Russian Federation. According to
CountryAAH, the war in Chechnya and the general
unrest in the Caucasus characterized the Russian Federation
during the year. The whole world was upset by the bloody
drama at a school in Beslan in North Ossetia where
terrorists linked to, among other things. Chechnya took
hundreds of children and parents hostage in connection with
the start of the autumn term in September. The security
forces' planned exemption failed, and according to official
data, 377 people were killed, of which over half were
children. The horrific massacre was seen as an expression of
the North Caucasus conflicts tearing apart Russian society.
In January, two men from the North Caucasus were
convicted of denial of life imprisonment for the 1999 house
blasts in Moscow and Volgogonsk that killed over 240 people
and became the Kremlin's argument for the Second Chechnya
War. Symbolically, both the investigation and the judgment
were surrounded by question marks, where international
critics claimed that the Russian security service FSB may
have been behind the bombing.
In February, the Russian Federation was shocked by the
worst terrorist attacks since the house blasts in 1999.
Suicide bombers blasted some 40 people to death in Moscow's
subway. More than 120 people were injured in the explosion,
which occurred in a crowded train in the worst morning rush.
President Vladimir Putin accused Chechen separatists of
being behind the attack. But despite Putin's 2000
presidential election with the promise of a swift end to the
Chechnya war, the protracted conflict with its terrorist
consequences in the Russian Federation did not seem to pose
a problem for him when he ran for re-election in March.
About 75,000 Russian soldiers were believed to remain in
Chechnya, and instead of wiping out terrorism, which was
Putin's official target of the war, the result was obviously
the recruitment of more and more suicide bombers. Criticism
against Putin or debate about the war was stifled in Russian
media, and the regime denied the volunteer organization
Soldier Mothers data that about 12,000 Russian soldiers were
killed and four to five times as many wounded in the Chechen
war since 1999. Putin could be re-elected unopposed
four-year period and according to official data received
close to 70% of the vote. The Communist Party candidate came
in second place.
During a rough week in August and September, a series of
terrorist acts occurred. Two Russian aircraft were shot down
in the air with 89 casualties as a result, ten people were
killed in what was believed to be a suicide attack in Moscow
and the bloody hostage plot in Beslan was rolled up. Chechen
guerrillas were suspected in all cases. Parliament's lower
house, the Duma, where the Putin-led party United Russia has
its own majority, approved a new law during the year with
severe restrictions on the right to public demonstrations.
However, after the intervention of Putin, the duma softened
the original harder proposal.
The president reformed the government well before the
presidential election. He dismissed, among other things.
Prime Minister Michail Kasianov, who has dared to criticize
certain decisions and who has been at the top since Boris
Yeltsin's time. Kasianov was replaced by the relatively
colorless and uncontroversial Michail Fradkov, who was most
recently the Russian Federation's envoy to the EU in
Brussels. The re-elected Putin said to put economic growth
and stability at the top of the political agenda. He
admitted that tens of millions of Russians live below the
minimum, most in dilapidated housing, and that health and
medical care has been destroyed. According to Putin, poverty
is to be combated with economic growth, and Putin predicted
doubled GDP per inhabitant by 2010.
During the summer, pensioners and unemployed in Moscow
against the stupid decision to abolish old benefits that
existed since the Soviet era. meant free trips with
municipal means of transport. The protesters said that the
promised increases in government cash grants did not
outweigh the new costs.
In March, a comprehensive lawsuit was initiated against
the oil company Yukos, which was suspected of tax evasion.
Yukos chief Michail Chodorkovsky has been in prison since
2003, and judges believed that the authorities' action
against Yukos was political and depended on corporate
management's support for the political opposition. Tax
claims against Yukos of the equivalent of about $ 3.5
billion threatened to bankrupt the company. At the end of
the year, the state-owned oil company Rosneft took control
of Yukos through an auction procedure that received
international criticism for lack of transparency.
Foreign policy offered several adversities for the
Kremlin this year. When NATO expanded at the end of March to
seven countries, including the former Soviet republics of
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, the Russian government
declared that the political, military and economic interests
of the Russian Federation were affected. Deputy Foreign
Minister Vladimir Tjizov said that if R. feels that
enlargement requires a military response, so will it.
At the summit between the Russian Federation and the EU
in Brussels in May, Putin received Union support for a
coveted Russian membership in the WTO. In return, Putin
promised that the Russian Federation would approve the Kyoto
Protocol on greenhouse gas emission restrictions, which also
happened at the end of the year.
In connection with the presidential elections in Ukraine
in November, Putin took a stand for the regime's candidate,
the Russian-friendly Viktor Yanukovych. In the political
crisis that followed the election, Putin ended up in
conflict with the EU, which supported the opposition's
accusations of electoral fraud and demanded re-election
between Yanukovych and opposition candidate Viktor
Yushchenko. Putin's involvement in Ukrainian politics led to
war of words and deteriorating relations between Moscow and