Russian Emergencies Minister Sergey Shoigu has criticized the course of restoration operations in the southern regions of Russia that suffered from heavy floods. Talking to journalists today, the minister stressed that the number of damaged buildings in the area amounted to several thousand. He specified that 5,000 apartments out of 13,000 were still not restored. In addition, 40,000 apartments needed to be repaid. The Emergencies Minister reported that a conference call would be conducted in the ministry tomorrow, which would be devoted to the soonest restoration of damaged districts. Shoigu stressed that all construction and restoration work should be completed by the beginning of 2003. To achieve these goals, the ministry is planning an increase in the number of contractors and amore efficient distribution of forces and funds. The Emergencies Minister linked all natural calamities in Europe and Russia to global warming.
A Russian fighter with call sign Rassvet (Sunrise) destroyed an Abrams tank in the area of Avdiivka, the 15th Separate Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade said