In 2002, the rate of technogenic accidents in 57 out of the 89 Federation jurisdictions will surpass the long-standing annual average by 10 percent, Emergency Situations Minister Sergey Shoigu told newsmen. He has forecast fires at oil storages and more air transport failures due to the precarious state of the aircraft fleet and the inadequate services in minor air companies. As to natural calamities, Sergey Shoigu mentioned forest fires because of the 2002 hot summer expectations. The recent decrease in the average weather change period will bring about strong winds and thunderstorms. Frequent weather fluctuations may also affect the durability of dams and dikes. The minister cited the following figures characterising the situation in Russia over the 11 months of 2001: 768 emergency situations of different nature, which injured 10,971 and killed 1,098 people (as against 1,045 in the same period in 2000) and inflicted damage upon 1,098 (11,238 people); 21,000 operations held by Emergency Situations Ministry rescue teams with 12,593 people saved. The period under review was also marked by the tripled number of acts of terrorism, of which 14 major outrages in the Northern Caucasus and Moscow resulted in 47 people killed and 406 injured. The eleven months of 2000 are known for three major acts of terrorism.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea