The government of the Russian republic of Khakassia in southern Siberia has introduced a new monetary unit to pay pension arrears. Only pensioners will receive the new money, which has been created in response to a severe shortage of cash rubles. (Itar-Tass, September 11) Cash shortages are blamed for wage and pension arrears in regions all over Russia. Khakassia is but the latest of several regions which have resorted to unorthodox solutions, including payment in kind. Moscow accuses local authorities of diverting cash to illicit purposes, which it says causes a shortfall in income tax collection.
Ukraine Disputes Luzhkov on Sevastopol.