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EAST-WEST-RESEARCH  February 2001

EAST-WEST-RESEARCH February 2001

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Subject:

Fw: New at TOL

From:

Andrew Jameson <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Andrew Jameson <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 13 Feb 2001 12:18:18 -0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (224 lines)

----------
From: Transitions Online <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: New at TOL
Date: 12 February 2001 19:23

Transitions Online (TOL) (http://www.tol.cz) is the leading Internet
magazine covering Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and the
former Soviet Union. If you aren't already a member, fill out our
registration form at <http://www.tol.cz/trialsubscr.html> to receive
your free two-month trial membership. If you'd like to become a TOL
member right away, go to <http://www.tol.cz/member.html>. And if you're
a citizen of a post-communist country, FREE annual memberships are still

available at <http://www.tol.cz/trialsubscr2.html>.

This weekly update from Transitions Online is provided for your
information only. If you have not requested this information and are
uninterested in any further updates, please accept our apology and send
an email to  <[log in to unmask]> with
the word 'UNSUBSCRIBE' in its subject.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Transitions Online - Intelligent Eastern Europe

New at TOL:                                              12.Feb 2001
--------------------------------------------------------------------

- - - TOL promotion - - -

"The Budapest In Your Pocket City Guide is brimming with the
freshest and wittiest information about one of Eastern Europe's
most fascinating cities. Internet-savvy travelers can browse our
pages on sights, accommodation, restaurants and nightlife on-line
at http://www.inyourpocket.com/Hungary/Budapest_home.shtml.
It's travel information In Your Pocket."
        .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

--- OUR TAKE: The Uncomfortable Truth ---
Nothing is perhaps more illustrative of Russia's regional chaos than a
glimpse inside one of its titanic central heating systems.
http://www.tol.cz/look/TOLnew/article.tpl?IdLanguage=1&IdPublication=4&NrIssue=6&NrSection=16&NrArticle=580
        .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

- - - TOL Message - - -

Give us your feedback! Take a few seconds to do the TOL survey. If you give us 30 seconds, we might give you a one year free
subscription!
Take a closer look at http://archive.tol.cz/surveyform.html

         .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
--- TOL WEEK IN REVIEW ---

Getting Bold With the Cold
As the Siberian deep freeze continues, Putin sacks the energy minister
and forces a controversial Far Eastern governor to resign.
Compiled by TOL
http://www.tol.cz/week.html

'Everything for Croatia, Croatia for Nothing'
Croats rally in protest over a trial against their hero, a
Hague-indicted war criminal.
by Mirna Solic and TOL
http://www.tol.cz/week.html

'Away With Kuchma!'
An angry Ukrainian public gathers for largest-ever anti-Kuchma protests
and calls for the president's resignation over a murderous scandal.
by Oleg Varfolomeyev
http://www.tol.cz/week.html

The Clock is Ticking
OSCE chides Albania over electoral reform in the run-up to general
elections.
by Altin Raxhimi
http://www.tol.cz/week.html

On the Air at Last
The first Roma radio station launches in Hungary.
by Laszlo Szocs
http://www.tol.cz/week.html

MORE WEEK IN REVIEW:
http://www.tol.cz/week.html

Solana Visits Yugoslavia in Wake of Separatist Clashes
NATO-Georgia Relations Questioned
Bosnian Officials Unhappy With Western Diplomats
Disabled Azeri War Veterans End Hunger Strike
Detained Czechs Released From Havana Prison

        .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

--- SPECIAL REPORT: Pardon Me, Mr. President ---

IN FOCUS: Freedom's Just Another Word
For Russia's amnestied prisoners, there's often no choice but to go back
to jail as soon as possible.
By Nonna Chernyakova
http://www.tol.cz/look/TOLnew/article.tpl?IdLanguage=1&IdPublication=4&NrIssue=6&NrSection=2&NrArticle=578

IN FOCUS: All the President's Controversies
The West may see Czech President Vaclav Havel as Central Europe's
number-one humanist, but at home his pardons provoke much controversy.
By Katerina Zachovalova
http://www.tol.cz/look/TOLnew/

        .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

--- FEATURE: Chopping Kalashnikovs ---
A new weapons-destruction facility aims to make life safer in Albania.
by Altin Raxhimi
http://www.tol.cz/look/TOLnew/article.tpl?IdLanguage=1&IdPublication=4&NrIssue=6&NrSection=2&NrArticle=573

        .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

--- OPINION: Catch Me If You Can ---
Evading the Russian army has nothing to do with patriotism on either
side--it's all about business.
By Nabi Abdullaev
http://www.tol.cz/look/TOLnew/article.tpl?IdLanguage=1&IdPublication=4&NrIssue=6&NrSection=3&NrArticle=569

        .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

--- BOOKS: Singing the Same Revisionist Tune ---
The West hasn't only played a role in portraying the Balkans as a
violent and romantically barbarian place but has also helped to make it
such a place. Kevin Krogmann reviews Mark Mazower's "The Balkans: A
Short History."
by Kevin Krogmann
http://www.tol.cz/look/TOLnew/article.tpl?IdLanguage=1&IdPublication=4&NrIssue=6&NrSection=5&NrArticle=575

        .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

--- FEATURE: Known for Nothing ---
Estonians are searching for a national symbol, sign, or trademark. To
some, it seems as though the search may be all for naught.
by Kristjan Kaljund
http://www.tol.cz/look/TOLnew/article.tpl?IdLanguage=1&IdPublication=4&NrIssue=6&NrSection=2&NrArticle=576

        .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

- - - TOL partners - - -

- Internews Russia (www.internews.ru) is a Russian non-profit organization which has been working since 1992 to provide support to
independent Russian television broadcasters and the Russian television industry as a whole.

- Central Eurppe Review (www.ce-review.org) the weekly Internet journal of Central and East European politics, society, and
culture.
        .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
- - - About TOL - - -

Transitions Online (TOL) (http://www.tol.cz) is the leading Internet
magazine covering Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and the
former Soviet Union. If you aren't already a member, fill out our
registration form at <http://www.tol.cz/trialsubscr.html> to receive
your free two-month trial membership. If you'd like to become a TOL
member right away, go to <http://www.tol.cz/member.html>. And if you're
a citizen of a post-communist country, FREE annual memberships are still
available at <http://www.tol.cz/trialsubscr2.html>.

THIS MESSAGE REACHES 25.000 PEOPLE. ADVERTISE WITH TOL TO REACH THE REGION! VISIT http://www.tol.cz/mediakit TO LEARN MORE!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
To unsubscribe: send e-mail to <[log in to unmask]> with the message UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line.

OUR TAKE:  The Uncomfortable Truth

Nothing is perhaps more illustrative of Russia's regional chaos than a glimpse inside one of its titanic central heating systems.

Aging, rusted, leaky pipes groan under the stress of supplying millions of people with heat and hot water. Tape of all kinds, rags,
gums, and glues hold the whole contraption together, just barely. The buildings themselves are mazes of damp, dark, and moldy
inefficiency. Repairs are seldom, and always with a quick fix in mind.

Out-of-control Far Eastern Primorye Governor Yevgeny Nazdratenko is one link in that chain that has long needed dismantling. And,
in the first week of February--while the 2.2 million people he has ruled for eight years were freezing to death--he was removed
from the system, forced to resign.

The governor no doubt has former President Boris Yeltsin to thank for being able to rule for so long. Oligarchs, namely
Kremlin-insider Boris Berezovsky—have their hands in the region, and Yeltsin's policy toward them was one of friendship not
confrontation. During his tenure, Nazdratenko managed to blatantly ignore the needs of his many subjects, brush aside the trust
given him by his unusually loyal voters, and make certain that all industry and business could be used for his own personal gain.
His power was thoroughly entrenched and seemingly unshakable. If the people were freezing, there were always plenty of scapegoats
around to blame. On 7 February, two days after rumors surfaced that he was being forced to resign, Nazdratenko fired his deputy
governor in charge of utilities and then admitted himself to the hospital, claiming heart problems.

Nazdratenko has lasted for so long mainly because Vladivostok, the Far Eastern capital city, is so far away from Moscow. Yes, there
have always been federal authorities stationed there, but they found it more convenient and lucrative to kiss up to the governor,
rather than the Kremlin. And Yeltsin certainly wasn't going to stop them. Nazdratenko's only mistake--or misjudgment--was in
thinking that new Russian President Vladimir Putin would allow it all to continue.

Since taking office in March of last year, one of the grandest efforts Putin has made has been in the area of regional
reform--namely, legislation aimed at returning control over the regions to the Kremlin, and reining in governors who have had
little respect for federal law, ruling their provinces like personal fiefdoms. For nearly a year, there has been much talk about
Putin's regional reforms and many less-than-subtle threats aimed at those governors. Last week, a key piece of legislation was put
into force, allowing the president to remove governors under criminal investigation or otherwise thought to be subverting federal
law or abusing power. Nazdratenko was the immediate casualty and the first to fall.

That doesn't mean that there's going to be heat now, though the federal government is responding to the crisis by airlifting
replacement pipes, plumbers, and coal to the region. It also doesn't mean that things will change overnight in Primorye--the
corruption and cronyism is far too entrenched. But Nazdratenko could be the first in a long list of governors who should be a bit
worried about their futures at this point.

Now is the time to watch if all the other governors fall, and, most importantly, if federal authorities will rule the regions any
more effectively (read less corruptly). According to the plan, a regional governor will answer directly to a Putin-appointed
federal authority in the region, who will in turn answer directly to the president. That puts a lot of responsibility on Putin--and
a lot of accountability.

The short of it is that everyone--Russian officials, the public, and especially the Western media--is quite pleased about
Nazdratenko's demise. And most seemed to be equally happy with Putin's strong-arm tactics with the unwieldy governors in his
regional reform plans.

Editorialists, especially in the West, are uncomfortable praising Putin for his firm hand. Liberal columnists--writing about
Russia--are troubled by the ideological ramifications of supporting a more authoritarian style of government and appease their
consciences with vague oxymorons like "a dictatorship of law" or pseudo-historical notions of "the Russian people need a strong
hand anyway." It is equally uncomfortable for liberal publications to find themselves supporting a more centralized government in
the name of supporting law and order, when in every other country, the opposite is fought for. It is perhaps that fact that is most
troubling and most indicative of the desperate state of affairs in today's Russia. Nazdratenko's fall should be celebrated. But
celebrated with extreme caution.

Transitions Online - Intelligent Eastern Europe
Copyright: Transitions Online 2001

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