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Russia Report: August 16, 2004

16 August 2004, Volume 4, Number 31
By Robert Coalson

Twists in the case of embattled oil giant Yukos have been coming fast and furious over the last few weeks, although developments have appeared so thoroughly contradictory that the only thing that seems certain is that the Kremlin has not yet made up its mind as to just how things will turn out.

On 4 August, to take one vivid example, Yukos announced both that the company would sell its 56 percent stake in Rospan to TNK-BP to cover part of its tax debt and that the Justice Ministry had given permission for the company to finance its operating costs from its frozen bank accounts. These announcements sent Yukos shares rallying and prompted Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs President Arkadii Volskii to proclaim that "we are seeing some easing of the situation around Yukos."

The next day, the Justice Ministry announced both that it "has many questions" about the proposed Rospan sale and that "bailiffs have not made a decision on issuing permission to Yukos to make monthly payments or to ensure current activities," Prime-TASS reported. Yukos shares immediately fell by 14 percent on the news.

Such scenarios have become so common that trading in Yukos stock is suspended almost every day as the volatile shares rise or fall in dramatic double-digit bursts. On 9 August, the Moscow stock exchange halted trading in Yukos shares at 11:44 a.m. after their value had increased 23 percent to 135 rubles a share, reported. The rise came on news that the Moscow Arbitration Court had invalidated a bailiffs' order to freeze Yukos's shares in Yurganskneftegaz, its main production subsidiary. However, the price began to fall as soon as trading resumed an hour later as rumors (later confirmed) swirled that the bailiffs had once again frozen the Yurganskneftegaz shares following the court order. On 10 August, the exchange again froze trading in Yukos shares at 2 p.m., after they had fallen almost 14 percent.

On 10 August, the Moscow Arbitration Court ruled paradoxically that the bailiffs' seizure of Yukos's shares of Tomskneft was legal and the same day it postponed issuing a ruling on the seizure of Yukos's stake in Samaraneftegaz until 2 September. Together, the three subsidiaries account for 96 percent of Yukos's total oil production, "The Moscow Times" reported on 10 August, meaning that the destiny of the entire company hangs on their fates.

Oil-sector analysts, noting the bailiffs' order to re-freeze the Yurganskneftegaz shares, emphasized that Yukos's fate will be decided in the Kremlin, not in the courts. "As long as the forceful line of settling the conflict with Yukos predominates, it is pointless to interpret positively any court decisions," analyst Stiven Dashevskii told "Vedomosti" on 10 August. "They will either turn out to be temporary or ethereal."

In a front-page article on 10 August, "Izvestiya" openly raised the possibility that some individuals could be using insider information to profit from the roller-coaster ride of Yukos shares. "Who has profited this time from the rise and fall of the shares, no one at the exchange could say. But they suppose that it is those who had information from the state organs," the daily wrote.

In the same article, "Izvestiya" reported that the Finance Ministry had confirmed earlier media reports that Yukos's tax debts will be distributed among Russia's poorest regions. "The money will be used in 2005 to form a fund to help 40 subjects of the federation," the daily reported, adding that "the money will be used to pay state-sector workers and to help the housing sector to prepare for the winter." It would be hard to imagine a more finely crafted populist gesture, one that is especially important as the government takes a public-opinion battering over its controversial plan to convert most in-kind social benefits into cash payments.

At the same time, world oil prices have reached record levels, in part because of concerns about the fate of Yukos. Russian producers have responded by boosting production. On 3 August, the Industry and Energy Industry announced that the country had reached a new post-Soviet production record of 9.3 million barrels a day. Production was up more than 10 percent for the first half of the year, "The Moscow Times" reported. The windfall has spurred GDP growth beyond the government's ambitious predictions, growth that has been almost entirely attributed to growth in the exports sector.

Moreover, "Vedomosti" reported on 10 August that a leading Chinese expert said his country should give preference to dealing with state-controlled or Kremlin-friendly Russian oil companies. "Chinese oilmen must correctly choose a partner for energy cooperation," an analyst with the Chinese State Council said. "They must rely as partners on those companies that are controlled by the state or on those companies that have the confidence of the government." The analyst added that the government feels that Yukos's loss of control of its production subsidiaries could make it an unreliable partner. With uncertainty bringing so many tempting short-term benefits, it is little wonder that the Kremlin is in no hurry to make its intentions regarding Yukos clear.

By Julie A. Corwin

Four years ago this month, President Putin signed into law a bill changing the rules under which the Federation Council, Russia's upper legislative chamber, was formed. Under the old rules, the heads of the regions and the chairman of the regional legislative assembly automatically served in the Federation Council. Putin argued that arrangement was unsatisfactory, because the representatives were fulfilling their legislative duties only on a part-time basis and were, therefore, frequently not even reading the laws that they were voting on.

The presidential administration proposed instead a system under which the regional executive and legislative branches each designate a representative, both of whom would be permanently based in Moscow. This representative would not be directly elected as are the governors and legislative assembly speakers; however, local legislatures would directly confirm their nominations.

The law did not come fully into effect until January 2002, but a review of how the chamber functions some 2 1/2 years later shows the goal of bringing more professionalism and continuity to the corps of the council has proved elusive. However, within less than a year of the reform, the presidential administration achieved what would later prove to be a model for the much more unruly State Duma: the creation of a kind of legislative conveyor belt. All bills, even bills that directly infringe upon regional interests, are quickly considered and approved.

Under its new rules of formation, the chamber now has a higher number of Muscovites, some of whom have experience working in the federal government. Nonetheless, it's problematic to assert that its members are more professional. The level of turnover in the council seats has been too rapid: In just 32 months, 69 of the 89 regions have recalled or replaced one of their senators (see table below). With such rapid turnover, it's hard to imagine how even an experienced legislator would have enough time to get acquainted with the normal operating procedures, let alone develop enough expertise to contribute to the fine-tuning of legislation. According to Federation Council Deputy Chairwoman Svetlana Orlova, 131 of the 178 members of the Federation Council have changed since the new rules for forming the upper legislative chamber came into effect, "Kommersant-Daily" reported on 2 August. Once a seat is vacant, regional authorities do not always rush to fill it. Presently, three regions -- Chukotka Autonomous Okrug and Khabarovsk and Volgograd oblasts -- have left one of their seats vacant for more than a year.

Another factor undermining the professionalism of the upper chamber is absenteeism. "Komsomolskaya pravda" reported on 17 December 2002 that on the first anniversary of its new formation, one of the chamber's main problems was "work discipline": Many of the senators are "truants." It alleged that Sergei Vasilev, representative for Leningrad Oblast Governor Valerii Serdyukov, reportedly only comes to Moscow for full council sessions, and the Committee on Financial Markets and Currency Circulation, which he chairs, is "inactive."

The daily also reported that banker and oligarch Sergei Pugachev, who represents the executive branch of Tuva Republic, and several of his colleagues are accustomed to leaving council sessions after the first break. Pugachev's colleagues take his lack of participation so much for granted that once when he appeared to want to speak during a session, Federation Council Chairman Sergei Mironov asked, "Do you really want to speak?" "Moskovskii komsomolets" reported on 25 February 2003. Pugachev shook his head no. Mironov then asked, "Perhaps you pressed your button by mistake?" Pugachev nodded, and the session continued.

The new Federation Council routinely passes bill after bill that would have been unthinkable during President Boris Yeltsin's administration, such as the law on buying and selling of agricultural land. Another noticeable example occurred in the summer of 2002 when representatives approved amendments to the law on the police that gave regional leaders only a minor say in the appointment of top regional law-enforcement officials (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 25 July 2002). Now, it's extremely rare for the upper legislative chamber to actually reject a bill sponsored by the government or the Kremlin.

Occasionally, a bill will slip by the State Duma that the government or presidential administration does not approve of, and the Federation Council can be counted on to reject it. At a meeting with the Federation Council's leadership in April of last year, President Putin expressed his appreciation for the senators' work in keeping the legislative "conveyor belt" humming along. Putin heaped praised on the council, saying that it had worked "without interruptions and malfunctions" and "effectively" in the nearly 18 months since it was restructured. The reformed upper chamber, he said, had become "a serious filter, not only passing important laws, but also rejecting certain bills." As a rule, Putin said, election campaigns "significantly hinder the legislative process" and sometimes lead to the passage of "populist laws" that are financially inexpedient. The president urged senators to understand their "mission" -- to veto parochial and "corporative" legislation.

For the most part, the new Federation Council is better known for the speed with which it "deliberates" over controversial legislation, even those bills at odds with regional interests, than its veto power. On the last day of its first spring session in July 2002, it broke all previous records for productivity and passed 26 bills during a 6 1/2-hour session. Among the more than two dozen bills were landmark legislation, including laws on selling agricultural land, bankruptcy, and alternative civil service.

While the new Federation Council has not served as a watchdog for safeguarding regional revenues from amendments to the Tax Code, its members may be unofficially contributing to revenues of individuals in the regions. Accusations of the buying and selling of seats in the council have been rife since the very beginning of the chamber's transition to the new rules. In January 2001, then Federation Council Chairman Yegor Stroev said during an open session, "I'm afraid that it's not apartments [that are] being bought but seats in the Federation Council" during a heated discussion over whether the latest batch of representatives even knew the location of the regions that they were representing.

More recently, former Federation Council representative for Kurgan Oblast Andrei Vikharev accused Kurgan legislators of receiving $20,000 to $60,000 each for voting to recall him and replace him with former advertising executive Sergei Lisovskii. He told "Izvestiya" on 8 July that he is ready to provide the surnames of deputies who received the sums. Vikharev, who ran for governor in Sverdlovsk Oblast in 2003, has been closely linked with regional oligarch Pavel Fedulov, who is rumored to have bought Vikharev's seat in the Federation Council (see ID=32429C8B-3651-4089-ABAD-7808ED6A27E7&M=10&Y=2003).

In 2002, Transaero head Aleksandr Pleshakov, a former representative for Penza Oblast Governor Vasilii Bochkarev, was quoted by on 14 June as saying that he was recalled from his seat because he didn't give enough money for Bochkarev's spring 2002 reelection campaign. "Nezavisimaya gazeta" on 23 January 2003 reported that Pleshakov accused Bochkarev at the time of "blackmail."

