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The Sarmatian Review Index

September 2002

Volume XXII, No. 3

Alleged exchange

Percentage of Polish debt to the United States annulled in the early 1990s: 50 percent, or several billion dollars.

Alleged reason for the annulment: the rescuing of six US spies from Iraq after Baghdad invaded neighboring Kuwait in 1990.

Source: Polish Intelligence Service (UOP), as reported by Agence France-Presse, 11 May 2002.


Percentage of peasants among world population at the beginning of the twentieth century: 90 percent.

Percentage of peasants at the beginning of the twenty-first century: 50 percent.

Source: Ryszard Kapuscinski, "Wojna czy dialog?" Rzeczpospolita, 2 March 2002.

Russian statistics

Estimated number of Russians traveling abroad in 2000: 18 million.

Source: Organizers of Moscow International Travel and Tourism Exhibition, as reported by Eric Engelman,

Associated Press (Moscow), 28 March 2002.

Estimated number of Russians who traveled abroad in 2001: 3.5 million.

Reasons for the alleged 80 percent drop in Russian tourism: not given.

Source: AFP (Moscow), 25 March 2002.

Number of Catholics in the Diocese of Irkutsk according to Russian official statistics: 50,000.

Source: AFP, 20 April 2002.

Number of Catholics in the Diocese of Irkutsk according to the Diocese's bishop: 1 million.

Source: Bishop of the Diocese of Irkutsk Jerzy Mazur (he was refused re-entry visa to Russia in April 2002),

AFP (Warsaw), 20 April 2002.

Percentage of Russians who planned to celebrate Orthodox Easter in 2002: 80 percent.

Source: The title of AFP article (Moscow) (Clarinet # 86852) reporting a ROMIR opinion poll, 1 May 2002.

Form of the celebration: preparing and eating traditional Easter cakes and painting Easter eggs.

Percentage of Russians who planned to attend a church service during the Easter season in 2002: 21.5 percent.

Source: Same AFP article (Clarinet # 86852), 1 May 2002.


Percentage of Muslims in the Russian Federation: 15.3 percent, or 22 million.

Source: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Internet News, 29 November 2001.


Number of drug addicts in Russia in 2001: 3 million.

Value of drugs consumed by them: 1 billion dollars per year.

Source: Russian Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov, as reported by AFP (Petersburg), 25 October 2001.


Number of mobile telephone users in Poland in 2001: 9.6 million (an increase of 42.3 percent since the previous year), or 24.9 percent of the country's population.

Number of fixed-line phones in Poland in 2001: 12 million (an increase of under four percent).

Source: National Statistic Bureau, as reported by AFP (Warsaw), 1 February 2002.


Number of brothels in Moscow where sex with children is on offer: 22.

Legal age of consent in Russia: 14.

Maximum prison term for an adult who has sexual relations with a minor aged less than 14 years: four years.

Maximum prison term for producers and disseminators of pornography, child or adult: two years.

Source: AFP (Moscow), 4 February 2002.


Poland's budget in 2002: $44 billion.

Source: Economic Bulletin, No. 8(502), 25 February 2002.

Israel's budget in 2002: $46 billion.

Israel's GDP growth in 2001: -0.5 percent.

Source: Wall Street Journal, 7 February 2002.

The Vatican's budget in 2002: $200 million.

Source: Melinda Henneberger, "Vatican's Influence is in Vision, not Details," New York Times, 22 April 2002.

AIDS in Eastern Europe

Number of HIV-positive cases registered in Russia in 2001: over 100,000, or nearly twice the number in 2000.

Cities most infected: Moscow (30,000 HIV infections), Sverdlovsk in the Urals, Samara on the Volga, Irkutsk in Siberia and Saint Petersburg (each with over 10,000 carriers).

Source: Head of Russian anti-AIDS committee Vadim Pokrovsky, as reported by AFP, 14 February 2002.

Estimated number of Russians who are HIV positive (includes those unregistered): between 600,000 and 800,000.

Source: UNAIDS, the UN Program on HIV and AIDS, as reported by AFP, 11 April 2002.

Number of people in Ukraine registered as HIV positive: 42,000.

Estimated number of people in Ukraine who are HIV positive: 280,000.

Number of people in Ukraine who died of AIDS: 2,500 adults and 80 children.

Source: Interfax Agency, as reported by AFP (Kiev), 15 March 2002.


Number of people who saw Lord of the Rings on the opening night in Poland in February 2002: 518,901 (a record number).

Corresponding figures for the runners-up: Pan Tadeusz (424,895 first-night viewers) and Harry Potter (355,955 viewers).

Source: Donosy, 19 February 2002.

National debt

Russian foreign debt in 2001: 138.1 billion dollars.

Poland's foreign debt in 2001: 24 billion dollars (a drop of 18.1 percent by comparison to 2000).

Poland's domestic debt in 2001: 44.05 billion dollars (an increase of 26.7 percent by comparison to 2000).

Combined foreign and domestic debt as percentage of the Polish GDP: 39.3 percent.

>Source: AFP (Warsaw), 22 March 2002.


Estimated number of Holocaust memorials and museums in the United States: between 150 and 250.

Source: Rachel Zoll, "Holocaust memorials: What's their place in Jewish life?" Houston Chronicle, 23 March 2002.

Roma, or Gypsies

Number of Roma in Slovakia in 2002: 500,000, or 9.2 percent of the population of 5.4 million (the highest in the region).

Estimated number of Roma worldwide: 14 million, of whom 12 million live in Europe.

Source: AFP (Bratislava), 2 May 2002.


The most heavily-polluted city in Europe: Moscow.

Average shortening of lifespan per inhabitant of Moscow due to pollution: four years.

Source: Valery Antifeyev of the Moscow City Hall, as reported by AFP, 10 April 2002.

Living above one's means

Amount of money Poles spent in 2001 while vacationing in Austria: 200 million dollars.

Source: World Bank estimate, as reported in Rzeczpospolita Magazine, 12 April 2002.

Agriculture in Poland

Number of hectares (1 hectare=ca. 2 acres) being rented from the Polish state by foreigners at the end of 2001: 180,000.

Source: Stanislaw Waszak, "Europeans farming in Poland fear country's entry into EU," AFP, 28 April 2002.

Lech Walesa's finances

Walesa's income in 2001: $600,000 (Zl 2.5 million) before taxes, which makes him the best paid Polish politician.

Size of his pension as a former president of Poland: $15,000 per year.

Source: Donosy, 14 May 2002.

Daily press readership

Percentage of adult Poles and Americans who read a newspaper on a daily basis: 10 percent and 50 percent.

Sources: Rzeczpospolita, 12 April 2002; M. Q. Sullivan in Veritas: A Quarterly Journal of Public Policy in Texas (Vol. 3, no. 2, March 2002), 5.


Number of copies of Short History of the All-Soviet Communist Party (Bolsheviks) published by Poland's mass publisher, Ksiažka i Wiedza, in 1949: one million.

Source: Rzeczpospolita, May 2002.

Love of animals

Number of lambs slaughtered each year at a Soviet fur farm near Astrakhan, the Russian Republic: 19,000.

Source: AFP, 10 May 2002.

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Last updated 9/25/02