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The government of the Chechen republic has decided to hold an all-Russian cultural and information action, a Train of Friendship
It will take place from July to September 2005. As a spokesman for the Chechen government's press service told RIA Novosti, the action will be held in the administrative centers of 21 subjects of the Federation from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk to Kaliningrad. As the spokesman underscored, "the holding of this action has been necessitated by a serious distortion of the image of the Chechen people and the republic itself in the eyes of people in different parts of the Russian Federation. To a certain extent this fact negatively influences to the formation of the necessary economic cooperation between the Chechen Republic and other regions of Russia." The organizers of the action hope in this way to lower the level of deficit of positive information about the Chechen republic in the Russian regions, and on this basis to achieve a change in the appraisal of the situation in the republic on the part of the mass media and ordinary people. Apart from that, the government believes, an important result of the action will be also "an agreement on inter-regional cooperation in the economy, culture and in the youth sphere." Within the frames of the Train of Friendship action, it has been planned to organize a series of various events, news conferences of the leaders of the Chechen republic, round-table conferences with the participation of the republic's representatives, art exhibition, concerts and get-togethers in higher educational establishments and in the media's editorial offices. The press service spokesman also said that before the beginning of the action, a "Fairy-Tale Chechnya," collected folklore legends, translated into Russian by leading Russian poets, will come off the press in 5,000 copies. During this action, the books will be sent to schools, colleges and public libraries in the subjects of the Russian Federation and will help Russian-speaking readers to fully understand the soul of the Chechen people. The action will be held in the form of an expedition along the Trans-Siberian Railway and the railways of the European part of Russia with stops in the capitals of 21 regions of the country. It will start in the middle of July in Grozny, where several rail cars with the action participants will be coupled with the Grozny-Moscow train. From Moscow, these cars will go to the Pacific, coupled with the "Rossia" express train. As it has been reported, a big group of journalists from the federal and republican mass media will be among the expedition members. The Chechen government press service spokesman underscored that the organizers of the Train of Friendship action include the Chechen government, the administrations of 21 subjects of the Russian Federation, the Russian Railways joint stock company and the RAO Unified Energy Systems of Russia, in particular the Rosneft company.
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