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RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 2, No. 245, Part I, 22 December 1998
________________________________________________________ RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 2, No. 245, Part I, 22 December 1998 A daily report of developments in Eastern and Southeastern Europe, Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia prepared by the staff of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. This is Part I, a compilation of news concerning Russia, Transcaucasia and Central Asia. Part II covers Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe and is distributed simultaneously as a second document. Back issues of RFE/RL NewsLine and the OMRI Daily Digest are online at RFE/RL's Web site: http://www.rferl.org/newsline xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Headlines, Part I * NEW GOVERNMENT SHAKE-UP UNDER CONSIDERATION * DUMA TO PASS BUDGET THIS WEEK? * DECISION ON AZERBAIJAN OIL EXPORT PIPELINE TO BE TAKEN IN MID-1999 End NoteTHE: DECLINE AND FALL OF VLADIMIR VINOGRADOV xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx RUSSIA NEW GOVERNMENT SHAKE-UP UNDER CONSIDERATION. Nikolai Bordyuzha, chief of the presidential administration, is studying proposals on changes in the administration, Oleg Sysyuev, deputy chief of the presidential administration, told reporters on 21 December. Sysuev said that he expects a decision will be made on them soon. In the course of studying the proposals, Bordyuzha met with Kemerovo Governor Aman Tuleev, ITAR-TASS reported. JAC DUMA TO PASS BUDGET THIS WEEK? The State Duma will consider the 1999 budget at an extraordinary meeting on 24 December, one day later than had been previously scheduled, Interfax reported. The Duma's Budget Committee will recommend that the lower house adopt the budget in its first reading, Committee Chairman and member of Russian Regions Aleksandr Zhukov told reporters on 19 December. Earlier, Zhukov warned that if the budget is not passed quickly, then key figures will have to be revised by the second reading, which "would mean that the budget may not be adopted at all." Duma Chairman Gennadii Seleznev said that the budget has a good chance of passing by a wide margin on 24 December, since all factions except Yabloko agreed to support the budget. On 18 December, deputies approved in the first reading a package of tax bills submitted by the government. JAC RUSSIA MAY SEEK BUTLER'S DISMISSAL... Russia may demand the resignation of UN weapons inspector Richard Butler at the next UN Security Council meeting, Interfax reported on 21 December. Meanwhile, Yulii Vorontsov, Russia's ambassador to the U.S., will be returning to Washington in a few days and Russia's ambassador to London will follow later (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 21 December 1998), according to ITAR-TASS. The ambassadors had been recalled to Moscow for consultations shortly after the U.S.-British air strikes against Iraq were launched. JAC ...BUT WILL KEEP RELATIONS WITH NATO ON TRACK. Almost every fifth missile launched by the U.S. and U.K. missed their target, according to a Russian General Staff report, Interfax reported on 21December. The same day, Colonel-General Leonid Ivashov, head of the Defense Ministry department for international relations, said that while Russia will not sever military ties with London and Washington, it will seek to limit them, "canceling many joint military exercises and other planned ventures." Cooperation with NATO, on the other hand, will proceed as planned, he said. JAC MOSCOW WANTS COMMON CIS DEFENSE POLICY. Addressing colleagues from nine of the 12 CIS states in Moscow on 21 December, Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeev said that in view of the "unpredictable policy" of the U.S., as exemplified by the air strikes against Iraq, CIS member states should develop a common understanding of key military-political problems and a common approach to future defense cooperation, Russian agencies reported. A report analyzing the results of those strikes, which the defense ministers condemned as "a totally unjustified act of aggression," was discussed at the meeting. Participants also discussed the CIS joint air defense system, cooperation within the parameters of the 1992 Collective Security Treaty, and the automatization of control operations, according to Interfax. LF IMF LOWERS PREDICTION FOR GROWTH RATE. In its World Economic Outlook, the IMF predicted that Russian GDP will dip 8.3 percent in 1999, compared with 5.7 percent in 1998. Inflation, according to the fund, will rise to 56 percent, compared with 26 percent this year and the 30 percent forecast in the government's 1999 budget. The fund reduced the forecast for GDP