here for the NIJ Archive
Issue No. 179. - June 24, 2000.
1. Russia: THE NEW HAMLET
By Arkady Dubnov
2. FRY/Serbia : AFTER THE ATTEMPTED ASSASINATION OF
By Zoran Mamula
3. Azerbaijan: ANTI-DEMOCRATIC ELECTORAL LAWS
By Mustafa Hajibeyli
4. Special addition: IGOR SUTYAGIN'S CASE - SECURITY
SERVICES AGAINST SCIENTISTS
Russia : THE NEW HAMLET
By Arkady Dubnov
The events that took place in Moscow on the afternoon
13, the day after the "Holiday of Free Russia" (the anniversary of
the passage by the last parliament of Soviet Russia of a
declaration of the country's sovereignty on June 12, 1990), have
every chance of becoming a turning point in the development of
modern Russia. For the first time in the nine-year post-communist
era in this country, an oligarch, Vladimir Gusinsky, owner of the
country's largest media empire, Media- Most, has been jailed.
is charged with "embezzlement of state funds in an especially
large amount"; the figure of ten million dollars has been
mentioned. The matter is rather old and is connected with the
Media-Most holding's acquisition of the St. Petersburg company
Russian Video. The term "embezzlement" seems to be but a
juridical ruse since, before the acquisition of Russian Video, it
was an enterprise with 100% state capital and it became an
enterprise with mixed capital, 75% of the shares went to
The unprecedented and unwaning scandal surrounding
"Gusinsky affair" is due to the fact that he is personally the
founder and owner of the only private media "empire" completely
independent of the state. That empire includes the very popular
(especially with the educated segment of the population) NTV
television station, the well-known Echo of Moscow radio station
(on which U.S. president Bill Clinton chose to address Russian
listeners during his visit to Moscow at the beginning of June),
"Segodnya" (Today) newspaper, the weekly magazine "Itogi" (News, a
joint publication with the American "Newsweek"), and a host of
It is not surprising that the arrest of Gusinsky
was taken by
the ovewhelming majority of the politicized public to be an attack
on freedom of the press. All the more since, on May 11, four
after the inauguration of President Putin, a raid was made on
Gusinsky's main office in Moscow by men in masks (from the
prosecutor general's office and the tax police), who subsequently
explained that Gusinsky's security service was "illegally
listening in on leading politicians and economists in order to
compromise them." That explanation was unconvincing then, and
evidence for it turned out to be falsified.
On that day, May 11, Vladimir Gusinsky was abroad.
most of his time abroad and, under Russian law, is not liable to
taxation of his personal business activities, which he pays in
Gibraltar. That evening, he flew to Moscow voluntarily to answer
investigators' questions. Gusinsky's behavior showed that he
nothing to fear and was ready to "cooperate with the law."
The main commentary on the events at the time was
leaders who came to power in Russia finally decided to put the
squeeze on their main opponent. In the last presidential
campaign, Gusinsky and his press were consistent opponents of
Putin and supported former prime minister Yevgeny Primakov and
Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov (even though he was not a candidate).
In this context, Gusinsky's arrest is a logical
step in a
campaign against him personally and his media holding.
It was taken that way both in Russia and abroad.
and a number of other world leaders have already expressd their
concern over Gusinsky's arrest as an attack on the free press in
However, the Kremlin has been trying to dispel such
accusations lately, claiming that Gusinsky's arrest is exclusively
due to financial and other crimes. These attempts have been
strikingly clumsy, thus only stoking the flames of controversy.
President Putin himself has shown the most clumsiness. He left
for a week-long trip to Europe just hours before Gusinsky's arrest
and, of course, faced the same questions over and over again in
Germany and Spain--Who sanctioned the arrest of Russia's
best-known businessman? "The prosecutor general's office, which
is completely independent and, I think, had grounds for its
actions." Was it really necessary to arrest Gusinsky; did he
really refuse to cooperate with the investigation?
Here, Putin managed to amuse the whole world:
"I tried to
call Prosecutor Ustinov, but he seems to have been out of
Moscow...," the leader of the world's second leading nuclear power
answered. Sharp tongues in Moscow joked that the prosecutor
general should probably be sought in the "apartment of ill-repute"
where his predecessor Yury Skuratov was filmed in the company of
prostitutes and paid for the tape with his job.
In addition, Putin embarrassed the West by accusing
of unproven crimes and, with a great lack of professionalism,
commented on the relations between private Russian companies,
which heads of state do not do in the civilized business world.
That was on June 13. Russian stocks fell sharply
markets that day. It was a signal that the Kremlin is once again
changing the rules of the game. Foreign investors once again,
not forgetting the crisis of August 1998, concluded that Russia is
a risky place to do business.
Russian business is coming to the same conclusion.
later, 17 of the biggest "oligarchs," among them the head of the
Russian electrical system Anatoly Chubais and Gazzprom head Rem
Vyakhirev, signed an appeal addressed to the Prosecutor General in
which they call on him to soften the measure being taken against
Gusinsky. Not all the signatories have the friendliest personal
relations with him. It is clear that a blow had been delivered
against free enterprise, one of the main triumphs of post-Soviet
Russia. The signatures of Boris Berezovsky and several others,
such as Roman Abramovich and Lev Mamut, were not to be seen.
is maybe not accidental, since they, along with Alexander
Voloshin, head of the presidential administration, and his
predecessor Valentin Yumashev, are members of the so-called
Kremlin "family" that rose to power along with Putin.
Today, Putin has few ways out of this situation,
tarnishing his image as a dynamic and democratic leader (the
latter quality was, as a matter of fact, doubted by many in Russia
long before this). He back-pedalled a little on June 15 when
noted that Gusinsky "did not have to be arrested." The
investigator in the case, Valery Nikolaev, who signed the order
for his arrest, indicated that he measures taken against Gusinsky
may be changed to recognizance not to flee. That will probably
happen at the beginning of next week.
The way the Kremlin decides this matter will determine,
without exaggeration, the future of Russian democracy, or at least
its fate in the coming Putin years. Will his term in office
evolve an authoritarian regime with a tinge of dictatorship (they
are talking about Pinochet again in Russia) or will the whole
affair be explained away as a slip by the Russian authorities?
Maybe those observers came closest to the truth who subtly noted
that they simply "all dance to the same music former, which is
played in the Kremlin by a former state security agent who has
become president. The former "powers," KGB generals, supporters
of the regime of "strong authority," Stalinists and the like, who
have already lost the battle against democracy, stand up and start
moving like robots or zombies. They formed the background against
which Russian society, longing for "law and order," gave Putin his
stunning victory in the elections. Will he be able to escape
their ideological grasp? More impo tly, will he want to?
To be or not to be--that is the question that, in
usually put a little differently: What should be done and who
Since the answer to the first question is already
second question, much less important in the big picture, will have
to be left to Shakespeare..."
FRY/ Serbia: AFTER THE ATTEMPTED ASSASINATION OF DRASKOVIC
By Zoran Mamula
The failed assassination attempt on Serbian opposition
Draskovic in his country home in the Montenegrin town of Budva last
Friday ( June 23 ) was given great media attention and caused
concern among Yugoslav public.
Also, it raised the issue of whether terrorism,
which has been
plaguing Serbia for years, has also spread to Montenegro since just
fifteen days before this event Goran Zugic, security advisor of
Montenegrin president Milo Djukanovic, was killed.
Montenegrin police took only several hours before
those suspected of trying to kill the leader of Serbian
Restoration Movement (who got only a glance wounds on left ear and
right temple) and finding out that the suspects came from Serbia.
Due to speculation that they were involved in the organisation of
the assassination, brothers Ivan (26) and Milan (19) Lovric from
Belgrade were brought before the High Court in Podgorica. Serbian
police was asked to arrest four persons who were identified as
collaborators in a murder attempt, but who managed to escape into
Serbia. The big issue is whether the authorities in Belgrade will
accept this demand issued by Montenegrin police, since Yugoslav
Left, the most powerful party of the ruling coalition in Serbia,
accused Montenegrin president Milo Djukanovic and American
intelligence agency CIA as plotters to kill Draskovic. According
to JUL, "they want to destabilise Yugoslavia and cause a civil war
in the country". Vuk Draskovic himself directly accused Yugoslav
president Slobodan Milosevic and his wife, JUL leader Mira
Markovic, of trying to kill him via Serbian secret police and that
it is only a "new crime after October 1999 when on the highway
near Belgrade a truck hit official SPO car (truck driver still
remains unidentified) killing four officials of the party and
causing light injuries to Draskovic. "With this assassination
Milosevic wanted to achieve two goals: to kill me, and then to
proclaim in his Goebbels-like style that it was done by Milo
Djukanovic in co-operation with the CIA, in order to destabilise
Montenegro. NATO intervention in Yugoslavia turned Milosevic into
an uncontrollable man who has no responsibility whatsoever,
neither to himself nor to other people and who is now behaving as
a jail warden" - said Draskovic, who compared himself to Salman
Rushdie targeted by "Serbian Khomeini".
It's certain that this murder attempt will only
strained relations between Serbian and Montenegrin governments and
will serve as a strong argument in mutual accusations. Montenegrin
prime minister Filip Vujanovic said after local elections in
Podgorica where Milosevic's supporters got defeated, that
Milosevic was trying in all ways to endanger peace in Montenegro.
President Djukanovic was even more direct and accused Milosevic of
wishing to cause a war in Montenegro. Head of Montenegrin police
Vukasin Maras, who relieved police chiefs in Budva and Bar of
their duties due to mistakes in Draskovic's protection, offered a
resignation himself. He said that the goal of the assassination
was to show that Montenegro was not a safe country neither for
foreign investments nor for tourism. "We will do everything we can
to prevent violence from Serbia spreading into Montenegro" -
Assassination attempt on SPO leader also worries
representatives of the internation ommunity, who wouldn't like to
add Montenegro's destabilisation to Kosovo where there is a peace
made possible only with great efforts of peace corps. Italian
foreign minister Lamberto Dini and EU commissioner for foreign
affairs and security Xavier Solana said that after the war in
Kosovo Milosevic's regime carried on with the violence, this time
against political opponents in Serbia and asked for greater
international aid to Yugoslav democratic forces. Also Igor Ivanov,
minister of foreign affairs of Russia that the official Belgrade
considers its ally, condemned assassination attempt on Draskovic
expressing worry that such events "endanger process of
democratisation in FR Yugoslavia".
Opposition parties in Serbia said that murder attempt
leader was an announcement of a new wave of violence and
repression in Serbia. Democratic party said this assassination
attempt show abnormal political relations in the country. "It has
already been second political crime in a short time in Montenegro
that has been spared of similar murders so far. No opponent of
Slobodan Milosevic is safe any more. That is why creating
solidarity network is now more important than ever" - said
Leader of the Democratic party of Serbia Vojislav
said that wounding president of the Serbian Revival Movement Vuk
Draskovic was "new confirmation that violence completely got the
upper hand on our political scene".
"Instead of competing at elections, the only real
such fight in civilised society, opposing politicians more and
more frequently use guns instead of political programs", said
However, besides worsening relations between Belgrade
Podgorica, this event also worsened relations between SPO and
other opposition parties. Draskovic was angry because of, as he
said, "tepid reactions" of the opposition colleagues and due to
fact that nobody was interested in his health after the
assassination attempt. Montenegrin analysts think that Belgrade
authorities will use assassinations on Draskovic and Zugic as a
pretext for adopting already announced Law against terrorism not
only in Serbia but also on a federal level, although it is clear
that Montenegro will refuse to confirm it, as it has been
declining to accept any federal decision for two years now.
Draft of this law is as yet still unknown, but according
announcements given by officials of the ruling coalition, one may
expect further limiting of civil freedoms, parties and independent
media. Serbian deputy minister of justice said Law against
terrorism will "clearly define terrorist groups and will be strict
not only against the operatives, but also against organisers,
members and those who advertise and approve of terrorism".
Noting that "terrorism is not just a murder", deputy
of justice said to pro-government newspapers "Vecernje novosti"
that also some other actions of "causing insecurity among citizens
may be terrorist acts if they are committed to remove the
constitution order" and that terrorism is also "blocking the
traffic which endangers security of the citizens and threats of
acts of violence". It is not hard to guess that blocking the
traffic found itself among terrorist acts because the opposition
said that it would block roads in cities where it was in power if
repression against media and citizens continued. It is also not
hard to predict that organisers of protest could be sentenced to
long jail terms if the law passes. It is also interesting that the
justice official said that Law against terrorism could also point
against those who incite terrorist acts, that is media which,
reporting about "terrorist organisations propagate and approve of
Practically, it means that those media which report
actions of more and more popular student movement "Resistance"
that has been already labelled terrorist organisation by the
government could be sent to jail. The government acted even before
passing this law. On Tuesday, 20th June, the authorities ordered
independent newspapers "Glas javnosti" and its printing press to
vacate their premises in 8 days, due to allegedly unpaid fines
according to notorious Law on information. If one takes into
account that all other independent newspapers are also printed in
that printing press, then it's clear that soon in Serbia will be a
complete media blackout. What else is to happen to citizens in
this country ridden with poverty can only be answered by the local
Azerbaijan: ANTI-DEMOCRATIC ELECTORAL LAWS
By Mustafa Hajibeyli
The struggle of the democratic forces in Azerbaijan
democratization of the country's electoral laws and taking
control of the government on the Central Election Commission
[CEC] has faced failure. Regardless of all efforts of the
opposition towards it, the authorities not only took
control over the CEC, but also formed a legal basis for
putting the local electoral commissions under its monopoly.
