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March 2003

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Publications 2003
March 2003

Russian experts on the situation around Iraq
Anchor - Vladimir Pozner, Channel One TV, "Vremena" programme, March 30, 2003

We need to think and must not become emotional. It is not Russia's war. We are not particularly interested in the regime in Iraq after the war. We should not be emotionally attached to Saddam Hussein's regime, unlike some of our friends on the Left.


Information campaign against YABLOKO and Yavlinsky
Special for the YABLOKO web-site, March 28, 2003

In January-March 2003 the media conducted a campaign to defame and discredit an alternative plan for reforming the housing and communal services sector developed by YABLOKO. The television channel, Ren-TV, newspapers such as Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Tribuna, Noviye Izvestiya and 30 regional newspapers were employed in the campaign.


Grigory Yavlinsky: the Iraqi war will not spoil US-Russian ties
BBC Monitoring, Radio Mayak, March 29, 2003

"The USA committed a major political mistake, which is leading to numerous casualties among civilian population and troops. TheYabloko party believes that there was no direct threat from Iraq at the time. Although it was not easy to carry out inspections and disarm Iraq, there was no direct cause for starting the war."


A Nightmare for Journalists
By Marina Ozerova and Liuba Shariy, Moskovsky Komsomolets, March 28, 2003

Sure, one may say: don't break the rules, and everything will be okay. Yet our laws are written to permit two or three possible interpretation of their meaning. Meanwhile, unfortunately, one cannot rely on the Russian courts as the most humane and independent courts in the world.


Is Putin a Secret Member of YABLOKO?
By Tzyren Damdinov, Zabaikalskii Rabochii, March 19, 2003

...And there is nothing bad in that. But I don't set myself such a task, I only ask that the reader to be more attentive to the political gabbling , and try to look at the roots, and remember the promises of our candidates to elections at all levels.


Grigory Yavlinsky: "The President Alone Cannot Control Everything."
Interview with Grigory Yavlinsky, Gazeta, March 25, 2003

Society needs an independent Duma. If we have an imitation Duma instead of a real Duma, and the court and elections, parties and politics are also an imitation, then we may end up with an imitation of presidential power. We should not forget about this.


Bush Runs into the Moscow Fronde for the First Time
By Yulia Petrovskaya, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, March 25, 2003

What is the real source of this most recent tension in Russian-US relations, and what are the implications of the military equipment story for Moscow? We asked some experts.


Duma Eyes Election Violations
By Nabi Abdullaev, The Moscow Times, March 26, 2003

With parliamentary and presidential elections looming, the State Duma passed in the first reading Friday a raft of amendments that toughen penalties for electoral violations by individuals and the media.


Kremlin Fires Back at Bush
By Simon Saradzhyan and Oksana Yablokova, The Moscow Times, March 26, 2003

The Kremlin fired a new salvo in the battle of words between Moscow and Washington over Iraq on Tuesday, insisting that it was President Vladimir Putin rather than his U.S. counterpart who had initiated the discussion of alleged sales of Russian defense equipment to Iraq during their last phone conversation.


Alexei Arbatov: Politically the USA is losing the war in Iraq
RIA Novosti, March 25, 2003

The military campaign of the anti-Iraqi coalition is proceeding more or less according to plan in purely military aspects. Politically, however, the US has already begun to lose the war.


Alexei Arbatov: The CIS states supporting the US war against Iraq are stating their reputation
RIA Novosti, March 25, 2003

Alexei Arbatov, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Defence Committee, stated at a press conference that the decision taken by Georgia, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Ukraine to support the US in their war against Iraq "besmirches their reputation.."


Will the Iraqi War Lead to Deterioration in Russia-US Relations?
RIA Novosti, March 25, 2003

The politician said that the United States would demand the support of Russia and European countries, and then when this was denied, would make accusations against other states.


Referendum in Chechnya
Special for YABLOKO web-site, By Grigory Yavlinsky, March 24, 2003

Real progress towards an improvement in the situation can be expected, if the authorities adhere to their promises on guaranteeing social support for the citizens of Chechnya and there is an end to the mop-ups, torture, violence and kidnapping of people.


Russian Parties as They Are
By Dmitry Olshansky, Prof. Director of the Centre for Strategic Analysis and Forecasts, Vremya Novostei, No. 46, March 2003

Six months ago sociologists concluded that the "undecided" proportion of respondents (the floating votes unable to make up their mind, as they don’t like any of the options) amounted to 20-25% of the total. This was only natural a year before the elections. However, six months later, the situation has changed, with the number of floating voters growing to 40% of the electorate. Who will they choose at the last possible moment? Who will they vote for? What negative element could come from this block? These are disturbing questions.


Duma to silence mass media before elections
By Marina Sokolovskaya, Natalia Rostova, gazeta.ru, March 24, 2003

The State Duma has given initial approval to a presidential draft law that makes amendments to legislation governing the activity of media outlets during election campaigns. The deputies, however, have ignored the concerns expressed by the media over the draft law.


YABLOKO opposes the election campaign repressions introduced by the Central Electoral Commission
The Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, The State Duma of the Russian Federation, The YABLOKO faction, March 21, 2003
Honest elections are threatened by arbitrary rule of the authorities rather than the work of journalists. Mass media reports on election campaign outside of propaganda materials represent the most important tool ensuring public control over the actions of bureaucracy.


Grigory YAvlinsky's statement on the military operation against Iraq
RIA Oreanda, March 20, 2003
Moscow. Such developments could have been avoided. However, we failed in this task. Unfortunately, it is highly likely that the military operation will lead to a considerable number of victims on both sides.


Artists Call for Peace in Chechnya
Smena, St.Petersburg, March 20, 2003
An open letter to all the citizens of Russia on an end to the war in Chechnya was signed by 60 prominent figures of arts and science in Russia.


Where all the Democrats Agreed
By Ekaterina Blatova, Novaya Gazeta, March 20, 2003
Explaining at a press conference the position of the YABLOKO party, Deputy Head of the Party Igor Artemyev said that: "In general we support the adopted statement, but we think that a peaceful conference must be chaired by the President of Russia, as this is the only way to guarantee that the decisions adopted at the conference are real and will be implemented".


Putin Calls the Attack a Big Political Mistake
By Simon Saradzhyan and Oksana Yablokova, The Moscow Times, March 21, 2003
President Vladimir Putin on Thursday demanded an immediate end to the U.S.-led military action against Iraq, denouncing it as a "big political mistake" that threatens the existing international security system and could lead to a humanitarian catastrophe in the region.


Kremlin Silent as Deadline Passes
By Simon Saradzhyan and Nabi Abdullaev, The Moscow Times, March 20, 2003
Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov made an 11th-hour appeal against war at the UN Security Council on Wednesday, while the Kremlin was conspicuously silent in a clear signal that Russia didn't want to burn any bridges with U.S. or European partners.


Chairman of the Russian Democratic Party YABLOKO Grigory Yavlinsky on the military operation against Iraq
Special statement for YABLOKO's web-site, March 20, 2003
...Russia must seek to achieve several objectives.
First of all: to reduce the number of victims, by trying to ensure a termination of the war as soon as possible. Secondly the conflict will end and the situation will revert to a legal framework. This happened several times after the Second World War and the formation of the UN. Our country should preserve its strategic partnership with Europe and the USA.
Finally the third objective...


Alexei Arbatov: United States Will Ask Russia, Europe and the UN for Help
Interview with Alexei Arbatov, Vremya Novostei, March 20, 2003
It's too late to change anything now. We should have understood last autumn that Saddam Hussein's regime would not survive, and started looking for other solutions to the problem of weapons of mass destruction and replacing the regime, without a war.


Let Us Join Together to Stop the War in Chechnya
Novaya Gazeta, March 20, 2003
We call on our compatriots to do away with passivity and indifference. We represent the state! The country is what we make of it.


Split Develops in Russian Policy towards Iraq Crisis
By Igor Torbakov, eurasianet.org, March 18, 2003
While most in Moscow believe that a war with Iraq will seriously damage Russian interests, a split is developing over how Russia should respond to the imminent outbreak of war. One side appears ready to continue opposition to US military action, while the other says that Russia ought to embrace a realpolitik approach, and cooperate with the inevitable.


Grigory Yavlinsky: "Russia should not send a single soldier to the war."
Ekho Moskvi radio station, March 19, 2003
Speaking in an interview with Russian Ekho Moskvy radio on 19 March, Grigory Yavlinsky said a large international contingent should be amassed to bring political and military pressure to bear on Iraq, but that action should stop short of a large-scale military operation. In the same interview, the Yabloko leader also cast doubts on the value of the Chechen referendum, arguing that only a peace conference chaired by the Russian President could alter the situation in the republic.


Grigory Yavlinsky: "Mop-ups, robberies and violence should be stopped."
Interview with Grigory Yavlinsky, "Politbureau" journal, March 17, 2003
The consequences of an unprepared referendum can also bring dangers: they can aggravate contradictions inside the Chechen community: they can play into the hands of the forces interested in civil war.


"On the attitude towards holding a referendum on Constitution in Chechnya and the necessity to convoke a peace conference."
Statement, The All-Russia Democratic Assembly, Moscow, March 17, 2003
The situation in Chechnya can only be resolved through a wide-ranging political process, involving all the interested parties.


Yavlinsky proposes applying military-political pressure against Baghdad instead of force
Interfax, March 18, 2003
The leader of YABLOKO Grigory Yavlinsky proposes applying military-political pressure against Saddam Hussein's regime to resolve the Iraqi crisis, instead of sheer force.


Vladimir Lukin: the President will speed up ratification of the European Social Charter
MK-Novosti, March 15, 2003
"It is even good that things went this way," commented Vladimir Lukin (YABLOKO), deputy speaker of the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, in an interview with MK-Novosti, on the rejection by the State Duma at its plenary meeting on March 14, 2003, of the draft resolution, calling on the President to speed up ratification of the European Social Charter.


By David White, RFE/RL Russian Political Weekly, Volume 3, Number 11, March 13, 2003
With parliamentary elections a matter of months away, it can have come as no great surprise to followers of Russian party politics when, at the end of January, moves toward closer cooperation between Yabloko and the Union of Rightist Forces (SPS) came to an end.


The State of the Parties, Positioning of the Russian political forces
By Dmitry Olshansky, Vremya Novostei, March 17, 2003
When determining the public's preferences six months ago, pollsters assumed that the proportion of the "undecided" (i.e. the floating voters who don't know whom to support, as nobody seems to be worthy of support) was around 20-25%. This was normal, with over a year before the elections. However, six months ago the situation changed: the number of floating voters has increased to some 40% of the electorate. Whom they may like and support at the very last moment is a disturbing question.


Putin offers Chechens sweeping autonomy under new constitution
AFP, March 17, 2003

The constitution would "give Chechnya a chance to reconstruct its life and obtain sweeping autonomy within Russia's borders," Putin said in a televised address broadcast late Sunday to the few Chechen households that still have access to television.


Russia Fares Badly in Press Freedom Rankings
Rosbalt, March 17, 2003

Finland, Iceland, Norway and the Netherlands are the countries with the highest levels of press freedom. This conclusion was reached by the Reporters sans Frontieres (Reporters without Frontiers) charity, which today published a press freedom index on its website.


They’ve lost their minds and their protection!
By Yuri Schekochikhin, Novaya Gazeta, March 13 ,2003

The creation of multiple security agencies (twelve at present) with search and investigative rights, i.e. phone-tapping, surveillance, etc. led to the criminalization of these agencies.


Lack of international aid hampers destruction of Russia's weapons-grade plutonium
RIA Novosti, March 14, 2003

Moscow, March 14, 2003 (RIA Novosti correspondent Eduard Puziryiv). Instead of the required USD2 billion required to build a plant to destroy weapons-grade plutonium in Russia, the international community has gathered only USD800 million, a RIA Novosti correspondent quoted minister Alexander Rumyantsev, the Ministry for Nuclear Power, as reporting on Friday.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Russia will not veto US resolution on Iraq
Rosbalt, March 14, 2003

In the next few days Russia will take "unexpected steps" regarding the situation in Iraq, claims Grigory Yavlinsky, the leader of the YABLOKO party.


Experts predict social optimism at next federal elections.
ITAR-TASS, March 13, 2003

Russian sociology experts believe that the parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for the end of 2003 and the first half of 2004 will be marked by high levels of social optimism, as society has adapted to changes in the country, a high-ranking expert said Thursday.


Kirsan Iloumjinov
Reporters Without Borders, September 2001 (archive)

Those who ordered the June 1998 kidnapping and murder of journalist Larissa Yudina, editor the opposition newspaper Sovietskaya Kalmykia Sevodnia, are still free.


Krasnoyarsk Territory. The Legislative Assembly approves the initiative to restrict the transfer of forestry areas to other categories of fields
Regions.Ru, March 3, 2003

According to RIA Press-Line information agency today, on March 3, 3003 members of the permanent Commission on Natural Resources, Ecology and Protection of Nature of the Legislative Assembly of Krasnoyarsk Territory supported the draft law of the State Duma deputy Sergei Mitrokhin.


Russian politicians react to US ambassador's veiled threats over Iraq veto
Ekho Moskvi, March 12, 2003

But I still hope that the Americans will define their interests soberly, set emotions to one side and understand that in this particular situation postponing the operation is not a defeat but a major victory, which the whole world will greet with applause.


Grigory Yavlinsky on the reforms in the security agencies and staff reshuffles by the President
TVS channel, News, 11 March 2003

It would be important to understand the problems of these ministries, what was unsatisfactory in their work, what the difficulties were and where they did not perform properly.


Putin's Delicate Balancing Game
By Catherine Belton,The Moscow Times, March 13, 2003

A vote on a new UN Security Council resolution, which the United States insists will come this week, could be one of Putin's biggest tests. The question on everyone's lips is how far he is willing to stick his neck out in opposing a U.S. war in Iraq.


Grigory Yavlinsky on the president's reshuffles in the security agencies and the appointment of Deputy Prime Minister Valentina Matviyenko as Presidential Plenipotentiary in the North-Western Federal district, March 11, 2003
I think that the appointments made today by the President clearly demonstrate how the President is establishing his priorities.


Yabloko Party opposes an unprepared referendum in Chechnya
Interfax, March 12, 2003

MOSCOW. March 12 (Interfax) - Yabloko Party leader Grigory Yavlinsky believes that the Chechen referendum has not been fully prepared and that a peace conference with all the warring parties should be held instead.


U.S., Russia Sign Reactor Shutdown Deal
By Charles J. Hanley , Associated Press, March 12, 2003

VIENNA, Austria (AP) - The United States and Russia signed agreements on Wednesday reviving an on-again, off-again deal to shut down the last three Russian reactors producing nuclear weapons-grade plutonium.


President Reshuffles the Security Agencies
By Andrei Zolotov , The Moscow Times, March 12, 2003

President Vladimir Putin announced a sweeping reshuffle of security posts Tuesday, putting his ally Viktor Cherkesov in charge of a new federal anti-drug agency and strengthening the Federal Security Service by giving it the border guards and communication agency FAPSI.


Not Enough Money to Protect the Nuclear Sector
By Dmitri Chernov, Vremya MN, March 6, 2003

There is at present no danger of another disaster like Chernobyl at the functioning reactors of nuclear power stations in Russia.


Russia: Heroes and Lawyers.
By Vladimir Kovalev, Transitions Online, March 10, 2003

Secret awards given to FSB top brass in the wake of the Nord-Ost crisis cause consternation, while former hostages pursue additional compensation.


