Exactly one year ago, the newspaper Moskovsky komsomolets published an investigative article on corruption in the Russian forces deployed in the former East Germany. The article bore the none too subtle title, "Pasha-Mercedes: The Thief Should Be Imprisoned, Not Minister of Defense." Minister Grachev took umbrage and sued the paper for libel. Earlier this week Grachev balked at a court order requiring to appear in person in the proceedings, on legal grounds and because he was scheduled to be in Greece on the appointed day. President Yeltsin intervened, and ordered Grachev to show up in court. The minister postponed the visit to Greece.
This week also marks the first anniversary of the brutal murder of Moskovsky komsomolets correspondent Dmitrii Kholodov, who at the time of his death was conducting his own investigation into military corruption. Kholodov was killed by a bomb planted in a suitcase which an unidentified caller told him contained evidence. At a graveside memorial service on Wednesday, the paper’s chief editor, Pavel Gusev, alleged that criminal investigators in the Kholodov case were being interfered with. He threatened to make public hitherto unpublished information in the possession of Moskovsky komsomolets if the investigation is stalled. Gusev also accused the military of complicity in Kholodov’s murder. (7)
Latvian, Estonian Governments Slow to Form.