Krasnoyarsk Governor Aleksandr Lebed has received a helping hand from the federal government. Deputy Interior Minister Vladimir Kolesnikov–who heads a commission which has been investigating various Krasnoyarsk companies over the last two months–announced yesterday that prosecutors have launched criminal proceedings against Anatoly Bykov, head of the Krasnoyarsk Aluminum Factory (KrAZ) and Lebed’s main foe in the region. Kolesnikov said that Bykov, who is currently in the United States, is accused of “laundering of illegally obtained money” and should return immediately to face questioning. Bykov released a statement in which he said that he would return to face questioning and charged that the accusations against him were part of a political show and inspired by KrAZ’s competitors (Russian agencies, April 8; Moscow Times, April 9).
Last week law enforcement officials raided the offices of a KrAZ sister company. Bykov then accused Lebed of being responsible for the search. In the meantime, the Russian government approved a program through which it will share with Lebed’s administration the right to manage the federal government’s shares in Krasnoyarsk’s coal mines. Lebed had been fighting to keep Krasugol, the region’s ailing state coal company, from being taken over by businesses connected to Bykov, and had refused an offer from United Energy Systems and Anatoly Chubais to take on Krasugol’s debt in return for controlling shares in three coal mines (Vremya MN, April 9).
What the center will now demand from Lebed in return for its help remains to be seen.
NOT ALL IS WELL WITH LATVIA’S INTERNAL SECURITY.