Treat your friends as you do your pictures, and place them in their best light. - Jennie Jerome Churchill
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 199, Part I, 12 October 1999


___________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 199, Part I, 12 October 1999

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

* ZHIRINOVSKII'S PARTY BARRED FROM ELECTIONS

* MOSCOW OFFERS LUKEWARM RESPONSE TO CHECHEN PEACE BID

* OSCE CRITICIZES KAZAKH ELECTIONS

End Note: A REAL BATTLE ON THE VIRTUAL FRONT
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

RUSSIA

ZHIRINOVSKII'S PARTY BARRED FROM ELECTIONS... The Central
Election Commission on 11 October declined to register the
Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) for the upcoming
State Duma elections, citing inaccurate property declarations
by two of the party's top three candidates. According to
ITAR-TASS, Krasnoyarsk Aluminum head Anatolii Bykov did not
reveal the ownership of a house and State Duma Deputy Mikhail
Musatov did not disclose his three Mercedes. Bykov is
currently the subject of a probe on charges of money
laundering (see "RFE/RL Russian Federation Report," 25 August
1999). LDPR member and Duma Geopolitics Committee Chairman
Aleksei Mitrofanov told the agency that the party will hold a
new congress very soon to revise its list of candidates.
Mitrofanov, who himself was recently disqualified from
competing in Moscow mayoral elections for violating campaign
finance regulations, said the party will be able to prepare a
new list in order to meet the 24 October deadline (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 11 October 1999). JAC

...AS APPEAL LODGED WITH SUPREME COURT. Commission Chairman
Aleksandr Veshnyakov, however, disagreed with that view,
telling Mayak Radio on 12 October that it will be
"practically impossible" for the party to submit new
documents before 24 October and observe all election law
requirements. Also on 12 October, LDPR leader Vladimir
Zhirinovskii announced that his party has already lodged an
appeal with the Russian Supreme Court. Communist Party leader
Gennadii Zyuganov told Interfax he remains certain that the
LDPR will participate in the elections because the Kremlin
will push its registration through. JAC

MOSCOW OFFERS LUKEWARM RESPONSE TO CHECHEN PEACE BID. Russian
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on 11 October said the peace
plan unveiled by Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov the
previous day is a positive move, but he added that any talks
with Chechnya are conditional on Grozny's first handing over
the persons responsible for the August incursion into
Daghestan and for the bombings of apartment buildings in
Russia and other cities. Maskhadov had called for an
immediate halt to Russian air and artillery bombardment and
for Russian federal forces to withdraw to Chechnya's borders
with other federation subjects in return for a pledge to
crackdown on "illegal military formations and their training
centers," according to "Nezavisimaya gazeta" on 12 October.
Putin added that he believes Maskhadov's offer was timed to
coincide with the 11 October threat by field commander Shamil
Basaev to undertake new terrorist attacks against Russian
citizens. LF

BASAEV REPORTED CORNERED. According to the commander of
Russia's 58th Army, Major General Vladimir Shamanov, Basaev
is currently not in a position to act on his threat of new
terrorist attacks against Russian citizens (see above).
Shamanov said at a meeting with village elders in Chechnya's
northern Nadterechnyi Raion on 11 October that Basaev is
trapped in the village of Garagorsk, 60 kilometers northwest
of Grozny. Shamanov's claim has not been independently
confirmed. LF

FUGITIVES BEGIN TO RETURN TO CHECHNYA. ITAR-TASS on 12
October quoted Russia's Ministry for Emergency Situations as
saying that the number of persons who have fled Chechnya now
totals 160,000, of whom 146,00 are in Ingushetia. The
previous day, Russian Minister of Health Yurii Shevchenko had
said that those fugitives should be required to undergo
medical examinations, given the high incidence among them of
tuberculosis and intestinal diseases. Also on 11 October, 20
fugitives returned from Stavropol Krai to the Nauri Raion of
Chechnya, which is controlled by federal troops. A senior
Stavropol official said more displaced persons will soon
return to Chechnya's Shelkovskii Raion, which is also under
Russian military control. LF

