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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


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Deputies, Let Yeltsin Be Yeltsin

Will Yeltsin prevail? Will he manage to outmaneuver the opposition and keep his political and economic reforms on track? Indications from first two days of this stormy Congress are that he will, although possibly at the cost of sacrificing his doughty prime minister, Yegor Gaidar. This sacrifice would certainly be a blow to the reform process. Gaidar has demonstrated firmly over the past year that he has the courage to pursue a politically unpopular strategy in order to help the Russian economy recover from the damage wrought by 70 years of communism. He may now have to pay the price. He was repeatedly jeered by the deputies Wednesday, and it is far from certain that he can muster the necessary 50 percent approval when a resolution on the progress of economic reform is put to the vote.

Leads Found In JAL Case

A Moscow investigator said police are pursuing some leads concerning the recent $46, 000 robbery of the Japan Airlines offices on Kuznetsky Most. Pyotr Primakov, deputy chief of Police Station 17, said that he suspected that professionals were involved in the robbery. Thieves broke into the office between midnight Nov. 26 and early Nov. 27, used welding equipment to open the safe and made off with the cash, Primakov said. Makoto lijima, administrative manager for the airline, said, ""Ordinarily we don't keep much cash in the office"". The break-in was the second for the airline office in the past four years, he said.

A Deputy From Siberia

People's Deputy Valentin Redkin spends his few free moments outside the Congress trying to keep up by phone with things at work, five time zones east of Moscow. Redkin, 55, heads a department at a construction firm in the Siberian city of Cheremukhovo. Saddled with cries from over 100, 000 constituents and factory colleagues to find a solution to plummeting wages and a thinning social network, he is one of many legislators at the Seventh Congress who are calling for a new government. ""I am for reforms"", he said, after a speech by acting Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar. ""But reforms should not be an experiment"". A member of Russian Unity, a hardline parliamentary faction. Redkin said he would have liked to hear ""something more constructive"" from Gaidar. ""We have all the problems at home"", he said. ""Paying salaries, finding food. Reforms should not be so painful"".

Russians Caught In Tobacco Fracas

. Several Italian newspapers carried reports Wednesday that four fishing boats near the island of Stromboli, off Sicily's northern coast, forced a Russian trawler to stop this week and demanded astonished crewmen hand over their cigarettes, Reuters said. A strike by Italian tobacco-industry workers last month has paralyzed the nation's cigarette distribution system and sent the price of contraband foreign brands rocketing. The dispute has been a heaven-sent opportunity for peddlars of smuggled cigarettes who have found increasingly ingenious ways of trying to avoid police checks. Highway police found 90 kilograms of smuggled cigarettes in a coffin when they stopped a hearse to check for contraband, officials said Wednesday.
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