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Russia Report: February 27, 2004

27 February 2004, Volume 4, Number 7
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on 24 February dismissing the government of Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, Russian media reported. Putin announced his decision in a live broadcast on RTR television, saying that Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko has been named acting prime minister. The government will continue working until a new prime minister and government are confirmed.

Under Article 111 of the Russian Constitution, Putin must nominate a new prime minister within two weeks, RIA-Novosti reported, meaning that a candidate must be submitted to the Duma by 9 March. The Duma will then have one week -- until 16 March -- to confirm or reject Putin's choice. Russia's presidential election will be held on 14 March.

ITAR-TASS reported, however, that Article 8 of the federal constitutional law authorizes the president to appoint a deputy prime minister as acting prime minister for up to two months before nominating a new prime minister.

While former Prime Minister Kasyanov's dismissal was considered inevitable, most of Moscow officialdom, including Kasyanov himself, appeared surprised by the timing of the move. It had generally been assumed that he would be dismissed after the election. Many analysts suggested that by acting before the ballot, Putin is hoping to score some public-relations points. Indem Foundation head Georgii Satarov suggested on 24 February that the dismissal reinforces in the public's mind that "it is the president who controls the situation," Interfax reported. Vyacheslav Nikonov of the Politika foundation told NTV on 24 February that he views the dismissal as a continuation of the Russian tradition of public-relations moves on the eve of elections.

Mark Urnov of the Ekspertiz foundation told the dismissal was a "public-relations action directed at demonstrating to the population the activeness and strength of the president and to raise his rating so that he receives no less than 70 or 75 percent [of the vote]." Urnov noted that a threat by the other "noninfluential" presidential candidates -- Irina Khakamada, Sergei Glazev, and Communist Party candidate Nikolai Kharitonov -- to withdraw from the election could delegitimize the process in the eyes of the world opinion and a significant part of the Russian population. "Therefore, it is especially important now to create a powerful informational hook, to say, 'Look, the president is occupied with serious matters, is reforming the government, and is active in general, and such small fry can do nothing,'" Urnov said.

On 25 February, Putin shed light on the timing of the sacking. He said that he had two reasons. First, he wanted to acquaint voters with the person he will bring forward to head the government. Second, he hopes to reduce the amount of time that government work will be left in limbo by dismissing the cabinet before the election, because if he waited until after the election -- if, as widely expected, he wins a second term -- the Russian Constitution requires that a new government be formed not earlier than June.

Speculation on who will replace Kasyanov has focused so far on acting Prime Minister Khristenko, first deputy presidential administration head Dmitrii Kozak, acting Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, deputy presidential administration head Igor Shuvalov, acting Finance Minister Aleksei Kudrin, and acting Deputy Prime Minister Boris Aleshin. Most analysts seem to give Khristenko long odds, and noted on 25 February that he will not move into Kasyanov's office at the Russian White House. In addition, "Moskovskii komsomolets" on 24 February suggested that Ivanov is insufficiently charismatic and Kudrin is "weak" organizationally.

"Gazeta" suggested on 25 February that a number of posts will be changed not just in the government, but also in the presidential administration and the Duma. The paper reckoned that Kozak was the most likely pick for prime minister and that deputy presidential administration head Viktor Ivanov will be named interior minister, a post that has been vacant since former Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov became Duma speaker in December. Acting Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov will be transferred to the Security Council, and Russian Ambassador to the United States Yurii Ushakov will become foreign minister, the paper predicted. In addition, Security Council Secretary Vladimir Rushailo will become an ambassador, State Duma First Deputy Speaker Aleksandr Zhukov (Unified Russia) will be named finance minister, and Kudrin will become deputy prime minister, "Gazeta" predicted.

The daily quoted Aleksei Makarkin as saying that the new prime minister will not necessarily have to fulfill the role of "successor," particularly since the government will undertake a series of unpopular reforms.

Finally, the topic of a successor to Putin in 2008 has also been preoccupying the central newspapers of late. And one of the names most frequently mentioned for that honor -- Federation Council Chairman Sergei Mironov -- has been noticeably absent from discussion of possible prime ministers. (Julie A. Corwin)

The new acting prime minister, Viktor Khristenko, 46, has seen his share of government reshuffles. In the two years following his arrival in Moscow in 1997, he held five different posts under four different prime ministers.

He was born in Chelyabinsk, and in 1979 he graduated from the Chelyabinsk Polytechnical Institute. In 1991-94, he served as deputy head of the Chelyabinsk Oblast administration, and in 1994-96, he was first deputy oblast administration head, according to In the summer of 1997, then-Finance Minister Anatolii Chubais summoned Khristenko to Moscow, naming him deputy finance minister.

In the spring of 1998, he was named deputy prime minister under Prime Minister Sergei Kirienko. In the fall of 1998, he became first deputy finance minister in the government of Yevgenii Primakov. In May 1999, he was named first deputy prime minister under Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin. In Kasyanov's government, he served as first deputy prime minister and, later, as deputy prime minister.

Over the course of his Moscow career, Khristenko has been in the middle of a number of thorny reform issues. Mikhail Delyagin, formerly Kasyanov's economic adviser and now head of the Institute for the Problems of Globalization, told Ekho Moskvy on 25 February that Khristenko has been in charge of the "most complex and sensitive issues," such as interbudgetary relations and reforming the so-called natural monopolies and housing-and-utilities sector. He also supervised the fuel-and-energy sector.

According to Delyagin, Khristenko "knows how to conduct meetings, and this is a very important skill for the head of government." However, Delyagin assessed Khristenko's chances of being appointed prime minister on a permanent basis as low.

"Vedomosti" on 25 February, citing unidentified sources in the government and the Kremlin, said that most people attribute Khristenko's appointment as acting prime minister to his understanding of all sectors of the economy. (Julie A. Corwin)

With President Putin poised to swamp the competition in the 14 March presidential election, some opposition candidates are reportedly thinking about quitting while they are behind.

Yana Dubeikovskaya, who heads Sergei Glazev's campaign, told Ekho Moskvy on 23 February that Glazev might withdraw from the race. She said his campaign representatives are facing pressure from regional governments and the offices of the presidential envoys in the seven federal districts. She also objected to the Central Election Commission's recent ruling that the state-controlled media's coverage of a 12 February speech by Putin was lawful. But the "straw that broke the camel's back," according to Dubeikovskaya, was the media blackout of Glazev's current campaign trip to Krasnoyarsk Krai and Novosibirsk Oblast.

Commenting on Glazev's possible departure from the race, Communist Party (KPRF) candidate Nikolai Kharitonov told Ekho Moskvy on 23 February that "practically everyone can withdraw their candidacies, because we have come up against the powerful informational, administrative, financial, and organizational resources of the current president. I am experiencing that myself. We are absolutely not on equal terms."

Neither Kharitonov nor Glazev's representative mentioned recent opinion polls, which paint a grim picture for both candidates. Putin is likely to win in the first round, and support for Kharitonov and Glazev is running far below the levels achieved by the KPRF and Glazev's Motherland bloc in the 7 December State Duma elections. In that race, the KPRF finished second in the party-list voting with 12.6 percent, while Motherland was fourth with 9 percent.

The latest survey by ROMIR found that 77 percent of respondents plan to vote for Putin. Glazev ranked second with 3 percent, and Kharitonov and former Union of Rightist Forces (SPS) co-leader Irina Khakamada were tied with 2 percent each, Ekho Moskvy reported on 22 February.

In the latest poll by VTsIOM-A, which was cited by Ekho Moskvy the same day, Kharitonov came in second with 5 percent and Glazev third with 4 percent, whereas nearly 80 percent of respondents said they plan to vote for Putin.

The Public Opinion Foundation's latest poll puts support for Putin near 70 percent, while just 3.3 percent support Kharitonov and 2.2 percent support Glazev, RTR reported on 22 February.

Once considered a rising star in Russian politics, Glazev has already fallen out with Dmitrii Rogozin, Motherland's No. 2 candidate during the Duma campaign. Rogozin has even renamed his Russian Regions party Motherland and has managed to register it with the Justice Ministry -- an act Glazev decried as "a treacherous stab in the back."

Meanwhile, an unnamed source within the KPRF said that the party might pull Kharitonov from the race, RBK reported on 20 February, because "we cannot permit a worse result than in the [December] parliamentary elections."

Financial constraints could prevent the Communists from abandoning Kharitonov's candidacy, however. Russia's law on presidential elections requires candidates who drop out to reimburse the federal budget for the cost of radio and television air time and newspaper space provided free to candidates. RBK's source said the KPRF needs to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to cover those costs before it can instruct Kharitonov to withdraw. The party will make a decision in March.

Political commentators interviewed by RBK were skeptical that Russian business will invest large sums in the KPRF. Aleksei Makarkin, head of the Center for Political Technologies' analytical department, noted that the criminal cases involving managers of oil giant Yukos have made the business community "very cautious" when it comes to investing in politics.

Furthermore, the KPRF proved to be a bad investment for those who sponsored its Duma campaign. The Communists' poor showing meant that some businesspeople who expected to win seats from the KPRF party list were left out of the Duma. In contrast, businesspeople who joined the party list of Vladimir Zhirinovskii's Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) now have seats in the lower house of the parliament.

Oleg Sysuev, first deputy chairman of the board of Alfa-Bank, likewise expressed doubt that private capital will invest in the KPRF "after its political death in December 2003." Instead, Sysuev argued, the business community will stay true to its "self-preservation instinct." (Laura Belin)

The following table lists, by party, the members of the new State Duma that was elected on 7 December who were elected according to party lists. For members of the last State Duma, their affiliation is indicated in square brackets.

Alferov, Zhores [Communist] Nobel Prize-winning physicist, has served continuously in the Duma since 1995
Afanasev, Aleksandr [Agro-Industrial] former president of the Union of Pharmaceutical Enterprises in St. Petersburg
Aparina, Alevtina [Communist] has served in the Duma since 1993
Benediktov, Nikolai [Communist] former philosophy professor at Nizhnii Novgorod State University
Chikin, Valentin [Communist] has served in the Duma since 1993
Davidov, Aleksandr [Agro-Industrial] has served continuously in the Duma since 1993
Drapeko, Yelena [Agro-Industrial] former film actress
Gostev, Ruslan [Communist]
Grishukov, Vladimir [Communist] has served in the Duma since 1995
Ilyukhin, Viktor [Communist] leader of the Movement to Support the Army
Ivanchenko, Leonid [Communist] has served in the Duma since 1995
Ivanov, Yurii, lawyer for Communist Party and former Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi
Kashin, Vladimir, director of the All-Russia Selective Breeding-Technological Institute for Horticulture
Kazakovtsev, Vladimir [Communist] has served in the Duma since 1995
Kibirev, Boris [Communist] has served in the Duma since 1995
Kondaurov, Aleksei, aide to the president of Yukos-Moskva
Kondratenko, Nikolai, former Krasnodar Krai governor and former Federation Council member
Kravets, Aleksandr [Communist] has served in the Duma since 1995
Kuvaev, Aleksandr [Communist] has served in the Duma since 1995
Kuznetsov, Viktor, first secretary of the Novosibirsk Oblast Committee of Communist Party
Kvitsinskii, Yulii, former ambassador to Norway and deputy foreign minister
Kuptsov, Valentin [Communist] has served in Duma since 1993
Makhmudov, Makhmud, first secretary of Daghestan republican Communist Party Committee
Maslyukov, Yurii [Communist] former deputy prime minister, former Soviet Politburo member
Melnikov, Ivan [Communist] has served in the Duma since 1995
Muravlenko, Sergei, former chairman of the board of directors of NK Yukos
Nikitin, Vladimir [Communist] has served in the Duma since 1995
Pletneva, Tamara [Communist] has served in the Duma since 1993
Rashkin, Valerii [Communist] Saratov Oblast Duma deputy speaker
Reshulskii, Sergei [Communist] has served in the Duma since 1993
Romanov, Petr [Communist] has served in the Duma since 1995
Romanov, Valentin [Communist] has served in the Duma since 1995
Sapozhnikov, Nikolai [Communist] has served in the Duma since 1995
Savitskaya, Svetlana [Communist] has served in the Duma since 1993
Svechnikov, Petr [Agro-Industrial] has served in the Duma since 1995
Tyulkin, Viktor, Communist Party first secretary
Vidmanov, Viktor, Rosagropromstroi head
Yezerskii, Nikolai, Sverdlovsk Oblast Duma deputy speaker
Zapolev, Mikhail, Altai Krai Communist Party Committee second secretary
Zyuganov, Gennadii [Communist] Communist Party leader

