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The Sarmatian Review Index

January 2004

Volume XXIV, No. 1

EU Constitution and Christian values

Percentage of Poles who would like to see a mention of Christian values in the European Union constitution: 60 percent.

Percentage of those opposed: 27 percent, with 13 percent undecided.

Source: Rzeczpospolita Europoll, as reported by Rzeczpospolita on 20 June 2003.

Polish public relations

Yearly budget of the Polish Tourist Agency whose task is to promote foreign tourism in Poland: $7 million.

Amount of money the Czech Republic and Hungary spend on promoting foreign tourism: $40 million and $86 million, respectively.

Source: Director of the Polish Tourist Agency Andrzej Kozlowski, as reported by Rzeczpospolita, 25 July 2003.

Foreign investment in Poland

Amount of money invested in Poland by foreigners in the first half of 2003: 2.53 billion dollars.

Percentage drop in foreign investment in Poland since a year ago: 20 percent.

Total foreign investment since 1989: 68.3 billion dollars.

The largest investors in Poland so far: France, 12.52 billion dollars; the Netherlands, 8.9 billion dollars; the United States, 8.28 billion dollars.

Source: AFP (Warsaw), 30 September 2003; Donosy, 1 October 2003.

Press freedom in Russia

Ranking of the Russian Federation in the press freedom index: 121st of 139 countries listed, or less free than Tadjikistan (86th place), Kyrgystan (98th place), Azerbaijan (101th place), Kazakhstan (116th place), and Uzbekistan (120th place)

Worst rankings: China (138th place) and North Korea (139th place).

Source: The Paris-based Reporters Without Borders, as reported by Russian Reform Monitor, no. 1076 (12 September 2003).

Russian rearmament?

Month and year in which the Russian Duma approved (in the first reading) a bill that would revive Soviet-style mandatory military training in Russian schools: October 2003.

Month and year in which Russian Defense minister Sergei Ivanov declared that Russia reserves the right to a preemptive military strike against its neighbors: October 2003.

Weapons that will replace the aging Soviet-era nuclear missile fleet: dozens of SS-19 multi-warhead ICBMs desribed by President Putin as having an "unrivaled" capacity to "penetrate any missile defense system."

Source: Jonas Bernstein in Russia Reform Monitor, nos. 1081 and 1085 (2 and 22 October 2003).

Internet in the Russian Federation

Percentage of the Federation's population that uses the Internet: 5 to 6 percent.

Percentage of the population that does not know how to use either computers or the Internet: 67 percent.

Source: VTsIOM opinion poll, as reported by, 20 August 2003.

Religious preferences of American Jews

American Jewish population in 2003: 5.2 million.

Percentage of American Jews not associated with a synagogue: 54 percent.

Breakdown into religious preferences among the remaining 46 percent: Reform, 18 percent; Conservative, 16 percent; Orthodox, 10 percent, Reconstructionist, 1.4 percent; other, 2 percent.

Source: Tara Dooley in Houston Chronicle, 11 September 2003.

Sideshow in Chechnya

Number of people killed by landmines in Chechnya in 2002: 5,695, or the largest in the world and twice the number in 2001.

Source: International Campaign to Ban Landmines, as reported by Russian Reform Monitor, no. 1076 (12 September 2003).

Poland's generosity to Angola

Percentage of Angolan debt to Poland annulled by the Polish government on 19 September 2003: 60 percent, or 173 million dollars.

Estimated number of Angolans in need of food aid in 2003: 2.7 million.

Source: AFP, 19 September 2003.

Russian migration

Number of people who migrated to Russia between 1989 and 2002: 11 million.

Percentage of persons of Russian ethnicity among these immigrants: 98 percent.

Number of people who emigrated from Russia in the same period: 5 million.

The number by which Russian population has decreased in recent years: one million people per year.

Number of people from other countries who applied in 2002 to work in Russia as guest workers: 500,000.

Source: Russian Nationalities Minister Aleksandr Zorin, as reported by AFP (Moscow), 8 October 2003.

Immigration to Poland

Estimated number of illegal emigrants in Poland in 2003: from 200,000 to 500,000 persons.

Ethnic groups most frequently represented: Armenians, Vietnamese, Russians, Ukrainians, and Chechens.

Number of Vietnamese working in Poland as small traders: 20,000.

Amnesty conditions offered to illegal immigrants in 2003: first, a one-year permit to work; second, a renewable two-year residence card; after 10 years a possibility of requesting Polish citizenship.

Source: Maja Czarnecka of AFP, 8 October 2003.

Russian-Polish visa agreements

Chief principle of protocols signed between Russia and Poland in 2003 concerning visa agreements between Poland as member of the EU and Russia as nonmember: strict reciprocity in procedures, prices, and demands.

Execution by the Russian side of these agreements: disregarding them, Russia demands HIV certificates from truck drivers, and written invitations from Russia or confirmed hotel reservations.

Source: Michal Pawlak in Donosy, no. 3587 (8 October 2003).

Polish economy as reflected in opinion polls

Percentage of Poles who described their economic situation as "good" in an October 2003 OBOP poll: 23 percent.

Percentage of Poles who described their economic situation as "average" and "bad," respectively: 48 percent and 29 percent.

A similar OBOP poll conducted in 1992 yielded the following: 11 percent, 45 percent, 44 percent.

Source: Michal Jankowski in Donosy, 9 October 2003.

Russian economy as reflected in opinion polls

Percentage of inhabitants of the Russian Federation who described their economic situation as "good' or "very good" in September 2003 WCIOM poll of 2,400 representative persons: 6 percent.

Percentage of inhabitants of the Russian Federation who described their economic situation as "average" and "bad," respectively: 55 percent and 36 percent.

Source: Marcin Wojciechowski (Moscow), as reported by Gazeta Wyborcza, 10 October 2003.

Corruption in Russia and the former Soviet republics

Rating of Russia in the October 2003 assessment of Transparency International ( 83rd out of 133, a tie with Mozambique.

Ratings of Estonia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and Georgia, respectively: 33rd place for Estonia (the highest in the former USSR); Ukraine, 106; 124 for the remaining countries (a tie with Cameroon and Angola).

Source: Jonas Bernstein of Russia Reform Monitor, no. 1083(8 October 2003).

Ukrainian-Russian economic relations

Percentage of Ukrainians opposed to Ukraine's proposed joining of an economic alliance between Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan: 44.3 percent.

Percentage of those in favor: 31.3 percent.

Source: Sociological Institute of Kyiv poll, as reported by AFP (Kyiv), 16 October 2003.

White slave trade in the Czech Republic

Number of erotic clubs in the Czech Republic subjected to a recent police raid: 435.

Estimated number of women who work as prostitutes in the Czech Republic: between 10,000 and 25,000.

Number of German sex tourists (half of them pedophiles) who travel to the Czech Republic yearly: 100,000.

Source: AFP (Prague), 11, 20, and 28 October 2003.

Roma (Gypsy) children in the Czech Republic

Percentage of Roma children in the Czech Republic that are sent to special (and inferior) schools for "problem children": 75 percent.

Countries that practice similar discrimination of Roma children: Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary.

Source: Katarina Rysova of AFP (Kosice, Slovakia), 22 November 2003.

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Last updated 1/28/04