ANOTHER ELECTION BLOC REGISTERED. The Central Election
Commission on 11 October registered an election alliance
formed by the Congress of Russian Communities (KRO) and the
Yurii Boldyrev Movement, ITAR-TASS reported. The top names on
the alliance's list are State Duma deputy and movement head
Yurii Boldyrev, KRO head Dmitrii Rogozin, former Interior
Minister Viktor Glukhikh, and former head of the General
Staff of the armed forces General Viktor Samsonov, according
to Interfax. The alliance was formed at a congress on 29
September. KRO had been a member of Moscow Mayor Yurii
Luzkhov's Fatherland but left that group when it formed an
alliance with All Russia. JAC

EVEN HIGHER DEFENSE SPENDING CONTEMPLATED... Although the
conciliatory commission has already okayed a 26 billion ruble
($1.01 billion) hike in defense spending in the 2000 budget,
Defense Committee Chairman Roman Popkovich and others are
suggesting even more funding is necessary, "The Moscow Times"
reported on 12 October. Popkovich, according to the daily, is
calling for expenditures totaling 37 billion rubles, which
would represent a 31 percent hike over the figure proposed in
the draft budget recently rejected by the Duma (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 29 September 1999). "Vremya MN" reported on 8
October that the government is poised to raise defense
expenditures by 40-60 billion rubles between now and the end
of the year. According to the daily, the Defense Ministry
received 2.5 billion rubles in September just for North
Caucasus operations and will receive another 4 billion rubles
in October for the same purpose. JAC

...AS SOURCES FOR NEW MONEY REMAIN MYSTERIOUS. According to
"The Moscow Times," the Finance Ministry reports that armed
forces personnel are still owed 8.7 billion rubles ($338
million) in back wages, while Prime Minister Putin has
pledged that soldiers in combat zones will earn $1,000 a
month rather than the usual $300. After meeting with Putin
and Defense Minister Igor Sergeev to discuss funding for the
Chechen conflict, Central Bank Chairman Viktor Gerashchenko
told Russian Television on 10 October that the bank will
issue new state securities to fund the war effort. "Vremya
MN" on the other hand reported that unnamed top officials say
the new expenditures will be paid for from new duties on oil
exports. In addition, new revenues may be expected from "tax
legislation passed last summer and inflation." JAC

ATTRITION AMONG OFFICERS EXCEEDING PLANNED CUTS. In its
latest issue (No. 40), "Argumenty i fakty" reports that the
rate of attrition among career officers in the armed forces
is "significantly exceeding" the rate of planned cuts. The
newspaper reports that every 10th officer post is vacant and
that there is a 20 percent shortfall among platoon and team
commanders, with that figure rising to 30 percent in some
eastern military districts. It attributes this development to
the fact that one-third of officers with more than 20 years'
service are seeking to retire, while almost half of newly
graduated officers opt for resignation upon completing their
education. In all, almost 20,000 officers under the age of 30
resigned last year. JC

SOME IFI FUNDS READY TO FLOW? First Deputy Prime Minister
Nikolai Aksenenko told reporters on 12 October that he is
hopeful that the World Bank will release a new tranche of its
loan to Russia's coal sector. Just two days earlier,
Aleksandr Livshits, presidential envoy to the Group of Seven,
said that the IMF recently presented Russia with "loan
conditions that were not agreed in the program approved
[earlier] by the fund." Picking up on this theme, Prime
Minister Putin told Russian Television the same day that
Russia "will only fulfill the demands of the IMF that we
believe are fair." JAC

TOP FINANCE MINISTRY OFFICIAL QUITS. First Deputy Finance
Minister Oleg Vyugin has left his post at the ministry to
join the investment bank Troika-Dialog, "Vremya MN" reported
on 11 October. In an interview with the daily, Vyugin denied
that his departure was linked with the delay in the
disbursement of the second tranche of the IMF loan. He said
that the question of who will replace him is still being
decided. JAC

SKURATOV SAYS YELTSIN FAMILY CREDIT CARD ALLEGATIONS TRUE...
Suspended Prosecutor-General Yurii Skuratov told reporters on
11 October that reports in Swiss and Italian newspapers that
credit cards were issued to Russian President Boris Yeltsin
and his two daughters and later found on premises of the
Swiss construction firm Mabetex are true, according to AFP.
Skuratov added that "the Yeltsin family has an interest in
shedding light on this evidence, a part of which cannot be
confirmed and another part of which could be exaggerated."
JAC