A few senators have served both in the old and new versions of the Federation Council, and for the most part, their evaluations of Putin's reforms have been unfavorable. Former Ingushetian President Ruslan Aushev resigned his position as a representative in the Federation Council on 23 April 2002, declaring, "I think it makes no sense to stay in a chamber that decides nothing." More recently, former Federation Council member and State Duma Deputy Nikolai Kondratenko (Communist) complained: "More than 70 percent of Federation Council [members] are Muscovites. Is this really federalism in action? How can [Federation Council member for Novgorod Oblast Gennadii] Burbulis represent his territory, which he doesn't know?" In an interview with "Moskovskii komsomolets" on 26 September 2002, former representative from Kaliningrad Oblast Valerii Ustyugov complained that in the current Federation Council, no one can be an "independent" political figure. He also charged that the senators are "mainly Moscow residents," 80 percent of whom would not be elected to the chamber if free elections were held.

Ustyugov, Kondratenko, and others, most visibly Federation Council Chairman Mironov, have been arguing for the need for direct elections to the council. In June, Central Election Commission (TsIK) Chairman Aleksandr Veshnyakov announced that the commission's Scientific-Methodological Council will study the method for forming the Federation Council. Veshnyakov said: "We have the experience of forming the [Federation] Council according to three different models. Comparing these models, we will analyze the pluses and minuses and we can develop a concept for forming the upper legislative chamber in the optimal manner in full correspondence with the constitution."

In the meantime, while the TsIK studies the options, the State Duma passed on 31 July a bill in its first reading that would make it more difficult for regional executives and legislators to dismiss their Federation Council representatives. Under the bill, Federation Council members may be dismissed before their terms expire for the same reasons as State Duma deputies: a government appointment, a written resignation, loss of citizenship, or a court decision. State Duma Deputy Anatolii Lokot (Communist) objected to the legislation, saying, "Doesn't it seem to you that we are slowly but surely moving toward the creation of a House of Lords?"

Just two years prior, political scientist Iosif Diskin was worried about the opposite trend. Speaking at a meeting Moscow's Aleksandr House in June 2002, he noted that "the Federation Council has gone from being a house of lords to a house of valets, serving regional elites and oligarchs." But as the record of the last 32 months shows, the regional elite has already been marginalized, and their envoys to the federal center in general show little loyalty to regional interests. Theoretically, elections could change this, but if the result of the last State Duma races are any guide, the Kremlin is not likely to unveil that reform until the results can be almost guaranteed.

The following table lists the current and former members of the Federation Council since the new rules for the formation of the upper legislative chamber came into effect on 1 January 2002. The reason for the departure of the representative is given if known. "E" indicates a representative of the executive branch, "L," legislative branch. The dates in parentheses correspond to the representatives' term in office. JAC

Tleuzh, Adam Khuseinovich L (18 April 2001-March 2006)
Shverikas, Vyacheslav Nikolaevich E (28 January 2004-January 2007)

Vorobev, Andrei Yurevich (6 March 2002-January 2007)*

Zhambalnimbuev, Bato-Zhargal E (28 February 2001-October 2005)
Gutseriev, Khamzat Safarbekovich L (4 March 2004-October 2005)

Shoizhilzhapov, Vladimir Dimbroilovich (7 February 2001-October 2005)*

Germanenko, Vladimir Sergeevich L (20 December 2001-March 2004) (27 May 2004- March 2008)
Timerbulatov, Timur Rafkatovich E (27 May 2004-April 2008)

Onenyshev, Sergei Pavlovich (20 December 2001-March 2004)*

Agapov, Boris Nikolaevich L (19 February 2002-January 2007)
Safin, Ralif Rafilovich E ( 5 June 2002-December 2005 )

Antaradonov, Yurii Vasilevich (19 February 2002-December 2005)*

Buslova, Galina Semenova L (14 December 2001-March 2005)
Karpov, Aleksandr Mikhailovich E (20 September 2001-April 2005)

Korobeinikov, Mikhail Antonovich L (3 December 2001-14 March 2004)
Sivkov, Yurii Sergeevich E (11 December 2001-December 2004)

Gorbunov, Gennadii Aleksandrovich L (25 December 2001-October 2006)
Markelov, Konstantin Alekseevich E (15 February 2001-December 2004)

Izmestev, Igor Vladimirovich L (21 December 2001-March 2003) (11 April 2003-March 2008)
Iskuzhin, Rudik Gazizovich E (19 February 2004-December 2008)

Yakubov Aleksandr Rustamovich (21 December 2001-June 2003) moved to new region*

Popelnyukhov, Sergei Nikolaevich L (24 December 2003-October 2005)
Rizhkov, Nikolai Ivanovich E (17 September 2003-May 2008)

Golikov, Georgii Georgievich (3 December 2001-October 2005)*
Dondukov, Aleksandr Nikolaevich (28 December 2001-May 2003)*

Demina, Valentina Sergeevna L (25 April 2001-December 2004)
Yakubov, Aleksandr Rustamovich E (29 April 2004-December 2004)

Lushkin, Leonid Aleksandrovich (30 January 2001-December 2004)*

Bavlov, Vladimir Nikolaevich L (18 December 2001-June 2007)
Malkin, Vitalii Borisovich E (1 January 2004-June 2007)

Agalov, Vladimir Konstantinovich (26 December 2000-June 2002)*

Lebedev, Leonid Leonidovich (10 September 2002-July 2006)
Slutsker, Vladimir Iosifovich (18 January 2002-December 2005)