that it had made in a report published in October. Duma Budget Chairman Aleksandr Zhukov suggested that the fund based its figures on the assumption that Russia will receive no foreign loans in 1999. Meanwhile, real incomes plunged 25.1 percent in November, compared with the same month last year, according to the State Statistics Committee. Real per capita wages plummeted 35.4 percent over the same period. JAC PRIMAKOV WRAPS UP VISIT TO INDIA... A Russian delegation led by Prime Minister Yevgenii Primakov wrapped up its visit to India on 22 December after signing seven agreements, Russian and Indian media reported. Primakov and Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee attended the signing of an agreement on military-technical cooperation that is valid until 2010. Other agreements covered air links between the two countries, cooperation in communications, and the development of trade and economic relations, industrial, financial, scientific and technological cooperation. Primakov said a "comprehensive document defining political relations between the two countries" will be signed when Yeltsin visits India next year. Primakov said trade with India, expected to reached $1.5 billion in 1998, should be doubled by the year 2000 and quadrupled by the year 2005. He also said that he favors giving India a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. BP ...CLARIFIES STATEMENT ON 'STRATEGIC TRIANGLE.' Primakov also clarified his 21 December statement about a "strategic triangle" composed of Russia, India, and China, saying it was "not a formal proposal," ITAR-TASS reported. Primakov added that he had thought it was "a good idea" and that he had wanted to say a partnership between the three powers could reliably stabilize the situation in the [South Asian] region." At the same time, he noted that "a lot depends on the policies of India and China." He emphasized that "a military bloc" is not the goal and that "in no case would this strategic triangle be directed against a third country." The Russian daily newspaper "Izvestiya" on 22 December dismissed Primakov's proposal, ascribing it to "the coincidence of the three states views on the Iraq issue" and arguing that it "in no way means that the formation of such an 'axis' is a possibility." BP RUSSIAN 'SOURCES' SAY NORTH KOREA MISSILE TEST LEGAL. Officials in Russia's Defense Ministry have said they are aware of preparations for a ballistic missile test by North Korea, ITAR-TASS reported on 21 December. The ministry said the test will likely be conducted before the end of this year. Interfax on 21 December quotes "diplomatic sources" in Moscow as saying the test is consistent with international norms, explaining that "North Korea is a sovereign state that has the right to conduct such tests." The same sources claimed that "greater worry should be aroused by North Korea's intention to export missile and rocket technologies." BP EXIT BEREZOVSKII, ENTER RUPERT MURDOCH? A new bankruptcy suit was filed against Russian Public Television (ORT) on 21 December, just three days after the Moscow Arbitration Court had dismissed another one, ITAR-TASS reported. "Argumenty i Fakty" reported that the government is preparing to sell 10 percent of the government's shares in the company to "a serious investor" and that Rupert Murdoch is allegedly interested in acquiring the stock so that he will possess a truly global network. Meanwhile, ORT Director- General Igor Shabdurasulov wrote an open letter to President Boris Yeltsin accusing the Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov and Communist members of the Duma of "putting colossal pressure" on the station before parliamentary elections. "Kommersant-Daily" reported on 18 December that Yevgenii Primakov's government is considering replacing Shabdurasulov because they do not think he has coped well with ORT's current difficulties. JAC CHEMICAL WEAPONS REGIONS DEMAND COMPENSATION. The administration and people of regions where chemical weapons are stored and will be destroyed are demanding financial compensation, such as investment in their local infrastructure, "Krasnaya zvezda" reported on 18 December. Republics such as Udmurtia and Chuvashia want financing for the construction of water and gas pipelines and other housing and social benefits to compensate them for their exposure to higher health risks because of the weapons' presence on their territory, according to the military daily. Meanwhile, the government is having trouble finding enough international financial assistance to fund its participation in the International Chemical Weapons Convention, under which Russia must start destroying weapons by December 1999 (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 1 November 1998). JAC IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS EXPECTED IN JANUARY. Duma Chairman Seleznev has said he believes the Duma will vote in January to launch impeachment proceedings against President Yeltsin, Interfax reported. According to Seleznev, the impeachment vote will likely focus on one item, Yeltsin's unleashing of the war against Chechnya. The Yabloko faction supports impeachment only on this item. Two-thirds of the deputies would have to vote in favor of impeachment, then the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court would have review the charges, after which the Federation Council would have to approve. It is not considered likely that Yeltsin will be impeached. JAC IS NDR PARTY DISINTEGRATING? Leader of Our Home is Russia (NDR) Viktor Chernomyrdin has asked NDR faction leader Aleksandr Shokhin to resign from the party, "Moskovskii komsomolets" reported on 22 December. Shokhin had been suggesting lately that Chernomyrdin should not seek the presidency of Russia in 2000 (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 1 December 1998). According to the daily, Shokhin refused but Chernomyrdin is likely to ask again. The newspaper also noted that Shokhin is not the only "powerful rebel" in the NDR, since Samara Oblast Governor Konstantin Titov and Saratov Oblast Governor Dmitrii Ayatskov have also openly criticized Chernomyrdin. Therefore, the newspaper concluded, Shokhin's departure "may only speed up NDR's disintegration." "Moskovskii komsomolets" is considered close to Moscow Major Luzhkov. JAC LEBED COMES UNDER PRESSURE TO CEDE POWERS. Financial magnate Boris Berezovskii oversaw negotiations between Krasnoyarsk Governor Aleksandr Lebed and Anatolii Bykov, head of the Krasnoyarsk aluminum plant, who has recently opposed Lebed (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 10 December 1998), "Izvestiya" reported on 19 December. Bykov reportedly suggested that Lebed redistribute power in favor of the government and at the expense of the governor. Bykov also wants Lebed to refocus his efforts from politics to the economy. On 17 December, directors of large plants, factories, and coal-mining companies followed Bykov's lead by announcing that Lebed's policies are leading the region to catastrophe, the daily reported. The newspaper argued that Lebed must hand power over to the local elite or his government "will be finished." It added that gathering enough signatures for an impeachment referendum could be easily accomplished. JAC 'PEACE AGREEMENT' REACHED IN VLADIVOSTOK. An agreement of sorts has been reached between the new and old mayors of Vladivostok, Russian Television reported on 21 December. With a group of State Duma deputies acting as mediators, supporters of former Mayor Viktor Cherepkov agreed to stop picketing the mayor's office, where the police have also abandoned their vigil. According to the report, dual power will exist in the city until new mayoral elections are held on 17 January. Six contestants have registered to run, including Cherepkov. JAC CONFUSION OVER REMAINS OF MURDERED FOREIGNERS. Chechen presidential spokesman Mairbek Vachagaev told ITAR-TASS on 21 December that the decapitated heads of one New Zealand and three British telephone engineers would be handed over to the respective embassies in Moscow on 22 December. But Prosecutor-General Masur Tagirov told that agency on 22 December that the Chechen authorities are still trying to locate the headless bodies and plan to hand over both the bodies and the heads simultaneously at some unspecified future date. Tagirov also denied media reports that the killers are demanding payment of $2,000 for each of the bodies. But he admitted that the abductors want to exchange the bodies for an accomplice arrested on unspecified criminal charges. LF FORMER PRO-RUSSIAN CHECHEN PREMIER ABDUCTED. Chechengazprom head Salambek Khadzhiev was abducted on his way to work in Grozny on 21 December, ITAR-TASS reported. Khadzhiev previously headed the Chechen government of national accord that elicited Russian support to overthrow President Dzhokhar Dudaev. He resigned from that post in October 1995. LF CHECHEN WARLORD TO UNDERGO SURGERY. Maverick field commander Salman Raduev, until recently regarded as posing a serious threat to the authority of President Aslan Maskhadov, was admitted to a Grozny hospital on 20 December, where he will shortly undergo craniocerebral surgery to alleviate the aftereffects of earlier injuries, Russian agencies reported. Raduev was seriously wounded and believed killed in a shootout in the spring of 1996, but he resurfaced months later after extensive plastic surgery abroad. The Chechen Sharian Supreme Court has ruled that in view of his poor health, the four-year jail sentence handed down on him in early November should be suspended (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 5 November 1998). LF TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA DECISION ON AZERBAIJAN OIL EXPORT PIPELINE TO BE TAKEN IN MID-1999. David Woodward, newly appointed president of the Azerbaijan International Operating Company engaged in developing three offshore Azerbaijani oilfields, told journalists in Baku on 21 December that the consortium will decide in mid-1999 which route it considers optimum for the so-called Main Export Pipeline for Azerbaijan's Caspian oil, ITAR-TASS reported. That decision, which was to have been taken during the second half of 1998, was twice postponed. The Azerbaijani, Turkish, and U.S. governments are all lobbying for the Baku-Ceyhan route, rather than alternatives to either Supsa in Georgia or the Russian terminal at Novorossiisk. The AIOC has misgivings about the Baku- Ceyhan option, which is by far the most expensive of the three. The estimated cost of building that pipeline is between $2.5 billion and $3.7 billion. LF AZERBAIJAN STRESSES CONCERN OVER RUSSIAN-ARMENIAN DEFENSE COOPERATION. The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry has issued a statement characterizing the ongoing defense cooperation between Russia and Armenia as a "factor that hinders peace, stability, and security in the South Caucasus," Turan and ITAR-TASS reported on 21 December. The statement was pegged to the 15-16 December visit to Armenia of Russian air force commander Colonel- General Anatolii Kornukov, during which Russia sent five MiG fighter aircraft to the Russian military base in Armenia to participate in the joint defense of CIS air borders (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 17 December 1998). The statement also appealed to the Russian leadership to suspend implementation of the August 1997 Russian- Armenian Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Security. LF FORMER ARMENIAN COMMUNIST BOSS PREDICTS VICTORY IN 1999 POLL. Karen Demirchian addressed the founding congress of a local branch of his People's Party of Armenia in Yerevan on 20 December, RFE/RL's bureau in the Armenian capital reported. Demirchian criticized the present authorities for allegedly tampering with the results of the March 1998 presidential election, in which he lost in the runoff to Robert Kocharian. Demirchian also said that Armenia's industry and agriculture "are in tatters" and advocated a greater role for the state in regulating the economy. He characterized his party's program as social-democratic. Demirchian commands strong support among voters impoverished by the collapse of the former command economy, and he believes that with their support, his party will win the 1999 parliamentary elections, provided the poll is free and fair. LF GEORGIA, ABKHAZIA SATISFIED WITH GENEVA TALKS... Levan Aleksidze, foreign policy adviser to Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze, told Interfax on 21 December that the 17-18 December Geneva talks under UN auspices were unexpectedly fruitful. He said that although the two sides failed to resolve their "sharp differences," they expressed readiness for unspecified compromises, and resumed work on a protocol on the repatriation to Abkhazia of ethnic Georgian displaced persons. Aleksidze noted what he termed the positive role in those talks of Abkhaz Prime Minister Sergei Bagapsh, who also expressed satisfaction at their outcome, according to Caucasus Press, citing "Alia" of 21 December. LF ...AGREE ON STABILIZATION MEAURES. Bagapsh met in Gali on 21 December with Georgian Minister of State Vazha Lortkipanidze and the interior and security ministers to discuss the recent upsurge of terrorist activity in Gali, Caucasus Press reported. The two sides agreed on the withdrawal of Georgian Interior Ministry forces from the village of Khurcha, a Georgian exclave on the Abkhaz side of the River Inguri, which forms the internal border between Abkhazia and the rest of Georgia. Tamaz Nadareishvili, chairman of the so-called Abkhaz parliament in exile, condemned that decision as tantamount to ceding Georgian territory to the Abkhaz, Caucasus Press reported. In his weekly radio address on 21 December, President Shevardnadze again called for a compromise solution to the conflict and abjured the use of force, according to ITAR-TASS. In an oblique reference to the Georgian guerrilla formations operating in Gali, Shevardnadze described official Georgian support for terrorist organizations as "unacceptable." LF NEW POLITICAL MOVEMENT FORMED IN KAZAKHSTAN. Independent journalist Seydakhmet Kuttykadam announced the formation of a new political movement on 21 December, RFE/RL correspondents in Almaty reported. The Orleu-Progress movement will be composed of members of the country's intelligentsia, and branches will be opened in all regions. Kuttykadam said the movement's main task is to prepare for the next parliamentary elections. However, the movement's first priority will be to register. Another movement, "For Fair Elections" announced itself in early October but has still not been registered by the Ministry of Justice. BP NAZARBAYEV COMPLAINS OF RUSSIAN OBSTRUCTION TO KAZAKH OIL EXPORTS. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev met with Russian officials in Astana on 21 December, RFE/RL correspondents there reported. He called for better cooperation with the governors of Russian regions bordering Kazakhstan, and he criticized Russia for creating "obstacles" to Kazakhstan's exporting oil via Russian pipelines, saying that Kazakhstan "has to struggle" for every kilometer of the pipeline. He added that such obstruction is "not understandable for me as leader of a country that is known to be one of the main economic partners of Russia." Pipelines are certain to be on the agenda when Nazarbayev meets Russian Prime Minister Yevgenii Primakov in Astana on 23 December. Meanwhile, Nazarbayev has scheduled meetings with officials from the U.S. Mobil Oil Company on 22 December. BP KAZAKHSTAN, UKRAINE SIGN COOPERATION PROTOCOL. Kazakh Foreign Minister Kasymjomart Tokayev and his Ukrainian counterpart, Boris Tarasyuk, met on 21 December and signed a protocol on cooperation between the two countries' Foreign Ministries in 1999-2000, ITAR-TASS reported. The two also discussed CIS reforms, and Tarasyuk said "the reform process is continuing, but it is too early to speak of results." Tokayev said it is "necessary to improve the effectiveness of the Commonwealth," especially in adhering to accords signed by the heads of member states. BP NIYAZOV RE-ELECTED CHAIRMAN OF PARTY. Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov has been unanimously re-elected chairman of the country's Democratic Party, the only official party in Turkmenistan, Interfax reported on 21 December. Niyazov announced a second political party will be registered in the near future, RFE/RL correspondents in Ashgabat reported. BP KYRGYZSTAN SETS UP CORRUPTION HOTLINE. Kyrgyz Prosecutor-General Asanbek Shirshenaliyev announced at a 21 December press conference that a hotline has been established so that residents of the country can file complaints about corrupt officials, Interfax reported. Shirshenaliyev said the project will work in conjunction with the Council Against Corruption and Economic Crime, set up by presidential decree earlier this month. The prosecutor pointed out that during the last five years, 383 government officials, mostly lower level ones, have been dismissed from their posts. The latest anti- corruption campaign began when the head of the presidential administration, Omar Sultanov, was sacked on 10 December. Government officials who asked to remain anonymous told RFE/RL correspondents in Bishkek that Economics Minister Taalaibek Koichumanov and Interior Minister Omurbek Kutuev may soon be dismissed. Koichumanov has tendered his resignation following the dismissal of two of his deputies on corruption charges. It is rumored that Prime Minister Kubanychbek Jumaliev will do the same. BP END NOTE THE DECLINE AND FALL OF VLADIMIR VINOGRADOV by Julie A. Corwin The rise of former Inkombank President Vladimir Vinogradov to the top of Russia's financial and political circles was rapid, but his fall was even quicker. In a little over two months, Vinogradov went from being one of Russia's handful of "oligarchs," a small elite of powerful businessmen and financiers who reportedly rule the nation, to the disgraced former head of a financial institution on the brink of receivership. Come 28 January, when a Moscow arbitration court hears a bankruptcy case filed by private creditors against Inkombank, the bank's actual status will be clearer. However, few analysts believe that much remains of Inkombank that is worth preserving. Those individuals and institutions who once expressed an interest in saving the bank--National Reserve Bank Chairman Aleksandr Lebedev, Gazprom Deputy Chairman Sergei Dubinin, and Union of Industrialists and Entrepeneurs head Arkadii Volskii--say that Inkombank is beyond saving. Its liabilities exceed its assets, Lebedev announced on 23 November. Volskii was more blunt, saying top managers at Inkombank "had been playing dishonest games" and were "transferring Inkombank assets to other firms." Ten years ago, Inkombank started in the kitchen of Vladimir Vinogradov's communal apartment. Vinogradov was working in a state bank at a "low-paying" job that was "boring." So, according to him, he and two friends started a commercial bank. Later, they moved their "headquarters" to the top room of a bar on the outskirts of Moscow, where they managed to attract nine shareholders including the economics think-tank, the Plekhanov Institute; the association of aircraft manufacturers, Sokol; and the oil and gas pipeline operator, Transneft. They then approached Central Bank for a credit of 10 million rubles. They got it, although the official who okayed the loan was let go soon after, according to Vinogradov. In September 1998, Inkombank got its last break from the Central Bank--a $100 million loan--from another outgoing official, its chairman, Sergei Dubinin. The loan was just one of many parting gifts to troubled commercial banks from Dubinin, who knew he was leaving, a source at an international financial institution told RFE/RL. When Viktor Gerashchenko replaced Dubinin, Inkombank's last hope was to be designated one of Russia's "socially important" banks. These banks, though basically insolvent, were still considered worth saving with a massive influx of government cash. As Russia's second-largest bank in terms of private deposits and third-largest in terms of assets, Inkombank might have seemed a good candidate. It also serviced 10 percent of Russia's total foreign trade and 4-5 percent of the country's bank accounts, according to "Kommersant-Daily." But if Inkombank's example is any indication, then the emphasis in the phrase "socially important" should perhaps be on the first word, socially. Gerashchenko and Vinogradov do not like each other, according to a variety of sources. Vinogradov had earned Gerashchenko's hostility during Gerashchenko's last reign at the Central Bank through his frequent criticisms of Gerashchenko's policy as a vocal member of the Association of Russian Banks. In an official statement after it pulled Inkombank's license on 29 October, the Central Bank explained that Inkombank "had taken excessive risks ahead of the 17 August [ruble] devaluation and its obligations dwarfed its assets." It is true that Inkombank persisted in writing forward currency contracts much longer than its counterparts. According to Fitch IBCA estimates, Inkombank had concluded between $12-14 billion in forward currency contracts by mid August. It is not clear, however, that Inkombank acted that much more imprudently than Menatep, Most Bank, and SBS-Agro, all of which have been granted a second life. It is also not yet clear whether Vinogradov's tale is one of rags to riches back to rags again. In addition to Volskii's charge, the head of Moscow's Tax Police accused Inkombank management of diverting funds intended for tax payment. And analysts cited by the "Moscow Times" on 15 December noted that Inkombank's ownership in food-processing, metals, and aerospace enterprises had been carefully structured to allow for easy asset- stripping, since most of the holdings are not owned directly by Inkombank but by "affiliated persons" possibly leading back to Vinogradov. Among the bank's holdings were a 26 percent interest in the giant Magnitogorsk steelworks, of which only 3 percent is owned directly by the bank. The bank also owned an extensive collection of Russian avant-garde painting, including Kazimir Malevich's "Black Square," according to "Argumenty i Fakty." In the meantime, at least some of Inkombank's depositors are anxious about the fate of their savings. Three years ago, Galina Oleinikova, a university professor in St. Petersburg, put her entire life savings, as well those of her mother, which she had inherited, into an Inkombank interest-bearing U.S. dollar account. On 5 September 1998, she sent a registered express letter, asking that her account be transferred to a U.S. bank in California, where she is now living. She got no response, and although she was worried, she didn't panic because she believed "President Yeltsin and other Russian leaders who said that bank accounts of individuals would be protected." Now she is panicking. A friend in St. Petersburg acting on her behalf told her that she still has the option of transferring her money to Sberbank, but she will have no access to it for two years and will be reimbursed in rubles, not dollars. In the meantime, her daughter, a high school senior, is heading off to college, but since she is not yet a U.S. citizen, will not qualify for a scholarship, despite her excellent grade point average. Her American husband, who is recuperating from two surgeries, cannot provide any financial assistance. Perhaps the Central Bank can spare her a few dollars short of $100 million, but she is likely not considered "socially important" enough. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Copyright (c) 1998 RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx HOW TO SUBSCRIBE Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the word subscribe as the subject of the message. 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