|Жизнь надо мешать чаще, чтобы она не закисла. - М. Горький|
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 215, Part I, 4 November 1999
___________________________________________________________ RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 215, Part I, 4 November 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 * YELTSIN'S BACK * MORE DISPLACED CHECHENS ALLOWED TO ENTER INGUSHETIA * ARMENIAN PRESIDENT NAMES NEW PREMIER End Note: WHEN 'SALVATION' IS DAMNATION xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx RUSSIA YELTSIN'S BACK... President Boris Yeltsin's unexpected return to Moscow on 3 November from a vacation in Sochi triggered the usual speculation about whether a personnel reshuffle should soon be expected. The website http://www.gazeta.ru argues that Yeltsin will soon replace Prime Minister Vladimir Putin with Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu. It notes that Shoigu was recently recalled from his trip to the Far East and Siberia to cope with the influx of Chechen displaced persons into Ingushetia. "Nezavisimaya gazeta," which receives funding from Boris Berezovskii's LogoVAZ group, suggested Yeltsin may want to play a "more active" role in the election process. On the other hand, "Izvestiya," which is owned by Vladimir Potanin's Interros Group and LUKoil, suggested that Yeltsin will not oust the premier since the "Kremlin is holding onto Putin too tightly" to let him go now. JAC ...AS PUTIN'S POPULARITY REPORTEDLY SOARS. According to a recent survey conducted by the Public Opinion Foundation among 1,500 people in 29 regions, 29 percent of Russians would vote for Prime Minister Putin in presidential elections if those elections were held on 6-7 November 1999, AP reported. Foundation director Aleksandr Olson said the rating exceeds the previous record, held by General Aleksandr Lebed in 1996. According to AFP, the polling group VTsIOM will soon release a survey also showing strong support for Putin. Addressing a meeting of rectors of higher-education institutions in Russia on 3 November, Putin suggested that Russia needs a new national ideology based on patriotism, Interfax reported. "One ideology was lost and nothing new was suggested to replace it," Putin said. "Patriotism in the most positive sense of this word" must be the backbone of the new ideology. JAC INFLATION TICKS DOWN, WHILE GASOLINE PRICES CONTINUE RISING. Addressing cabinet members on 4 November, Putin said that the country's macroeconomic indices for the current year are "rather good," according to ITAR-TASS. Putin noted high growth in industrial output, controlled inflation, and increasing success collecting revenues for the budget, Interfax reported. The same day, the Russian Statistics Agency reported that inflation in October averaged 1.4 percent, compared with 1.5 percent in September, 1.2 percent in August, and 2.8 percent in June. Prices of consumer goods rose only 0.9 percent, but gasoline prices jumped 7.7 percent in October. Some regions have witnessed sharper increases; in Buryatia, for example, the price of various types of gasoline rose 9-11 percent, "Nezavisimaya gazeta" reported on 4 November. Nationwide, the price of gasoline has increased 2.7 times since the beginning of the year. JAC MORE DISPLACED CHECHENS ALLOWED TO ENTER INGUSHETIA. Some 1,300 fleeing Chechens were allowed across the border into Ingushetia on 3 November, 10 times the number who crossed the previous day, Reuters reported. Ingushetia's President Ruslan Aushev again appealed to President Yeltsin and Prime Minister Putin to ensure the normal functioning of the border checkpoint, while an Ingush migration official told ITAR-TASS that the delay in admitting the Chechens is due to the complicated and time-consuming process of checking their identification. Putin, for his part, ordered Minister for Emergency Situations Shoigu to travel to Ingushetia and evaluate the situation there. On 4 November, traffic at the crossing point was moving far more swiftly after the requirement that women and children fill out official papers was suspended, Reuters reported. Ingushetia's border guard commander said he hopes the estimated 50,000 Chechens still waiting to enter Ingushetia will be able to do so by the end of the day. LF RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTER SAYS RUSSIA PLANS TO EXTEND CONTROL THROUGHOUT CHECHNYA. Speaking on 3 November in Ferghana, where he met with Central Asian colleagues to review joint military exercises (see below), Igor Sergeev said that Russian troops "are planning to free from terrorists not only Grozny but the whole of Chechnya. This is the task set for us by the president," ITAR-TASS reported. Sergeev predicted that Russian forces will take control of the town of Gudermes within days. He denied, however, that they will take Grozny by storm. Sergeev also claimed that the Chechen fighters have up to 70 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, although he added that "we are taking measures to reduce the supply" of those weapons. Sergeev did not specify how those missiles are transported to Chechnya. LF RUSSIAN MILITARY CLAIMS CHECHENS RETREATING SOUTHWARD. Chechen defenders are abandoning the towns of Gudermes and Sunzha and retreating south into the mountains, where they are setting up winter camps, Interfax and ITAR-TASS reported on 3 November, quoting unnamed Russian military spokesmen. The same day, Russian forces took control of the main highway east from Gudermes to Daghestan, while Russian artillery continued to shell Gudermes and the village of Berkat-Yurt just east of Grozny. LF NORTH CAUCASUS LEADERS AGAIN CALL ON MOSCOW TO BEGIN TALKS WITH GROZNY. Adam Malsagov, who is an official Ingushetian representative in Moscow, said on 4 November that Ingushetia, Daghestan, and North Ossetia want the Russian leadership to start negotiations immediately with unnamed "moderate" Chechen leaders, as failure to begin such talks prolongs hostilities and increases the number of casualties, Caucasus Press reported. A meeting of North Caucasus leaders with Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov planned for 28 October failed to take place. LF JUSTICE MINISTER SAYS TROOP DEPLOYMENT IN INGUSHETIA IS LEGAL. Russian Deputy Minister of Justice Yevgenii Sidorenko ruled on 3 November that the deployment of Russian troops in Ingushetia is provided for by the law on terrorism, which allows the use of the armed forces to combat a terrorist threat, Interfax reported. Earlier that day, Ingushetia's President Aushev had said that his republic's Ministry of Justice was trying to determine whether the actions of federal forces in Ingushetia are legal. Sidorenko denied that the Ingushetian Justice Ministry has the authority to challenge the legitimacy of the Russian Defense Ministry's actions. LF YELTSIN REWARDS SERGEEV AND CO? Reports are circulating that President Yeltsin has conferred the Hero of Russia award on Defense Minister Sergeev. "Nezavisimaya gazeta" on 3 November quoted a source at the Defense Ministry's press service as saying that such information is "highly plausible" and that the title has also been conferred on Armed Forces General Staff Chief Anatolii Kvashnin, Federal Security Service Director Nikolai Patrushev, Internal Affairs Minister Vladimir Rushailo. and Foreign Intelligence Service Director Vyacheslav Trubnikov. The newspaper commented that it is unclear whether Yeltsin wants to "boost his prestige" in the eyes of the power structures ahead of the State Duma elections or reward those structures for their part in the "anti-terrorist operation" in Chechnya. Earlier this year, Yeltsin awarded Emergencies Minister Shoigu the same title, shortly before reportedly asking him to head the interregional movement Unity. JC/JAC ANOTHER PARTY BARRED FROM REGISTRATION... The Central Election Commission on 3 November refused to register the Russian Conservative Movement of Businessmen (RKPP) because one of its top three candidates, singer and composer Yurii Antonov, failed to declare all of his 1998 income, ITAR-TASS reported. Under the election law, disqualification of one of a party or bloc's top three candidates disqualifies the entire party. RKPP was the fourth election association to excluded. The others were Vladimir Zhirinovskii's Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, Nur, and the National Salvation Front. Zhirinovskii, however, succeeded in registering his own eponymous bloc. JAC ...AS REFORM OF ELECTION LAW SUGGESTED... RFE/RL's Moscow bureau reports that election commission head Aleksandr Veshnyakov has been criticized for being a strict legalist while neglecting the larger mission of ensuring a fair election process. Sergei Ryabov of the Carnegie Moscow Center told RFE/RL that "Veshnyakov's tactic is to stick to the letter of the law" and this gives "imperfect results because the law is imperfect." In an interview with "Izvestiya" on 4 November, Veshnyakov admitted that the law needs to be fine- tuned but not overhauled. "Kommersant-Daily" suggested the same day that certain provisions of the law may be amended, particularly the one that requires an entire party to be barred if any of the top three candidates are disqualified. JAC ...AND FINAL TALLY SHOWS 35 PERCENT FEWER GROUPS THAN LAST ELECTION. Also on 3 November, the commission registered seven groups, including the Social Democrats, the Peace, Labor and May movement, the Cedar (Kedr), movement, All Russian Party of the People, Viktor Anpilov's Stalinist Bloc, Communists for the Soviet Union and Ivan Rybkin's Socialist Party of Russia. However, the commission excluded 25 percent of the last-named party's list of candidates, according to "Vremya MN" on 4 November. When the registration process concluded, a total of five blocs and 23 associations had been registered, compared with 43 blocs and associations in the last elections. JAC RUSSIA TEST-FIRES ANTI-MISSILE ROCKET. Commander of the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces Colonel General Vladimir Yakovlev said that the 3 November launch of an anti-missile rocket from the Sary-Shagan test site in Kazakhstan may be seen in the context of "possible symmetrical and asymmetrical response measures" if the U.S. withdraws from the 1972 Anti- Ballistic Missile Treaty. Yakovlev noted that "this latest successful launch" was the first since 1993, adding that it showed the missile is combat-ready, Interfax reported. Reuters quoted a senior U.S. State Department official as saying it is "distressing that Russia is raising the specter of arms competition when what we're trying to do is work cooperatively with them to focus on rogue states." JC ALLEGED MOSCOW BOMBER CHARGED... Police in Moscow have filed charges against one unidentified man in connection with the explosions this summer of two apartment buildings in that city, Interfax reported on 3 November. Aleksandr Tsarenko, head of the Federal Security Service's Moscow directorate, told the agency that the investigation into the bombings is almost complete and the FSB believes the acts were carried out by a group loyal to Chechen field commanders Shamil Basaev and Khattab. He added that the FSB is searching for two other suspects who are believed to be hiding in Chechnya. JAC ...AS MOSCOW POPULATION LOSES SEVERAL THOUSAND. Almost 500 person have been deported from Moscow, while almost 8,000 left of their own accord, "Moskovskaya pravda" reported on 4 November. According to the daily, Moscow's municipal immigration service pressed charges against 147 local companies for illegal employment of "foreign" workers. The deportations occurred, despite a recent ruling by the Russian Constitutional Court Judge Gaddis Gadzhiev, who said that as long as there is no emergency regime in place in the country, "any restriction of citizens' rights and freedom is intolerable." He added that the internal deportation of citizens is "illegal" (see "RFE/RL Watchlist," 7 October 1999). JAC MINERS TO STRIKE JUST IN TIME FOR ELECTIONS? The Kemerovo Oblast Workers Council is planning a Kuzbass-wide protest action in the near future, delegates to the All-Kuzbass Congress of Workers Collectives told reporters on 3 November. According to "Izvestiya" the next day, delegates believe such a protest is justified to call attention to the continuing deterioration of the socio-economic situation in the oblast. They did not rule out also staging a protest in Moscow, possibly on the bridge next to the government building. Council chairman Vitalii Malanin expressed confidence that the upcoming protest action will spark similar protests across the country. He added that media in the Kemerovo region "do not dare express their own opinion" against [Kemerovo Governor Aman Tuleev]" because they are dependent on him for financial support. JAC PUTIN CALLS FOR VISA REGIME FOR AZERBAIJAN, GEORGIA. Speaking at a cabinet session on 4 November, Prime Minister Putin ordered the Foreign Ministry to begin negotiations with Azerbaijan and Georgia on imposing a temporary visa requirement for citizens of those countries wishing to enter Russia, ITAR-TASS reported. Putin argued that such a step is necessary to prevent Chechen gunmen freely crossing into the Russian Federation from those two countries. Russian Border Guard Commander Konstantin Totskii reported to the meeting on his talks two days earlier with his Georgian counterpart, Valerii Chkheidze. At those talks, Chkheidze refused to agree to Russian and Georgian frontier guards joint patrolling the Chechen sector of the Russian-Georgian border. Totskii said that at present only 70 Georgian border guards patrol the 80- kilometer stretch of border but that number will be increased to 100. LF POLAND REFUSES TO RANSOM RESEARCHERS ABDUCTED IN DAGHESTAN. The Polish government has rejected a demand for a ransom of $1 million for each of the two women researchers from the Polish Academy of Sciences who were kidnapped in Daghestan in August, Interfax reported on 3 November (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 17 August 1999). The two women are currently being held captive in the Chechen town of Urus-Martan, according to Caucasus Press. LF TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA ARMENIAN PRESIDENT NAMES NEW PREMIER... Robert Kocharian on 3 November appointed Aram Sargsian to succeed his murdered elder brother, Vazgen, as prime minister, RFE/RL's Yerevan bureau reported. Sargsian's candidacy was proposed by the majority Miasnutiun parliamentary faction, one of whose leaders, Andranik Markarian, said there will be no changes in Armenia's economic policy or its approach to resolving the Karabakh conflict. Sargsian, who is 38, is a construction engineer who, like his brother, fought as a volunteer in Nagorno-Karabakh in the early 1990s. Since 1993, he has been employed at the Ararat cement plant and became its director in 1998, according to Noyan Tapan. A member of the Republican Party, Sargsian was elected a deputy to the parliament in May but has no other political experience. LF ...PLEDGES ECONOMIC CONTINUITY. Meeting on 3 November with a group of Armenian bankers, President Kocharian vowed that last week's murders of senior officials will not affect the country's commitment to economic reform, RFE/RL's Yerevan bureau reported. "We are able to overcome the existing problems and continue the country's development in a constitutional way," he said. Central Bank Chairman Tigran Sarkisian told the gathering that the IMF and World Bank have expressed their readiness to discuss possible additional economic and technical assistance to help Armenia recover from the aftermath of the shootings. The national currency continues to strengthen gradually against the U.S. dollar, but some analysts have expressed concern that the killings may deter potential foreign investors. LF MORE ARRESTS IN CONNECTION WITH ARMENIAN PARLIAMENT SHOOTINGS. Military police have detained an unspecified number of people in connection with the 27 October shootings in the parliament, Noyan Tapan reported on 3 November, citing an unnamed source close to the country's law enforcement agencies. The five gunmen directly responsible for the killings were taken into custody after surrendering on 28 October. LF AZERBAIJAN'S OPPOSITION DEMANDS CLARIFICATION OF KARABAKH NEGOTIATING STANCE. Members of the opposition parliamentary Democratic Bloc called on parliamentary speaker Murtuz Alesqerov on 2 November to answer questions related to the ongoing negotiations with Armenia on a settlement of the Karabakh conflict, Turan reported. Those questions include which precise concessions the Azerbaijani leadership is prepared to make; whether the degree of self-government given to Nagorno-Karabakh includes the right to a separate constitution, legal system, and national army; whether the peace agreement under discussion provides for the return of displaced persons to Shusha, Lachin, and Kelbadjar; and whether the Azerbaijani leadership has taken into consideration the possibility that concessions could spark massive protests among the country's population. LF GEORGIA EXPRESSES CONCERN AT RUSSIA'S VIOLATION OF CFE CEILING. Shalva Pichkhadze, who is foreign policy adviser to President Eduard Shevardnadze, said on 3 November that if Russia continues its arms buildup in Chechnya in violation of the limits imposed by the CFE treaty, then Georgia will intensify its campaign for NATO membership, AP and Interfax reported. Shevardnadze said last week that he hopes for Georgian accession to the alliance by 2005. Also on 3 November, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Vladimir Rakhmanin told journalists in Moscow that Russian will withdraw from the North Caucasus military equipment in excess of its CFE quotas as soon as the situation in Chechnya is "under control," according to Interfax. LF TALKS ON CLOSURE OF RUSSIAN BASES IN GEORGIA DEADLOCKED. Georgian parliamentary Defense and Security Commission Chairman Revaz Adamia told Interfax on 3 November that Moscow and Tbilisi are at odds over the timeframe for the closure of Russia's military bases in Georgia. Adamia said that Georgia wants those bases to be closed within six to 18 months, while Russia insists they should remain for 25 years as provided for under the terms of a 1995 bilateral treaty, which the Georgian parliament has not ratified. LF KAZAKH OFFICIAL PREDICTS CANCER CASES WILL DOUBLE AS RESULT OF ROCKET EXPLOSION. A senior medical official predicted on 2 November that the incidence of cancer in the regions of central Kazakhstan affected by the 27 October explosion of a Russian Proton rocket will double over the next two or three years, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reported the following day. Russian scientists have claimed that the adverse consequences of the blast will be minimal (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 3 November 1999). LF KAZAKH LEADERSHIP WANTS TO EXPAND ECONOMIC COOPERATION WITH GERMANY, JAPAN. President Nursultan Nazarbaev and Prime Minister Qasymzhomart Toqaev met separately on 2 and 3 November, respectively, with a visiting German delegation from Sachsen-Anhalt, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reported. Delegation head Gerhard Glogowski told both Kazakh officials in response to their plea for greater German investment in Kazakhstan that the country should enact legislation protecting foreign investors. Germany is one of Kazakhstan's main trade partners, with annual trade turnover estimated at $650 million. Also on 3 November, Toqaev told a visiting delegation from Japan's Marubeni Corporation that Kazakhstan considers expanding economic relations with Japan "a priority," Interfax reported. Marubeni is interested in a $300-400 million project for reconstructing the Atyrau oil refinery. A feasibility plan for the plant's reconstruction is nearing completion. An agreement on the project is likely to be signed during Nazarbaev's visit to Japan at the end of the year. LF HEAD OF KYRGYZ PRESIDENTIAL STAFF NAMED TO HEAD AUDIT COMMISSION. President Askar Akaev on 3 November named Medet Sadyrkulov to head the Auditing Commission, a post that Akaev said entails coordinating the activities of all public organizations that support reform in the runup to the February 2000 parliamentary elections, RFE/RL's Bishkek bureau reported. Interfax quoted Akaev as saying that those elections are crucial to Kyrgyzstan's image as a democratic country. He told Sadyrkulov to ensure that criminal elements are prevented from entering the new parliament and that governors and ministers do not use budget funds to finance their associates' election campaigns. LF OSCE DECIDES AGAINST MONITORING TAJIK PRESIDENTIAL POLL. A spokesman for the OSCE has said that organization will not send a delegation to Tajikistan to monitor the 6 November presidential poll, an RFE/RL correspondent reported on 3 November. The spokesman said that given the restrictions on candidates and the activities of political parties, the election process does not meet the standards set by the OSCE for a democratic poll. Economics and Foreign Economic Relations Minister Davlat Usmon, whom the Central Electoral Commission has registered as a candidate, despite his failure to submit the required 145,000 signatures in his support, said on 3 November he will not formally withdraw his candidacy as it is illegal, ITAR-TASS reported. The Central Electoral Commission has confirmed that Usmon has not withdrawn from the poll and that his name is on the ballot sheet together with that of incumbent Imomali Rakhmonov. LF DEFENSE MINISTERS REVIEW CENTRAL ASIAN JOINT MANEUVERS. The defense ministers of Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan have assessed the five-day joint exercises held in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, Interfax and Asia Plus-Blitz reported. Those maneuvers, which ended on 1 November, were aimed at coordinating measures to repulse a terrorist attack. Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeev told his colleagues that Russian and Uzbek forces will be ready by next spring to launch cross-border attacks into Tajik territory in order to preempt an anticipated strike by Uzbek Islamist forces. Sergeev added that Russia will extend assistance to Kyrgyzstan within the framework of the CIS Collective Security Treaty if those guerrillas launch a further incursion into Kyrgyzstan. Meanwhile in Astana, a Kazakh Interior Ministry press secretary denied that unidentified gunmen have crossed into southern Kazakhstan from neighboring Uzbekistan, Interfax reported on 3 November. LF END NOTE WHEN 'SALVATION' IS DAMNATION by Michael Shafir It hardly matters whether the neo-Nazi group in Russia that calls itself Spas (Salvation) managed to have its list approved by the Russian Central Electoral Commission (CEC) for the 19 December State Duma elections as a result of official incompetence or because its leader, Aleksandr Barkashov, has cunningly calculated his moves. The second scenario would be nothing more than yet another example of the ongoing exploitation by extremist leaders of the weaknesses of the system they want to destroy--democracy. On 18 October, the CEC registered the list of Spas, which thereby became one of 31 organizations to submit registration documents before the 24 October deadline. On 25 October, the Justice Ministry