Borovik, Vyacheslav Borisovich (7 September 2001-July 2002)*

Dzhabrailov, Umar Alievich (14 January 2004-October 2007)
Umarov, Musa Nazhmudinovich (11 December 2003- )

Zagaev, Akhmar Gaprovich (24 October 2000- )* elected to State Duma

Aristov, Aleksandr Mikhailovich (29 March 2001-December 2005)
Zhiganov, Vladislav Mikhailovich (27 February 2004-December 005)

Yeliseev, Yevgenii Aleksandrovich (29 March 2001-December 2005)*

Vishnyakov, Vitalii Yevgenevich (20 December 2000-October 2004)
Melnikov, Vladimir Ilich (24 January 2001-March 2008)

Malkin, Yefim Naumovich (1 January 2002-December 2005)
second slot unfilled

Nazarov, Aleksandr Viktorovich (18 January 2001-December 2005)* resigned to take job with Audit Chamber

Zainalov, Shamil Magomedovich L (29 November 2001-March 2007)
Umakhanov, Ilyas Magomed-Salamovich E (29 November 2001-June 2006)

Sharandin, Yurii Afanasevich (27 June 2001-April 2006)
nominee for spot rejected Shakhnovskii

Anisimov, Nikolai Anisimovich (18 April 2001-April 2006)* dismissed

Kostoev, Issa Magometovich E (1 July 2002-April 2006)
Likhachev, Vasilii Nikolaevich L (11 March 2004-December 2007)

Bekov, Sergei Mazhitovich (20 March 2001-February 2003)*

Mezhevich, Valentin Yefimovich (15 March 2001-September 2004)
Mezentsev Dmitrii Fedorovich (16 January 2002-August 2005)

Gusev, Vladimir Kuzmich L (25 June 2001-December 2005)
Smirnov, Yurii Valentinovich E (19 February 2004-December 2005)

Bakulin, Valentin Ivanovich (9 January 2001-December 2005)* dismissed after three years

Vavilov, Stanislav Vladimirovich L (9 November 2001-October 2005)
Glukhovskii, Igor Gennadevich E (29 November 2000-March 2005)

Karmokov, Khachim Mukhamedovich L (1 June 2001-December 2002) (28 May 2004- December 2008)
Chechenov, Khusein Dzhabrailovich E (3 February 2004-January 2007)

Ulbashev, Mukharbii Magomedovich E (December 2001-January 2002) (21 March 2002-January 2007)* dismissed

Tulaev, Nikolai Petrovich E (8 December 2000-November 2005)
Tkach, Oleg Polikarpovich L (22 January 2004-November 2005)

Ustyugov, Valerii Nikolaevich (18 December 2000-November 2004)* dismissed
Skorobogatko, Aleksandr (26 September 2002-November 2005)* elected to State Duma

Iskhakov, Rustem Eduardovich E (21 December 2001-October 2007)
Provkin Igor Yurevich L (21 December 2001-October 2002) 1 year skip (23 December 2003-December 2008)

Aleksandrov, Aleksei Ivanovich L (12 April 2004-November 2004)
Sudarenkov, Valerii Vasilevich E (18 November 2000-March 2009)

Kolesnikov, Viktor Mikhailovich L (4 March 2001-November 2004)* elected to duma

Boitsov, Lev Nikolaevich L (21 December 2001-December 2006)
Bikov, Valerii Klavdievich E (25 January 2001-December 2004)

Aibazov, Ratmir Umarovich L (16 November 2001-December 2003) (29 March 2004-March 2009)
Shudumov, Oleg Kychukovich E (4 June 2004-August 2008) 1 year skip

Derev, Stanislav Yedikovich E (16 November 2001-May 2003)*

Stepanov, Viktor Nikolaevich E (December 2001-April 2002 ) (12 May 2002-May 2006)
Fedorov, Vladimir Aleksandrovich L (4 January 2003-April 2006)

Ponomarev, Yurii Ivanovich L (16 January 2002-April 2006)*

Shatirov, Sergei Vladimirovich (27 June 2001- April 2006)
Orlova, Svetlana Yurevna (24 November 2001-April 2008)

Ozerov, Viktor Alekseevich L (15 December 2001-December 2005)
second spot unfilled

Chirkin, Andrei Borisovich E (15 December 2001-December 2004)*

Petrenko Valentina Aleksandrovna E (26 April 2001-December 2004)
Sarkisyan, Arkadii Rafikovich L (26 April 2001-January 2005)

Volostrigov, Petr Stanislavovich L ( 1 July 2001-January 2006)
Oleinik, Gennadii Dmitrievich E ( 1 June 2001-March 2005)

Ivanov, Sergei Pavlovich L (14 April 2004-March 2006)
Klishin, Aleksei Aleksandrovich E (25 March 2004-December 2008)

Mikheev, Mikhail Aleksandrovich (9 April 2001-March 2005)* dismissed
Sisolyatin, Vladimir Petrovich (1 January 2002-March 2004)*

Grishin, Aleksei Fedorovich E (11 February 2003-December 2005)
Trofimov, Yevgenii Nikitovich L (21 December 2001-March 2007)

Azimov, Rashim Azizboevich (27 February 2002-December 2005)* dismissed
Volkov, Yurii Nikolaevich (December 2001- )* resigned

Oganyan, Oganes Armenakovich E (26 January 2001-December 2005)
Solomon, Vladimir Karimullovich L (21 December 2001-December 2006)

