- MOSCOW (Agence France Presse) - Some 180 Russian troops,
including 20 officers, have tested positive for HIV, the virus that causes
AIDS, the daily Russian defense Krasnaya Zvezda reported Thursday.
- The figures show that 98 of the troops became infected
when they shared an intravenous needle while taking illicit drugs.
- In just one month this year, Russian police seized 12
kilos (22 pounds) of cannabis, 5.2 kilos (11 pounds) of marijuana and 0.8
grams (.03 ounces) of heroin.
- There are currently more than 15,500 HIV carriers registered
in Russia, which was first struck by the virus only 12 years ago.
- Last week, Russian AIDS experts predicted that number
could soar to one million within two years if nothing is done to stop the
virus from spreading.
- So far Russia's AIDS problem is still relatively minor
compared to the epidemic in other countries, with some 400 officially suffering
from the full-blown disease by the first quarter of this year.
- According to UNAIDS, of the 34 million people in the
world affected by HIV/AIDS, two-thirds live in sub-Saharan Africa, a region
that accounts for only 10 percent of the global population. ((c) 1999 Agence
- Yeltsin Calls Talk Of Army Collapse "Utter Nonsense"
- MOSCOW (Agence France Presse) President Boris Yeltsin
told a group of top army generals in the Kremlin on Thursday that rumors
of a Russian army collapse were "utter nonsense," NTV television
- "They say that the Russian army has collapsed,"
Yeltsin was quoted as saying. "I will speak literally here. I think
this is utter nonsense."
- Yeltsin singled out some 200 troops who last month surprised
NATO by taking up position at Pristina airport in Kosovo ahead of the deployment
of NATO peacekeeping troops in the war-torn Serb province.
- He ordered the soldiers to be decorated for their feat.