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RFE/RL Newsline, Vol. 4, No. 107, 00-06-02

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty: Newsline Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty <http://www.rferl.org>

RFE/RL NEWSLINE

Vol. 4, No. 107, 2 June 2000 "RFE/RL Caucasus Report," Vol. 3, No. 20, 18

May 2000),

CONTENTS

[A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

  • [01] WIFE PROTESTS ARRESTED KARABAKH GENERAL'S INNOCENCE
  • [02] ARMENIAN, UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTERS MEET
  • [03] REPRISALS AGAINST AZERBAIJANI MEDIA CONTINUE
  • [04] UN OBSERVERS MISSING IN GEORGIA
  • [05] CIS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY VISITS ABKHAZIA
  • [06] OSCE CHAIRWOMAN VISITS KAZAKHSTAN
  • [07] KAZAKHSTAN'S PRESIDENT, PREMIER UPBEAT ON ECONOMY
  • [08] MOTHERS OF DISABLED CHILDREN STAGE PROTEST IN KYRGYZSTAN
  • [09] SITUATION ON AFGHAN-TAJIK BORDER 'STABLE'

  • [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

  • [10] MONTENEGRIN PRESIDENT CALLS KILLING OF AIDE 'TERRORIST ACT'
  • [11] MILOSEVIC AIDE SKEPTICAL ON ZUGIC MURDER
  • [12] MILOSEVIC BACKER TAUNTS DJUKANOVIC
  • [13] MONTENEGRO NOT AFRAID OF COUP
  • [14] YET ANOTHER DRIVE-BY SLAYING OF SERB IN KOSOVA
  • [15] TWO SERBS KILLED IN LANDMINE EXPLOSION
  • [16] SERBIAN GOVERNMENT TAKES OVER BELGRADE'S PUBLIC
  • [17] DRASKOVIC'S BODYGUARDS JAILED
  • [18] BELGRADE SEEKING INTERNATIONAL PROFILE?
  • [19] STEPPED-UP SECURITY FOR PLAVSIC
  • [20] SFOR ARRESTS HERZEGOVINIANS
  • [21] CROATIAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES FUNDS FOR SERBS
  • [22] ROMANIAN LOCAL ELECTIONS CAMPAIGN ENDS
  • [23] WARRANTS ISSUED FOR BANKERS IN ROMANIAN FRAUD INVESTIGATION
  • [24] MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT MEETS GAGAUZ-YERI DEPUTIES
  • [25] LIBYA BANS BULGARIAN FLIGHTS
  • [26] FORMER BULGARIAN PRESIDENT DEAD

  • [C] END NOTE

  • [27] THE FUTURE OF RUSSIAN FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE UNDER PUTIN

  • [A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

    [01] WIFE PROTESTS ARRESTED KARABAKH GENERAL'S INNOCENCE

    In an

    open letter to Armenian President Robert Kocharian published

    in the Yerevan newspaper "Aravot" on 1 June, Irina Babayan

    said her husband Samvel, the former Defense Minister and

    Karabakh Defense Army commander, is innocent of charges of

    masterminding the 22 March assassination attempt against

    Arkadii Ghukasian, President of the unrecognized Nagorno-

    Karabakh Republic, RFE/RL's Yerevan bureau reported (see

    "RFE/RL Newsline," 24 May 2000). Irina Babayan claimed her

    husband is subjected to mistreatment in pre-trial detention,

    and that the NKR authorities arrested him solely in order to

    prevent his supporters from gaining a majority in the new

    parliament to be elected on 18 June. She appealed to

    Kocharian, who fought alongside Babayan during the Karabakh

    war, to intervene on behalf of his former comrade-in-arms. LF

    [02] ARMENIAN, UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTERS MEET

    Vartan Oskanian

    and his visiting Ukrainian counterpart Dmitrii Tkach held

    talks in Yerevan on 30 May on bilateral political and

    economic relations, which they evaluated highly, cooperation

    within the CIS, and stability and security in the South

    Caucasus, Groong reported citing Armenian National Television

    and Armenpress. Tkach assured Oskanian Kyiv supports

    Armenia's bid for full membership of the Council of Europe

    and is prepared to contribute towards resolving the Karabakh

    conflict. LF

    [03] REPRISALS AGAINST AZERBAIJANI MEDIA CONTINUE

    A Baku district

    court on 31 May fined Elmar Huseinov, editor of the

    opposition newspaper "Bakinskii bulvard" and one of its

    journalists, Irada Huseinova, 10 million manats ($2,270) each

    for an article allegedly insulting Defense Minister Safar

    Abiev by incriminating him in economic crime, Turan reported.

    An investigation last year into allegations that Abiev

    condoned embezzlement within the Defense Ministry proved

    inconclusive (see "RFE/RL Caucasus Report," Vol. 2, No. 34,

    26 August 1999). Also on 30 May, Huseinov brought a court

    action against a Baku district tax office that ordered the

    suspension of publication of the journal "Monitor Weekly,"

    which he also edits, and the sealing of its editorial office.

    In a second action, a Baku court found the newspaper "Uch

    nogte" guilty of insulting the honor and dignity of Astara

    District Administrator Ibragim Guliev, Turan reported. LF

    [04] UN OBSERVERS MISSING IN GEORGIA

    Two members of the UN

    Observer force in Georgia, two specialists from the British

    "Halo Trust," which engages in mine-disposal, and their

    Abkhaz interpreter disappeared on the afternoon of 1 June in

    the Kodori gorge, the sole stretch of Abkhaz territory still

    controlled by the central Georgian government, Caucasus Press

    reported. Abkhaz Prosecutor-General Anri Djergenia said the

    five had been abducted, but no ransom demand has been made. A

    helicopter search on 2 June yielded no trace of the group,

    according to Reuters.. Five military observers were abducted

    and held hostage for several days in the same area last

    October by an unknown group that was never captured (see

    "RFE/RL Newsline," 14 and 18 October 1999). LF

    [05] CIS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY VISITS ABKHAZIA

    Yurii Yarov held

    talks in Sukhum on 1 June with Abkhaz President Vladislav

    Ardzinba which he told journalists were intended to

    familiarize him with the current situation and the Abkhaz

    leadership's position on how to resolve the Abkhaz conflict,

    Caucasus Press reported. Abkhazia refuses to consider the

    most recent draft settlement plan proposed by the UN defining

    the division of constitutional powers between Abkhazia and

    the central Georgian government (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 15

    May 2000). LF

    [06] OSCE CHAIRWOMAN VISITS KAZAKHSTAN

    Austrian Foreign Minister

    and OSCE chairwoman in office Benita Ferrero-Waldner

    discussed security threats to the Central Asia states with

    Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbaev in Almaty on 1

    June, Reuters and Interfax reported. She told journalists

    after those talks that the primary concern is the situation

    in Afghanistan, where she affirmed the OSCE's support for a

    peaceful solution mediated by the UN. She also listed as

    threats to the region possible disputes over scarce water

    resources, and what she termed the interlinked problems of

    drugs and terrorism. LF

    [07] KAZAKHSTAN'S PRESIDENT, PREMIER UPBEAT ON ECONOMY

    Speaking

    on national television on 1 June, President Nazarbaev

    affirmed that "growth is underway" in the real sector of the

    economy and predicted that industrial production will

    increase by 15 percent over the first five months of this

    year, Interfax reported. He also estimated that exports will

    grow by more than 30 percent over the same period. Addressing

    the first congress of Kazakh investors the same day, Prime

    Minister Qasymzhomart Toqaev said that domestic investment in

    the economy this year could total $1 billion, and would

    exceed direct foreign investment. He said that 65 contracts

    have already been signed with domestic investors and should

    create some 13,000 new jobs. LF

    [08] MOTHERS OF DISABLED CHILDREN STAGE PROTEST IN KYRGYZSTAN

    Some 150 women joined the ongoing Bishkek picket on 1 June,

    which was International Children's Day, to protest the

    inadequate financial benefits paid by the government for

    their disabled children, RFE/RL's bureau in the Kyrgyz

    capital reported. Mothers of such children receive only 150

    soms ($3) per month, and are not entitled to any other

    benefits or privileges. Tamara Dyikanbaeva, who chairs the

    Association of Mothers of Disabled and Handicapped Children,

    estimated the total number of such children in Kyrgyzstan at

    12,000 of whom some 1,000 live in Bishkek. LF

    [09] SITUATION ON AFGHAN-TAJIK BORDER 'STABLE'