According to the new version of the law "On the
forms the District Electoral Committees [DEC] according to its
organizing principles". And it means that there will be provided
the 2/3 majority of voices of the government representatives at
the DECs as in the CEC.
On June 20, there has begun the discussion of the
bill "On the
elections to the parliament" at the 3rd reading. According to that
bill prepared at the president's apparatus, it is considered to
organize the DEC and Divisional Electoral Committees on the bases
of the 1/3 section, from the government, independent, and
oppositional deputies. Nevertheless, observers taking into
consideration that deputies named as "independent" by the
government are close to the authorities, think such a section
On the other hand, the right of nominating candidates
places considered for the opposition at the District and
Divisional Electoral Committees is given only to the Popular Front
and National Independence parties amongst the oppositinoal
parties. At the last municipal elections held in Azerbaijan every
political party and public organization had right to nominate
their candidates to the electoral committees. Besides it, after
finishing the process of formalization of the electoral
committees, every party participating in the elections could
appoint a member to the committee having complete right. And this
time, the parties participating in the elections is only given the
right to appoint a member to the electoral committees having only
the right of observer. This item has caused the dissatisfaction of
the democratic opposition, as well as the Popular Front, which
interests have been partially provided in the formalization of the
The issue that caused dissatisfaction at the mentioned
not only the principles of formalizing the electoral committees.
The current Azeri government instead of liberalizing the electoral
procedures corresponding to its obligations before the Council of
Europe, is including the items to the electoral law that aimed to
prevent the participation of the opposition at the electoral
In comparison with the previous elections, increasing
amount of electoral lien nearly 25 times (the average salary in
Azerbaijan is 20 US dollars, there are considered 600 US dollars
of electoral lien for each candidate at the elections),
complicating the process of collecting signatures for the
nominees, and others confirm the above mentioned facts. In other
words, even if the electoral laws are changed as a result of
pressures of the opposition and recommendations of the
international organizations, the new laws adopted by the
government are more anti-democratic than the previous ones.
Special addition: IGOR SUTYAGIN'S CASE - SECURITY
SERVICES AGAINST SCIENTISTS
We ask you to participate in the campaign in defense
Russian scientist, Igor Sutyagin. Russia's secret police (FSB)
charges him with espionage.
Igor wrote a book about nuclear disarmament, and
considers him having published 'secret information'. In actual
fact Igor had no access to any secret information at all, and the
leaders of the Russian Institute for the USA and Canadian Studies
are clearly confirming that.
It looks like the Russian security agencies have
put an end to the activities of Western ecologists, foreign
researchers and Russian scientists and activists of
environmentalist NGOs who cooperate with foreign colleagues in
Russia once and for all.
The FSB has already taken two serious attempts in
lately: they tried to proclaim as spies:
- Alexander Nikitin, retired naval officer, who
with Norwegian ecologist NGO Bellona;
- Grigory Pasko, military journalist, naval officer,
cooperated with Japanese journalists and ecologist organizations.
These two men have spent long months in the special
Russia's security agencies. Only thanks to a broad international
public campaign in their defense it was possible to see Nikitin
and Pasko free.
Now it looks like the Russian security agencies
want to have
their revenge by the case of scientist Igor Sutyagin. Igor is now
in a special prison of Russian security agencies in Moscow Region,
Russia, in very hard conditions.
We appeal you to pass information about Igor Sutyagin's
to your countries' independent mass-media, active human rights
organizations, to the deputies of your parliaments.