Orlov, Viktor Petrovich E (24 January 2001-April 2008)
Suvorov, Aleksandr Sergeevich L (18 October 2001-December 2004)

Duma, Vasilii Mikhailovich E (13 May 2004-December 2005)
Khazin, Andrei Leonidovich L (13 February 2004-December 2005)

Vinogradov, Vyacheslav Nikolaevich (7 June 2001-December 2005)*
Starikov, Ivan Valentinovich (25 January 2001-December 2004)* (resigned before dismissal)

Mostovoi, Leonid Arkadevich L (29 December 2003-14 March 2004)
Shishkov, Aleksei Nikolaievich (10 January 2003-November 2007)

Kondratenko, Nikolai Ignatovich E (11 January 2001-December 2004)* elected to Duma
Meremyanin, Konstantin Georgievich L (1 January 2002-November 2002)*

Novikov, Vyacheslav Aleksandrovich L (10 January 2002-December 2006)
Kamenskoi, Igor Aleksandrovich E (25 May 2004-September 2007)

Shishkov, Aleksei L (January 2003-May 2004) dismissed
Fedirko, Pavel Stefanovich E (2 November 2001-May 2003)* retired

Lisovskii, Sergei L (August 2004-November 2004)
Panteleev, Oleg Yevgenevich E (April 2001-December 2004)

Vikharev, Andrei Anatolevich L (26 April 2001-November 2004)* dismissed

Chernykh, Viktor Dmitrievich L (30 January 2001-January 2006)
Shirokonosov, Gennadii Vasilevich E (23 November 2000-November 2005)

Vasilev, Sergei Aleksandrovich E (12 July 2001-September 2003) (23 December 2003-September 2008)
Naginskii, Grigorii Mikhailovich L (16 September 2003-December 2006)

Golubev Valerii Aleksandrovich L (23 April 2002-December 2005)* resigned

Kavdzharadze Maksim Gennadevich L (30 April 2002-April 2006)
Lyskov, Anatolii Grigorevich E (29 April 2002-April 2006)

Zasko, Yurii Yevgenevich L (4 June 2001-May 2005)
Kulakov, Vladimir Fedorovich E (25 November 2000-February 2008)

Torshin, Aleksandr Porfirevich E (26 January 2001-December 2004)
Dementeva, Nataliya Leonidovna L (10 June 2004-October 2004)

Lomakin-Rumyantsev, Ilya Vadimovich L (29 March 2001-October 2004)* named to federal government position

Petrov, German Stanislavovich L (1 December 2001-December 2003)
Bychkov, Nikolai Viktorovich E (27 March 2003-February 2008)

Nevzlin, Leonid Borisovich E (30 November 2001-February 2003)* emigrated

Tolkachev, Oleg Mikhailovich E (14 January 2004-December 2007)
Plotnikov, Vladimir Konstantinovich L (25 January 2002-December 2005)

Nikolskii, Boris Vasilevich E (15 January 2002-December 2003)* dismissed

Bryntsalov, Igor Yurevich L (16 January 2002-December 2006)
Churkin, Nikolai Pavlovich E (1 January 2002-December 2008)

Gurev, Andrei Grigorevich E (23 November 2001-March 2009)
Popov, Vyacheslav Alekseevich L (4 January 2002-December 2006)

Sabadash, Aleksandr Vitalevich E (25 June 2003-January 2005)
Konovalova, Tatyana Ivanovna L (23 May 2001-January 2005)

Volkov, Yurii Nikolaevich E (31 January 2002-January 2005)* dismissed

Bushmin, Yevgenii Viktorovich E ( 20 November 2001-July 2005)
Bednyakov Dmitrii Ivanovich L (11 April 2002-March 2006)

Bugulob, Erik Ruslanovich E (19 February 2002-January 2006)
Kadokhov, Valerii Totrazovich L (9 November 2000-April 2003)

Burbulis, Gennadii Eduardovich E (24 September 2003-September 2008)
Sorokin, Mikhail Mikhailovich L (28 November 2001-October 2006)

Alaferovskii, Yurii Petrovich L (20 December 2001-December 2005)
Saltykov, Anatolii Ivanovich E (27 February 2004-December 2008)

Ignatov, Viktor Aleksandrovich (21 November 2001-January 2004)*

Oif, Valerii Aleksandrovic E (18 March 2004-September 2008)
Chernyavskii, Valenin Semenovich L (16 May 2002-March 2007)

Tikhomirov, Valerii Viktorovich L (4 December 2001-September 2003)* dismissed after two years

Rogacheva, Marina Georgievna E (21 May 2004-October 2006)
Sheblygin, Sergei Yevgenevich L (28 December 2001-March 2006)

Merkulov, Pavel Aleksandrovich E (28 December 2001-October 2006)* dismissed

Dolgushkin, Nikolai Kuzmich E (21 April 2004-December 2008)
Pozhitkov, Nikolai Fedorovich L (30 December 2003-March 2006)

Nefedov, Viktor Leonidovich L ( 19 June 2002-March 2006)* elected to Duma
Zelepukhin, Aleksandr Grigorevich E(21 December 2001-December 2003)*

Vavilov, Andrei Petrovich L (28 March 2002-April 2007)
Shpigel, Boris Isaakovich E (3 April 2003-April 2007)