    A senior Russian

    military officer in Tajikistan told ITAR-TASS on 1 June that

    the situation on that country's border with Afghanistan is

    stable, and that no concentration of Taliban forces has been

    registered on the Afghan side. But he added that the Russian

    troop presence on the Tajik side of the border has been

    reinforced, without citing figures. Also on 1 June, the

    Taliban Foreign Ministry sent an official protest to the UN

    condemning alleged violations of Afghan airspace by Uzbek

    aircraft earlier this week (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 1 June

    2000). LF


    [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [10] MONTENEGRIN PRESIDENT CALLS KILLING OF AIDE 'TERRORIST ACT'

    Milo Djukanovic said in Podgorica on 1 June that the murder

    of his security chief, Goran Zugic, was "political" (see

    "RFE/RL Newsline," 1 June 2000). "Whoever shot Goran Zugic

    last night carried out a terrorist act against democracy in

    Montenegro and the security of its citizens.... The murder is

    being seen as one with political overtones," Reuters

    reported. Justice Minister Dragan Soc added: "We are dealing

    with a murder like those we have seen outside Montenegro

    [namely in Serbia] and that is disturbing. I cannot give you

    any details because that would be speculating on motives."

    Leading Podgorica lawyer Ranko Vukotic argued that the

    killing was part of a "deliberate campaign" to destabilize

    Montenegro, presumably by Yugoslav President Slobodan

    Milosevic and his Montenegrin supporters. PM

    [11] MILOSEVIC AIDE SKEPTICAL ON ZUGIC MURDER

    Indicted war

    criminal and Yugoslav Deputy Prime Minister Nikola Sainovic,

    who is also a top official of Milosevic's Socialist Party,

    said in Belgrade on 1 June that he "would not draw any

    parallel" between Zugic's killing and a recent spate of

    gangland-style murders in Serbia, Reuters reported. In

    Washington, State Department spokesman Philip Reeker said of

    Zugic's death: "Clearly this happened in a climate of fear

    and violence perpetrated by the Milosevic regime.... We are

    very much in touch with the Montenegrin government and have

    conveyed our condolences." In London, "The Guardian" noted on

    2 June that Zugic was one of Djukanovic's closest friends and

    had been best man at his wedding. In Frankfurt, the Serbian

    daily "Vesti" pointed out that Zugic is of Bosnian origin and

    is believed to have once been close to the former Bosnian

    Serb leadership under Radovan Karadzic. PM

    [12] MILOSEVIC BACKER TAUNTS DJUKANOVIC

    Yugoslav Prime Minister

    Momir Bulatovic, who is the leader of pro-Milosevic elements

    in Montenegro, said in Belgrade on 1 June that neither the

    federal government, nor the Serbian authorities, nor the army

    has any objections to Djukanovic holding a referendum on

    Montenegrin independence. Bulatovic argued that the reason

    Djukanovic has not held a referendum is that "he knows he

    does not have majority support" and that 60 percent of the

    population favors union with Serbia, RFE/RL's South Slavic

    Service reported. PM

    [13] MONTENEGRO NOT AFRAID OF COUP

    Montenegrin Finance Minister

    Miroslav Ivanisevic said in Brussels on 2 June that his

    government knows that the Yugoslav army supports Milosevic.

    He added, however, that "Montenegro is not giving reasons for

    them to make any...moves" against the Podgorica authorities,

    Reuters reported. "The security authorities of Montenegro

    have a [working] relationship with the Yugoslav army deployed

    in Montenegro, and the atmosphere is such that I would say

    the Yugoslav army would not be used in Montenegro for a coup

    d'etat," Ivanisevic added. PM

    [14] YET ANOTHER DRIVE-BY SLAYING OF SERB IN KOSOVA

    U.S. military

    officials said on 1 June that unidentified gunmen killed an

    elderly Serbian woman and wounded three Serbian men near

    Kllokot on the Gjilan-Ferizaj road, AP reported from

    Prishtina. The wounded men were taken to the U.S. base at

    Camp Bondsteel for treatment. This is the latest in a series

    of drive-by killings of Serbs in Kosova (see "RFE/RL

    Newsline," 1 June 2000). Moderate as well as hard-line Serbs

    charge that ethnic Albanians are trying to drive the Serbian

    minority out of the province and criticize peacekeepers for

    not doing more to protect them. Perhaps more than 100,000

    Serbs have fled Kosova since 1998, when Serbs and

    Montenegrins made up just under 10 percent of the population.

