Russia: August 25, 2001


: Ukraine cut off electricity to a radar station that is a key part of the Russian missile early warning system on 26 June. Power was restored the next day when Moscow paid $150,000 to the Ukrainian Power Ministry. Such incidents have been common since the collapse of the Soviet Union. During the Soviet period, military could basically requisition whatever it wanted, and let the supplier arrange payment from the government. But in a market economy there must be contracts, and timely payments. Smaller defense budgets often mean there is not enough money to cover everything the military wants to do, including a lot of theft by senior officers. When the military tries to escape paying by endlessly delaying, the result of often a cut off of supplies or services. At that point, serious negotiations over the unpaid debts ensue. --Stephen V Cole