Your business feature every week is a very detailed study of the particular industry. It is of great importance to a businessman like me to understand the economic environment of the country. The fast food industry featured this week (Fast Food Still Means Fast Money In Russia, April 12-18) was particularly interesting. That food giants like McDonald are still hopeful about Russian market gives one great hope for the future.
Your article, 'The War In Yugoslavia; A Personal View From Belgrade' [April 12-18], presented the human side of war to an outsider. Everything is business as usual in between the bombings. But life in wartime for the common man has hardly changed despite sophisticated warfare. He lives in continuous hope of military help and an end to war. In Serbia they understand the political motives of politicians as little as we on the outside do. Manifest symbols of America and West become targets of their helpless anger.
I am not sure who is right, NATO or Serbia, but I wish those who decide that the war should continue would themselves face a cannon before making the any such decision. The only people I sympathize with are the NATO and Serbian army men who risk their life everyday to win a war they don't even fully understand. And I can't help but to think about the mothers of the three American soldiers held hostage in Yugoslavia. They couldn't care less whether Kosovo becomes autonomous or not so long as their sons come back home.
The plight of orphans in Russia (No Happy End in Sight For Russia's Many Orphans, April 12-18) is extremely moving. When they are so unwanted in their own country, why is there any objection to their being adopted by loving foreign homes.
Adoptions become inhuman when it is a monetary transaction. Children should not be bought or sold. Then the program must not be misused. After checking the credentials of prospective parents, children should be given to them. But only for love.
We have always been told about the risks involved in speculative ventures, but still the temptation gets too much for some of us. Such seems to be the case of diddled depositors of Russia (Russia's Diddled Depositors Fight Persistently For Their Rights, April 12-18). Having read the article I felt slightly less sorry for them. They took a gamble by investing in pyramid schemes and they lost.
There is something wrong with a society that does not frown upon prostitution (The 'World's Oldest Profession' is Still Lucrative in Russia, April 12-18). That is why so many young Russian girls have chosen this profession for quick money, lure of foreign travel and some lopsided version of glamour.
Only, without realizing it, all too soon they fall prey to the greed of international racketeers. In many countries, young Russian girls have become synonymous with the profession.