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(Un)Civil Societies Report: June 22, 2000

22 June 2000, Volume 1, Number 6
ARMENIAN TV OFFICIAL ALLEGES TORTURE IN SHOOTINGS INVESTIGATION. Armenian National Television Deputy Director Harutiun Harutiunian told RFE/RL on 17 June that he has demanded a "public explanation" from Armenia's Military Prosecutor of what he termed the "brutal and unprofessional" investigation of his possible involvement in the 27 October Armenian parliament shootings. Harutiunian was arrested in January after being implicated by two of the five gunmen but raeleased earlier this month after the two retracted their testimony and the investigators found no evidence to warrant his further detention. Harutiunian claims he was subject to physical and verbal abuse during his five-month detention. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 19 June)

JOURNALIST BEATEN... In a 19 June 2000 letter to Armenian President Robert Kocharian, the Center for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ) protested the brutal beating of an independent Armenian journalist. Vahagn Ghukasian, a contributor to several Yerevan publications, was summoned on 6 June and beaten in the country's Interior Ministry. Ghukasian believes he was attacked in retaliation for a 20-page brochure titled "An Observer's Version," published on 27 May and widely disseminated. The brochure reported on the investigation by security forces into the October 1999 attack on the Armenian parliament. In the pamphlet, Ghukasian alleged that Hrachya Harutiun, the current head of the Department of Criminal Investigation, had been fired in 1994 from the Ministry of National Security for keeping drugs and for illegal possession of a firearm. Ghukasian claims that Harutiun was one of the two men who beat him on 6 June. (CPJ Press Release, 19 June)

SOME LAWMAKERS MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS? RFE/RL's Belarusian Service reported on 14 June that lawmaker Ivan Pashkevich, who is also an aide to presidential staff chief Mikhail Myasnikovich, has already begun his election campaign in Stolin without waiting for the announcement of an election schedule. Pashkevich recently gave 1,000 Stolin residents subscriptions to the district official newspaper "Naviny Palessya." He has refused to say where he obtained the money for those subscriptions. Central Electoral Commission Secretary Ivan Likhach said Pashkevich has not violated the election law by making such donations. "New elections have not been called, therefore one may do what one likes.... [Pashkevich] is currently a free citizen, not a candidate," Likhach noted. ("RFE/RL Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine Report," 20 June)

CZECH JOURNALISTS CRITICIZE SEIZURE OF 'MEIN KAMPF.' The Committee for the Protection of Freedom of Speech and the Syndicate of Czech Journalists on 14 June criticized the recent seizure by police of copies of Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf," CTK reported. The syndicate's Lea Motlova told journalists that "no one but a court of justice" can make such a decision. She said the ban of this and other anti-Semitic or racist books is "pointless" and that the committee fears the police action against "Mein Kampf" could establish a precedent. She noted that books by Marx, Engels, and Lenin are readily available in shops and libraries, despite the fact that communist ideology is "comparable to Nazism" and has caused "comparable human suffering." ("RFE/RL Newsline," 15 June)

HUNGARY EXPANDS SCREENING LAW TO JOURNALISTS, JUDGES. An amendment to Hungary's screening law adopted by the parliament on 14 June gives a panel of judges the power to screen newspaper, radio, and television editors as well as judges to determine whether any of them were members of fascist or communist organizations or the communist secret service. If the panel finds incriminating evidence, the person will be given the option to resign within 30 days or see the evidence made public. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 15 June)

NEW ESSAY ON INTERNATIONAL LAW AND PREVENTING ETHNIC CONFLICT. "Does International Law Matter in Preventing Ethnic Conflict?" in the "Journal of International Law and Politics" (New York University), Vol. 32, Spring 2000, No. 3, by Steven B. Ratner. The article examines issues and actors in contemporary minority disputes in terms of international norms, and then briefly reviews the responses of key international institutions and the mechanism of the OSCE high commissioner on national minorities. (MINELRES, 19 June)

EUROPEAN MEDIA ASSISTANCE NETWORK MEETS IN DENMARK. Representatives of 17 media assistance organizations from Central and Eastern Europe met in Helsingor to plan training programs for regional journalists for the next two years. By July, some 40 different courses will be organized for journalists and journalism trainers, including investigative journalism, reporting on issues of diversity, human rights, political and election reporting, media management, and online journalism. The network is financed by the Danish government and by the Open Society Institute. For more information contact Genc Caushi, regional coordinator at the Albanian Media Institute, Rr. Him Kolli, No. 45, Tirana, Albania. Tel./Fax: (355-42) 98-800. E-mail: or visit: or (International Journalists' Network, 19 June)

COALITION FOR GLOBAL SECURITY AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT WEBSITE. The website of the Coalition for Global Solidarity and Social Development ( now provides information on issues of globalization, development, poverty, gender, peace-building, and more. Links to news groups, media institutions, and international organizations can be found there, for example, links to the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, the World Bank, International Labor Office. (Center for Civil Society International, 15 June)

PRINT RUN OF INDEPENDENT PAPER BURNED, PRINTER THREATENED. Ramazan Esergepov, director of a small printing press in Almaty, said on 16 June that "Dozhivem do Ponelnika" would no longer be printed on his press due to "circumstances beyond his control." The night before, a member of his staff reportedly was taken to a cemetery by unknown men, told to burn all copies of the newly printed paper, and threatened with bodily harm. (Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations, 16 June)

PUBLIC ORGANIZATION CRITICIZES STATE TELEVISION. The Public Union of Social Protection of People criticized state television's channel one for what it said was defamation of the union. State television rejected the protest. (RFE/RL, 16 June)

JOURNALIST'S SENTENCE SPARKS PROTEST. Some 22 journalists on 19 June picketed the Jalal-Abad regional court to protest the sentencing of journalist Moldosaly Ibraimov to two years imprisonment and a 100,000 som (about $2,000) fine for his articles attacking local officials. Meanwhile, the editorial board of the "Akyrikat" paper was sentenced on 19 June to pay a 100,000 som fine (RFE/RL Kyrgyz News, 19 June). For more information, contact the Osh Media Center e-mail: or tel/fax (0322) 2-08-58. (Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations, 19 June)

CONSTITUTIONAL COURT UPHOLDS PRESS FINES. Moldova's Constitutional Court left unchanged on 15 June the civil code provisions that allow the authorities to fine journalists and media organizations "for the spread of information harming one's honor and dignity." These articles set fines between 10 and 100 minimal salaries for individual journalists, and between 75 and 200 minimal salaries for media institutions. As the court was handing down this decision, six representatives of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights picketed the Constitutional Court in protest. (Moldova Independent Journalism Center, 19 June)

MOLDOVA LACKS FUNDS FOR RECEIVING SATELLITE BROADCASTS. Moldovans cannot receive programming via 10 satellite channels that had been provided free of charge by an international telecommunications company because the republic lacks the funds to maintain or rent the necessary satellite facilities. (Moldova Independent Journalism Center, 19 June)

"ANALITIC TV" PROGRAMS ON TV CHANNEL "ORT-MOLDOVA" DROPPED. The Moldovan Radio/TV Coordinating Council on 15 June forbade further broadcasts of program of "Analitic TV" on TV channel "ORT," since it does not have a broadcast license. (Independent Journalism Center, 19 June)

RUSSIAN PARLIAMENTARIANS CONDEMN GUSINSKY DETENTION. Four State Duma factions--the Union of Rightist Forces (SPS), Yabloko, Fatherland-All Russia (OVR), and Russian Regions--called on 14 June for Gusinsky's release and demanded a clarification of the circumstances of his arrest from President Vladimir Putin. The largest faction, the Communists, did not sign the appeal, but Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov said that there was "no special need" to imprison Gusinsky and that he has asked that a query concerning Gusinsky be submitted to the Prosecutor-General's office. OVR faction leader and former Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov told NTV on 14 June that he is "outraged" by how the Prosecutor-General's Office has handled the Gusinsky case, saying that it "very clearly wanted to shock or possibly intimidate the public." Duma deputy (SPS) Irina Khakamada said that in light of recent events, the faction leaders "will give more serious consideration" to three bills reforming the administration of the Russian Federation, Interfax reported. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 15 June)

PUTIN CALLS MEDIA TYCOON'S ARREST 'EXCESSIVE.' Two days after the arrest of Media-Most head Vladimir Gusinsky Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters in Germany on 15 June he thinks that Gusinsky's jailing was "excessive" and that "it would have been possible [instead] to insist that he not leave the country." Putin added that while the detention may have been excessive, he "could not prevent it" since the Office of the Prosecutor-General is independent. Putin also drew attention once again to Gusinskii's unpaid loans, noting that "he is not a journalist, but a businessman. He takes loans all the time from different banks and rarely pays them back" (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 15 June 2000). ("RFE/RL Newsline," 16 June)

