- Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
- © RFE/RL, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
In a 13 March article entitled "Everyone steals!" "Nezavisimaya gazeta" cited extracts from a confidential report compiled by acting Chechen Prosecutor Vladimir Kravchenko that listed the most egregious cases of embezzlement of funds earmarked for reconstruction of Chechnya's war-shattered infrastructure. Kravchenko calculated the total amount lost or stolen in 2002 at over 128 million rubles ($4.08 million). He also estimated that 700,000 tons of oil is stolen annually. That is equal to almost half of the 1.5 million-ton output in 2002 of the state-controlled oil concern Grozneft. Over 20 billion rubles has been allocated for reconstruction in Chechnya in 2003. On 12 March, State Construction Committee Chairman and former Chechen Premier Nikolai Koshman declared that "there are so many controlling organizations that not a single ruble [allocated for reconstruction in Chechnya] will be misused," according to ITAR-TASS. But Kravchenko's findings indicated that the amount stolen or embezzled in Chechnya increases every year. LF