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Russia

Yearbook 2004

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.

2004 RussiaIn 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.

2004 Russia

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 Brussels.

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