|Russia and the CIS News Digest
LaRouche Interviewed on Bolshevik Revolution Anniversary
Nov. 8 (EIRNS)The Russian monthly Smysl ("Sense"), a publication of RosBalt news service, features Lyndon LaRouche, in its November four-page spread on the 90th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, which was Nov. 7, 2007. Author Alexander Yeliseyev, a historian and journalist, explored the roots of the October 1917 events in Russian history. In a March 2007 article, "British World Rule," published in the RPMonitor.ru online journal, Yeliseyev had noted the importance of LaRouche's analysis of the way in which "the British elites prioritize their ability to influence Washington's policy, and not in the best direction." In that article, he cited LaRouche's "special attention to the British-American-Commonwealth (BAC) grouping, which forces British postures on the USA."
In Yeliseyev's new Smysl article, he writes, "The October Revolution of 1917, the culmination point of all Russian rebellions, had a long pre-history and substantial global consequences. The Russian people has never lost its 'rebellious spirit.' No other country ever replicated the feat of 1917, to the extent that it emerged in early 20th-Century Russia." Punctuating Yeliseyev's article are short commentaries from three experts in the West: Stalin biographer Robert Tucker; faddish revisionist historian Niall Ferguson; and LaRouche. LaRouche's observations, which were slightly truncated, read as follows in the original (square brackets indicate parts that were cut):
"I know the Russian Revolution of 1917 as what must be viewed as a crucial moment from a great, still continuing, global, Classical tragedy [like a crucial event from within the real-life course of Friedrich Schiller's Wallenstein trilogy]. In that time, it was a crucial event within the intent which had been expressed by the British Prince of Wales Edward Albert's monstrous, geopolitical scheme for putting his two royal nephews, Germany's Wilhelm II and Russia's Nicholas II, at one another's throat. That same wicked intent was, and remains today, maintaining the British financiers' Empire's continuing campaign for global supremacy through long periods of war, as continuing still today.
"The events of 1917 Russia began with London's launching Japan into its long, implicitly global, 1895-1945 war against China, a tragedy which has been renewed for even our present times by what I personally know to have been the after-effects of an absolutely unjustifiable nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a bombing arranged by what President Franklin Roosevelt had sometimes referenced as his troublesome temporary ally against Hitler, by the Anglo-American 'Churchill gang.'
"That story of 1917 has not yet ended; we who understand those events in the light of the situation of the world still today, are obliged to strive for the long-awaited close of that continuing tragedy, as we must strive now for the equivalent of a Peace of Westphalia in our time.
"We must therefore understand the revolutionaries of 1917 as they did not then fully understand themselves. They were heroes in an awesome tragedy, who fought because they sensed that they must fight, without knowing fully how and why that awful, continuing struggle had come about, or what its outcome would actually be. [We must see that history in light of, especially, the awful struggle which Russia knew as its Great Patriotic War. We must act to ensure today that the fallen in those events did not suffer and die in vain.
"Real history, as I now know it and have lived, hated, relived, and loved it, is like that.]"
Atomic Energy Development Is Russian Priority
Nov. 5 (EIRNS)There is no alternative to nuclear power, in light of declining proven hydrocarbon deposits, Russia's First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov emphasized during a Nov. 2 meeting of the Government Commission On Industry, Transport, and Technology. Ivanov reviewed the federal target program on the development of the industry from 2007 to 2010, under which nuclear power should account for up to 18% of Russia's energy production in 2015 and for 30 percent in 2030.
In late October, nuclear power industry publications reported ongoing expansion of Russian machine-building plants, to gear up for building more nuclear power units, both at home and for export. United Machine-building Factories (OMZ, also known as Uralmash-Izhora) produces high-quality heavy forgings, used in Russia's VVER-400 and VVER-1000 pressurized water reactors. It will undergo a planned "radical modernization of existing equipment," and doubling of capacity.
Kommersant reported Nov. 6 that the Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom) has announced the establishment, as a joint venture with Gazprombank, of a nuclear engineering enterprise worth $3-5 billion. It will manage the industry, consolidating the production chain for plant building, and will be co-owned by Rosatom, Gazprombank, and the state-run Development Bank.
Russia And China Sign Economic Deals
Nov. 8 (EIRNS)No fewer than 15 economic and technological cooperation agreements were signed yesterday at a Russian-Chinese forum in Moscow. They include one on construction of a railroad between the two countries, a joint venture to produce high-voltage equipment in China, one on construction of a cement plant in Russia, and agreements on cooperation in the automotive sphere. The documents were signed by Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov and China's Vice Premier of the State Council Wu Yi.
Zhukov called on Russian businesses to step up their activity on the Chinese market, saying that contracts totalling nearly $3 billion would be signed during the forum. Most of recent years' 40% increase in bilateral trade is accounted for by Chinese exports to Russia, Zhukov said. RBC.ru reported a Nov. 7 announcement that Chinese banks will increase credit lines to Russia, beyond the present level of $2 billion.
On Nov. 8, Rosatom announced an 11-year agreement, beginning in 2010, to supply uranium products to China. Signed between the Russian state-controlled nuclear fuel and equipment exporting firm, Techsnabexport, and China's Nuclear Energy Industry Corporation, the agreement provides for Russian technical assistance on the fourth stage of a gas centrifuge plant to enrich uranium for Chinese nuclear reactors. China's first, small enrichment plant was imported from Russia; two dozen new nuclear plants planned for addition to the Chinese electric grid over the next 15 years, more enrichment capacity is needed. An agreement in principle was also signed to build two more nuclear reactors at the Tianwan site in China, where Russia has built two reactors.
Japanese Bullet Train for Russian Line
Nov. 9 (EIRNS)Russia and Japan have agreed to create a permanent expert group to develop a high-speed railway linking Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod, Russia's third-largest city, using Japanese "bullet train," or Shinkansen, technology. Delegations of both nations met in Tokyo Nov. 7 at the Second Russian-Japanese Conference on the planned rail link, Itar-Tass reported. The first such meeting took place in Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod last July.
Nizhny Novgorod Region Gov. Valeri Shantsev told the conference that the rail line would mark a new starting point in Russia's economic growth. "Given Russia's span and geographic spaces, construction of high-speed railways will give grounds to speak about the integration of regions and increasing mobility of their population," Itar-Tass quoted Shantsev. Boris Lapidus, senior vice president of Russian Railways, presented Russia's plans for building over 1,500 km of high-speed rail lines by 2030. The lines will go through regions with 18% of Russia's population and 25% of its economic production. Russian Railways will complete the feasibility study for the first line by mid-2008, and eventually some 20 bullet trains will run daily in both directions, carrying some 8 million passengers a year.
Georgia: 'Project Democracy' Hero Declares Martial Rule
Nov. 8 (EIRNS)The regime of Michael Saakashvili in the Republic of Georgia, which came to power in the so-called Rose Revolution of 2003, has been shaken by a week of street protests. On Nov. 2, between 20,000 and 40,000 people turned out against Saakashvili. Yesterday, he sent Army troops into the streets of Tbilisi, first to defend the Parliament and government buildings, but then the troops deployed tear-gas and beat up demonstrators. Today, Saakashvili imposed emergency martial rule, while also agreeing to opposition demands to move up the next Presidential election to January 2008.
The demonstrations were led by the National Council, a coalition of ten diverse parties, formed in early October. The pretext for their coalescence was the arrest of former Defense Minister Irakli Okruashvili, just two days after he accused Saakashvili of corruption and betrayal of the national interest. Okruashvili had been fired by Saakashvili at the end of last year. The Saakashvili-Okruashvili conflict is Byzantine, involving the latter's association with Russian ex-tycoon Boris Berezovsky's partner Badru Patarkatsishvili, but it has allowed the underlying popular disgust with Saakashvili to come to the fore. Supposedly the proponent of democracy, Columbia University law graduate Saakashvili has done nothing to improve economic conditions in Georgia. He has prioritized joining NATO, while possible Russian support of the breakaway Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia remains a regional crisis detonator. Like other Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries, Georgia is experiencing soaring inflation of food and energy prices. Small businesses complain of oppression in Saakashvili's Georgia, while his tough-guy anti-crime laws have jailed petty offenders for long prison terms.
Saakashvili, attempting to shift the blame for the crisis to Russia, has accused Moscow of abetting the opposition, and an exchange of diplomatic expulsions is now under way. These events are significant not only for the citizens of Georgia, but for the regionGeorgia being part of the Transcaucasus zone in the northeast corner of Southwest Asia.