February 01, 1999

Where Were We

Since we last spoke, a few things have happened in Russia.

The Russian Duma voted 237-69 to reinstate the statue of Felix Dzerzhinsky to the pedestal in Lubyanka Square (later rejected by Moscow city) … Leading democrat and activist Galina Starovoytova was assasinated outside her apartment in St. Petersburg … President Yeltsin shook up his “kitchen cabinet” of advisers, handing over several key posts to officials with KGB pedigrees … The IMF refused to dole out promised installments of its loan aid package to Russia … Four foreign telecom professionals were brutally murdered and beheaded by Chechen rebels, in an act eerily reminiscent of the murder 170 years ago of Alexander Griboyedov (see page 24) ... Russia recalled its ambassadors from the US and UK in response to the bombing of Iraq, which has raised great hue and cry within Russia … The Duma, on a parallel track with the US Congress, continues to seek President Yeltsin’s impeachment.

Did I leave anything out? Oh yes, the harrowing economic crisis continues with little prospect of immediate relief.

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