Cultural Revolutions

A Mini-Summit

The Bush-Putin mini-summit was considered by most Moscow pundits to be a success, with the two more or less agreeing to disagree about ABM, nuclear- missile defense (NMD), and NATO expansion—for now, anyway. President Bush did not pressure Vladimir Putin about Chechnya, but one point that he ever-so-gently raised did irk the Little Colonel, according to Kremlin deep throats, whose frequent reports created the impression that the Kremlin walls are about as impregnable as an egg carton. The Americans just won't let go of the Vladimir Gusinsky affair.

Chronicles readers know the real story: The "media magnate"/oligarch/gangster/ professional Jewish victim Gusinsky was the big loser in the intra-Kremlin intrigues that accompanied Boris Yeltsin's retirement, with rival clan structures close to Yeltsin ("the family") ultimately winning the battle to choose Boris I's anointed successor. After "the family" helped arrange a splendid little war in Chechnya to boost his electoral prospects, ex-KGB officer Putin immediately moved to finish off "the Goose," with the Kremlin exerting pressure on natural-gas monopoly Gazprom to call in its loans to Gusinsky's Media Most company, which controlled Russia's only privately held TV station, N'lV. The "special services" tacked on a few embezzlement charges and other trimmings for good measure, and Gusinsky was soon...

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