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Author`s name Michael Simpson

More Cleansing to Follow in Russia's Military Structures

Authorities consider the Cossacks rather strong electorate
Russia is the country where stunning things occur every day. Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov is not quite satisfied with the catch of werewolf policemen and the disclosing of the assassination of Duma deputy Sergey Yushenkov. Now he is going to crackdown on the road police. The RF Interior Ministry developed a complex of measures to do away with bribe-taking in the road police. Deputy Interior Minister Alexander Chekalin told journalists today that the measures were developed in accordance with the decision made by Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov.

According to Alexander Chekalin, until the end of the year a helpline phone will be marked on every road police car so that drivers could contact a senior commander of road inspectors in case of any transgressions. What is more, it is expected that minimal number of road policemen on duty will be 2. At that, Alexander Chekalin thinks that being on duty in a group policemen won't commit official malfeasance as gang offence is a more serious crime.

The deputy interior minister thinks that secret control over activity of road inspectors will be carried out by their commanders: senior officers will ask drivers about actions of road police inspectors.

Who will be next subject to cleansing? As it turned out Cossacks will be the next infrastructure where cleansing is to be held. Curator of Russia's Cossacks Gennady Troshev is going to launch a large-scale cleansing. On June 27, Presidential Adviser for Cossacks' problems Gennady Troshev spoke at the first session of the Council for the Cossacks problems attached to the presidential aid in the Far Eastern federal district. The session was held in the city of Khabarovsk.

Gennady Troshev says that the Cossacks must become support to the authority, to military and frontier structures. He thinks that the Cossacks cannot be considered such support now because of their disunity and isolation. Because of this fact the number of atamans is enormous; some of them assume the rank of a general illegally. To improve the situation, Gennady Troshev thinks, it is necessary to summon a general Cossacks session to elect the chief general of the Cossacks, while other atamans must take off the general epaulets they are illegally wearing now. 

Until recently nobody treated Cossacks seriously, the authorities watched their activity graciously. This year parliamentary elections are to be held in Russia. As it usually happens in this country, right before the elections the authorities have recollected that the Cossacks make up quite a numerous group. The electorate of several millions of Cossacks may be of use during the elections. Indeed, some disagreeable party may lure Cossacks into its ranks, which in its turn may entail unfavorable consequences.

In a word, the authorities thought the issue of the Cossacks over and appointed General Gennady Troshev a presidential aide overseeing Cossack issues. The general got down to business with zeal. He took a census of the Cossacks, summoned a general session of Cossacks in the city of Stavropolye and reported the tasks the Kremlin wanted them to fulfill.

The general said: "To take an adequate position in the society, the Cossacks must get united and set up a party of their own." After that, Gennady Troshev delivered a long report "About the state of the present-day Cossacks". According to the report, over 20 standard acts on Cossacks have been adopted starting with 1996, but "there was no mechanism to fulfill them." As a result, the presidential aide says that military service is the only sphere now where Cossacks can carry out their missions. 

The general says that a special law on public service of Cossacks must be submitted for consideration of the Duma this year. He ordered the atamans to gather all deputies belonging to the districts under their jurisdiction and ask them to promote the law. In his report, Gennady Troshev strongly criticized those atamans who proclaimed themselves atamans and stood up for recovery of the previously determined boundaries of Cossack areas, those who say that the Naursky and Shelkovskoy districts of Chechnya must be added to Russia's Stavropolye region. Gennady Troshev said at that: "We are not anarchists and observe the Constitution."
 
After a brief discussion, ataman Nikolay Chebotarev of Stavropolye reported "The decision of the general session of the Russian Federation Cossacks". According to the report, Cossacks are offered to approve of Gennady Troshev's activity connected with the Cossacks issues. Cossacks, in their turn, asked the general "to improve a law on public service of the Cossacks and submit it for consideration of the Duma; to speed up development of a concept of the governmental policy concerning the Cossacks." General Troshev said that the President of Russia studied the problem personally; in the nearest time the President is expected to submit a legislation on the Cossacks for consideration of the Duma.

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