Russian press review 17.11.06

Russian press looks at the situation in the country's army, writes about the Chechen ombudsman who calls on the Russia to set up a commission to assess all the damage caused to Chechnya and love story of Austrian aristocrat.

“Gazeta” daily writes that President Vladimir Putin at his annual meeting with top military commanders said it's not just low salaries or lack of social guarantees but also hierarchy and poor career opportunities that make young officers leave the army.

“Novye Izvestia” newspaper carries an opinion of the human rights ombudsman in Chechnya Nurdi Nukhajiyev. He calls on the Russian government to set up an expert commission to assess all the damage caused to Chechnya during the armed conflicts between 1994 and 2001.

He claims Chechnya suffered a great number of human casualties and material loss, much heavier than among federal troops, because it protected the whole of Russia from terrorism, the daily quotes him to say.

It also cites an opinion of some experts who claim the total damage from the two Chechen wars ranged from five to dozens of billions of U.S. dollars.

“Kommersant” business daily writes Russia won't gain much from its expected accession to the WTO.

The thing is that Russia's economy targets increasing internal demand due to profits in the raw materials market. Only Russian metal and chemical industries can essentially benefit from the WTO entry. However, the paper indicates, in general, it's vital for the country if it seeks to get a notable place in the world economy.

Commenting on recent Russian government decisions, “Nezavisimaya Gazeta” newspaper reports the authorities intend to oust immigrants from the retail sector.

But the daily's expert believes society has “no need to break the existing practice of labor division among various ethnic groups because, as a result, the same owners will just start employing persons of Slavic origin as sellers.”

The paper also quotes another expert as saying that “even a fiscally strong U.S. cannot prevent hiring illegal immigrants, while Russians are much more creative in fighting their own government.”
 
Back to “Novye Izvestiya” daily. Now it looks at the way of life of legal migrants from all over the world on the Spitsbergen archipelago.

The Russian operated coal mine is on the Norwegian territory. Barentsburg, the town that supports it is exclusively Russian. It’s ideal for foreign runaways to take a course in psychotherapy before visiting. As the people who live in the Russian enclave, live without fruit, vegetables, snowmobiles and even money, given that salaries are paid in the mainland banks.

Staying with the migration issue “Moskovsky Komsomolets” newspaper tells a true story that could be a fairytale. An aristocrat from wealthy Salzburg left Europe to marry a Russian village woman with many children. He sold his 18th century violin to build a house for his new family. Now, he plays classical music for the locals and wades through “amazing”, as the aristocrat puts it, Russian mud. That must be love, concludes the paper.