Russia: January 25, 2002


Power companies in Siberia and the Far East are owned over $10 million by the Russian armed forces. The slow, or no, pay customs of the military caused the company to begin cutting power off to barracks, military families and logistical installations for hours at a time. In some cases, armed men show up at electricity control centers to get power restored. But the power is usually cut again. The local military units, which don't get enough money from Moscow to take care of everything (and see some of that stolen by senior officers), tend to not pay whoever they can get away with not paying. In Chechnya, federal prosecutors are investigating the disappearance of 400 civilians and a hundred soldiers. Most are thought to be held for ransom by rebels. But pro-Russian Chechen police complain that gangs of Interior Ministry police are looting and killing civilians. In several rebel attacks, six soldiers died in Chechnya. 


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