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The Sarmatian Review Index

September 2001

Volume XXI, No. 3

Drug use and AIDS

Estimated number of regular drug abusers in Russia (pop. 145 million) in 2000: nearly five million.

Percentage of 18-30 year olds among all addicts: 60 percent.

Percentage of pre-college teenagers among all addicts: 20 percent.

Source: Russia's health ministry, as reported by AFP (Moscow), 22 February 2001.

Number of Russians who contracted the HIV virus since 1987: 300,000, or double the previous estimate.

Number of people with HIV in Moscow and Petersburg in 2000: 10 times higher than in 1999.

Source: Russian health officials, as reported by AFP, 11 March 2001.

Percentage of Muscovites who have tried drugs: 10 percent.

Source: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1 June 2001.


Number of American-style large movie theaters in Moscow in 2001: 15.

Number of such theaters in the rest of the country including St. Petersburg: approximately the same number.

Average number of films made yearly in postcommunist Russia: 30.

Average number of films made yearly in communist Russia: 150.

Source: AFP, 30 March 2001.

Communist legacies

Number of officers of Jewish origin expelled from the army in Soviet-occupied Poland in 1968-1980 because of their Jewish origin and 'rehabilitated' in 2001: 1,348.

Source: Polish Defense Minister Bronislaw Komorowski, as reported by AFP, 8 March 2001.

Percentage of Russians who believe that Lenin played a positive role in Russian history: 66.7 percent.

Source: ROMIR-Gallup poll in April 2001, as reported by AFP, 22 April 2001.

Soviet Russia's economic priorities

Percentage of GDP spent on defense and defense-oriented projects in the USSR: 70 percent.

Percentage of Soviet hospitals that did not have hot water or indoor toilets in 1986, the year "Mir" was launched: 30 percent and 35 percent, respectively.

Percentage of Soviet schools that did not have central heating or running water in 1986: 50 percent.

Source: Leon Aron, "Don't cry for Mir," Houston Chronicle, 27 March 2001.

Postcommunist Russia's priorities

Number of full time technological research scientists in the Russian Federation supported by the state in 2000: 910,000.

Source: Science Minister Aleksandr Dondukov in a speech to the Duma on 14 February 2001, as reported by RFE/RL, 16 February 2001.

Another estimate of full time scientists working in research institutes in the Russian Federation in 2001: 800,000, or down from 2 million in 1990.

Source: Vladimir Strakhov, the head of the United Institute of Terrestrial Physics in Russia, as reported by Interfax and then by Hugh Barnes of AFP, 2 June 2001.

Percentage of Russians who believe that sooner or later, the member countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) will unite into a single state: 56 percent.

Percentage of Russians who support that development: 79 percent.

Source: A poll taken by the Public Opinion Foundation and reported by Interfax on 31May 2001.

Number of homeless children in the Russian Federation in 2001: 2.5 million.

Estimated percentage of high school graduates (age 17) who have no health problems: ten percent.

Source: Michel Viatteau, AFP, 1 June 2001.

Amount of money General Gennady Troshev (then-commander-in-chief of Russian forces in Chechnya) has offered to anyone who would bring him the head of Shamyl Basayev, one of the leaders of the Chechen partisan war against Russian occupation: one million dollars.

Source:, 2 June 2001.

Work ethics

Number of hours per week spent at work in South Korea, the United States, France, and Italy, respectively: 44, 42, 38, 38.

Source: Houston Chronicle, 6 June 2001.


Amount of money West Germany granted East Germany during the ten years following reunification: $900 billion.

Source: Leon Aron, Russian Outlook (

Amount of direct investment Russia and China attracted in 2000: $4.4 billion and $40.8 billion, respectively.

Source: Mark Rice-Oxley, "Russian recovery or Russian Roulette?" AFP, 14 April 2001.

Number of gas stations in Poland (out of 6,000 total) controlled by Poland's leading oil group PKN/Orlen: 2,070.

Percentage of Polish oil refineries owned by Orlen: 66 percent.

Source: AFP, 23 April 2001.


Percentage drop in Lithuanian, Latvian, and Estonian population between 1989-2001 (according to a census conducted April 5-12, 2001): 5 percent, 11 percent, and 13 percent, respectively.

Source: AFP (Vilnius), 20 April 2001.

Percentage of world population that lives in cities: 50 percent.

Source: The United Nations State of the World's Cities report, Houston Chronicle, 5 June 2001.

Number of immigrants Germany would accept yearly under a proposed new law on immigration: up to 20,000 a year, with another 20,000 slots reserved for workers in high-demand fields such as computer programming and biotechnology, 10,000 slots for young workers and two-year work visa for foreign graduates from German universities.

Number of "green cards" issued in Germany in 2000: 8,000.

Countries set to profit most from the proposed new law: India, Russia and Romania.

Source: G. Pascal Zachary and Cecile Rohwedder, "Germany Widens Door for Immigrants," Wall Street Journal, 2 July 2001.


Estimated number of Jews killed during the Jedwabne massacre on 10 July 1941: 200.

Reasons for changing the previous estimate of 1,600 offered by J.T. Gross in his book The Neighbors: evidence found during excavations of the site performed in May 2001.

Number of German 7.92 millimeter Mauser rifle bullets found at the site of the massacre: 89.

Source: Richard Lein, "Excavation raises many questions about Polish massacre of Jews," AFP, 5 June 2001; Polish Justice Minister Lech Kaczynski, as reported by Rzeczpospolita, 5 June 2001; RFE/RL, 5 June 2001.


Number of Polish students who took the GMAT test in 2000: 232, with an average score of 504.

Number of students worldwide who took the GMAT test in 2000: 190,291.

Number of Polish students studying at American universities in 1999/2000: 2209, of whom 61 percent were undergraduates and 30 percent graduates.

Source: AUAP email newsletter, 7 April 2001.

Reading habits

Percentage of Poles who read books from time to time: 54 percent.

Percentage of Polish farmers who read books from time to time: 40 percent.

Percentage of Poles who buy books: 41 percent.

Percentage of Poles who read more than 7 books per year: 22 percent, a figure that reportedly has not changed for many years.

Source: Biblioteka Narodowa poll, as reported by Donosy, No. 2974, 14 February 2001.

The Internet

Number of people in Poland who have access to the internet: 4.9 million.

Estimated number of people who use the internet regularly: 75 percent of the above.

Estimated number of private households who have access to the internet: five percent.

Number of students per one school computer in Poland and the United States, respectively: 40 and 5.

Source: Aneta Stabryla, "Z siecia za pan brat," Zycie, 16 May 2001.


Number of persons sentenced to death by the provincial military courts in Soviet-occupied Poland between 1946-1955: 3,468.

Out of these, the number of confirmed executions: 1,363.

Source: Instytut Pamieci Narodowej [Institute of National Memory], as reported by Donosy, 26 June 2001.

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Last updated 9/17/01