyunova, Adviser to the Chairman of VGTRK [All-Russia State Television
and Radio Broadcasting Company], commented on the situation for Nezavisimaya
Lets Bureaucrats Lead Political Parties
By Francesca Mereu, The Moscow Times, August 9, 2004
"This is a situation similar to that in the Soviet Union, when
it was impossible to have a leadership job without being a member
of the Communist Party. In the same way, from now on it would be
impossible to get a leadership job if you are not a member of United
Russia," Arbatov said Friday."This is another step away
from democracy, a step toward the past," he said.
Duma Passes Controversial Benefits Bill in Last Reading
MosNews, August 5, 2004
309 Duma voted for the bill, while 118 voted against it. The bill was
passed almost exclusively by the pro-president majority United Russia
party, with opposition factions lobbying fellow parliamentarians to vote
against the bill.
Lies No Longer Work
By Boris Kagarlitsky, The Moscow Times, August 5, 2004
Day after day the television news is filled with shots of smiling
pensioners tickled pink by the Kremlin's plan to replace benefits
for socially vulnerable groups with cash payments. And day after
day opinion polls record growing hostility to the reforms among
Murders Are on the Rise
By Carl Schreck, The Moscow Times, August 4, 2004
Contract killings continue to swell because of a weak judicial system
and a low probability that those ordering the hits will ever be
punished. There also appears to be no shortage of those willing
to kill for money, from drug addicts to former military men profiting
from their professional training.
Tax, Operation "Vacuum Cleaner"
By Mikhail Romanov, Alina Keshokova, Natalia Shipitsyna and Yelena Zvereva, Moskovski Komsomolets, August 3, 2004
"Why is building communism considered possible and unjust privatisation
considered possible - but measures amending the situation are not?
At the same time, the tax alone cannot be expected to fix the situation.
The same legislation should specify the ceiling for concentration
of capital in one person's ownership, transparent lobbying and transparent
funding of political parties, public television. It should also
specify separation of business and government at all levels, and
must recognize the validity of the deals made in the 1990s."
Should Be Branded!" Deputies Decided to Re-Educate Journalists
By Suzanna Farizova, Kommersant, August 3, 2004
The discussion of issues of journalists' ethics
developed into a brawl but the participants were able to control themselves
in time. The session resulted in a recommendation to journalists that they
step up responsibility "within the creative collectives."
Russian Union of Journalists attacks Russian government's record
on media freedom
Ekho Moskvi, August 4, 2004
"Over the last four years, various
officials, starting from the top, have constantly said that journalists
are to blame for everything."
Ordinary Citizens the Authorities "Forget" Bureaucrats
By Kira Latukhina and Natalia Melikova, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, August 4, 2004
The main and most radical measure
of the recent period has been the preservation for the bureaucrats of
their former benefits plus an appreciable rise in salaries. Reformers'
justification is that in this way they will curb corruption. This is a
Bill Steamrollered Through
By Francesca Mereu, The Moscow Times, August 4, 2004
The bill passed without encountering any heated discussions as the
entire pro-Kremlin United Russia majority voted unanimously for
all the amendments supported by the Kremlin, and automatically rejected
amendments proposed by the opposition.
Feels Fallout Over Plan to Eliminate Soviet-Era Benefits
By Susan B. Glasser, Washington Post, August 3, 2004
Russia is poised to dismantle the remnants
Soviet-era social safety net for as many as 100 million of its poorest
citizens, replacing many free services with cash payments in a
controversial experiment that has sent President Vladimir Putin's approval
rating down sharply.
Parliament Tackles Controversial Social Reform
Associated Press, August 3, 2004
The bill is part of the unpopular and potentially painful reforms
Russian president Vladimir Putin pledged to tackle during his second
Instead of Revision The Oligarchs Should Share the “Windfall”
Profit with the State
By Sergei Mitrokhin, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, July 27, 2004
Big business is "guilty" of behaving aggressively, but the
state is also guilty for not establishing proper rules of the game (through
anti-corruption legislation, laws governing lobbying, etc.). The difference
is that the oligarchs are under no obligation to behave otherwise, while
the state is.
of the Federal Antimonopoly Service Igor Artemyev retained his membership
of an opposition party and puts its guidelines in practice
By Boris Vishnevsky, Moskovskiye Novosti, July 23, 2004
"If we only air our ideas but refuse to do anything at the
executive level until we get all top positions on a silver platter,
this could effectively destroy YABLOKO's credibility among the general
public. Yet if people see that we have done a specific job well
and efficiently, I believe that their attitude toward the party