If you find it appropriate, please send an e-mail
or a fax
message addressed to Mr. Nikolay Platonovich Patrushev, Director,
Federal Security Bureau (FSB), asking him to release Igor Sutyagin
from prison until the trial begins.
Fax: (+7-095) 975-24-70
Below we attach more details on Igor Sutyagin's
Unfortunately we're note with great anxiety that
more and more facts appear to evidence the phasedown of the
democratization process in Russia. If the world democracies, the
public in the industrialized countries would now remain
indifferent to the resurrection of authoritarian regime in Russia,
the consequences for the whole world would be catastrophic, as it
already happened in the history of the 20th century.
Please excuse us for writing such a long letter
Hoping for your help,
Andrey Blinushov, member of Governing Body of the
International Memorial human rights society, editor-in- chief of
Russian historical and human rights magazine Karta;
Julia Sereda, member of Governing Body of the Interregional
Human Rights Network Group, deputy chair of Ryazan Helsinki Group.
Translated by Oleg V. Martynov.
Igor Sutyagin was taken into custody. Why?
What episodes could be laid to charge?
FSB has started a political campaign
While in prison, the convict suffers from violation
of the Law on Custody
A resident of Obninsk Igor Sutyagin, born in 1965,
into custody on October 27, 1999 by the FSB of the Kaluga Region.
Being accused of high treason (Article 275 of the Criminal Code of
RF), Igor might be sentenced from 12 to 20 years of imprisonment.
Six months of confinement were extended to another
months on the grounds the inquiry had not been completed.
Therefore, we decided to attract public attention and to seek:
1. a change of restraint for Igor;
2. a completion of inquiry in the shortest possible
3. an open lawsuit.
About Igor Sutyagin - A former graduate of physical
Moscow State University, he joined the Institute of the USA and
Canada and obtained Ph.D. in History. Further promoted to the
position of a senior researcher and assigned the Head of Section
in the Department of military and political research, the author
of several publications in Russian and foreign magazines.
What episodes could be laid to charge?
1. The exchange of information with a US citizen
Handler to assist in his work for Ph.D. on the problem of
strategic nuclear weapons. Joshua Handler is a post-graduate in
the University of Princeton. He was in Russia at the invitation of
the Institute of the US and Canada in the frameworks of academic
exchange. Mr. Handler is a reputable scientist.
As an expert in arms control, he has well-established
relations with the Russian academic circles. Despite FSB
statements, he has never served in any federal institutions or US
intelligence agencies. FSB reported on the military information
found during the search of Mr. Handler's apartment. However, no
claim has been made against him up till now. Mr. Handler has close
contacts with the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), which
has had basic orientation towards strengthening of the Soviet- and
later Russian-American relations and scientific cooperation since
the time of Gorbachev. . In the eighties, in particular, it was
FAS that united the efforts of the American and Western scientists
in the struggle against the "star wars" program (SDI initiative).
It was FAS that advocated and advocates an active (first of all,
nuclear) arms cut and elimination. The Federation fully supports
the beginning of SNW-3 negotiations and preservation of the
Anti-Missile Defense Treaty of 1972. The Federation has the world
recognition and well-established ties with the Russian Academy of
2. Review and transfer of information to the foreign
analytical agency during business trips abroad. FSB says this is
the classified information about the design of new generation
submarines. Igor, however, has never had access to classified
information and never been a bearer of the state secrets. How
could he have transferred official secrets whomever? Besides, the
subject of talks with the firm representatives has never been
identified beforehand, and usually touched on a wide range of
problems, which included policy and economics alongside with the
military issues. No printed matter has ever been presented. Where
are the reasonable grounds to be put to charge?
3. Opinion poll among Russian experts on the problem
and martial relations and role of the army in the Russian society.
The poll was a part of the program funded by the Canadian Ministry
of Defense. However, the other two official participants of the
program were the Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs of the
Russian Federation. State secrets have never been the aim of the
poll, which is obvious judging by the results presented in open
publications in the summer of 1999.
4. Publications on the problems of military security
control in Russia. These are some chapters from the book
"Strategic Nuclear Arms in Russia" published in Moscow in 1998,
which are probably meant first of all. But a copy of the
manuscript had been submitted to the FSB agency several months
before publication! Furthermore, only open sources of the former
Soviet Union, Russia and foreign countries were used while working
at this book and any other publications.