...AS SENATORS RESUME CONSIDERING HIS RESIGNATION. Also on 11
October, Vyacheslav Khizhnyakov, presidential representative
to the Federation Council, sent a letter to that chamber's
Anti-Corruption Commission noting that the president agrees
with commission members that "the absence of a legitimate
prosecutor-general decreases the efficiency" of the office.
He asked commission members to submit their proposals on how
to resolve the differences between the upper legislative
chamber and the presidential administration over Skuratov,
according to ITAR-TASS. On 12 October, the issue of
Skuratov's resignation topped the agenda of the Anti-
Corruption Commission, according to Interfax. JAC

LOMONOSOV FACTORY RENATIONALIZED. The St. Petersburg and
Leningrad Oblast Arbitration Court has ruled that the 1993
privatization of the Lomonosov Porcelain Factory, which is
Russia's oldest and leading maker of fine porcelain, was
invalid, Russian newspapers reported on 12 October. According
to "Segodnya," the court based its ruling on the fact that
the decision to found a closed joint-stock company, rather
than an open one, had violated the law. The daily added that
the factory must either be returned to the state or be sold
for a second time. As a result of the 1993 privatization, a
group of foreign investors had taken a majority stake in the
factory, including the U.S.-Russia Investment Fund and the
U.S. investment firm KKR. "The Moscow Times" reported that
factory employees had barred investors from entering the
premises, accusing them of failing to produce an investment
plan and of seeking to seize the factory museum's valuable
collection. JC

SIBNEFT HEAD TO EMERGE FROM THE SHADOWS? Ekho Moskvy reported
on 11 October that Sibneft head Roman Abramovich will seek a
seat in the State Duma from the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug.
The station noted that Chukotka Governor Aleksandr Nazarov
was a founder of the interregional movement Unity (Edinstvo),
which many, including former Prime Minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin, have alleged was formed with the strong support
of media magnate Boris Berezovskii. Berezovskii and
Abramovich are close associates. Ekho Moskvy is owned by
Media-Most Group, whose head, Vladimir Gusinskii, is a
Berezovskii rival. In an interview with Interfax the same
day, Governor Nazarov said that he has not heard of any such
plan by Abramovich and that he personally will support a
candidate from Unity's list. JAC

MILLENIUM BUG TESTS UNDER WAY AT NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS. A
spokesman for Rosenergoatom told Reuters on 11 October that
an exercise at the Kursk nuclear power plant last weekend
aimed at testing the staff's ability to respond to possible
millennium bug emergencies was a "success." Only minor
problems, largely related to establishing emergency
communications links between various bodies, were registered,
the spokesman added. Rosenergoatom, which manages all but one
of Russia's nine nuclear power plants, is to carry out a
comprehensive program of tests by the end of this month. "In
November-December we should be totally prepared for the Y2K
problem," according to the concern's spokesman. A separate
Y2K response program has been prepared for the one nuclear
power facility, located near St. Petersburg, that is
subordinated to the Atomic Energy Ministry. JC

PRESIDENTIAL SUPPORTER WOUNDED IN KARACHAEVO-CHERKESSIA
SHOOTING. Anatolii Tugov, who played a leading role in
Vladimir Semenov's presidential campaign and is seen as a
probable member of the republic's new government, was shot
and seriously wounded outside his home in Cherkessk on 10
October, Caucasus Press reported. A man was arrested the
following day in connection with the shooting. Also on 11
October, a planned session of the republic's parliament was
canceled for lack of a quorum. Only Karachai and a few
Russian deputies, but not Cherkess, attended, according to
"Nezavisimaya gazeta" of 12 October. The parliamentary
session was to have approved the candidacy of Stavropol Krai
engineer Vasilii Neshchadinov as premier. LF

TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

MILITARY NOT TO VOTE IN ARMENIAN LOCAL ELECTIONS. The
Armenian parliament on 11 October voted to amend the election
law to allow Armenian servicemen to cast their votes in local
elections only in their place of permanent residence,
RFE/RL's Yerevan bureau reported. That measure will affect
the majority of army conscripts who normally perform their
compulsory military service away from their native towns and
villages. Opposition parties and international monitors have
claimed in the past that tens of thousands of soldiers are
ordered by their commanders to vote for pro-government
candidates. Voting by the military has consistently figured
in the list of election drawbacks reported by OSCE election
monitoring missions. LF

ARMENIAN, AZERBAIJANI PRESIDENTS MEET. Robert Kocharian and
Heidar Aliev met on the border between Armenia and
Azerbaijan's exclave of Nakhichevan on 11 October for a
fourth round of talks on Karabakh. The meeting, which lasted
just over two hours, was held behind closed doors. Kocharian
told journalists later that he and Aliev discussed "the
entire spectrum of issues" related to the settlement process,
in particular "the degree of compromise." He declined,
however, to give details. Aliev, for his part, noted that
successive peace proposals by the UN and the OSCE have failed
to yield a solution to the conflict. Aliev termed his direct
talks with Kocharian "very useful" but said "more time,
meetings and talks, and of course mutual compromises" are
needed to reach a peace settlement, Noyan Tapan reported. LF

AZERBAIJANI OPPOSITION PROTESTS CLOSURE OF TV STATION.
Meeting in Baku on 11 October, representatives of leading
Azerbaijani opposition parties formed a committee to defend
the rights of the independent television station Sara TV,
which was shut down by the Ministry of Justice on 9 October,
Turan reported. Turan quoted a member of the Azerbaijani
presidential administration as saying that the reason for the
closure was that the station's original registration in 1994
was illegal because its owners are not citizens of
Azerbaijan. But Sara TV president Rasul Rauf, who has a
British passport, said on 11 October that the Justice
Ministry claimed that the station "interferes in the public-
political life of Azerbaijan" and has departed from its
customary focus on entertainment. Rauf told Reuters that the
closure was "politically motivated." LF

AZERBAIJAN MILITARY OFFICIAL ARRESTED. Djanmirza Mirzoev, a
former instructor at the Baku Higher Naval Academy who
incurred the wrath of Defense Minister Safar Abiev for his
disclosures of corrupt practices and dissenting views within
that ministry, was arrested on 10 October, Turan reported the
following day quoting "Yeni Musavat" (see "RFE/RL Caucasus
Report," Vol. 2, No. 34, 26 August 1999). It is not clear
what crime Mirzoev has been charged with. LF

AZERBAIJAN, IRAN SEEK TO EXPAND COOPERATION. Visiting Iran
last week at the head of an Azerbaijani delegation, deputy
parliamentary speaker Yashar Aliev discussed with Iranian
Majlis speaker Ali-Aqbar Nateq-Nouri and with Foreign
Minister Kamal Kharrazi the need to expand bilateral
relations, which Aliev said should not be impeded by "minor
problems," IRNA reported. The talks focused on cooperation in
the oil, gas, and road construction sectors as well as in
cross-border trade. Yashar Aliev also attended a session of
the Tehran-Baku economic commission, which is intended to
explore how to increase trade turnover between the two
countries from the present level of $160 million. LF

GEORGIAN AMNESTY DISPUTE INTENSIFIES. The Georgian
Prosecutor-General's Office has made good on its 6 October
threat and brought criminal proceedings against the
authorities of the Adjar Autonomous Republic for that
region's failure to free all 28 prisoners eligible for
release under Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze's 1
October amnesty (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 7 and 8 October
1999). Three of the 28 men remain in jail. Speaking on
Georgian Radio on 11 October, Shevardnadze said the Adjar
authorities' refusal to comply with his amnesty decree
constitutes a threat to Georgia's territorial integrity. LF

GUARD ATTACKED AT RUSSIAN MILITARY BASE IN GEORGIA. Four
Armenian youths attacked a guard at the Russian military base
in the south Georgian district of Akhalkalaki on 11 October,
Caucasus Press reported. The guard shot and mortally wounded
one of the youths in self-defense. No details of the motive
for the assault are available. LF

OSCE CRITICIZES KAZAKH ELECTIONS... In its preliminary
assessment released on 11 October, the OSCE observer mission
to the parliamentary elections in Kazakhstan termed the poll
an improvement on the January 1999 presidential elections,
Reuters and dpa reported. But the monitors noted that while
the actual conduct of the vote was relatively free of
violations, intimidation and obstruction of opposition
candidates and parties "seriously undermined" democratic
principles during the election campaign and "contributed to
widespread expectations that the election results would be
falsified and that nothing would change as a result of the
elections." LF

...AS INITIAL RESULTS DELAYED. Central Electoral Commission
chairwoman Zaghipa Balieva told journalists on 11 October
that the preliminary results of the poll, which were to have
been released that day, will be available only on 12 October,
Reuters reported. Meanwhile Communist Party Chairman
Serikbolsyn Abdildin said in Almaty on 11 October he believes
that his party will win five or six of the 10 seats allocated
under the proportional system but that none of its candidates
in single-mandate constituencies received the required 50
percent of the vote to win outright in the first round,
Interfax reported. Azat Peruashev, head of the pro-government
Civic Party of Kazakhstan, told Interfax that eight of the
party's candidates have won in single-candidate
constituencies. A total of 64 candidates contested the 10
party-list seats, while 549 competed in the remaining 67
single-candidate constituencies. ("RFE/RL Newsline"
incorrectly reported on 11 October that 65 candidates
contested the party-list seats and 484 took part in the
remaining single candidate districts.) LF

KAZAKHSTAN'S PRESIDENT NAMES NEW PREMIER. Kazakhstan's
outgoing parliament on 12 October unanimously approved the
candidacy of Foreign Minister Kasymzhomart Toqaev as the
country's new prime minister, Reuters reported. President
Nursultan Nazarbaev had named Toqaev acting premier on 1
October following the resignation of Nurlan Balghymbaev (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 1 October 1999). Toqaev, who is 46, is a
trained diplomat with little economic expertise. But
parliamentary speaker Marat Ospanov, who had been fiercely
critical of Balghymbaev and was regarded as a possible
successor to him, told Interfax on 11 October that he
considers Toqaev "a suitable figure" for the post. Ospanov
argued that tensions between the parliament and the
Balghymbaev cabinet deterred badly-needed foreign investment,
which he hopes will now be forthcoming in the light of the
international community's "recognition and trust" in Toqaev.
LF

KYRGYZ TROOPS ADVANCE ON GUERRILLA BASE. Kyrgyz government
forces advanced into the Khodjo-Achkhan gorge on 11 October,
where ethnic Uzbek militants had retreated together with the
13 hostages they seized in August, Interfax and ITAR-TASS
reported. The Kyrgyz troops met with little resistance there.
Presidential press secretary Kanybek Imanaliev told
journalists in Bishkek the same day that all but 100 of the
estimated 1,000 guerrillas have retreated into Tajikistan.
The whereabouts of the hostages are unclear. LF

TAJIK OPPOSITION CANDIDATES CALL FOR POSTPONEMENT OF
PRESIDENTIAL POLL... Economics and Foreign Economic Relations
Minister Davlat Usmon (Islamic Renaissance Party), Sulton
Kuvvatov (Democratic Party/Tehran Platform) and Saiffidin
Turaev (Justice Party) issued a statement on 11 October
calling for the postponement of the 6 November presidential
elections, Interfax reported. They also asked for an
emergency session of the parliament to discuss the situation.
The three had threatened last week to boycott the poll to
protest what they termed interference by local district
administrators intended to prevent them from collecting the
signatures required to register as presidential candidates
(see "RFE/RL Newsline," 8 October 1999). Central Electoral
Commission chairman Mirzoali Boluev, who met with the three
candidates on 8- 9 October, rejected their criticism of local
administrators as "illegal propagandist pressure" aimed at
winning the support of the international community, Asia
Plus-Blitz reported on 11 October. He offered to extend the
deadline for the submission of registration documents until
11 October. LF

...AS UTO WITHDRAWS FROM CENTRAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION. The
United Tajik Opposition issued a statement on 10 October
supporting the claim by the three opposition candidates that
local administrators are sabotaging the election campaign,
Asia Plus-Blitz reported on 11 October. The UTO announced
that since the Central Electoral Commission is incapable of
taking measures to ensure that the poll is free and fair, the
UTO will withdraw its representatives, who account for 25
percent of the commission's members. LF

