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The Sarmatian Review Index

September 2003

Volume XXIII, No. 3

Russian and Polish productivity

Projected Russian GDP in 2003: 388 billion dollars (Russia's population: 144.3 million).

Source: Steven Lee Myers, "Putin Tells Russians of Clouds With Reform-Plan Lining," New York Times, 17 May 2003.

Projected Polish GDP in 2004: 223 billion dollars (Poland's population: 38.3 million).

Source: Draft budget adopted by the Polish government 10 June 2003, as reported by AFP on the same day.

Foreign investment in Poland

Drop in foreign investment in Poland in 2002 as compared to 2001: 15 percent, down to 6 billion dollars.

Foreign investment in Poland since 1989: 65.11 billion dollars.

Three largest foreign investors: France (20 percent of the total, or 12 billion dollars), the United States (8.7 billion dollars), and Germany (7.8 billion dollars).

Source: Polish foreign investment agency PAIZ, as reported by AFP, 15 April 2003.

Easter observances in Poland

Percentage of Polish citizens who observe Lent: 90 percent.

Percentage of Polish citizens who try to go to confession during Lent: 78 percent.

Percentage of Polish families who spent less money on Easter preparations this year than last year: 47 percent.

Source: CBOS poll conducted in early April 2003, as reported by Michal Jankowski in Donosy, 17 April 2003.

Contract killings of MPs in Russia

Number of deputies to the Duma (Parliament) assassinated in the last nine years: nine.

Source: Bernard Besserglik of AFP, 18 April 2003.

AIDS in Russia

New estimate of the number of Russians who are HIV positive: between 500,000 and 1.5 million.

Number of Russians who are registered as HIV positive: 238,404.

The most numerous age group among those infected: persons between 15 and 30 years of age.

Estimated percentage of infections resulting from drug users sharing needles: 90 percent.

Source: Vadim Pokrovsky of the Russian Health Ministry, as reported by AFP (Moscow), 21 May 2003.

EU inequities in subsidies to farmers

Percentage of subsidies received by farmers in current EU member states that will be received by Polish farmers under membership terms agreed upon at the EU's Copenhagen summit last December: 45 percent in the first year, 65 percent in subsequent years.

Source: AFP, 4 June 2003.

Russia's retreat from the far north

Number of people who are supposed to be relocated from Yakutia, Kamchatka, Chukotka, and Evenkia to central Russia and the southern region of the Russian Federation: between 200,000 and 600,000.

Number of people who live in the 28 territories of the far north region comprising 60 percent of landmass of the Russian Federation: 10 million.

Percentage of exportable raw materials this region holds: 60 percent of Russian Federation's resources.

Amount of money the Russian government allocated for the resettlements: 29 million dollars.

Percentage of population lost by the Magadan region since the collapse of the Soviet Union: 66 percent, down to 229,000 people.

Source: Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Mukhamed Tsikanov, as reported by Bernard Besserglik of AFP, 30 May 2003.

Creating perceptions about Poland and the Czech Republic

Percentage of eligible voters who voted in EU referendum in Poland and the Czech Republic: 58.85 percent in Poland, with 77.5 percent of voters saying yes; 55.2 percent in the Czech Republic, with 77.3 percent of voters saying yes.

Source: Czech Statistics Office, as reported by AFP, 14 June 2003; Donosy, 10 June 2003.

Titles in New York Times about results: "Czechs voted overwhelmingly" and "Czechs easily approve EU vote"; "Poles remain divided after endorsing Union" and "Poles vote yes to joining European Union."

Source: NYT, 10 and 14 June 2003.

Gypsies, or Roma, in the Czech Republic

Population of the Czech Republic in 2003: 10.3 million.

Number of Gypsies in the Czech Republic in 2003: 300,000.

Unemployment among Gypsies: 60 percent.

Unemployment in the Czech Republic overall: 10 percent.

Source: Jan Marchal of AFP, 12 June 2003.

European Union realities

Anticipated increase in EU population when ten new members join in 2004: 20 percent.

Anticipated increase in EU's GDP when ten new members join in 2004: five percent.

Source: Czech newspaper Dnes, as reported by AFP on 18 April 2003.

Russian colonialism and demand for Russian literary production

Print run of Russian monthly Novyi Mir (a flagship journal promoting Russian literature in the USSR and abroad, subsidized by the Soviet state) in 1990: 2,660,000.

Print run of Novyi Mir in October 2000: 13,300.

Source: The Routledge Companion to Russian Literature edited by Neil Cornwell (London, 1991), p. 235.

Public debt in the Czech Republic

Czech public debt in 2002: 12.5 billion euros, or twice what it was in 1997.

Czech public debt as percentage of GDP: 30 percent, with 60 percent of GDP set by the European Union as an upper ceiling.

Source: AFP (Prague), 17 March 2003.

Polish role in Iraq

Size of zone administered by Poland in Iraq: 80,000 square kilometres, or 31,000 square miles.

Number of inhabitants in the zone: 3.5 million.

Source: Polish Defence Minister Jerzy Szmajdzinski, as reported by AFP (Warsaw), 28 May 2003.

Number of Polish companies that put their names forward to help the postwar reconstruction of Iraq: over 500.

Number of Polish companies that succeeded in securing a contract: so far as we know, only one, Nafta Polska.

Source: Deputy economy and works minister Jacek Piechota on 16 April 2003, as reported by AFP on the same day; Polish TV News, 3 July 2003.

Jews in Poland and England

Estimated percentage of Jews in the population of Poland in 1600: 0.5-4 percent.

Estimated percentage of Jews in Poland in 1650 and 1764, respectively: 2.5-5 percent and 7-10 percent.

Source: Tradycje polityczne dawnej Polski, edited by Anna Sucheni-Grabowska and Alicja Dybkowska (Warsaw: Editions Spotkania, 1993), p. 203.

Estimated percentage of Jews in the population of England between 1290-1655: zero percent (Jews were expelled from England in 1290).

Number of years it was illegal for a Jew to live in England: 365 years.

The year Jews were readmitted to England: 1655, by Oliver Cromwell.

Estimated number of Jews who settled in England after that date: 250,000.

Source: Christian History Institute (

Population decline in Georgia

Decline in Georgian population between 1989-2002: 1 million, or 20 percent (from 5. 5 million in 1989 to 4.4 million in 2002).

Reasons for the decline: emigration (700,000 persons emigrated to the Russian Federation) and low birthrate.

Source: Census carried out by the State Statistics Department, as reported by AFP, 6 May 2003.

Russian ships in the Far East

Percentage of Russian ships in the Far East that are registered under flags of countries that do not enforce ship safety rules, ecological protection, and international standards for crew pay and conditions: 70 percent.

The countries under whose flags Russian ships sail most often: Cambodia and Mongolia.

Source: Head of the far eastern branch of the Russian Seamen's Union Nikolai Sukhanov, as reported by AFP, 7 May 2003.

Children's deaths in Russia

Number of children murdered in Russia in 2002: 3,272.

Number of children injured or killed as a result of crimes or accidents in 2002: 94,000.

Source: Prosecutor General Nikolai Savchenko, as reported by Russia Reform Monitor, No. 1043, May 27, 2003.

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Last updated 10/12/03