appealed to the Supreme Court to bar Spas from running on the grounds that the group has violated the law on public association. The ministry argued that Spas provided false information about the number of its regional branches. The law requires that nationwide movements have organizations in at least half of the 89 federation subjects, and Spas submitted data on 47 such organizations. A check carried out by the ministry, however, failed to locate such organizations in at least 10 of those regions, according to "Kommersant-Daily" on 2 November. That begs the question as to what the ministry was doing up to 25 October. It was certainly not in the dark about Barkashov's lack of scruples. His Russian National Unity (RNE) party had been set up in 1990, and if it acquired some notoriety, it was precisely because it played "the democratic game" and at the same time undermined democracy by, among other things, setting up illegal paramilitary formations. Spas was registered one year ago, to include RNE and two other small and unknown groups. Those facts again raise the question as to what Justice Ministry was doing until now. Justice Minister Yurii Chaika told Interfax on 2 November that Barkashov must be stopped because "people sharing Nazi ideology cannot run for elected government bodies in Russia." But Barkashov's identification with that ideology is nothing new. In accordance with the law, the ministry should have warned Spas twice before asking for the organization to be outlawed. It failed to do so even once, however. Had it taken those steps, appealing to the Supreme Court to cancel Spas's registration might have been rendered unnecessary. Hence the question: what has the ministry been doing until now? After all, it could have followed the example set by Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov, who last December prevented RNE from holding a congress in Moscow and, in response to Barkashov's threats to stage a march by 100,000 sympathizers, complained to the Prosecutor-General's Office. That agency pressed charges against Barkashov for instigation to violence. Furthermore, a court outlawed the Moscow branch of RNE, and another court in the capital annulled the registration of one of Barkashov's publications. While Luzhkov is hardly the personification of democracy, in this instance he acted correctly. To make matters even worse, the Russian Federation Supreme Court on 1 November refused to examine the ministry's appeal against the group's registration, referring it to a raion court. But the lower court did not rule by 3 November, meaning that the list approved by the CEC remains valid. Does this mean that the bureaucrats at the Justice Ministry are unaware of how justice is administered in their country? The name "Spas," chosen by Barkashov for his group, speaks volumes about what he himself stands for. Roger Griffin, a leading scholar on the history of fascism, defines that movement as "a genus of political ideology whose mythic core in its various permutations is a palingenetic form of populist ultra-nationalism". The unusual term "palingenetic," according to Griffin, expresses "the myth of rebirth, regeneration." This myth is common to all fascists--old and new, eastern or western, southern or northern. What it amounts to is a belief that democracy is a form of social and moral decay and that "regeneration" or "revival" not only justifies "drastic means" but is achieved by using such means. And thus it is no accident that a recently published book by Vladimir Tismaneanu, a Romanian-born political scientist, dealing with this phenomenon in the post-communist world, is called "Fantasies of Salvation." Spas is not the only dangerous fantasy to haunt Russia. Among the no fewer than 81 parties, movements or associations with extremist postures, there are groups called the Russian Party of Spiritual Revival, the Union for the Revival of the Fatherland, the Union of the Fatherland, and, of course, the Front of National Salvation. Post-communist Poland has its own National Rebirth of Poland party. In all likelihood, there are more. And thus the final question: Do officials at the Russian Justice Ministry understand that there comes a point in history at which "salvation" almost certainly leads to damnation? xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Copyright (c) 1999 RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx HOW TO SUBSCRIBE Send an email to email@example.com with the word subscribe as the subject of the message. HOW TO UNSUBSCRIBE Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the word unsubscribe as the subject of the message. 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