SECOND PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE NOMINATED IN UZBEKISTAN. The
People's Democratic Party of Uzbekistan, which is the
successor organization to the Communist Party of Uzbekistan
and has the largest faction (71 deputies) in Uzbekistan's
250-seat parliament, has named its leader, Abdulkhafiz
Djalalov, as its candidate for the January 2000 presidential
poll, Reuters and AP reported on 11 October. Djalalov, 52, is
director of the department of philosophy and law of the Uzbek
Academy of Sciences. The People's Democratic Party was headed
until 1994 by incumbent President Islam Karimov, who has been
nominated as presidential candidate by both the Social
Democratic Party (Adolat) and the Fidorkorlar. LF

END NOTE

A REAL BATTLE ON THE VIRTUAL FRONT

By Paul Goble

	Russians and Chechens are fighting not only on the
physical battlefield in the North Caucasus. They have taken
their fight to the virtual world of the Internet, with each
side trying to seize the advantage there as well.
	Last week, Moscow officials denied that Russian forces
had attacked a bus carrying Chechen fugitives and killed many
of them. But before that report could be aired on central
Russian television, the Chechens used their Internet Website
to post photographs of the incident.
	Not only did this call into question Russian claims
about the way in which Moscow is conducting the current
campaign, but it forced Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
to focus ever more closely on the role of the Internet in
deciding the outcome of conflicts.
	Speaking to journalists last week, Putin openly
acknowledged that Moscow was playing catch-up on this
battlefield: "We surrendered this terrain some time ago," he
said, "but now we are entering the game again."
	The prime minister's remarks came on the heels of
reports that Russia's evolving national security concept now
calls for tightened control over the media during crisis
situations.
	Indeed, the Russian government's own newspaper
"Izvestiya" noted rather critically that "the introduction of
centralized military censorship regarding the war in the
North Caucasus is the only new idea" in the much vaunted
national security doctrine.
	But if battlefield censorship is nothing new--most
governments have sought to impose it in most wars--then the
war in the virtual world of the Internet is. And because of
that, the attackers still have significant advantages over
the defenders, even though that pattern may be reversed.
	Since declaring their independence from the Soviet Union
in November 1991, the Chechens have pioneered the use of
Website as a weapon to try to break the information blockade
that the Russian authorities have tried to impose over the
conflict.
	In recent weeks, the Russian government responded on a
number of fronts. It has tried to close down the most
important of the Chechen Websites---http://www.kavkaz.org--
and even sought help from Western governments to that end.
	But Moscow has not limited itself to official moves
against the Chechen efforts in cyberspace. The Russian
authorities or their supporters have routinely hacked into
Chechen sites, destroying or distorting the materials and
information they contain.
	And taking a leaf from the Chechens' book, the Russian
government's news agencies have expanded their activities on
the web, not only increasing the number of Websites they
operate but tailoring them to deliver specific messages to
specific audiences.
	Control of information has always been a key element in
military strategy and has often determined the outcomes of
military campaigns. For most of human history, commanders on
the scene and their political superiors were in a position to
determine what was reported and what was not.
	But the rise of mass circulation newspapers in Europe
during the last century and even more the appearance of radio
and television in this one has limited the ability of both
generals and politicians to control the situation. Now the
Internet has reduced their ability to do so still further.
	If Moscow eliminates one Chechen site, another is likely
to replace it within hours, if not minutes. If those
supporting the Russian side hack into a Chechen site, the
Chechens are likely to respond by hacking into a Russian one.
	Indeed, there are suspicions that the Chechens or their
backers may have been behind the defacing of Moscow Mayor
Yurii Luzhkov's Website two weeks ago precisely because of
his statements against Chechnya and his efforts to expel
Chechens from the Russian capital.
	The Internet and the World Wide Web have thus become yet
another field of battle in modern war, one in which neither
side has yet been able to declare any final victory.
	But this new, virtual, but all too real battlefield
appears likely to be one in which those who seek to control
the free flow of news are likely to suffer more defeats than
those who sponsor it. And the victories of the latter in
cyberspace may ultimately translate into other victories as
well.

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