Russia should join a cold war on Iraq
By Grigory Yavlinsky, Financial Times (UK), March 6, 2003

In the manner of Andrei Gromyko, his Soviet predecessor, Igor Ivanov, Russia's foreign minister, now repeatedly suggests that Moscow might veto a second United Nations resolution on Iraq. Meanwhile, President Vladimir Putin has maintained a protracted silence. According to today's Kremlinologists, this role-play can mean only two things...


YABLOKO: Visa barriers separating Russia and Europe need to be eliminated as soon as possible
Aliance Media, March 4, 2003

The first real step has been taken to the elimination of the visa barriers separating the single European space, including Russia. That is how Chairman of the Russian Democratic Party YABLOKO Grigory Yavlinsky assessed the decision to form a working group to implement the proposal to switch to a visa-free regime for trips by Russian citizens to EU countries.


Who Is Marching Left? An interview with political analyst Anatoly Golov, YABLOKO party By Vladimir Ignatov, Trud, March 5, 2003
Which of Russia's political forces can actually be described as "really left wing"? We asked Anatoly Golov, St. Petersburg political analyst and organisational committee member of the Civic Forum of Voters, for his views.


France and Russia Ready to Use Veto Against Iraq War
By John Tagliabue, The New York Times, March 6, 2003

PARIS, March 5 — France and Russia made clear today that they were ready to use their veto power to block passage of a new Security Council resolution authorizing force against Iraq, but Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said the United States would go to war without United Nations backing if necessary.


The Iraqi Crisis: the Moment of Truth.
By Alexei Arbatov, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, No. 40, March 1, 2003

The situation around Iraq has entered a final pre-war stage. For the whole world, the moment of truth is at hand. The outcome of the crisis is set to determine both regional and global politics for years to come, with repercussions ranging from relationships among the leading powers to the prospects of global law and order, to the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and fighting international terrorism.


Kremlin betrays right-wing parties in election committee vote
By Boris Sapozhnikov, gazeta.ru, February 13, 2003

On Wednesday the lower house voted to elect its representatives to the Central Election Committee. The routine procedure of electing new members led to a completely unexpected alliance between the liberal Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky and the head of the ultra-nationalist LDPR Vladimir Zhirinovsky, which helped Yabloko's candidate keep her post in the CEC. The support of the pro-presidential factions also made Yabloko's victory possible, and was a slap in the face for the SPS.


Pasko becomes aide to parliamentarian Yushenkov
Interfax, March 3, 2003

MOSCOW. March 3 (Interfax) - Grigory Pasko, a military journalist who was sentenced for spying and then released on parole, on Monday became an aide to State Duma deputy and co-chairman of the Liberal Russia party Sergei Yushenkov.


Instead or After the War
By Viktor Sheinis, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, March 3, 2003

The war of the US-led coalition against Saddam Hussein's regime seems to be inevitable. How is Russia supposed to behave in a situation which it hadn't provoked and in which, let's be frank, hardly depends on it?


"Spy" Babkin does not consider himself guilty
Prima News, February 21, 2003

"I was officially given money from the funds officially obtained from the Pennsylvania University by Bauman University in roubles," said Prof. Babkin.


The Internet-press to be closed in Karelia
"Web-planeta", February 27, 2003

Head of the Centre for Political and Social Studies of Karelia Anatoli Tzigankov said that the closing on February 12, 2002, of the web-site Politika.Karelia.Ru represents "fight against independent opinions".


YABLOKO: freedom of speech in Russia's media is shrinking like shagreen leather
Rosbalt, February 25, 2003

The Russian Democratic Party YABLOKO considers protection of freedom of speech a political priority and a key task for all democratic forces and therefore calls on all democratic forces in the country to unite, in order to oppose further attacks on freedom of speech.

Director and administrator: Vyacheslav Erohin e-mail: admin@yabloko.ru

Yabloko e-mail: english@yabloko.ru