FSB has either started a political campaign. In
view of the
aforementioned the question arises "What is a high treason based
on, if no military information was found on the search and
subsequent arrest of Igor Sutyagin, who has never been a bearer of
the state secrets and had no access to any classified
The answer is evident. This criminal case is being
no grounds at all. FSB has either started a political campaign or
wants to take revenge for the lost cases of Nikitin and Pasko.
This idea occurs not quite of a sudden. When Igor
arrested, the FSB officers told his wife not to inform anyone,
including Igor's parents, about apprehension. However, they
themselves reported the case in a TV news program some days later.
Is there any other interpretation of the event if it is not the
desire of FSB to be the first with their point of view?
While in prison, the convict suffers from violation
of the Law
Six months of confinement were extended to another
months. The parents, wife, friends and colleagues seeking for a
change of constraint for Igor are regularly refused. It turns out
he is dangerous for the Russian society. While in prison, the
convict suffers from violation of the Law on Custody:
- the right for an eight-hour night sleep is not
people live in the room intended for 8 beds);
- the convicts are not given proper bedding, dishes
- medical service is very poor: practically no necessary
medicaments are available;
- tuberculosis and scabies are raging in prison;
- the right for correspondence is regularly injured
addressee does not receive some part of the letters);
- a visiting right is injured ( no permission to
convict for the last four months).
We are looking for assistance of the honest people,
fighting for real justice and human rights in Russia.
Web-site (English): http://www.chat.ru/~scotch13/eng.html
phone 7+ (08439) 3-93-81
Vyacheslav A. Sutyagin (father)
Svetlana Ye. Sutyagina (mother)
phone 7+ (08439) 7-51-98
Irina P. Manannikova (wife)
Vice-President (Academic) and Provost
4700 Keele Street
10 May, 2000
I wish to bring to your attention a situation that,
view, requires an appropriate response from the international
In October last year a colleague of mine, Igor Sutyagin,
researcher at the U.S. and Canada Institute in Moscow, was
arrested by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB). He has
been in jail since then, although the FBS has not filed formal
charges against him. It has been announced that the FSB is going
to accuse Igor Sutyagin of treason.
Among various projects Igor Sutyagin worked on was
a survey of
civil-military relations in Russia that he did in 1998-1999. As
far as I understand, this work was done as part of a research
project that is being administered by York University and Carleton
I have learned that the FSB has been interrogating
were interviewed by Igor Sutyagin as part of that survey. What I
find very disturbing here is that the FSB has been telling those
people that rather than being an academic study, which it
certainly was, the survey was actually carried on the orders of
the Canadian Department of National Defence with the implication
that it somehow constituted espionage. The FSB seemed to have no
regard for either the academic character of the survey nor the
fact that the survey was part of an academic program.
Regardless of whether the charges against Igor Sutyagin
any ground (which I believe they do not), I am convinced that the
international academic community should not permit any security
service to imply that a legitimate and open research project could
be a cover for intelligence gathering.
If you should need any further information to help
response to this situation, please feel free to contact me.
Researcher, Center for Arms Control Studies
MPTI, 9 Institutski
Dolgoprudny, Russia 141700
Phone/Fax: +7 (095) 408-6381
May 29, 2000
Dr. Sergei Rogov
Institute of the USA and Canada
Russian Academy of Sciences
Khlebny per., 2/3
Fax No. 011-7095-200-1207
Dear Dr. Rogov,
I want to ask for your assistance on a troubling
I hope that I can presume on our past personal contact
long-standing partnership between our two institutions.
Recently, I received a letter from Mr. Pavel Podvig,
researcher at the Centre for Arms Control Studies, Moscow
Institute of Physics and Technology. Dr. Podvig has drawn my
attention to the case of Dr. Igor Sutyagin, an ISCRAN researcher.