Abeltsev, Sergei, former LDPR State Duma deputy, former deputy director of a kolkhoz
Afanaseva, Yelena, former history teacher, chairman of the LDPR's Orenburg branch
Blizhina, Lyubov, former assistant to State Duma deputy, Penza Oblast LDPR coordinator
Bobyrev, Valentin, former deputy director of Oleg Deripaska's Base Element holding company, former Novosibirsk Oblast deputy governor
Bronitsin, Andrei, head of Chavash State Committee on Local Self-Government
Chernishov, Aleksei, Saratov city legislator
Churov, Vladimir, former official in St. Petersburg External Relations Committee and professor at St. Petersburg State University
Golovatyuk, Andrei, former special-forces commander, participated in the operation to end the October 2002 siege of a Moscow theater by Chechen fighters
Gusakov, Dmitrii, Arkhangelsk city legislator
Ivanov, Sergei, coordinator of LDPR Kursk Oblast branch
Ivanov, Yevgenii, former deputy general director for oligarch Oleg Deripaska's RusAl
Kanokov, Arsen, Moscow-based businessman from Kabardino-Balkaria, board member for Ysachevskii Trading House
Kerimov, Suleiman [LDPR] former general director of Soyuz-Finants
Kurdyumov, Aleksandr, former Nizhnii Novgorod Oblast deputy governor
Kuryanovich, Nikolai, coordinator for LDPR's Irkutsk Oblast branch
Lebedev, Igor [LDPR] son of LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovskii
Malyshkin, Oleg, former head of the Tatsinskii Raion in Rostov Oblast, assistant to LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovskii
Mitrofanov, Aleksei [LDPR] has served in State Duma since 1993
Musatov, Ivan, Lider-ML director
Musatov, Mikhail, [LDPR] has served in State Duma since 1995
Ostrovskii, Aleksei, press secretary for LDPR, assistant to LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovskii
Ovsyannikov, Vladimir, former bureaucrat in the administration of the Kemerovo Oblast city of Prokolpevskii
Rokhmistrov, Maksim, director of the secretariat of State Duma Deputy Speaker Vladimir Zhirinovskii
Shadaev, Damir, Leningrad Oblast legislator, director of Timberland
Shaikhutdinov, Rifat, economic director of Galis Terminal
Sirotkin, Sergei, Ivanovo Oblast legislator
Skorlukov, Oleg, former regional-level State Customs Committee official
Skorobogatko, Aleksandr, former Federation Council member (Kaliningrad Oblast)
Slutskii, Leonid [LDPR] former Unikombank chairman
Solomatin, Yegor [LDPR] has served in State Duma since 1993
Sviridov, Valentin, former assistant to State Duma deputy, head of LDPR Lipetsk Oblast branch
Tarasyuk, Vasilii, Kogalym city legislator, general director of Rosneft-Krasnodarnefteorgsintez
Vetrov, Konstantin [LDPR] former Alfa Bank vice president
Yegiazaryan, Ashot [LDPR], former general director of Prof-Media, the media holding company of oligarch Vladimir Potanin
Yelizarov, Ilya, deputy editor in chief of the journal "Law and Rights"
Zhirinovskii, Vladimir [LDPR] party leader, has served in Duma since 1993

Babakov, Aleksandr, chairman of CSKA soccer club
Baburin, Sergei, former State Duma deputy (1993-99), co-leader of the People's Power group in previous dumas
Chaplinskii, Sergei, former assistant to then-State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Dmitrii Rogozin
Chuev, Aleksandr [independent] elected to previous Duma from Unity's party list
Denisov, Oleg, former Ulyanovsk Oblast first deputy governor, former deputy chairman of Russian Agrarian movement
Fomenko, Aleksandr, vice president of the A. C. Yakovlev Experimental-Design Bureau
Gerachshenko, Viktor, former chairman of the Russian Central Bank
Glotov, Sergei, former State Duma Deputy (1993-99)
Grigorev, Sergei, official in the department for financial and economic activities of the Defense Ministry's Central Archives
Krutov, Aleksandr, general director of Moskoviya television company
Lebedev, Aleksandr, National Reserve Bank head
Lebedeva, Marina, general director of the Rielterskii information center
Leonov, Nikolai, former KGB lieutenant general who served in Latin America, professor at Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO)
Machshenko, Oleg [Agro-Industrial] former Krasnodar Krai Housing Committee head
Mukhina, Yelena, Unified Socialist Party of Russia secretary-general
Narochnitskaya, Nataliya, activist in various parties, including Derzhava and Zemskii Sobor; senior researcher at the Institute of International Economics and International Relations (IMEMO)
Pavlov, Nikolai, senior scholar at the Institute for National Reform Strategies
Prochshin, Sergei [Agro-Industrial]
Rodionov, Igor [Communist] retired army general, former Russian troop commander in Afghanistan, former defense minister
Savelev, Andrei, former assistant to then-State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Dmitrii Rogozin
Savelev, Yurii, former Free Economic Zone Committee chairman in St. Petersburg mayoral administration
Saveleva, Irina, senior scholar at the Institute for National Reform Strategies
Sergienko, Valerii, vice president of the Siberian department of the Russian Engineering Academy
Shestakov, Vasilii, president of the Russian Jujitsu Federation, Russian director for the World Kobudo Federation
Shpak, Georgii, former Russian Airborne Troops commander
Sultanov, Shamil, Russian Regions party co-chairman, member of the Party of Islamic Rebirth
Varennikov, Valentin, former commander of Soviet ground forces and a leader of the August 1991 coup attempt against former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, former State Duma deputy (1996-99)
Viktorov, Ivan, former Omsk Oblast Statistical Committee chairman
Zhukov, Andrei, former KGB officer, president of the International Consulting Center