GUSINSKY SUGGESTS RUSSIA RETURNING TO THE BAD OLD DAYS. Gusinsky, meanwhile, issued a statement through his lawyer on 15 June saying that his detention is "a political intrigue that has been organized by senior members of the government, for whom freedom of speech is dangerous, and interferes with the realization of their version of the 'new Russia'; in fact this is a return to our totalitarian past." A chief investigator of the Gusinsky case, Valentin Nikolaev, told Russian Television that official charges will be brought against the media baron on 16 June. Nikolaev also did not rule out that Gusinsky would be released pending trial. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 16 June)

MEDIA MINISTER, HUMAN RIGHTS HEAD DENY MEDIA AT RISK. Media Minister Mikhail Lesin told Russian Public Television on 14 June that officials at the Prosecutor-General's Office have assured him that Gusinsky's detention is an isolated incident: "Mass media are in no danger, prosecutors have no desire to hinder journalists' work in any way." The same day, Russian Human Rights Commissioner Oleg Mironov told Ekho Moskvy that he does not see "any direct connection between the initiation of criminal proceedings against Gusinsky and pressure on the media." However, Vyacheslav Nikonov, president of Politika Foundation, told "Trud-7" that he thinks the Gusinsky case "could damage Russia's image] more than the war in Chechnya ever will." He added that instead of discussing world politics, [Putin] will be answering questions about 'Gusinsky the political prisoner.'" ("RFE/RL Newsline," 15 June)

GUSINSKY'S RELEASE HAILED, OTHER ARRESTS FEARED. Both Russian and world leaders welcomed the release of Media-Most head Vladimir Gusinsky, but he remains charged with massive financial fraud. After his release, Gusinsky himself told "Newsweek" he believes that Russian President Vladimir Putin knew about his arrest in advance. In the same interview, he gave credit to other journalists, the support of his fellow Russian businessmen, and the "strong stand" of U.S. President Bill Clinton for his release. He added that he has "reliable information" the Kremlin is considering other arrests, such as "LUKoil's [head] Vagit Alekperov and some executives from Yukos." Last month, Gusinsky accused presidential administration head Aleksandr Voloshin of having tried to bribe him with $100 million to tailor Media-Most's campaign coverage of the December 1999 State Duma elections. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 19 June)

ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST WINS ANOTHER VICTORY IN COURT... Retired navy captain and environmentalist Aleksandr Nikitin won his libel suit on 16 June against Nuclear Power Minster Yevgenii Adamov, "The Moscow Times" reported. In 1998, Adamov had said Nikitin "was not distributing environmental information but was causing damage to his country." A St. Petersburg court awarded Nikitin 10,000 rubles ($350) in damages. Last December, Nikitin was acquitted on charges of treason and espionage for his role in exposing the environmentally hazardous practices of the Russian Navy. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 30 December 1999, and 19 June)

...BUT ANOTHER RESEARCHER LANGUISHES IN JAIL. Meanwhile, Igor Sutyagin of the Institute for USA and Canada Studies remains in jail on charges of treason and espionage last October, "The Globe and Mail" reported on 17 June. According to Sutyagin's colleague, Pavel Podvig, Federal Security Service officials believe that Sutyagin was spying for Canada. Sutyagin, in fact, was hired to conduct research on military-civilian relations by two Canadian universities that had funding from Canada's Department of National Defense. According to a York University official, Russia is the only country of the dozen "where some officials seem to have found a Canadian study of civil-military relations to be a threat to national security." ("RFE/RL Newsline," 19 June)

ANTI-DISCRIMINATION COMPLIANCE REPORT AVAILABLE. The "Memorial" report on the Compliance of the Russian Federation with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination can now be found on the web at: ("Memorial" Human Rights Center, 17 June)

FRAMEWORK FOR NEW LAW ON MEDIA OWNERSHIP. The Moscow Media Law and Policy Center of Moscow University and the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy Centre for Socio-Legal Studies of the University of Oxford sponsored a 9 June symposium on this topic in Moscow. In addition to presentations by several leading Russian and Western legal experts, Konstantin Vetrov, chairman of the Duma Information Policy Committee, and Andrei Richter, Director of the Moscow Media Law and Policy Center, led a discussion of the draft law. For more information contact Richter at (, 23 May)