It is my understanding that Dr. Sutyagin was arrested last fall by
Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) on suspicion of treason
and espionage. According to Mr. Podvig, among the arguments in
support of the accusations against Dr. Sutyagin, the investigators
have cited his participation in a Canadian research project
implemented under the joint auspices of Carleton and York
I am not familiar with the details of the Russian
case against Dr. Sutyagin and have no intention - nor, indeed, any
right - to interfere with the course of the investigation. It is,
however, my duty to address those aspects of the matter with which
I happen to be familiar, which implicate York University, and
which are of profound importance for me and many others in the
Canadian academic community who believe that collaborative
academic research with our Russian colleagues is of great value to
Let me describe the Canadian project Dr. Sutyagin
The project was conceived in the course of the implementation
of the Democratic Civil-Military Relations Programme (DCMRP),
launched in 1997 by the Canadian Department of Defence (DND) with
the help of the Association of Universities and Colleges of
Canada. The goal of the Programme is to acquaint defence officials
from post-communist countries with the Canadian experience of
civil-military relations in a democracy. Each year since 1997,
groups of those officials representing dozens of East European
countries, including Russia, have made visits to Canada to spend
several weeks attending lectures and visiting defence
installations and academic research centers specializing in
international and security problems. The DCMRP concept is evolving
in light of the lessons being learned and the critical comments
from participants. In particular, the DND decided in 1998 to
commission an academic study of the problems of civil-military
relations in Eastern Europe.
The competitive bid for the study was won by a joint
researchers from Carleton and York Universities, led by Prof.
Harald von Riekhoff of Carleton. From the very beginning, both the
government and the universities involved regarded this project as
a completely open, legitimate academic endeavour. None of those
involved saw anything illegal or morally wrong in the idea that a
group of Canadian academics would explore problems of
civil-military relations in post-communist societies. Indeed, in
the years since the end of the Cold War, this problematique has
been the subject of a number of joint studies by Western and East
European academics - and this interest is fully justified, given
the importance of these issues both for international peace and
for successful development of democracy in Eastern Europe.
The work on the study began in the fall of 1998.
One of its
elements involved conducting interviews with officials and
academic experts in the countries studied. Two researchers were
commissioned to conduct the interviews in Russia - Mr. David Betz,
a Canadian Ph.D. candidate currently studying at the University of
Glasgow, and Dr. Sutyagin. The interviews were focused on such
issues as the role of civilian officials in the control and
management of Russia's armed forces, relations-between the army
and society and the role of the parliament, the media, and the
academic community in the making of defence policies.
As far as I know, at no point during the implementation
project did any of the people involved, including the
interviewees, question the legitimacy of the study or suspect any
hidden motives behind it. Mr. Betz made a trip to Moscow in
November 1998 and interviewed several officials of the Russian
Ministry of Defence. In December 1998 - January 1999 Dr. Sutyagin
interviewed about 20 people for the DCMRP project -mostly academic
experts. The work he did was of the highest quality: he conducted
his interviews in an earnest professional manner and contributed
his own opinions on the subject matter.
The work on the study was completed by April 1999.
500-page report (listing Dr. Sutyagin among the co-authors) was
then unveiled at a meeting at Carleton University in Ottawa, where
Prof. von Riekhoff and two other project researchers shared their
findings with diplomats from the countries studied, including
Russia. Praeger Publishers expressed an interest in publishing the
Study, and a contract was signed to the effect in the summer of
1999. The 2-volume book is scheduled to come out later this year.
Having reviewed the history of the project and Dr.
role in it, I cannot believe that anyone, especially law
enforcement officials, might consider such work as espionage or
treason. I deeply regret the fact that of the 12 countries studied
in this project, Russia is the only one where some officials seem
to have found a Canadian study of civil-military relations to be a
threat to national security. In all the others, project
researchers received full cooperation and support from
governmental agencies, which regarded this Canadian endeavour as a
welcome and valuable form of assistance to the ongoing reform
efforts in those countries.
Obviously, the controversy that has arisen with
regard to Dr.
Sutyagin's work for a Canadian research project introduces a note
of apprehension and distrust into the sphere of Canadian-Russian
scientific cooperation. Canadian (and, possibly, other Western)
researchers engaged in or considering collaborative work with
Russian colleagues will have to ask themselves whether such work
will not create unacceptable risks for their Russian counterparts.
I would like to hope that the Sutyagin controversy reflects
someone's gross error of judgement, rather than a new approach of
the Russian Government to the established practice of
international academic cooperation.
I would greatly appreciate it if you could clarify
circumstances of this matter for me and my colleagues.
Vice President (Academic Affairs) and Provost
Mr. Podvig' s letter of May 10, 2000
Mr. Pavel Podvig, Researcher, Center for Arms Control
Prof. Harald von Riekhoff, Department of Political
Prof. David Dewitt, Director, Centre for International
Security Studies, York University
Prof. Sergei Plekhanov, Department of Political
Ms. Ann Collins, Director, Eastern Europe Division,
of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada