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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

MAILBOX: On Format Changes, Y2K, Genocide and Serbia

In response to the redesign of The Moscow Times' weekend and entertainment sections.


I am writing to complain about the new format for the entertainment guide for The Moscow Times. What I especially liked about the MT Out Guide was that all entertainment related media was in the one segment. At the end of the week, I would have one newspaper section, compact and clean.

I am, in fact, one of the subscribing customers of the Times and look forward to the Friday paper. After each day's reading, I would throw away the read copy and wait for the next day's delivery. Now you force me to rip up the paper and save loose sheets of TV sections, reviews, etc. In addition, I think that the previous look of the "clubbing," "theater" and "opera" sections appears to be a better layout.

I feel obliged to share my feelings with you, and hope you will revert back to the old style of doing the MT Out, at least as one section.

Margaret Rubin-Finn, Moscow


I have noticed that The Moscow Times, for some reason best known to yourselves, has decided to abandon the weekly schedule of TV programs and instead now print daily TV schedules. This does cause problems, as trivial as it may seem, for those of us who want to pre-program VCRs to tape programs. We cannot do this if we do not have a schedule, and we only get the schedules in the morning, after we have left for work.

I beg of you to please go back to your weekly schedules! And please, bring "Doonesbury" back.

Saskia Liebenberg, Moscow

Y2K Fears Justified

In response to "Embassies, Expats Plan Y2K Mass Exodus," Nov. 2.


It appears that some foreign corporations in Russia are not taking the problem seriously enough. Under existing liability and employee laws in the U.S., the U.K. and most other western countries, employers may have a legal responsibility for the safety of employees at work. For international locations, this inevitably includes the home environment of the staff and their dependents. If further evidence were needed, one should look no further than the actions of the U.S. and U.K. governments regarding their embassy staff.

Another misconception, which may be even more relevant to preparation in Russia, is the idea that dealing with Y2K disruptions will be the same as dealing with the frequent disruptions to basic services that Russians have been experiencing for some time.

In many experts' view, developing nations like Russia are likely to suffer more extensively from Y2K. A recent report by the United States Agency for International Development, or USAID, to the U.S. Senate said underestimating Russia's potential Y2K failures is an "over-simplification."

In the event of major disruption, we hope that the local support systems developed in response to the extremes of Russian winters will "kick in" and enable people to cope. However this support system may be unknown and unavailable to the large expatriate communities throughout Russia. We can also surmise that embassies and international relief organizations will probably be overburdened and unable to help.

Finally, Ron Lewin mentions that Y2K disruptions will peak on Jan. 4 or 5 This contradicts statements from the Gartner Group as well as the generally held view of U.S. and U.K. corporations that Y2K problems will last anywhere from a few months to more than a year.

Having addressed these misconceptions I would like to emphasize that is a resource center for Y2K readiness. Information and a little preparation is all that is needed.

Mehmet Golhan

Managing Director

Chechnya is Genocide

In response to reports on the Chechen conflict.


I never thought that the Russian military could behave like the German Werhmacht did in World War II. Fighting terrorism is one thing. Killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people is another thing.

Nazism has taken over Russia. The dream of a civilized Russia is dead. A member of the Security Council of the UN carrying out genocide? Unbelievable. However, the more we know about the massacre in the south of Russia, the more ashamed we are of Russia.

President Boris Yeltsin had done more than enough by behaving like a clown. Now he has tainted his own hands with the blood of thousands of innocent people. Shame on Russia.

Carlos Cortiglia, London

Removing Milosevic

In response to "Milosevic Rallies After Kosovo," Nov. 2.


Slobodan Milosevic's great strength seems to be his opponents' weakness and their unwillingness to go all the way. The Americans are right to prefer popular uprising in Serbia to the democratic process, as the prospect of unseating Milosevic peacefully is naive at best.

However, much more practical support is needed from the West. Exclusion from prosecution for war crimes should be offered to army and police officers who take an active role in dethroning Milosevic and bringing him to justice. To make those supporting him feel less safe, more effort should be put in bringing high-ranking officials charged with war crimes to justice.

Milosevic is miscalculating if he believes that whoever replaces President Clinton is going to be less resolute on removing him, or that even the most nationalistic contender for the Russian Presidency is going to soil his hands by embracing him.

The world might be tired of "U.S. hypocrisy and hegemony," but it is much more tired of Milosevic's deeds.

Srboljub Petrovich, Moscow