The Media Mirror - What's in today's Russian press?

Today's Russian newspapers cover stories on Russian’s trade unions, and the unwillingness of non-Government organizations to work directly in Chechnya.

Russian Trade Unions – how strong are they? asks VREMYA NOVOSTEI in an article about the recent strike at the LADA automobile plant. The answer is – not really. The strike launched by the alternative trade union named “Unity” hardly managed to gather a bit more than 150 supporters – out of 100,000 of AvtoVAZ employees.

The article says, today’s unions in Russia are most active at production facilities of foreign-owned companies like Ford or Heineken where they are known to have gained salary increases and other improvements to the workers’ everyday lives.

Several newspapers turn to the problems of Chechnya. The same VREMYA NOVOSTEI depicts the reluctance with which various international non-Government organizations, humanitarian as well as human rights-oriented, accept the request from Ramzan Kadyrov’s government to set up shop inside Chechnya rather than operate out of the neighbouring republics.

On the one hand, writes the paper, the NGOs will have to admit that the situation in Chechnya is more stable and peaceful than, say, Ingushetia where a few NGO depots are situated and quite often assaulted and robbed. On the other hand, many NGOs fear that Ramzan’s hospitality may turn out to be direct dictate. President Kadyrov’s answer to all this:

“You want to give us real aid, to help real people on the real land? Then you need to work with us, shoulder-to-shoulder.”

MOSKOVSKIY KOMSOMOLETS says, the latest raid by the militants on the village of Tsa-Vedeno, most probably aimed at two members of the republican police living there went wrong as the two policemen were not home that night and the militants, having set up a trap on the road to the village, fired at the first car to arrive on the scene presuming it to carry police reinforcements. But there were only civilians in the car, they all died including a three-year-old boy. Meanwhile, says the paper, officers of the nearest police station to the scene were busy completing their statistical report and didn’t hear the distress call of the villagers.

The paper says, Ramzan Kadyrov will have to double his efforts if he wants his words said on the 3d of August to sound true, the words being as follows:

“By the end of the year not a single militant – we call them shaitan, or satans here – will be left in those mountains.”