Nearly 200 Russian Soldiers
Have AIDS - 98 From
One Shared Needle

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 France Presse)
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 reported.
"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.