|Российская наука и мир|
(по материалам зарубежной электронной прессы)
Science / Volume 283, Number 5398, 1 Jan 1999, p.31.
Russia's Science Spending Diving Toward New Low
Правительство направило в парламент проект бюджета 1999 года. На науку в нем предусматривается снижение расходов на 70%, с учетом инфляции и конвертации в доллары.
Russian scientists received more gloomy news last month: The government has sent to parliament a 1999 budget that is unlikely to keep pace with inflation and which amounts to a 70% cut when converted to dollars.
Discussions about how to rescue Russian science dominated a workshop in Moscow on 15-16 December sponsored by the Russian Ministry of Science and the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). But the meeting produced no tangible strategy for reforming a beleaguered scientific community.
Russia's R&D budget has spiraled downward in the last decade, from $10 billion in 1990 to $1.83 billion in 1998. As a result, federal spending per researcher dropped from $9000 in 1997 to $5000 in 1998 - less than 4% of expenditures typical in the West, says Levan Mindeli, director of the Center of Science Research and Statistics in Moscow.
The Yeltsin Administration's budget submitted to the lower house of parliament, or Duma, last week would give science 11 billion rubles next year, at the present exchange rate about $520 million. Such numbers will make it harder than ever for new Science Minister Mikhail Kirpichnikov to protect basic research (Science, 11 December 1998, p. 1979).
At the meeting, Russian officials said the best hope for salvation is the development of high-tech industries. "This is the only way to pull Russia out of the crisis," says Deputy Science Minister Gennady Tereshchenko, who argues that the ministry could lay the groundwork for such an industry. OECD's Michael Oborne, however, says he doubts that an industry could be born from "administrative measures."
The OECD has estimated that getting such a sector on its feet would require a cash infusion of approximately $1 trillion. Bake sales and IMF loans are unlikely to do the trick.
© 1998 by The American Association for the Advancement of Science.
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BBC News Online / Tuesday, January 5, 1999
Making fuel from warheads
- By Alex Kirby, Environment Correspondent
Российские ученые говорят, что они впервые смогли превратить оружейный плутоний в топливо для реакторов. При этом используется технология, открытая много лет назад, но прежде не применявшаяся. С использованием новой технологии обработано 8 кг плутония. С января получаемая энергия идет на обогрев здания института и соседних жилых кварталов. Говорят, что этого топлива хватит до апреля.
Russian scientists say they have turned plutonium from nuclear weapons into reactor fuel for the first time, using technology invented years ago but never used before now.
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The claim by the scientists, at the Institute of Nuclear Reactors in the city of Dimitrovgrad, Ulyanovsk, is reported by the news agency Itar-Tass. It says the scientists have already processed 8kg of plutonium using the new technology to heat the institute building and adjacent residential areas since the beginning of January. "The fuel they obtained will be enough for heating them until April," it adds.
Third millennium technology
The Russians are calling their new discovery the technology of the third millennium", because it is a "dry" technology which allows weapons-grade plutonium to be turned into reactor fuel with the use of very little liquid. This means a drastic reduction in the amount of waste to be disposed of, which in turn means the process will be much cheaper than the existing "wet" technology. The director of the Institute, Alexei Grachyov, told Itar-Tass: "Humanity has accumulated thousands of tonnes of weapons plutonium, but we were the first to use it for peaceful purposes."
He said scientists from the US, Japan and other countries had shown an interest in the new technology and were offering help with continuing the Institute's research. A British nuclear expert who visited the Institute last year told BBC News Online the Russian technology has nothing to compare with it in the West. "It is cheap, safe, and can operate on a small scale - so you have no problems with transporting the material, or with transporting waste afterwards. And it works as well with warheads as with spent reactor fuel." Although this is the first reported use of the technology, its introduction was forecast last year by Russia's first deputy atomic energy minister, Valentin Ivanov. He told a meeting in London of the Uranium Institute that his country was considering making use of the dry technology.
The new process is a pyrochemical technology which involves heating the material to extremely high temperatures. The plutonium oxide produced in this way is mixed with uranium oxide and can either be packed directly into fuel assemblies, or made into pellets. If the technology works successfully on a large scale it could help significantly with one of the most intractable legacies of the nuclear age - the deadly mountain of plutonium which, at the moment, has to undergo a complex and expensive process to turn it back into useful fuel. The Russians, it appears, may have beaten the rest of the world to a handy way of turning swords into ploughshares.
Nature / Vol.397, 14 January 1999, p.96
Russian physicists may pay price of success
Научные работники Института ядерной физики СО РАН предупреждают, что новое налоговое законодательство, которое обсуждается в российском парламенте, "скорее убьет российскую науку, чем поддержит ее". Институт - редкий пример успешного выживания научной организации в нынешней экономической ситуации. Даже сейчас он может позволить себе закупать новое оборудование, регулярно платить зарплату сотрудникам и продолжать фундаментальные исследования в области физики высоких энергий, управляемого термоядерного синтеза и др.
MOSCOW - Two researchers in the Russian Academy of Sciences have warned that a new tax code being discussed in the Russian parliament "could kill Russian science rather than support it".
The warning has come from Eduard Kruglyakov and Veniamin Sidorov, who work at the Novosibirsk Nuclear Physics Institute (NNPI) of the Academy's Siberian branch. The institute is a rare example of a successful and self-financing Russian scientific organization, having lost only 15 per cent of its staff during the hard times of perestroika. Unlike many research institutes, NNPI can still afford equipment and pays salaries regularly, allowing it to continue research in fundamental areas of high-energy physics, the physics of accelerators, plasma and controlled thermonuclear synthesis.
The institute stays in operation primarily through the production and sale of high-technology equipment, such as particle accelerators, low-dose X-ray machines, and instruments for studying high temperature plasma. The money collected in this way has made up for the lack of government support. But the new tax code will treat these revenues as profit, and subject to taxation. "It is hardly possible to equate profit which is spent on buying villas at prestigious resorts, increasing personal bank accounts, or even paying dividends to shareholders, with that which is entirely used for supporting fundamental research," say Kruglyakov and Sidorov.
Writing in the local newspaper of Novosibirsk academic town, which depends entirely on research institutes, they argue that "when the state is unable to finance its science, it has no moral right to tax a scientific organization's profit as if it was just a commercial enterprise".
Nature © Macmillan Publishers Ltd.
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Russia Today / Mon., Jan. 11, 1999
Russia to Push Forward with Iran Nuclear Reactor
Россия будет продолжать сотрудничество с Ираном в области строительства ядерного реактора, несмотря на то, что Соединенные Штаты и Израиль рассматривают это, как угрозу безопасности на Среднем Востоке.
MOSCOW, Jan. 11, 1999 (Reuters) - Russia said on Saturday it would push forward with the construction of an atomic reactor in Iran, a project which has been criticized by the United States and Israel for threatening security in the Middle East.
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The United States and Israel fear the planned 1,000 megawatt light-water reactor at Bushehr on the Gulf coast will help Iran develop nuclear weapons. But Russia and Iran have repeatedly denied the charges. Atomic Energy Minister Yevgeny Adamov was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying that the reactor's first unit was between 30 percent and 40 percent complete at a cost of around $100 million. He said more specialists would be sent to Iran this year to help around 1,000 Russian workers already there to push the project forward. Russia has previously said it hoped to complete construction of the first unit in May 2003.
Washington said last month it was convinced that Iran was using the Bushehr reactor project as a cover for acquiring sensitive Russian nuclear technology. German firms began work on the Bushehr project in 1974. Work was later halted and the plant was damaged in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. Adamov said Russia and Iran signed an estimated $800 million contract to build the plant in January 1995.
Reuters / Tuesday January 12, 1999
U.S. penalizes Russian institutes for Iran trade
США наказывают еще 3 российских института за помощь Ирану в осуществлении программы создания оружия массового поражения. В результате санкций Российский научно-исследовательский и конструкторский институт энерготехники потеряет миллионы долларов, которые американское правительство вкладывало в программу обеспечения надежности ядерных реакторов и другие проекты.
WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 (Reuters) - The United States on Tuesday announced a new round of sanctions on Russian scientific institutes for helping Iran's missile and nuclear programs.
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The punitive action came after a six-month period during which Moscow's recent cooperative efforts to address American concerns in this area had come to a halt, officials said.
"The United States is imposing economic penalties against three additional Russian entities ... for providing sensitive missile or nuclear assistance to Iran," National Security Adviser Sandy Berger said.
An administration official said the new penalties were prompted by concerns over "Iran's aggressive pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems."
Berger, speaking to a conference sponsored by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, named the three Russian entities as: NIKIET (The Scientific Research and Design Institute of Power Technology), the D.Mendeleyev University of Chemical Technology and the Moscow Aviation Institute. They are in addition to seven other Russian entities penalized by President Clinton last July, just days after Iran test-fired a missile with a range of 800 miles (1,300 km) capable of striking Israel and other U.S. allies.
U.S. officials say Russian help has been extremely important in speeding Iran's ability to develop such weapons. White House officials said that under existing authority, Clinton was banning exports to and imports from the three new institutes sanctioned on Tuesday as well as U.S. government procurement from and assistance to them. The biggest impact is expected to be felt by NIKIET, a major nuclear reactor design institute, which will lose millions of dollars in U.S. government assistance for nuclear safety and other programs, one U.S. official said. NIKIET has cooperated with Tehran in highly sensitive areas, like heavy water production, which Iran could make direct use of in its nuclear weapons program, he said. Berger said the administration was determined to enforce international standards against the spread of lethal weapons and to protect national security.
Special U.S. envoy Robert Gallucci, who works with Moscow on the Iran issue, said Russia between August 1997 and August 1998 showed steady progress toward meeting U.S. concerns, including launching an investigation of nine enterprises suspected of doing missile or nuclear business with Iran. But, he told the conference, "In the last six months this progress has come to a halt." He specifically noted that there has been no prosecution of any of the nine enterprises. Washington has been intensifying pressure on Russia to halt missile and nuclear cooperation with Iran and last month warned of imminent new penalties that could hit other areas.
"The U.S. government will not be able to approve expansion of the highly lucrative space launch market with Russia until Russian entities cease cooperation with Iran's ballistic missile program," State Department spokesman James Rubin said on December 16.
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright pressed the issue strongly when she met Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov in Brussels last month, as did Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott when he held high-level meetings in Moscow. Interfax news agency reported then that Russian officials told Talbott they would tighten controls on missile technology exports to Iran if Washington gave proof of illicit transfers. In such a case, Russia would agree to joint U.S.-Russian monitoring groups at the factories involved, First Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Maslyukov was quoted as saying.
Gallucci refused Tuesday to publicly cite specific evidence against the three Russian institutes being newly sanctioned. But he said the United States has "shared what (intelligence) we can" with the Russian government. Although refusing to halt all nuclear cooperation with Iran, Russia has told Washington it would limit its assistance to Bushehr, a $800 million civilian nuclear power plant Moscow is building for Tehran on the Gulf coast.
Despite the assurance, U.S. officials say there is Russian cooperation with Iran that extends to other projects. U.S. officials were careful to stress the latest steps were not directed at the Russian government itself. Berger said ultimately "the most effective shield against proliferation from Russia is not U.S. penalties but a Russian export control system that is designed to work and does. Only Russia can police its own borders, factories and technology industries.
"But in the face of Russia's tattered economy", he said "the United States was considering boosting existing programs to tighten Russian export controls further and employ Russian scientists so they do not sell out to rogue states like Iran."
Albright will raise the Iran issue when she visits Moscow on Jan. 25-27 and Vice President Al Gore is to discuss it with Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov at a meeting in March. Iran has faced a Western arms embargo since the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, in addition to U.S. sanctions.
The Washington Post / Jan. 12, 1999
U.S. puts economic penalties on Russian university
- By THOMAS W.LIPPMANN, The Washington Post
Экономические санкции США против российских институтов.
WASHINGTON - The Clinton administration imposed economic penalties on a Russian university and two research institutes on Tuesday after determining that they had aided Iran's efforts to develop ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons.
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The sanctions bring to 12 the number of Russian corporations and institutions penalized by Washington for selling materials and technology to Iran in the year since Russia adopted export controls aimed at curbing such commerce.
Senior administration officials said that while those controls have had some impact and have blocked some sales to Iran, Russia's economic crisis appears to have increased the temptation for Russian institutions to circumvent the rules and seek cash through exports of prohibited items. The export issue has been a continuous irritant to U.S.-Russia relations, even when those relations were on a much friendlier plane than they are now, in the wake of Russia's economic collapse last summer and friction over U.S. air strikes against Iraq.
Proliferation will "certainly be on the agenda" when Secretary of State Madeleine Albright travels to Moscow later this month, a White House official said. White House national security adviser Sandy Berger announced the penalties in a speech on Tuesday morning at a conference on weapons proliferation sponsored by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
"Let me be very clear," Berger said. "The administration has authority to act against entities that violate international nonproliferation standards, and we will use that authority to protect our security. In the end, though, the most effective shield against proliferation from Russia is not U.S. penalties but a Russian export control system that is designed to work, and does. Only Russia can police its own borders, factories and technology industries."
