December 27, 1996 |
"By order of the Russian government, Jan. 5, Sunday, will be shifted to Jan. 3, Friday, and also June 15, Sunday, to June 13, Friday, in 1997. Thus, Russian people will have four days off for the New Year holiday." This recent announcement by the Itar-Tass news agency is actually comprehensible to Russians, who have grown accustomed to a leadership that believes itself empowered to reverse the flow of rivers or rearrange the clock.
December 4, 1996 |
Hundreds of thousands of coal miners who haven't been paid in months went on strike Tuesday, demanding that Russia's Cabinet deliver their wages or resign. The walkout, which shut at least 100 of Russia's 287 coal mines, is the strongest protest in months against a cash shortage that is draining the economy in this sixth winter of painful post-Soviet reform.
November 28, 1996 |
When his wages failed to materialize for three months, Nikolai S. Lashkevich did what thousands of other Russians do when their government neglects to pay them and they have children to feed: He ripped off his workplace. Lashkevich's factory manufactured guns. In the evening, in his bedroom, he assembled stolen pieces of metal into guns while his two sons watched TV in the next room.
November 6, 1996 |
Hundreds of thousands of Russians took to the streets Tuesday, showing that President Boris N. Yeltsin faces more troubles even if he fully recovers from heart bypass surgery. Teachers, factory workers, miners and members of the military--the backbone of the nation in Soviet days, but now the stragglers in Russia's race for wealth--organized a nationwide day of protest against the government's failure to pay their wages virtually since the day Yeltsin was reelected four months ago.
August 3, 1996 |
Five months after they last got paid, the miners of the Russian Far East are beginning to starve. By Friday, all 10,000 of them had stopped work--not, they say, out of ill will but simply because they are just too weak to handle the tough conditions underground. No coal is being extracted. The region's power plant workers, themselves unpaid for months, also are refusing to operate the stations that supply electricity to the factories, homes and port of the local capital, Vladivostok.
February 4, 1996 |
Spending lavishly to cut short a nationwide coal miners' strike, Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin on Saturday promised the industry more than $2 billion--enough to nudge disgruntled workers off their picket lines. Nearly all the striking miners resumed work Saturday, union leaders reported, ending a two-day protest that had shut down about two-thirds of Russia's coal mines. To outsiders, the government's concessions sounded modest enough: Prime Minister Viktor S.