Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 24

Rescue workers on Sakhalin have recovered 771 bodies so far, Interfax reported June 2, but the Russian news service said that officials still expect the death toll to reach 2,000. One measure of just how extensive the damage was: so many local officials were killed that there is no one left to identify most of the bodies. On Ostankino television May 31, the local internal troop commander denied rumors earlier reports that there had been looting at the site. Meanwhile, the Japanese government reacted angrily to Yeltsin’s suggestion that Tokyo would send aid to Sakhalin only to be in a position to press Russia to return the Kurile islands, Moscow radio reported May 31. And Russia’s deputy energy minister Sergei Khetagurov told the radio that he too was bewildered by Yeltsin’s remarks: we need all the help we can get, he said.

Lebed Resignation Not Final.