dents committed to its care.” Apparently,rnhe finds it irrelcant that the parents ofrnthose minority’ students helped elect thisrnboard; the court must retain control untilrnthe voters become more enlightened.rnWhile the riding mentions the possibilit}’rnof ending the case by 2006, everythingrnis conditioned on “good faith,” asrndetermined by the magistrate. Localrnbusiness leaders and polihcians are tryingrnto claim that the ruling reveals the light atrnthe end oi the tunnel, but the average citizenrnof Rockford knows better; Since Augustrn11, “For Sale” signs have been poppingrnup like mushrooms after a rain.rn— ScottP.RichertrnV L A D I M I R GUSINSKY, the Russianrnmedia magnate, has escaped the longrnarm of the law. The Russian GeneralrnProsecutor’s Office dropped charges of illegalrnprivatization of state enterprisesrnagainst the Kremlin’s chief nemesis, rescindingrnthe freeze on his propert)’ andrnlifting a ban on foreign travel. Girsin.skyrnpromptly headed for his home in Spain.rnHis NT’ network was uncharacteristical-rn1- restrained in its coverage of vhatrnshould have been a triumphant moment.rnFor months, the Kremlin had wielded itsrnnightstick against the oligarch’s MediarnMost company: Gusinsky had made thernserious mistake of supporting the “Fatherland”rnbloc against the Kremlinbackedrn”Ihiity” movement in parlianientar’rnelections last fall. Moreover,rnGusinsky had seriously misread thernmood of Ru.ssian socieh’: Both the generalrnpublic and Russia’s elites took a dimrnvieu’ of his media’s criticisms of thernGhechcn campaign and its portrayal ofrnPresident Vladimir Putin as a clumsy policemanrnwith a Napoleon complex.rnRumors that Gusinsky had cut a dealrnwith the Kremlin soon appeared in thernRussian press. Some Kremlin sourcesrnhave claimed that Gusinsky was allowedrnto leave the country only after hernpromised to toe the Kremlin “informationrnline.” This is certainly plausible;rnPutin’s henchmen in the “power structures”rn—the police and securit)’ apparatusrn— hae been pressuring journalists tornjump aboard the “patriotic” bandwagonrnfor some time. But there may have beenrnanother reason why “Gus” backed down.rnAttempting to expand his media empirernto North America, Europe, and Israel (hernis a dual Russian-Israeli citizen and headsrnthe Rirssian Jewish Gongress), Gusinskyrnhas become buried under a mountain ofrndebt—and one of the largest creditorsrnjust happens to be Gazprom, the partlyrnstate-owned gas monopoly. Certain peoplernclose to the Kremlin apparentK’ sawrnan opportunih’ to seize control of N’TVrnbv forcing Gus to pay up with shares inrnhis Media Most Company.rnWestern observers have misinterpretedrnmoves against Gus and other magnatesrnwho have lost their Kremlin connectionsrnas evidence that Putin intendsrnto destroy the oligarchs —the gangster t-rncoons who ruled the Kremlin roost underrnYeltsin —and institute a “dictatorship ofrnlaw.” Don’t bet on it. The “redi’ision ofrnproperty” seized illegallv or through insiderrndeals during the Yeltsin years continues,rnand the likely beneficiaries of arn”review of privatization” will be a narrowrncircle of “young oligarchs” such as 34-rnyear-old Roman Abramovich, boss of thernSibneft oil company and the mctallurg)’rnmonopoly, Russian Aluminum. Thusrnfar, the “war on the oligarchs” has left thernyoung Turks—who appear to have persuadedrnPutin that they are Russian patriotsrndetermined to rebuild their counlr srnindustrial might—and their mentor,rnBoris A. Berezovsky (BAB), unscathed,rnraising the possibilit}’ that the broad eliterncoalition that brought Putin to power willrnbreak down.rnMeanwhile, BAB has once againrnmade some unexpected moves, announcingrnthat he will resign his seat inrnthe State Duma to organize a “constructirne opposition” to what he considers disastrousrnpolitical reforms. BAB’s announcementrncoincided with the renewalrnof ethnic unrest among his former constituentsrnin the Caucasian Karachay-rnCherkessk republic, a series of terrorist attacksrnon Russian soldiers in Chechnya,rnand rumors of divisions among Kremlinrninsiders. Those who know BAB best suspectrnthat the master of intrigue may haverncaught wind of Abramovich’s alleged secretrnmeetings with Alexander Voloshin,rnPutin’s chief of staff; the two young Turksrnha’c apparently decided that BAB hasrnoutiied his usefidness to the Kremlin. Ifrn”oligarch number two” (Gusinskv) couldrnbe toppled, why not “oligarch numberrnone”?rn— Denis PetrovrnOBITER DICTA.- if this issue ofrnChronicles seems thicker than usual (inrnsize, not in content), that’s because, forrnthe first time since September 1991,rnwe’ve added eight pages. Over the nextrnvear, we intend to publish expanded issuesrnonce everv cjuarter. The good newsrnis that we don’t intend to raise the cost ofrnyour subscription; the bad news is thatrnthe printer will have to be paid for the extrarnpages. If, a year from now, enoughrnreaders have been able to find it in theirrnhearts (and wallets) to make up for ourrn$5,000 in additional cost, then we’ll continuernto produce 60-page issues. Pleasernsend vour donations to Chronicles + 8,rn928 N. Main St., Rockford, IL 61103. Asrnalways, your gifts are tax-deductible asrnlong as they are made out to The RockfordrnInstitiite.rnSpeaking of donations, a long-timernsupporter oiChronicles is willing to makerna gift roughly eqiuvalent to the cost ofrnproducing a single issue of the magazine,rnbut he wants the rest of our readers, collectively,rnto match it. If you have donatedrnto Chronicles before, he will matchrnyour gift dollar for dollar. If you have neverrngiven before, he will double our gift.rnPlease help us to take adantage of thisrntremendous opportunity-.rnThe 11th Annual Meeting of the JohnrnRandolph Club is fast approaching; ifrnyou haven’t made our reservations yet,rnplease see the advertisement on the insidernfront cover of this issue.rnOur poet this month is BrendanrnGalvin of Truro, Massachusetts. Mr.rnCalvin is the author of 12 collections ofrnpoetry, including The Strength of arnNamed Thing and Sky and Island Lightrn(Louisiana State University Press). Inrn1998, his translation of Sophocles’ Womenrnof Trachis appeared in the Penn CreekrnDrama Series. Mr. GaKin has beenrnawarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, thernSotheby and Levinson prizes, and thernfirst O.B. Hardison, Jr., Prize from thernFolger Shakespeare Libran’ in Washington,rnD.C.rnChronicles is illustrated this month byrnSt. Petersburg native Anatol Woolf, who,rnin addition to freelance work, has designedrnsets for theaters in Russia and pro-rnided illustrations for St. Petersburg TextbookrnPublishers. Since coming tornAmerica in 1987, Mr. Woolf has been arnfrequent contributing artist to Chronicles,rnas well as to the Washington Post, thernWashington Times, Policy Review, NationalrnGeographic Traveler, legal Times,rnand Cricket. Mr. Woolf works with a varietyrnof materials, from watercolors tornpencil to acrv’lic. Further samples of hisrnwork arc available on his Web page:rnwww.netcom.coml-a.woolfl.rnOCTOBER 2000/9rnrnrn