Pleshakov, Aleksandr Petrovich E (27 March 2001-April 2003)*
Bespalov, Aleksandr E (June 2002-April 2007) Pashkov, Aleksandr Vladimirovich L ( 21 December 2001-December 2002)*

Dobrosotskii, Viktor Ivanovich L (21 March 2002-December 2006)
Popova, Tatyana Yurevna E (22 April 2004-December 2005)

Chirkunov, Oleg Anatolevich E (18 January 2001 –December 2005)* named acting governor

Kozhemyako, Oleg Nikolaevich L (27 November 2002-June 2006)
Ivanov, Igor Vladimirovich E (28 January 2004-June 2005)

Manilov, Valerii Leonidovich E (29 August 2001-June 2005)*
Golubkovskii, Mikhail L (13 February 2002-June 2006) dismissed after less than a year

Margelov, Mikhail Vitalevich E (21 December 2000-November 2004)
Medvedev, Nikolai Yakovlevich L (21 December 2000- ) (15 April 2002-March 2007)

Anokhin, Sergei Viktorovich E (11 December 2001-September 2006)
Kazakov, Aleksandr Ivanovich L (21 December 2001-March 2008)

Chaplin, Yurii Konstantinovich L (18 February 2004-March 2005)
Ishuk, Andrei Georgievich E (30 April 2004-March 2008)

Odintsov, Mikhail Viktorovich E (27 January 2001-December 2004)* dismissed when new governor elected
Morozov, Igor Nikolaevich L (22 August 2001-March 2005)* elected to State Duma

Matveev, Aleksandr Safronovich L (23 January 2003-December 2007)
Nikolaev, Mikhail Yefimovich E (28 January 2002-January 2007)

Burnashov, Robert Andreevich L (28 January 2002-December 2002)*

Shapoval, Vladimir Ivanovich L (3 June 2004-December 2007)
Tretyak, Boris Nikitovich E (13 December 2001-October 2004)

Goreglyad, Valerii Pavlovich L (18 January 2001-October 2004) resigned

Mironov, Sergei Mikhailovich L (13 June 2001-December 2006)
Mutko, Vitalii Leontevich E (29 October 2003-October 2007)

Mikhailovskii, Mikhail Gennadevich E (1 January 2002-May 2004)*

Kovalskii, Leon Iosifovich L (18 December 2001-December 2006)
Tkachenko, German Vladimirovich E (27 December 2001-July 2005)

Abdulatipov, Ramazan Gadzhimuradovich E (19 December 2000-March 2005)
Zavadnikov, Valentin Georgievich L (16 October 2002-September 2007)

Berks, Pavel Mikhailovich L (26 December 2003-May 2007)
Magomedov, Magomed Gadzhievich E (4 July 2001-May 2007)

Berezov, Vladimir Prokofevich (18 January 2002-May 2002)*
Nikitov, Vladimir Apollonovich (18 January 2001-May 2002)* Antufev, Sergei (26 June 2002-May 2007)* elected to State Duma

Korobeinikov, Anatolii Antonovich E(25 January 2001-December 2005)
Lisyakov, Aleksei Alekseevich L (21 February 2002-December 2006)

Trushnikov, Valerii Georgievich E (1 January 2002-September 2003)
Shmelev, Andrei Konstantinovich L ( 27 November 2001-March 2004) (27 May 2004-March 2008)

Bindar, Leonid Iosifovich E (30 March 2001-January 2008)
Roketskii, Leonid Yulianovich L (8 June 2001-December 2004)

Klyuchenok, Vasilii Dmitrievich E (11 December 2001-December 2008)
Kosarev, Nikolai Valentinovich L (29 December 2001-December 2005)

Khamidullin, Filza Garifovich E (11 April 2003-March 2006)
Larochkina, Irina Andreevna L (17 January 2002-December 2004) (28 April 2004-March 2009)

Altynbaev, Rafgat Akievich E (11 May 2001-March 2006)*

Suvorov, Aleksandr Adamovich E ( 25 March 2004-September 2008)
Kovalev, Yurii Yakovlevich L ( 28 December 2001-December 2006)

Gurdin, Yurii Mikhailovich (28 December 2001-September 2003)* resigned after less than a year
Zhidkikh, Vladimir (25 September 2002- )* elected to State Duma

Lunev, Aleksandr Viktorovich E(15 April 2004-April 2005)
Tatarinov, Oleg Vladimirovich L (21 December 2000-October 2004)

Vaskov, Anatolii Tikhonovich (25 December 2001-April 2005)*

Abramov, Viktor Semenovich E( 29 January 2004-December 2008)
Petrov, Vladimir Anatolevich L (25 December 2001-December 2005)

Dubodel, Anatolii Mikhailovich (31 May 2001-January 2004)*

Artyukhov, Andrei Viktorovich L (14 February 2002-December 2006)
Gavrin, Aleksandr Sergeevich E (27 February 2001-January 2006)

Pugachev, Sergei Viktorovich E (24 December 2001-March 2002)(8 October 2002-March 2007)
Narusova, Lyudmila Borisovna L (8 October 2002-October 2004)

Ydumbara, Chanmir Aleksandrovich L (24 December 2001-April 2002)*

Khoroshavtsev, Viktor Gennadevich L (23 April 2003-April 2008)
Shudegov, Viktor Yevgrafovich E (17 April 2001-April 2008)

Saltykov, Anatolii Ivanovich L (17 April 2001-April 2002)*

Kalita, Aleksandr Nikolaevich E (18 January 2001-December 2004)
Sychev, Valerii Aleksandrovich l (29 October 2001-December 2007)

Gladilin Valerii Pavlovich L ( 9 April 2004-March 2008)
Yukov, Mikhail Kuzmich E (29 April 2004-November 2004)

Popov, Sergei Aleksandrovich (25 December 2000-November 2004)*
Khutanov, Leonid Aleksandrovich (2 April 2001-November 2004)*

Gustov, Vadim Anatolevich E (28 February 2001-December 2004)
Ilyushkin, Yevgenii Pavlovich L (24 January 2001-December 2004)

Artyukhov, Vadim Vitalevich L (19 February 2004-December 2008)
second seat unfilled for past year

Agaptsov, Sergei Anatolevich L (25 January 2001-December 2004)* resigned
Golovanshikov, Aleksandr Borisovich E (14 June 2001-December 2002)*

Khripel, Gennadii Timofeevich L (20 December 2001-December 2006)
Fedorov, Valerii Ivanovich E (3 October 2001-December 2008)

Fetisov, Gleb Gennadevich L (12 July 2001-March 2005)
Yeremenko, Konstantin Viktorovich E (1 June 2004-March 2009)

Preobrazhenskii, Boris Georgievich (15 February 2001-December 2004)*

Gutin, Boris Mikhailovich L (2 July 2004-March 2005)
Spitsnadel, Vladimir Borisovich E (28 January 2004-March 2005)

Yevstifeev, Aleksandr Aleksandrovich (11 January 2002-March 2005)* resigned
Kerpelman, Yefim Lvovich (13 December 2000-March 2005)*

Glukhikh, Viktor Konstantinovich E (31 October 2001-December 2007)
Tonkov, Nikolai Ivanovich L (9 April 2004-March 2008)

Zayashikov, Yevgenii Nikolaevich ( 12 November 2001-March 2004)*

(* Replaced or resigned before term expired)

Complied by Heather McGee and Julie Corwin

Sources:, "RFE/RL Newsline."

By Jeremy Bransten

Russia's upper house of parliament followed the State Duma's lead on 8 August and gave final approval to a controversial bill that will replace traditional, Soviet-era benefits for the elderly, veterans, invalids, and millions of others with cash payments. The bill passed despite opposition from many who fear the loss of special privileges in public transportation, health care, and other areas will not be sufficiently compensated by the government's money offer.

The bill, which now awaits President Putin's signature, represents a social revolution in a country where 30 million people have come to see special benefits as a fundamental right.

Assuming Putin signs the law, as expected, millions of Russian war veterans, the disabled, pensioners, orphans, those who cleaned up after the Chornobyl disaster, and scores of other special-interest groups will see their access to free medicine, public transportation, telephone calls, and sanatorium stays vanish on 1 January.

The benefits -- currently received by 20 percent of Russia's population -- will be replaced by cash payments ranging from the equivalent of $5-$50 per month.

Supporters of the bill -- which was originally submitted by the Kremlin -- argue that abolishing Russia's unwieldy system of social benefits will remove a major burden from the federal budget and speed the country's transition to a market economy, allowing all Russians to raise their standard of living.

Among the bill's backers is Nikolai Bulaev, head of the Duma's Education Committee. He told RFE/RL that many of those eligible for the current benefits can probably make better use of cash. "Yes, the bill is painful, and it raises many doubts, but there is no other solution," Bulaev said. "I've lived most of my life in rural areas, and now I spend most of my time in the district center. I talk to local people, and most of them tell me: 'Give us more money. We are reasonable, and we'll know how to spend it.' As for the benefits everyone talks about -- maybe they're more useful in the cities. But in the villages, you can't use them. Not every grandmother can travel to the nearest pharmacy 40 kilometers away. So maybe the best medicine for her will be to have some decent food. Yes, some people will get a little bit less than before in terms of benefits. But overall, the vast majority -- and I am absolutely convinced of this -- will win out [with this bill]."

Some elderly supporters of the bill agree and showed their support outside the State Duma last week. "Give us the money! Money, money, money, money -- hand it over! The more, the better," said one elderly woman. "We don't need benefits! Money, money -- and make it quick!"

But many others are more skeptical. For one, the cash payments that are due to replace the benefits will not be indexed for inflation, meaning they will lose value over time. With memories of the hyperinflation of the 1990s still fresh in everyone's minds, that is not an idle concern.

Another worry is that Russia's regions will be required to pay out 50 percent of the money, at a time when their own budgets are strained.

The Kremlin's aggressiveness in pushing the bill, and the fact that the 761-page document was approved by both houses of parliament in barely a week's time, has also led some to question the government's motives and whether many deputies have actually read what they voted to approve.

Duma Deputy Sergei Glazev of the Motherland faction, accuses the government of ridding itself of some of its key responsibilities -- at the expense of the country's most vulnerable social groups. "Their political advantage comes from the fact that they have abdicated all social responsibility," Glazev said. "Now, these bureaucrats no longer need to measure their actions against the demands of the law. If earlier there were strict norms that had to be observed in terms of how much money went to education, health, culture, and science, today there is total bureaucratic arbitrariness. Those areas will get however much money is left over after all other expenses have been met. The federal center has shed its responsibility [for these areas]. That is their main political advantage."

Since the fall of communism, Russians have seen the social safety net upon which they once depended gradually fray, replaced by a cash economy. But few feel richer. The thought of cutting loose veterans -- those who once were most cherished by the system -- is going a step too far for some.

Many, including one young communist protester in Moscow, wonder why President Putin -- if he believes the bill is such a good idea -- signed a law last month exempting the country's 2 million federal employees from its provisions. They will retain all of their benefits.

"All the [potential] benefit recipients in my family -- those who should be getting benefits -- my grandmother, her six brothers -- died in the war, defending this country," the protester said. "I am standing here for those who survived, for those who returned from the front, for those who toiled in the rear, for those who did not perish from work, for those who were not killed by a German bullet. I am here for them. They deserve far more than these benefits. But they are trying to take away even these paltry benefits! [Former President Boris] Yeltsin isn't having his benefits abolished. The bureaucrats are keeping their benefits. But pensioners, war veterans, labor veterans -- their benefits are being taken away!"

Lawmakers opposed to the reform, including deputies from the Motherland and Communist factions, have vowed to take their protest to Russia's Constitutional Court.

IN: President Putin named Stanislav Osadchii Russia's ambassador to Austria, replacing Aleksandr Golovin, reported on 10 August. He also named Vladimir Tyurdenev as Russia's ambassador to Brazil.

IN: The Federation Council on 8 August confirmed Ivan Kondrat as a deputy prosecutor-general, ITAR-TASS and RosBalt reported. Kondrat previously served as a prosecutor in Kostroma Oblast, according to Interfax. Kondrat replaces Vladimir Zubrin, who requested to be relieved of his post after he was appointed deputy director of the Federal Antinarcotics Agency.

IN: The Federation Council confirmed on 8 August Sergei Lisovskii as the representative for Kurgan Oblast's legislature and Mikhail Odintsov as the representative of Evenk Autonomous Okrug's legislature. Lisovskii, an advertising executive who played a prominent role in former President Boris Yeltsin's 1996 reelection campaign, replaces Andrei Vikharev.

IN: President Putin has appointed Lieutenant General Anatolii Krivolapov as deputy secretary of the Security Council, RIA-Novosti and ITAR-TASS reported on 4 August. Most recently, Krivolapov served as state secretary and deputy general director of the Federal Agency for Control Systems. He previously oversaw Russian peacekeepers in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Defense Ministry's office at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

12 August: Fourth anniversary of the sinking of the "Kursk" nuclear submarine

13 August: Finance Ministry will submit draft 2005 budget to the government

14 August: Third annual Baikal Economic Forum will open in Irkutsk

16-21 August: World Congress of Orientalists will meet in Moscow

17 August: Supreme Court will hear an appeal of the 15-year sentence handed down to political scientist Igor Sutyagin on charges of espionage

17-19 August: Azerbaijani Interior Minister Elmar Mamedyarov will visit Moscow

13-29 August: Russian athletes will participate in the Summer Olympic Games in Athens

23 August: A Russian government delegation will conduct negotiations in Jedda, Saudi Arabia, with the ministry for the organizing the hajj, according to RIA-Novosti

23 August: The trial of the accused murderers of State Duma Deputy Galina Starovoitova will reopen in St. Petersburg

26 August: Deadline for the government to submit its draft 2005 budget to the State Duma

27-31 August: Swiss parliamentarian Andreas Gross and German Bundestag deputy Rudolf Bindig, two for the three rapporteurs for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on Chechnya, will visit Moscow

29 August: Presidential elections will be held in Chechnya

September: St. Petersburg's State Hermitage Museum plans to open the Hermitage Center, which will exhibit works from the Hermitage's collection, in the city of Kazan

September: OPEC President and Indonesian Energy Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro will visit Moscow, according to Interfax

September: President Putin to visit Dushanbe

2 September: Moscow Arbitration Court will hear Yukos's appeal of the seizure of Samaraneftegaz

15-18 September: The third International Conference of Mayors of World Cities will be held in Moscow

20 September: The State Duma's fall session will begin

October: President Putin will visit China

October: International forum of the Organization of the Islamic Conference will be held in Moscow

1 October: Date by which government will decide whether to sell a controlling stake in Aeroflot, according to Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref

7 October: President Putin's birthday

10 October: Mayoral elections scheduled for Magadan

23-26 October: Second anniversary of the Moscow theater hostage crisis

25 October: First anniversary of former Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovskii's arrest at an airport in Novosibirsk

31 October: Presidential election in Ukraine

November: Gubernatorial election in Pskov and Kurgan oblasts

20 November: Sixth anniversary of the killing of State Duma Deputy Galina Starovoitova

22 November: President Putin to visit Brazil

December: A draft law on toll roads will be submitted to the government, according to the Federal Highways Agency's Construction Department on 6 April

December: Gubernatorial elections in Bryansk, Kamchatka, Ulyanovsk, Volgograd, and Ivanovo oblasts

December: Presidential elections in Marii-El Republic

29 December: State Duma's fall session will come to a close

1 February 2005: Former President Boris Yeltsin's 74th birthday

March 2005: Gubernatorial election in Saratov Oblast.