    The Serbian government has done little, if anything, to help

    them. Most of the Serbian refugees would like to go home if

    their safety were assured. PM

    [15] TWO SERBS KILLED IN LANDMINE EXPLOSION

    Two Serbian men were

    killed and one woman and two children were injured on 2 June

    when their car ran over a landmine at a crossroads near an

    ethnic Albanian village just south of Prishtina. The injured

    were taken to nearby Fushe Kosova for treatment. Some 100

    Serbs gathered nearby after the explosion. Peacekeepers

    sealed off the area, telling reporters it was the third time

    a mine had been planted there recently, AP reported. The two

    previous mines were discovered before they exploded. PM

    [16] SERBIAN GOVERNMENT TAKES OVER BELGRADE'S PUBLIC

    TRANSPORTATION

    Yugoslav Deputy Prime Minister Sainovic said

    in Belgrade on 1 June that the Serbian government has taken

    control of Belgrade's public transportation system because

    the city government has proven itself unable to run it (see

    "RFE/RL Newsline," 1 June 2000). The city council, which is

    dominated by Vuk Draskovic's Serbian Renewal Movement, said

    in a statement that the Serbian authorities' move is

    "illegal" and aimed at punishing the opposition and its

    supporters, Reuters reported. Serbian officials entered the

    transportation department's building with "at least a dozen

    policemen" to hold talks on the transfer of authority.

    Elsewhere in Belgrade, private bus drivers ended their

    strike, saying the protest "had become senseless because

    nobody talked to us." PM

    [17] DRASKOVIC'S BODYGUARDS JAILED

    Two of Draskovic's bodyguards

    received jail sentences of 45 days each on 1 June for

    illegally carrying firearms at Belgrade airport, Reuters

    reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 1 June 2000). PM

    [18] BELGRADE SEEKING INTERNATIONAL PROFILE?

    A South African

    Foreign Affairs' Ministry spokesman told AP in Johannesburg

    on 1 June that the purpose of Yugoslav Foreign Minister

    Zivadin Jovanovic's visit is to secure South African support

    for Belgrade's readmission to the UN and the Non-Aligned

    Movement (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 1 June 2000). The spokesman

    did not say what the reaction of South African officials was

    to the request or if that was the only topic of discussion.

    PM

    [19] STEPPED-UP SECURITY FOR PLAVSIC

    Additional Republika Srpska

    police have taken up positions in the building and

    neighborhood where former President Biljana Plavsic lives in

    Banja Luka, "Vesti" reported on 2 June (see "RFE/RL

    Newsline," 1 June 2000). Plavsic said that SFOR has not

    apologized to her for sending "men armed to the teeth" into

    her building. An SFOR spokesman said that an apology had been

    issued, "Vesti" added. The SFOR spokesman argued that the

    armed men were present because some of their officers were

    meeting with Bosnian Serb politician Mladen Ivanic, who has

    his office in the same building, RFE/RL's South Slavic

    Service reported. The entire situation surrounding Plavsic

    and the apparent attempt to arrest her remains "confused,"

    "Vesti" added. PM

    [20] SFOR ARRESTS HERZEGOVINIANS

    NATO peacekeepers arrested two

    Herzegovinian Croats in Stolac on 1 June for attacking SFOR

    troops trying to protect returning Muslim refugees in

    December 1998. SFOR is looking for seven additional Croats

    involved in the same incident. Meanwhile in Kotorsko on 1

    June, a crowd of Serbs attacked 54 Muslims who attempted to

    visit the homes that they abandoned during the 1992-1995

    conflict, "Oslobodjenje" reported. The Serbs also set alight

    building materials that the Muslims planned to use to rebuild

    their houses. PM

    [21] CROATIAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES FUNDS FOR SERBS

    The parliament

    voted on 1 June to approve a government proposal to allow

    funds for reconstructing homes and other property to Serbs as

    well as to Croats. The Croatian Democratic Community of the

    late President Franjo Tudjman opposed the plan, saying that

    it places "aggressors on the same level as their victims."

    "Jutarnji list" reported. PM

    [22] ROMANIAN LOCAL ELECTIONS CAMPAIGN ENDS

    The campaign for the

    upcoming local elections officially ended on 1 June. The

    National College for the Study of the Securitate Archives

    said the same day that six of the candidates running in the

    elections failed to respect a recently passed law obliging

    them to declare past links with the communist secret police.

    A seventh candidate, the writer Pavel Corut, now leader of

    the Romanian Life Party, reported that he was a high-ranking

    officer in the Securitate. His collaboration was already

    widely known. Of the six who failed to report, five are

    members of ecologist parties and one is a member of the

    Liberal Monarchist Party, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported.

    The first round of the local elections is to be held on 4

    June. MS

    [23] WARRANTS ISSUED FOR BANKERS IN ROMANIAN FRAUD INVESTIGATION

    Police on 1 June issued arrest warrants for five top bankers

    involved in the collapse of the National Investment Fund. The

    government the same day suspended the executive board of the

    country's capital market regulatory agency, known by its

    initials as CNVM, which had administered the fund. CNVM

    former chairman Stefan Boboc is one of the five bankers. He

    came under investigation after his arrest for failing to

    answer a summons. MS

    [24] MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT MEETS GAGAUZ-YERI DEPUTIES

    President

    Petru Lucinschi on 1 June told members of the Gagauz-Yeri

    Popular Assembly in Chisinau that the resolution passed by

    the assembly one day earlier "does not promote confidence-

    building between the central government and the Komrat

    authorities," Infotag reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 1 June

    2000). Lucinschi called on both sides to "strictly adhere" to

    the provisions of the 1994 law on the special status of the

    autonomous province. Also on 1 June, parliamentary chairman

    Dumitru Diacov rejected a demand by Popular Party Christian

    Democratic Party Chairman Iurie Rosca that he resign. Rosca

    said Diacov had ordered the custom authorities to let the

    6,000 tons of Turkish fuel transport for Gagauz Yeri to enter

    the country without the payment of customs duties, in breach

    of a parliament decision on the matter. MS

    [25] LIBYA BANS BULGARIAN FLIGHTS

    Libya has banned Balkan

    Airlines from operating on its territory and from using its

    air space. The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry has summoned

    Libya's ambassador to Sofia to demand an explanation, Reuters

    reported. Last year, Balkan Airlines was bought by an Israeli

    investor. Foreign Minister Nadezhda Mihailova said she does

    not know whether there is a connection between the ban and

    the trial of the six Bulgarian nationals scheduled to begin

    on 4 June in Libya. MS

    [26] FORMER BULGARIAN PRESIDENT DEAD

    Petar Mladenov, who was

    Bulgaria's first post-communist president, died on 1 June

    aged 64, BTA reported. Mladenov, who had long served under

    communist dictator Todor Zhivkov, engineered Zhivkov's ouster

    from power and became president in April 1990, Reuters

    reported. He was forced to resign in July 1990 after

    allegedly proposing the use of tanks to quash opposition

    protests. MS


    [C] END NOTE

    [27] THE FUTURE OF RUSSIAN FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE UNDER PUTIN

    by Victor Yasmann

    Russian President Vladimir Putin's recent decision to

    name 52-year-old Sergei Lebedev as the chief of the Russian

    Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), replacing Vyacheslav

    Trubnikov, is about more than just personalities and personal

    loyalties. It also offers some important clues to the future

    direction of Russian intelligence operations, both at home

    and abroad.

    Moscow media have suggested that Lebedev's appointment

    is only the latest step in Putin's effort to consolidate

    power. According to this view, Putin wants an intelligence

    chief whom he knows well and has confidence in. Putin met

    Lebedev while serving in East Germany; he belongs to the same

    generation as Lebedev; and in contrast to most senior Russian

    intelligence officers, neither Putin nor Lebedev ever worked

    undercover in the field.

    But if Lebedev is close to Putin, he is also very

    different both from the Russian president and his

    predecessor, Trubnikov. Lebedev joined the KGB in 1973 after

    graduating from the Chernigov branch of the Kyiv State

    University. Unlike Putin and most of the former KGB

    colleagues the Russian president has promoted, Lebedev did

    not join the KGB either voluntarily or through recruitment.

    Rather, he was sent to work there by the Komsomol.

    Most KGB officers traditionally have disliked such

    colleagues because of the privileges they often enjoy. This

    may help to explain why Lebedev did not go on to the Andropov

    Institute, the usual path to becoming a foreign intelligence

    operative. Instead, he studied at the Diplomatic Academy at

    the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and, after graduating from

    there in 1978, was transferred to the central apparatus of

    the KGB's First Chief Directorate.

    After his posting in East Germany, Lebedev rose through

    the ranks, eventually becoming chief of an SVR directorate.

    There his ascent appears to have stopped. In 1998, according

    to "Segodnya," Lebedev was sent into "honorable exile" in

    Washington as the official SVR representative to the US

    intelligence community.

    Media speculation on Lebedev has also focused on his

    "western" experience. Lebedev has worked only in Europe and

    the U.S., and thus his appointment may represent the end of

    the dominance of the "orientalists" in Russian intelligence.

    The last three SVR chiefs--Leonid Shabarshin, Yevgenii

    Primakov, and Trubnikov--all worked in the Middle East and

    South Asia, and there is a tendency among both them and those

    they have promoted to view the "westerners" as having failed

    in their conduct of the Cold War. But this rise of the

    "westerners" does not necessarily mean that Russian

    intelligence will adopt a friendlier approach to the West.

    Several other reasons, less widely publicized, suggest,

    however, that Lebedev's promotion is likely to lead to a

    change: the lack of compatibility between the SVR and the

    emerging Russian national security community, the SVR's split

    from the new political elite, and its growing irrelevance to

    Putin's foreign-policy goals.

    First, unlike the KGB's domestic offspring, the SVR

    survived the tumultuous Yeltsin decade relatively unscathed.

    While in power, Yeltsin appointed almost as many chiefs of

    Russian domestic security agencies as did the Communists over

    74 years. This high turnover, combined with constant

    reorganization, left those agencies in a state of confusion.

    The SVR, on the other hand, continued to function much as it

    had in the past, with few leadership changes and fewer

    reorganizations. Primakov served from 1991 to 1996, and when

    he was promoted to foreign minister four years ago, he

    secured the appointment of his close associate Trubnikov.

    Moreover, the SVR's political role increased

    dramatically after 1998 as an initiator as well as a tool of

    foreign policy, bringing it into conflict with the interests

    of the new political and economic elites. Last September, for

    example, Yeltsin publicly stated that the SVR plays a greater

    role in the formulation of Russian foreign policy than the

    Foreign Ministry or any other institution. The SVR played a

    key role in defining Russian positions on issues such as the

    transfer of nuclear technologies to Iran, NATO expansion, any

    modification of the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty.

    The SVR also pushed the favorite notion of its

    "orientalists"--the doctrine of a multipolar world--into the

    forefront of Russian national security and military

    doctrines. And because it maintained its integrity, by the

    end of the Yeltsin presidency the SVR was one of the few

    reliable levers Yeltsin had for conducting foreign policy.

    At the same time, the SVR was less sensitive to

    Yeltsin's personal problems than to the country's, which may

    prove to be the real reason for the change at the top now. It

    devoted a great deal of time toward neutralizing Western

    reaction to corruption and money-laundering reports, but it

    did much less to protect the Yeltsin family. That approach

    won the SVR support in the West but not in the Kremlin.

    Indeed, some in Yeltsin's entourage began to suspect that

    Primakov proteges in the SVR were using their contacts with

    Western intelligence services to undermine Yeltsin by leaking

    information to those foreign agencies.

    In February 1999, "Novye izvestiya" and "Moskovskaya

    pravda" published the so-called "Primakov list" of 162 people

    involved in international corruption. That list included

    virtually the entire political and economic elite of the

    countryń-except for Primakov, Putin, and former Prime

    Minister Sergei Stepashin. While the Chechen war has

    detracted Western attention from corruption, the latter

    remains a major issue of concern for many people in Moscow

    who might be charged with it. By naming a loyalist to head

    the SVR, Putin is thus sending a signal that the Russian

    intelligence services will do what he wants both to protect

    his friends and to go after his enemies.

    The author is senior fellow with the American Foreign Policy

    Council, Washington, D.C.

    02-06-00


    Reprinted with permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
    URL: http://www.rferl.org


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