–CONTROVERSIAL BOOK IS CONFISCATED
The FSB and Moscow police have confiscated several thousand copies of Aleksandr Litvinenko’s book, “The FSB Explodes Russia,” according to Aleksandr Podrabinek, editor in chief of the Prima information agency. Podrabinek told the radio station Ekho Moskvy that his agency had ordered a shipment of the books, printed in Latvia, but that on December 29 police intercepted the truck bringing the books into Moscow and seized every one of them. The book provides details unknown to most Russians about the FSB’s role in the 1999 apartment bombings which the Yeltsin and Putin administrations used as part of their rationale for the second Chechen war.
–ALTERNATIVE SERVICE LAW DISPARAGED
Russia’s newly adopted law on alternative military service for conscientious objectors “will change nothing,” predicted Valentina Melnikova of the Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers in a January 2 interview with the Ekho Moskvy radio station. She said that the final text of the law was so watered down and compromised that it would be useless in practice.
–LATEST CASUALTY REPORTS
Some fifteen people were killed and twenty wounded in Chechnya during a 24-hour period ending on December 23, an official in the Kadyrov administration told the Associated Press. The dead included two police officers shot by rebels in a Grozny firefight.