Aristov, Aleksandr, Federation Council member (Chelyabinsk Oblast), former head of Chelyabinsk Elektrometallurgical industrial complex
Arshba, Otari, former KGB colonel, former head of West Siberian Metallurgical industrial complex
Ashlapov, Nikolai, former RusAl manager, former Krasnoyarsk Krai acting governor after the April 2002 death of Governor Aleksandr Lebed
Ayupov, Mansur, former Bashkir Academy for State Service and Administration rector, former deputy chairman of the Bashkortostan republican government
Azarova, Nadezhda [Fatherland-Unified Russia], former Novosibirsk Oblast first deputy governor
Baboshkin, Anatolii, Saratov Oblast Pension Fund head
Barzhanova, Margarita [Fatherland-Unified Russia] former head of Khabarovsk Meat industrial complex
Barzykin, Yurii, adviser to the head of the Krasnodar Krai administration
Belyakov, Aleksandr [Unity-Unified Russia] former SBS-Agro director
Bilalov, Akhmed [Unity-Unified Russia] former head of Sever company
Bogomolov, Valerii, former adviser to Federation Council Chairman Sergei Mironov, former Udmurtneftegaz director
Borzova, Olga, former Rostov Oblast Health Department deputy director
Burataeva, Aleksandra [Unity-Unified Russia] former ORT television newscaster
Burenin, Andrei, former director of SUAL's aluminum smelter in Irkutsk, former Irkutsk Oblast deputy governor
Burykina, Natalya, former head of the State Duma Budget Committee's apparatus
Cheremushkin, Vasilii [Unity-Unified Russia] former head of the Samara Oblast Union of Aviation Industry Workers
Chirkin, Andrei, former Federation Council member (Khabarovsk)
Denisov, Valentin, Russian Agricultural Movement deputy head, former Ulyanovsk Oblast first deputy governor
Dines, Igor [Unity-Unified Russia] former adviser to the governor of Pskov Oblast
Drusinov, Valentin, general director of the Moscow Oblast Construction Materials Company
Dubrovskii, Viktor, deputy director for the Fund for Social Insurance and author of books on pension reform
Fedorov, Yevgenii, former deputy atomic energy minister
Fokin, Aleksandr, administration chairman of the National Investment-Industrial Fund
Gabdrakhmanov, Ildar, Moscow city politician
Gainullina, Farida [Fatherland-Unified Russia] former chairwoman of Tatarstan's Federation of Trade Unions
Galichanin, Yevgenii [Unity-Unified Russia] former deputy director of the Far East and TransBaikal Economic Cooperation Association
Gasanov, Magomedkadi [Fatherland-Unified Russia]
Gilmutdinov, Ildar, former first deputy youth and sports minister in Tatarstan
Grachev, Vladimir [Unity-Unified Russia] former head of apparatus for State Duma Science, Culture, Education, Health Care, and Ecology Committee
Gryzlov, Boris, former interior minister, former State Duma deputy (1999-2001)
Gubkin, Anatolii, former general director of the Tomsk Petrochemical Plant
Gurov, Aleksandr [Unity-Unified Russia] Soviet-era Interior Ministry official
Gutseriev, Sait-Salam [Fatherland-Unified Russia] general director of BIN industrial-financial group
Guzanov, Aleksei [Unity-Unified Russia] inspector for the Vityaz security firm
Isaev, Andrei [Fatherland-Unified Russia] former secretary for the Federation of Independent Trade Unions
Kalkov, Sergei, former head of the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug Culture, Youth, Sports, Tourism, and Information Policy Department
Karelin, Aleksandr [Unity-Unified Russia] Olympic medallist in Greco-Roman wrestling
Karmeev, Anbyar, editor in chief of "Molodezh Tatarstana"
Khor, Gleb, insurance director for Geopolis
Khvoinskii, Leonid, Altai Krai legislator, head of Altaiavtodor
Klintsevich, Frants [Unity-Unified Russia] former chairman of the Union of Afghan War Veterans
Klyus, Viktor, board chairman of Pervyi Port in Kamchatka
Kokoshin, Andrei [Fatherland-Unified Russia] former first deputy defense minister
Kondakova, Elena [Fatherland-Unified Russia] former cosmonaut
Korobov, Maksim [Unity-Unified Russia] former president of the Yukos-affiliated Tomsk oil-and-gas company
Kosachev, Konstantin [Fatherland-Unified Russia] former assistant to former Prime Minister Yevgenii Primakov
Kosarikov, Aleksandr [Unity-Unified Russia] former Nizhnii Novgorod Oblast deputy governor
Kosourov, Viktor, former Novosbirisk Oblast first deputy governor
Koval, Aleksandr [Unity-Unified Russia] former Even Autonomous Okrug deputy governor
Kovalev, Oleg [Unity-Unified Russia] former raion administration head in Moscow Oblast
Kozlovskii, Aleksandr, former vice president of the Association of European Olympic Committees
Kravchenko, Valerii, deputy director of Zevs-APE
Kulikov, Anatolii [Unity-Unified Russia] former deputy prime minister and interior minister, army general
Lakhova, Yekaterina [Fatherland-Unified Russia] co-creator of Women of Russia movement
Lazarev, Georgii, director of Elektron-C
Lipatov, Yurii [Fatherland-Unified Russia] former general director of Energiya electro-mechanical factor
Luntsevich, Valentin [Unity-Unified Russia] former Murmansk Oblast legislator
Mammaev, Mamma, president of Usstar-M financial-industrial union, former Interior Ministry officer in Daghestan
Margelov, Vitalii, former deputy director of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR)
Medinskii, Vladimir, former head of the Tax Ministry's External Relations Department
Medvedev, Yevgenii, former first deputy director of the Investment Agency for the Central Federal District
Moskalets, Aleksandr, former deputy emergency situations minister
Mukhametzakirov, Anvar, former general director of Santekhpribor
Nazmeev, Yurii, rector of Kazan State Energy University
Nefedov, Viktor, former Federation Council representative (Orenburg Oblast)
Ogonkov, Aleksei [Unity-Unified Russia] president of TPP Kostroma Oblast
Opekunov, Viktor [Fatherland-Unified Russia] Tver Oblast first deputy governor
Oskina, Vera, director of the Agency for Social Communication in Krasnoyarsk
Panina, Bella, deputy director of the department of legislation monitoring of the London branch of Millhouse Capital U.K.
Pastukhov, Boris [Fatherland-All Russia] former CIS affairs minister
Pekhtin, Vladimir [Unity-Unified Russia] leader of Unity faction in last State Duma
Pepelyaeva, Liana, lawyer for Sibneft and chairman of the Siberian Legal Office
Pleskachevskii, Viktor [Unity-Unified Russia] former president of the Preobrazhenskii Foundation for Development and Investment
Pligin, Vladimir, managing partner of the Moscow legal firm YUST, represented former St. Petersburg Mayor Anatolii Sobchak
Popov, Sergei, former Federal Council member (Ust-Ordynskii Buryatskii Autonomous Okrug)
Pozhigailo, Pavel, former board chairman of Tekstil-Tsentr
Prozorovskii, Valerii, former deputy dead of LUKoil's Public Relations Department
Ragozin, Kirill, general director of alcohol producer Veda companies
Reznik, Vladislav [Unity-Unified Russia] former chairman of Rosgosstrakh
Rodinonov, Yurii [Unity-Unified Russia] former deputy defense minister and deputy chief military inspector
Rokitskii, Mikhail [Russian Regions] medical doctor and former head of Kazan Center for Pediatric Surgery
Rozenbaum, Aleksandr, musician, film actor
Rudikova, Lybov, general director of the Voronezh leasing company Farmers of the Black Earth
Safaraliev, Gadzhimet [Unity-Unified Russia] former professor at Daghestan State University
Savvidi, Ivan, former general director of Donskoi Tabak in Rostov-na-Donu
Shibalkin, Aleksandr, head of the department for cooperation with government agencies for TNK
Shorshorov, Stepan [Unity-Unified Russia 2000] former general director of Rostov-based Napitki Dona
Shevtsov, Georgii, former director of Severstal's social-housing complex, Volgograd Oblast legislator
Simanovskii, Leonid, chairman of board of directors of Novatek and vice president of Yukos from 1996-2000
Sizov, Aleksandr [Fatherland-Unified Russia] former deputy mayor of Yaroslavl
Sliska, Lyubov [Unity-Unified Russia] former deputy chairwoman of Saratov Oblast administration
Strelnikov, Aleksandr, chairman of Kirov Oblast legislature
Surovov, Sergei, former education minister for Saratov Oblast
Tabachkov, Nikolai [Unity-Unified Russia] chairman of Chelyabinsk Oblast branch of the Union of Afghan Veterans, lieutenant colonel
Tarachev, Vladimir [Unity-Unified Russia] served in State Duma since 1995
Timchenko, Vyacheslav, vice president of TNK, formerly with Menatep and Alfa banks
Tkachev, Aleksei [Unity-Unified Russia] brother of Krasnodar Krai governor
Trofimov, Yevgenii, deputy general director TV-Inform, formed deputy chairman of the Our Home Is Russia Executive Political Committee
Vasilev, Yurii, economics professor and department head at North Caucasus State University in Stavropol Krai
Volkov, Yurii, former Federation Council member (Komi and then Nenets)
Vorobev, Andrei, former Federation Council member (Adygei)
Vostrotin, Valerii, former deputy emergency situations minister
Yamadaev, Ruslan, deputy military commandant for Chechnya
Yermolin, Anatolii, director of the Yukos-funded NGO New Century
Yeltsov, Viktor, former Tatarstan republican legislator
Zalepukhin, Nikolai [Unity-Unified Russia] former financial director of Visma
Zalikhanov, Mikhail [Fatherland -Unity 2000] former general director Vysokogornyi Scientific-Research Center for Aviation and Weapons Technology
Zhitinkin, Sergei [Unity-Unified Russia] former chairman of a Marii El public organization for invalids of the Afghan war
Zubitskii, Boris [Unity-Unified Russia] former general director of Koks coal company

Sources: "Kommersant-Vlast," No. 2, 19 January 2004; State Duma's official website (; and the Russian Central Election Commission's website ( Compiled by Heather McGee and Julie Corwin

OUT: President Putin announced the dismissal of Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov on 24 February. Kasyanov said the following day that he is going to take two months off and consider what he will do next.

OUT: Legislators in Ivanovo Oblast have elected Yurii Smirnov as their representative to the Federation Council, replacing Valentin Bakulin, Regnum reported on 22 February. Bakulin's term was not set to expire until December 2005. Smirnov is chairman of the board of directors of the company Rosshin. According to "Kommersant-Daily" on 23 February, Ivanovo Oblast Governor Vladimir Tikhonov called the replacement of Bakulin with Smirnov an intrigue engineered by the local branch of Unified Russia. Tikhonov is a member of the Communist Party, and Bakulin was a member of the Communist Party's Central Committee before becoming a senator.

27 February: Early voting in presidential election to begin for citizens in remote areas of the Russian Federation

28 February: Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul visits Russia to meet with acting Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov

March: Audit Chamber investigators will start on-site inspections in a probe of federal budget expenditures in Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, which is headed by oligarch Roman Abramovich

6 March: The founding congress of the political party to be formed by the Union of Soldiers' Mothers Committees

8 March: International Women's Day observed

8 March: Last day for presidential candidates to withdraw from the election

9-14 March: Further publication of results of opinion polls about the presidential election banned

11 March: EU-Russia ministerial troika to be held in Dublin

14 March: Election for president of the Russian Federation

14 March: Gubernatorial elections in Voronezh, Murmansk, Chita, and Arkhangelsk oblasts; Altai and Krasnodar krais; and Koryak Autonomous Okrug

14 March: Republican-level presidential election in Udmurtia

14 March: Repeat State Duma elections in single-mandate districts in Ulyanovsk and Sverdlovsk oblasts and St. Petersburg where no candidates succeeded in garnering sufficient votes on 7 December

25 March: Date by which prosecutors must either complete their criminal investigation of former Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovskii or ask a Moscow court to extend his period of pretrial detention

26 March: Date by which official presidential-election results are to be released

30 March: Date by which prosecutors must either complete their criminal investigation of Menatep Chairman Platon Lebedev or ask a Moscow court to extend his period of pretrial detention

31 March: Date by which prosecutors must either complete their criminal investigation of St. Petersburg legislator and accused murder conspirator Yurii Shutov or ask a St. Petersburg court to extend his period of pretrial detention

End of March: NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer to visit Russia, according to Interfax

1 April: Administrative reform of Russian federal government will be completed, according to Deputy Prime Minister Boris Aleshin

4 April: Second round of federal presidential election to be held if no candidate receives 50 percent of the vote in the 14 March first round

6-7 April: Foreign ministers of five Caspian states, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and Iran, to meet in Moscow

23 April: First anniversary of the killing of State Duma Deputy Sergei Yushenkov

3-4 May: Labor Day holiday observed

10 May: Victory Day holiday observed

June: Communist Party will hold congress to hear reports and elect new party officials

1 June: New deadline for exchanging Soviet-era passports for new Russian passports

19 June: End of State Duma's spring session.