Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 235

Russians were shocked by yesterday’s news that a conscript serving with the Interior Ministry troops in Kizlyar in Dagestan had run amok and sprayed his sleeping comrades with gunfire; three were killed and eight were seriously wounded. (NTV, December 16) Also yesterday, two persons "of Caucasian nationality" (possibly Ossetians or Dagestanis, but probably not Chechens, or the fact would have been mentioned) hijacked a bus in Omsk, western Siberia. The hijackers demanded a ransom for the release of their hostages. They were eventually talked into surrendering by the mayor of Omsk and the hostages were released unharmed. (NTV, December 16) Russians have been battered in recent days by news of plane crashes and tragic mine disasters. "The country is tired of funerals and irresponsible government," the newspaper Obshchaya gazeta complained in its latest issue. "Sergei Shoigu [Minister of Emergencies] should be the next President." (Obshchaya gazeta, December 11)

Russia, Turkey Conclude Gas Deal, Other Agreements.