Sarmatian Review Index



Size of the three new NATO entrants: Poland 122,000 sq miles, Hungary 36,000 sq miles, Czech Republic 31,000 sq miles.

Population: Poland 39 million, Hungary 10.5 million, Czech Republic 10.3 million.

Defense: Poland: currently 220,000 members, to be cut to 180,000 by 2003; Czech Republic: 85,000; Hungary: 53,150.

GDP per capita 1997: Poland $3,512; Hungary $4,46; Czech Republic $5,050, according to EBRD.

Source: Agence France-Presse (Vienna), 8 March 1999.


Life expectancy in Chukotka, a region of the 'Russian' [Rossiyskaya] Federation bordering on Alaska and inhabited by the Chukchi, Evens, Eskimos and other native peoples, in addition to the Russian colonists: 34 years.

Source: Michael Waller, Russia Reform Monitor, No. 566 (16 December 1998).

Number of registered drug addicts in Moscow in 1999: 20,000.

Estimated number of drug addicts in Moscow: 50 times greater, or 1,000,000.

Source: City Health Committee vice-chairman Nikolay Plavunov at a conference on 28 January 1999, as reported by AFP, 29 January 1999.


Percentage decrease in Ukraine's population in 1998: -0.4 percent, a decrease of 205,000 persons.

Ukraine's population in 1998: 50.09 million.

Source: State Statistics Committee, as reported by RFE/RL, 30 December 1998.

Percentage decrease in the population of the 'Russian' Federation: between January-October 1998: -0.2 percent, a decrease of 311,000 persons.

Source: AFP, 29 December 1998.

Percentage of immigrants in the US population in 1997 and in 1910: 9.8 percent and 14.7 percent, respectively.

US immigrant population in 1997 in millions: 26.3 million.

Source: Gabriel Escobar, Houston Chronicle, 9 January 1999.

Size of the Jewish community in Ukraine in 1998: 500,000.

Names of two of the most important organizations (out of an estimated 300): the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress and the recently-formed Jewish Confederation of Ukraine.

Stated reasons for the formation of the new organization: inactivity of the former.

Source: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Newsline, 24 February 1999.

Size of the Jewish community in Russia in 1998: 600,000.

Source: Paul Goble in Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty, 26 February 1999.

Estimated percentage of East Germans who have not yet come to terms with German unification: 33 percent.

Source: The Economist, 6-12 February 1999.

Number of Chinese living in Moscow in 1998: 100,000.

Source: Gazeta, 3 March 1999 (


Number of PhDs awarded annually in the United States: 40,000.

Source: The New York Times, 11 November 1998.


Number of registered foreign trade organizations in Poland during the Communist era: 70.

Number of registered foreign trade organizations in Poland in 1998: tens of thousands.

Source: "World's busiest shopping street? Think Warsaw," The Christian Science Monitor, 24 December 1998.

Percentage of stocks on the Warsaw Stock Exchange held by Poles in 1998 : more than 60 percent .

Percentage of stocks on the Moscow Stock Exchange held by Russians before the August 1998 meltdown: five percent.*

Source: Peter Finn in The Washington Post, 20 November 1998.

*Note: August 1998 financial crisis in Russia wiped out some 95 percent of the stocks' value.

Russian GDP in 1998: $110 billion.*

Source: AFP, 4 February 1999. *Note: the dollar figure reflects a dramatic fall of the ruble since August 1998.

Inflation in Russia in 1998: 84.5 percent.

Source: AFP, 31 December 1998.

Number of people employed by the government in Russia in 1999: 40 million (out of 67 million total employed).

Source: Mortimer Zuckerman in U.S. News and World Report, 8 February 1999.

Number of Russia's regions (out of 89) that do not have outstanding debts to state workers: the cities of Moscow and Saint-Petersburg, Krasnoyarsk Krai, and the Yamalo-Nenetsk and Taimirskii Autonomous Okrugs.

Amount of money allotted to regions from the federal budget during 1998 for the payment of wages and reduction of debts: $1.3 billion, or 30.4 billion rubles at the February 1999 exchange rate.

Amount of money received by the regions in loans from the center during the same period: 2.5 billion rubles.

Source: State Duma press release, as reported by the RFE/RL, 24 February 1999.

Russia's budget in 1999 (signed into law by President Yeltsin in February 1999): $25 billion.

Source: AFP, 22 February 1999.

Percentage of Russian finances which the city of Moscow controls: 80 percent.

Percentage of the GDP which it controls: 13 percent.

Source: Judith Matloff, The Christian Science Monitor, 4 January 1999.

Percentage decline in the Russian production of gold in 1998 (as compared to 1997): variously reported by Russian sources as ten percent or two percent.

Percentage decline in the production of gold in the Republic of Sakha, Chukotka Autonomous Oblast, Chita Oblast, and Amur Oblast, respectively: 66 percent, 50 percent, 50 percent, 33 percent.

Amount of gold produced by Russia in 1998: 103.7 tons.

Source: Interfax and ITAR-TASS, as reported by RFE/RL, 25 February 1999.


Percentage decline in Russian foreign trade in 1998: 17 percent, to $116 billion (exports worth $72 billion and imports, $44 billion).

Source: Russian Trade Minister Georgy Gabunia, as reported by Agence France-Presse, 28 December 1998.

Chinese-Russian trade in 1998: $5.5 billion, the level of 1995 (a slump of ten percent).

Chinese-United States trade in 1998: $55 billion.

Source: AFP, 23 February 1999.

Proposed number of Chinese loggers who would move to Siberia as guest workers to remove timber from 1.5 million hectares of Siberian forest damaged by fires last year. 6,000.

Source: Matt Frost reporting on the Chinese-Russian talks in Moscow, RFE/RL, 25 February 1999.

Who Reads What

Percentage of national newspapers among all newspapers in the Russian Federation in 1990: 71 percent.

Percentage of local papers in the newspaper total in 1990: 29 percent.

Percentage of national newspapers in the newspaper total in the Russian Federation in 1998: 30 percent.

Percentage of local papers in the newspaper total in 1998: 70 percent.

Source: Paul Goble, RFE/RL, 8 January 1999.


Number of nations represented in the United Nations in 1978 and 1998, respectively: 149 and 185.

Source: The Economist, 19 December 1998-1 January 1999.


Number of federal employees in the Russian Federation under President Yeltsin's government: 1.1 million, or almost twice as many as under the government of the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

Source: AFP, 17 December 1998.


Russia's military budget in 1999 (as part of state budget): $6 billion.

Source: AFP, 11 December 1998.

Projected pay increase for soldiers in Russian 1999 budget: 62 percent.

Projected pay increase for officers: 102 percent..

Source: Michael Gordon, "Russia Offers 1999 Budget," The New York Times, 11 December 1998.


Number and size of criminal groups operating in Russia in 1999: 8,000 to 10,000 criminal groups with a total of 50,000 to 100,000 members.

Number of businesses and banks currently controlled by the mafia: about 40,000 businesses and 550 banks.

Source: Interpol, as reported by the AFP, 25 February 1999.

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The Sarmatian Review
Last updated 423/99