The institutions targeted on Tuesday were the D. Mendeleyev University of Chemical Technology, the Scientific Research and Design Institute of Power Technology, and the Moscow Aviation Institute. All are barred from purchasing U.S.-made goods, exporting products to the United States or selling to the U.S. government, and all aid to them will be cut off. David Leavy, spokesman for the National Security Council, said the sanctions will remain in place "until we determine it is in the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States to lift them, or until their activities have ceased." In punishing the Power Technology institute, the administration appeared to be sending a strong message to Yevgeny Adamov, its former director, now Russia's Atomic Energy minister.
The institute has announced plans to build a small nuclear reactor in Iran that was billed as a research facility but is capable of producing fissile materials that could be used in nuclear weapons.
The Chicago Tribune / January 16, 1999
AIDE: Allegations on Arms Unproven
Соединенные Штаты не представили достаточных доказательств, что некоторые российские научные институты помогали Ирану в создании оружия массового поражения.
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - The United States has not provided enough evidence to prove allegations that several Russian scientific institutes helped Iran build weapons of mass destruction, a senior Russian official said Friday.
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Washington sanctioned three Russian institutes this week, accusing them of leaking weapons technology to Iran.
Nikolai Bordyuzha, President Boris Yeltsin's chief of staff, said U.S. officials had not substantiated their claims. "We have proposed a concrete, constructive dialogue ... but they are not presenting any documents and are effectively refusing to take part in such an investigation," Bordyuzha said, according to the Interfax news agency.
The U.S. says it has provided detailed information to the Russians, though it does not intend to reveal its sources because it would put them at risk.
Associated Press / January 13, 1999
Russia criticizes new U.S. sanctions
- By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV, AP Writer
Премьер-министр Евгений Примаков резко критикует Соединенные Штаты за применение экономических санкций против трех российских научных институтов, обвиняемых в помощи Ирану по осуществлению ядерной программы.
MOSCOW, (AP) - Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov sharply criticized the United States today for imposing sanctions against three Russian institutions accused of helping the Iranian weapons program.
"Using force and exerting sanctions against our organizations is counterproductive for Russian-American relations, which we consider very important," Primakov told reporters. The Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that the sanctions "can only complicate Russian-American relations."
"Any attempts to speak to us in the language of sanctions and pressure are absolutely unacceptable," the ministry said. "We intend to raise this issue ... during Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's upcoming visit to Moscow," set for Jan. 25-27.
Gennady Zyuganov, whose Communist Party dominates the Russian parliament's lower house, called the U.S. action an "interference into domestic affairs of a sovereign state."
"The United States imagines itself a policeman who has the right to dictate its will not only to nations, but to single universities, scientific laboratories and labor collectives," he said.
U.S. National Security adviser Sandy Berger announced the economic sanctions in Washington on Tuesday, banning U.S. exports to the institutions and ruling out any U.S. government assistance or procurement contracts with them. The three institutions affected are the Moscow Aviation Institute, the Mendeleyev Chemical Technical University and the Scientific Research and Design Institute of Power and Technology. The United States accused the institutions of failing to prevent leaks of nuclear and missile technologies to Iran, although it did not specify the charges.
Lev Ryabev, Russia's first deputy minister of nuclear power, said the U.S. officials provided no evidence of any Russian cooperation with Iran that breached international non-proliferation agreements.
Last week, President Boris Yeltsin tightened government controls over the export of Russian technology that may be used to develop missiles. Yeltsin amended and broadened the list of items that will be banned for export in order to prevent the proliferation of missile technologies, the presidential press service said. It did not name the items. Ryabev denied accusations against the latter institution, which his ministry oversees.
Pavel Sarkisov, the head of the Mendeleyev Chemical Technical University, also dismissed the allegations. He said he and the head of the Moscow Aviation Institute had appealed to U.S. officials to come and see that they had no forbidden contacts with Iranians. A spokesman for the Iranian Embassy in Moscow, speaking on condition of anonymity, said today that his country had no contact with the named institutions with the exception of students studying at Mendeleyev.
© Copyright 1996 Associated Press.
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Nature / Vol.397, 21 January 1999, p.189.
Fossil dealer charged over Russian cache
5 января перед российским судом в Санкт-Петербурге предстанет немецкий коммерсант. Он пытался провезти через границу с Финляндией около 1000 кг крупных метеоритов, минералов и костей ископаемых животных, имеющих научную ценность.
MUNICH - Russian prosecutors are hoping that the arrest of a German fossil dealer prevented from taking fossils and meteorites out of Russia may help them to track down a group they suspect of being involved in the theft of fossils from Russian museums.
Joachim Wördemann was stopped on 21 December trying to drive an estimated 1,000 kg of large meteorites, minerals and fossil material over the border into Finland. He appeared in a St Petersburg court on 5 January charged with irregularities in export documentation and failure to provide export licences for around ten per cent of the items.
Although most of the items had export licences issued by the Ministry of Culture, these licences are being investigated by police. Many were countersigned by directors of the Institute for Palaeontology in Moscow, part of the Russian Academy of Sciences, which officially advises the ministry on the scientific value of fossils intended for export. Fossils identified as scientifically important are not eligible for export.
The directors of the institute have been strongly criticized by Russian palaeontologists for operating an opaque system of administration that scientists in the institute claim often conflicts with its scientific interests (see Nature 384, 499; 1996).
Moreover, the directors have been caught up in a scandal over the theft of many important fossil specimens from the institute's museum, which is now the subject of a criminal investigation (Nature 391, 724; 1998).
In 1994, Wördemann himself was stopped from selling a fossil originating from the institute - a Thoosuchus jacovlevi skull worth US$950 - but he denied being involved in the theft and police lacked sufficient evidence to bring a prosecution (see Nature 371, 729; 1994). Following his recent arrest, German police are once more investigating his past activities.
At the request of the Russian ministry of the interior, the police are gathering information from collectors and museums about any contacts they may have had with Wördemann. Wördemann's Russian fossils have, until last year, been for sale - cash only - at fairs and privately in Germany since 1989, says Rupert Wild, head of the palaeontological department of the State Museum for Natural History in Stuttgart.
Wördemann visits Russia twice a year and is a regular visitor to the palaeontology institute. After his arrest in St Petersburg, he was sent to Moscow where he spent several days answering questions from police; this was believed to be in connection with the investigation into the situation at the institute.
Meanwhile, customs officials called in a scientist from the Zoological Institute in St Petersburg to check whether Wördemann's collection included a mammoth tusk that had recently gone missing from the institute; it did not. Other institute scientists expect to be asked for advice on the scientific value of fossils in the load during the next few weeks.
Items likely to be considered scientifically important include complete baby mammoth skulls from the Southern Urals which show developing teeth, and many cave bear skeletons and skulls. The load also includes mammoth tusks, ammonites and trilobites of unknown scientific value. The total market value in the West could be millions of dollars.
Scientists at the palaeontology institute have long suspected that the fossils disappearing regularly from their museum were being smuggled out of the country by a criminal network whose members, they deduced, appeared to include both institute members and customs officials. Four years ago they pinpointed the customs office through which they were probably being funnelled; this was the same office at which Wördemann was arrested.
Afraid to talk in case they lost their jobs, and failing to win support from the Academy of Sciences, the scientists eventually managed to interest politicians, who initiated an investigation by public prosecutors.
In a television broadcast, the national public prosecutor said the Russian authorities were cracking down on organized crime rings, which, he said, were stripping Russia of her national heritage. He said Wördemann's arrest was the first time police had stopped an apparent smuggler at a border.
Nature © Macmillan Publishers Ltd.
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Reuters / Wednesday, January 6, 1999
Russian Computer Pirates Flourish In Crisis
Российское компьютерное пиратство расцветает в условиях кризиса.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - They are skilled, intelligent and sit in front of computer screens for hours or even days on end. But security systems firms say Russia's economic crisis could turn these unassuming information technology experts into a threat to any firm in the world that uses a computer system. Growing layoffs and low salaries mean they could soon follow the path taken by many before them into Russia's flourishing world of hacking, software theft and piracy.
"Some time ago we lived through times when programmers were receiving large amounts of money for their work," said Mikhail Salnikov, chief editor of Compulog magazine. "It's hard these days to find honest work which pays money. Think of poor people in (the city of) Tula, students who have no prospects, then you can understand why (they turn to computer crimes)."
Aladdin Software Security, the Russian branch of Aladdin Knowledge Systems Ltd (Nasdaq: ALDNF - news), said in a promotional brochure that the problem seemed likely to grow.
"By the end of this year only 50 percent of Russian software companies will survive. What will the qualified personnel who have been thrown onto the streets do?" it asked. "It's clear that they are not going to start trading Pampers." Aladdin said most will turn to software theft and piracy. A growing number of hackers have already found a lucrative market for their wares in Russia as licensed software sales have been hit by the economic crisis, which has led to a ruble devaluation, job losses and inflation.
PIRATES CAN MAKE MONEY
People simply cannot afford to buy licensed software, in the opinion of experts at a recent Moscow meeting on hacking and piracy.
"They have put hacking on an industrial track," Aladdin Software Security director Sergei Gruzdev said, adding that huge amounts of money could be made from software piracy. Counterfeiters sell bogus software on the street and some personal computer sellers pre-install unauthorized software on the hard drive, while buyers assume they got the real thing.
Gruzdev said the number of Russian Web sites on the Internet offering pirate software and hacking tools had risen this year. Only three such sites existed last year but in the last six months Aladdin has helped Internet providers find and close 15 sites run by pirates and code crackers, he said. Some 89 percent of all software used in Russia is pirated. But experts say a greater fear gripping the computer world is that Russia's computer specialists could turn to more sinister crimes to reap more profitable rewards.
Gruzdev grouped hackers into three categories: crackers who want to see if they can get into programs, hooligans who leave viruses on programs and the most dangerous, those who want to find and use confidential information and maybe commit fraud.
Vladimir Levin, a computer expert from Russia's second city of St. Petersburg, used his skills for ill-gotten gains. He was caught stealing from Citibank in a fraud scheme and said he used bank customer passwords and codes to transfer funds from their accounts to accounts he controlled in Finland, the Netherlands, Germany, Israel and the United States. Total transfers exceeded $3.7 million but Levin and his co-conspirators were able to withdraw only $240,015 before they were caught. He was sentenced to 36 months in prison and ordered to pay back the $240,015 he admitted stealing.
NOT AN ISOLATED INCIDENT
His case is not an isolated incident. A Moscow court recently handed hacker Pavel Sheyko one of the longest sentences given to a cyber highway fraudster after finding him guilty of bank swindling "on a particularly large scale." He got a five-year suspended sentence, but most computer experts agree that computer crimes should be punished more severely.
"The court did the right thing, hackers have to know that their gift cannot be used in the criminal world," Salnikov said, adding that Sheyko had been treated lightly. Some computer experts say, however, that hackers are not all bad and that they are more akin to artists than criminals.
"There's been a huge furor in connection with hackers penetrating bank systems, defense systems and the computer systems of big corporations," Salnikov said. "But in my opinion you cannot think all locksmiths are criminals because it is so easy for them to open a safe."
Andrei Sebrant, marketing director of Russia Internet service provider Glasnet, said most hackers crack into company files and programs to increase their computer knowledge. "Hackers are like guys on Harley Davidsons cruising down free street," he said. But in these crisis-ridden days the temptation is to profit from their knowledge has become greater.
"The threat is bigger than the positive side of hacking," Gruzdev warned. "A kind hacker, like the ones you have been talking about, can soon turn bad."
Copyright © 1999 Reuters Limited.
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Science / Vol.283, N 5399, 8 Jan. 1999, pp.158-164
Nuclear Strongholds in Peril
Из-за спада в экономике России все больше ученых и специалистов некогда привилегированных "ядерных городков" принимают заманчивые предложения о работе, поступающие из разных стран (Индии, Пакистана, Ирана и др.). По словам российского министра ядерной энергетики, в ближайшее время 50 000 специалистов из 130 000 могут найти работу за границей.
SAROV AND SNEZHINSK, RUSSIA - As Russia's economy deteriorates, the danger grows that the country's once-privileged "nuclear cities" will hemorrhage the talent and materials that rogue nations crave for making nuclear bombs. Reassuringly, nuclear physicists appear to be resisting overtures from countries such as India, Pakistan, and Iran, according to several dozen scientists and government officials interviewed by Science during a recent visit behind the barbed wire fences that still surround Russia's 10 nuclear cities. But lucrative job offers from abroad could become more and more tempting: Russia's Ministry of Atomic Energy now says that as many as 50,000 of the 130,000 weapons specialists in its nuclear cities may have to find new work in the next several years, a figure which some say could be an underestimate.
© 1998 by The American Association for the Advancement of Science.
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Science / Vol.283, N 5399, 8 Jan. 1999, p.160
U.S. and Russia Join Forces in High-Stakes Job Hunt
США и Россия объединяют усилия в создании рабочих мест в исследовательских центрах по разработке ядерного оружия.
As jobs dwindle in the wake of Russia's sharp economic downturn since last August, nuclear weapons experts in Russia's once-secret nuclear cities might be lured away by would-be nuclear powers. So this year, the U.S.-Russian Nuclear Cities Initiative is spending $15 million on a new program to persuade U.S. companies and others to invest in new ventures in Russia's nuclear weapons centers in order to stimulate job creation. The program complements the Department of Energy's Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention, which will also spend $15 million in the nuclear cities this year.
© 1998 by The American Association for the Advancement of Science.
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Science / Vol.283, N 5399, 8 Jan. 1999, p.164
Retracing Mayak's Radioactive Cloud
В настоящее время компьютерное моделирование погодных условий, воздушных потоков и ряда других факторов используется для оценки распространения радиоактивных облаков, образующихся при ядерных взрывах.
On 29 September 1957, a gigantic explosion ripped through the radioactive waste storage building at the Mayak Production Association, the report reverberating for some 10 kilometers. A new analysis of the accident is now being used to devise computer programs for modeling the fate of radionuclides released into the atmosphere. The simulations, which model how weather conditions, air currents, and other factors might disperse radioactive particles, are meant to help forecast the consequences of another explosion at any of the several nuclear sites in the Chelyabinsk region.
© 1998 by The American Association for the Advancement of Science.
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Reuters / Wednesday, January 27, 1999
Way Clear For Russian Launch Of U.S. Satellites
Россия, Казахстан и США подписали соглашение, согласно которому на российских ракетах будет запущено 7 американских спутников из 16 по существующей квоте. Тем не менее, США продолжают утверждать, что квота не будет увеличена, если Россия продолжит помощь Ирану. Если проблему устранить не удастся, Россия и Казахстан могут потерять миллионы долларов.
MOSCOW - Russia, Kazakhstan and the United States Tuesday cleared the way for launching more U.S. satellites on Russian rockets from a Kazakh site.
Under a satellite technology safeguards agreement signed in Moscow, Defense Department personnel will accompany the commercial communications satellites to the launch site to protect the sensitive U.S. technology they contain. The agreement will enable Russia to launch the seven geostationary or high-orbit satellites remaining from an existing quota of 16 launches, U.S. officials said. But the United States continues to say it will not add to the quota unless Russia meets its concerns about missile technology being passed to Iran.
Earlier this month the United States imposed sanctions against three Russian institutes for allegedly helping Iran develop missile and nuclear capabilities. Washington also threatened to limit launches of U.S. satellites on Russian rockets unless Moscow halted the alleged cooperation. The sanctions angered Russia, which said Washington had erroneous information.
The quota of satellite launches will probably run out later this year and Russia and Kazakhstan could lose millions of dollars in fees if the Iran problem remains. Launches under the quota have been suspended since September while a new deal was negotiated to replace the previous system of separate agreements for each launch.
A U.S. official said the new agreement provides better safeguards on sensitive technology. The U.S. insisted on it after learning that satellite companies were circumventing the safeguards for similar launches on Chinese rockets. The deal was signed by representatives of the three countries in the presence of Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who is visiting Moscow, and Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov.
The United States uses foreign rockets because it does not produce enough of its own to meet the demand for satellite launches and because Russia and China can launch them more cheaply. The agreement does not remove the need for licensing by the State Department, which under new regulations issued this month will check each launch to ensure it does not conflict with national security interests.
Ivanov said at a news conference that in the area of cooperation on non-proliferation "pressure is definitely the wrong way." But a U.S. official said there were signs the Russians were becoming more responsive to Washington's concerns.
"We would hope that the Russian authorities...will understand that the potential loss of hundreds of millions of dollars is enough of a motivation to crack down," she said.
For the moment the Russian institutes seem to think they gain more by doing business with Iran, she added.
The new agreement specifies the arrangements for protecting U.S. technology when a satellite launch fails and the rocket crashes. In one Chinese case, the U.S. government suspects authorities held back some of the equipment recovered from the wreck of a rocket which exploded.
Copyright © 1999 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
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