JOURNALIST/JUDGES' DIALOGUE LAUNCHED. The often contentious relationship between journalists and judges was addressed at a 10-11 June conference in St. Petersburg, organized by the Russian NGO Civic Watch, and funded by the Ford Foundation and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. Participants included the chairman of the Leningrad District Military Court, two judges of the Russian Federation Constitutional Court, representatives of the Glasnost Defense Fund, and several Russian reporters. According to Boris Pustintsev, Civic Watch Director, "the conference demonstrated that the judiciary and the mass media in post-Soviet Russia are both not ready yet to get rid of old stereotypes...The point on which everyone agreed was 'the need for the texts of court verdicts to be made readily available on the Internet, which is normal international practice.'" For more information, contact Boris Pustintsev at: (Pustintsev to the editor, 20 June)

RUSSIA'S WEB WILL NOT 'GO CHINESE.' In an interview with Gazet.Ru, Deputy Media Minister Mikhail Seslavinsky said the Russian Internet would develop with minimum restrictions and that there was no truth in the widespread rumors about allegedly compulsory registration of websites. "I consider the problems that exist in our country concerning Internet development practically do not differ from those existing in all other countries. China is a special issue and, in my opinion, is no model for Russia." (, June 16)

B2-92 FOUNDER APPEALS FOR SERBIAN MEDIA ASSISTANCE... At the Pact for Stability conference in Thessaloniki on 10 June, Veran Matic, founder of Radio B2-92, appealed on behalf of the Association of Independent Electronic Media for more international assistance for media in Serbia. Despite media repression, according to Matic, there are still 50 independent media outlets in Serbia but no independent broadcast media in Belgrade. Matic believed the solution lay in resumption of the Szegedin Process, a cooperation between cities and civilian societies, including assistance for media, as well as in the Pact for Stability. (ANEM Weekly Report, 10-16 June)

WORLD PUBLISHERS PROTEST AGAINST SERBIAN REPRESSION. The World Association of Newspapers (WAN) has called on the Serbian government to drop repression of independent media and to allow journalists to do their job. WAN appealed to Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to return seized media to their owners, to eliminate censorship and discrimination, and to bring the Public Information Act into line with international standards on freedom. (ANEM Weekly Report, 10-16 June)

OSCE BLASTS ATTACKS ON BOSNIAN MEDIA... A spokeswoman for the OSCE said in Sarajevo on 15 June that "we are becoming increasingly concerned about the stepped-up attacks on media representatives and consider the environment to be more and more perilous for journalists in Bosnia," Reuters reported. She noted that Edin Avdic of the independent magazine "Slobodna Bosna" was recently threatened verbally by a Muslim politician and later attacked physically by two unidentified men. The tax police recently searched the offices of the daily "Avaz," which had been considered close to the governing Muslim Party of Democratic Action (SDA). The spokeswoman added that the raid on "Avaz" "had an intimidating and chilling effect on the press." Earlier, a driver for a top SDA official physically attacked a journalist working for "Avaz." SDA officials have blamed the media for the party's poor showing in the local elections in April, the news agency added. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 16 June)

...AS OSCE HEAD CALLS FOR JOURNALIST CODE IN BOSNIA... Daan Everts, chief of the OSCE mission in Kosova, said on 13 June that representatives of local media had failed to prevent the spread of hatred and so a code of behavior for journalists could be expected soon. "We must impose correctional measures, such as the withdrawal of a front page, the calling of an editor to account and, in extreme cases, the closing down of the paper," said Everts. (ANEM Weekly Report, 10-16 June)

...WHILE IFJ URGES RESTRAINT. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) on 26 April criticized efforts by the international community to impose legal controls on the press in Kosova. It called for a "go slow" approach because, according to the leader of the IFJ, "Kosovo's journalists are already trying to put a system of self-regulation in place. This plan cuts the ground beneath their feet." Plans for an emergency press law were accelerated upon the closure of the DITA newspaper. DITA was temporarily closed on 3 June for eight days following the death of Petar Topoljski, a Serbian translator for the UN. His disappearance and subsequent death came one week after DITA published an article accusing him of paramilitary activities against Kosovar Albanians. The IFJ considers the closure to be both counterproductive and a gross abuse of the UN Mission's powers, which it said threatens the freedom of all media in Kosovo. Moreover, the IFJ argues, this move sets a precedent for any future administration in Kosovo to interfere in the media. (International Federation of Journalists Press Release, 16 June)

HAGUE TRIBUNAL DISMISSES ALLEGATIONS AGAINST NATO. The prosecutor's office at the Hague tribunal announced on 14 June that there are no grounds for launching a formal investigation into charges that NATO forces committed war crimes in Yugoslavia. In a 44-page report, prosecutors said that the alleged infringement of human rights was not sufficiently established to demonstrate the guilt of senior NATO officials. In the section of the report dealing with the bombing of the Radio-Television Serbia headquarters in central Belgrade on 23 April 1999, the tribunal concludes that the attack was planned with the aim of disabling a military command communication network and that transmitters and power stations were bombed the same evening in a coordinated operation. The attack on Radio-Television Serbia, according to the analysis by prosecution experts in The Hague, was legally justified if it was really directed at the disruption and disabling of a communications network but not if the aim was to disable Radio-Television Serbia as a propaganda weapon. (ANEM Weekly Report, 10-16 June)

SERBIAN JOURNALIST TO STAY IN PRISON. A military court in Nis ruled on 15 June that journalist Miroslav Filipovic must remain in prison until his trial for espionage takes place. No date has been set for that proceeding. Meanwhile in Strasbourg, the European Parliament condemned what it called the "climate of terror and systematic intimidation" against the opposition and independent media in Serbia, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported ("RFE/RL Newsline," 16 June). In other news, the Independent Association of Serbian Journalists met on 12 June in the southern Serbian city of Kraljevo to discuss the fate of the town's Agence France Press and "Danas" correspondent Filipovic, now held in the Nis Military Court on charges of espionage and disseminating false information. Participants have signed a petition calling for the release of the jailed journalist. (ANEM Weekly Report, 10-16 June)

SERBIAN REPRISALS AGAINST OTHER JOURNALISTS CONTINUE. Knjazevac satirist Boban Miletic was sentenced in Zajecar District Court on 9 June to five months' imprisonment for ridiculing Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. Dejan Radulovic, an RFE/RL correspondent, was charged on 13 June with organizing an illegal protest rally in Majdanpek on 1 June. A second group of Majdanpek residents have been summoned for trial on 26 June to face similar charges over a 5 June rally, and Radulovic will again face the court on 26 June. That hearing will be the third in a month for the RFE correspondent, who has already been summoned to appear on 8 June in relation to a rally on 25 May. (ANEM Weekly Report, 10-16 June)

REPORTERS ASKS TO TAKE PLACE OF JAILED JOURNALIST. Miroslav Radulovic, the editor in chief of "Borske novine," and writer Bozidar Bogdanovic, proposed on 12 June to the presidents of the Zajecar District Court and the Serbian Supreme Court that the newspaper's jailed director be freed and they be charged instead. Director Dusica Radulovic was sentenced to three months' imprisonment for libeling municipal officials in the publication. Bogdanovic and Miroslav Radulovic, who is the husband of the jailed director, say in their appeal that Dusica Radulovic, although the paper's proprietor, had no editorial function. (ANEM Weekly Report, 10-16 June)

SERBIAN PROFESSOR FIRED. In a 16 June letter to the University of Belgrade rector Jagos Puric, Human Rights Watch expressed its grave concern over the recent dismissal of Professor Obrad Savic from the University of Belgrade. Savic, had taught at the Department of Social Sciences for 22 years before being informed on 16 May that his university employment had been terminated. At the time of his dismissal, Savic had been in the U.S. lecturing on topics of civil society and the public sphere. The decision to dismiss Savic came shortly after he had published and distributed a special edition of the Belgrade Circle Journal--of which he was one of the founders--titled "In Defense of the University," in which he criticized the government's efforts to circumscribe free inquiry and discussion on university campuses as well as the targeting of campus-based criticism of President Milosevic and the ruling political coalition. (Human Rights Watch Press Release, 19 June)

SERBIAN INDEPENDENT MEDIA FIGHTS BACK. The president of the Democratic Party, Zoran Djindjic, and Democratic Christian Party of Serbia leader Vladan Batic on 10 June brought charges against the state-run daily "Politika," the state news agency Tanjug, and the acting director of the daily "Vecernje Novosti," under Serbia's Public Information Act for disseminating articles that insult their dignity. Meanwhile, the former staff of Studio B will resume producing and broadcasting the station's programs by satellite and the Internet broadcast two hours a day from the Bosnian Serb republic by early July, according to a Serbian Renewal Movement representative on 12 June. And, the Association of Independent Serbian Journalists protested to the Federal Parliament on 13 June about its decision to refuse to allow journalists from the Belgrade dailies "Blic," "Danas," and "Glas javnosti" to cover a recent parliament session. (ANEM Weekly Report, 10-16 June)

MONTENEGRO RESISTS OFFICIAL SERBIAN MEDIA. Police and civilians in Montenegro on June 10 stopped a truck carrying copies of Belgrade's state-run daily "Politika" and confiscated several thousand of them. Montenegrin Information Minister Bozidar Jaredic told media that "Politika" and "Politika Ekspres" had violated election silence for this weekend's local government by-elections in the republic. At the same time, the Montenegrin Information Ministry has confirmed that it refused press accreditation on 11 June to journalists from TV Yugoslavia (YU Info Channel) to cover local elections in Podgorica and Herceg Novi. A decision signed by Information Minister Bozidar Jaredic gave as grounds for the refusal that TV Yugoslavia had been installed on Montenegrin territory by force and was being broadcast in contravention of the Montenegrin Constitution and laws of the republic. (ANEM Weekly Report, 10-16 June)

TAJIK FOREIGN MINISTRY CRITICIZES RUSSIAN MEDIA. In a statement released on 19 June, the Tajik Foreign Ministry expressed concern that the Russian media have completely ignored most positive developments in that country over the past month, including last week's Central Asian Union summit and the official visits of the presidents of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan, Asia Plus-Blitz reported. The statement further condemned Russian media coverage of statements by Liberal Democratic Party of Russia Chairman Vladimir Zhirinovsky, which, it claimed, insult the honor and dignity of the Tajik people. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 20 June)

UKRAINIAN WOMEN'S FUND DISTRIBUTES INFORMATION. The fund "Women. Family. Charity," (WFC) is a non-governmental, non-profit women's organization established in September 1998. The WFC mission is: the improvement of the social status of mothers; social, psychological and legal support for unmarried mothers; assistance to young mothers, reproductive medical service, and health protection of children; occupational training of women after maternity leave; practical support for women who set up their own business; violence prevention; charity, social aid for orphans, families with many children, and poor families. WFC has four branch offices in Kirovograd Oblast and founded the Volunteer Center with three regional branch offices in Svitlovodsk, Olexandria, and Znamyanka. More than 400 volunteers work for WFC, including 12 state and private institutions, a hospital, commercial enterprises, public organizations, and artistic groups. With the financial support of the U.S. Peace Corps, WFC has issued and distributed a series of pamphlets on drug addiction, toxic substance abuse, preventive measures against the fraudulent placement of women in jobs abroad, and prevention of violence against Ukrainian women who work in foreign countries. For more information contact Larissa Yermakova at (Center for Civil Society Initiatives, 9 June)

TWO MEDIA MOGULS FUEL FUEL SHORTAGE. Deputy Prime Minister Tymoshenko told RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service on 10 June that Ukraine's main problem in the energy sector is that each year energy suppliers "leave 1 billion hryvni [$183 million] in the shadow economy." According to Tymoshenko, the distribution and supplies of oil and gas is controlled by such shadow economy oligarchs as Oleksandr Volkov (a Ukrainian media mogul and lawmaker, whose leverage in Ukrainian politics has earned him the nickname as the Ukrainian parliament's "executive director"). As for the supply and distribution of electricity, it is controlled by Hryhoriy Surkis (a media mogul and honorary president of the Dynamo Kyiv soccer club) and deputy parliamentary speaker Viktor Medvedchuk. "Every month from 150 to 450 million hryvni is left at the disposition of the Surkis-Medvedchuk team. Do you think they are going to part with such sums without problems?" Tymoshenko asked in his interview with RFE/RL. ("RFE/RL Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine Report," 20 June)

ERK POLITICAL PARTY OPENS WEBSITE. This website includes news, documents and information on Uzbekistan and Central Asia in different languages. One can also download some publications by opposition ERK party officials, such as "Yolnama" by the exiled head of the party, Muhammad Salih. (Turkistan Newsletter, 18 June)