Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 207

Mayor Yuri Luzhkov of Moscow met yesterday in Moscow with the Mayor of Grozny, Lecho Dudaev (a cousin of the late president Djohar Dudaev). Luzhkov promised that Moscow would provide concrete help rebuilding Chechnya’s war-ravaged capital. Luzhkov offered to start with school textbooks and scholarships for Grozny youngsters to Moscow colleges. He also said that, if federal funding is forthcoming, Moscow would help with housing construction. If it is not, Luzhkov offered to accept Chechen oil as payment. (RTR, Interfax, November 4)

Luzhkov is constructing a wide and growing network of contacts between the Russian capital and other strategically located regional centers — from St. Petersburg and Arkhangelsk to Saratov and Sevastopol. This is partly a way of spreading the influence of Moscow enterprises, the capital’s banks and financial institutions in particular. But the regional contacts Luzhkov is making will also come in useful if he decides to stand for president.

Military Presence in Kaliningrad Said to be Dropping.