Articles by Alexei Nikolsky

White-Collar Crime Punishment Softened

Changes to the Criminal Code will enable white-collar criminals to buy their way out of trouble. The cost: five times the amount of damages inflicted, capped at 15 million rubles ($535,000), from each convicted person, paid to the federal budget.

Investigators Say IzhAvto Owners Stole Assets

The Interior Ministry's Investigative Committee is searching for the principal owner of Sok Group, Yury Kachmazov, and several executives from Sok and IzhAvto over the theft of 6.7 billion rubles ($230 million) in assets from the factory, which was bankrupted in September 2009.

VKontakte Copyright Violator Faces 6-Year Term

The first criminal case for copyright violation has been opened against a user of the social network VKontakte, the Interior Ministrys press service has reported. The accused faces up to six years in prison.

Tax Cases Targeting Chigirinsky Closed

Real estate developer Shalva Chigirinsky may return to Russia now that criminal investigations targeting him for tax evasion have been closed, Vedomosti has learned.

Presidential Affairs Official Investigated

The Investigative Committee has opened a criminal investigation into Vladimir Leshchevsky, a senior official in the Office for Presidential Affairs accused of receiving bribes in exchange for Olympics work.

Medvedev Makes More Police Staff Changes

President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday appointed Major General Mikhail Velichko, currently deputy head of the Interior Ministry's administrative department, to the post of adviser to Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev.

Defense Ministry Gets New Oversight Chief

Tatyana Shevtsova, a former deputy head of the Federal Tax Service, has become the ninth deputy minister in the Defense Ministry, where she will coordinate all of its oversight activities and services.

Official's Wife Gets City Contracts

The head of City Hall's department of bridge and road construction is under investigation for signing at least $279 million worth of contracts with a company headed by his wife.

Pugachyov to Sell Shipbuilders to State

Senator Sergei Pugachyov's United Industrial Corporation will sell two shipbuilders to the state-run United Shipbuilding Corporation to raise funds for Mezhprombank.

Space Company Energia May Finance Satellite Firm Sea Launch

Space corporation Energia has received preliminary approval from a U.S. court to pay the operating costs of bankrupt consortium Sea Launch, possibly with the intention of purchasing the company.

Duma Committee Calls for Reform of Foreign Specialist Permits

Highly qualified foreigners will receive work permits outside of the Federal Migration Service's quota system, and the government will need to review the request for the permit within 14 days. Currently, work permits take 12 months to 23 months to be processed.

'Hundreds' of Undeclared Emergency Lights

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has allowed a large part of officialdom to use flashing lights on their cars. But there are hundreds more on the streets than are declared in public regulations, Vedomosti has discovered, with the help of its readers.

Changes to Economic Crimes Bill Greeted by Business

President Dmitry Medvedev has decided to remove from the Criminal Code the article on false entrepreneurship, reduce prison terms for money laundering and increase the threshold for economic crimes to be treated as major and massive.

AvtoVAZ Offers Military Staff Cheap Motor Loans

The Defense Ministry will help AvtoVAZ increase its sales by compensating military officers for their down payment on a Lada 4x4.

Bill Would Prevent Arrest of Execs for Economic Crimes

The presidential administration has drafted a bill that would prevent executives from being arrested for the majority of economic crimes, and while the business community is welcoming the changes, it says the reforms don't go far enough.

Barter Kings Partners Go to Court

Businesses invited to be partners of the Anti-Crisis Settlement and Accounting Center, created by eccentric barter proponent German Sterligov, have started filing lawsuits to get their money back.

Central Bank Averts $44M Pension Fund Heist

The Pension Fund discovered the theft Monday when it received a notice from the Central Bank that 1.25 billion rubles had been transferred from its account.

Central Bank Foils Theft of Pension Fund

The theft was discovered Monday when the fund received a notice from the Central Bank that 1.25 billion rubles ($43.5 million) had been transferred from its account.

Customs Officials Search S7 Office for Info on Jets

Customs officials seized documents Tuesday from the Moscow office of S7, the countrys second-largest airline, which is suspected of lowering its payments to the customs service.

Ukraine Still Providing Georgia With Weapons

Ukraine is openly continuing to supply Georgia with arms, and despite President Dmitry Medvedevs order that those supplying weapons to Tbilisi face sanctions, Russia appears to be in no hurry to carry out the threat.

The White Elephant Called Bulava

On Wednesday, Yury Solomonov, general director and chief designer of the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology, resigned as a result of a series of unsuccessful test launches of the Bulava, the Navys new intercontinental missile.

Khristenko Plots Shadow War

Plans are in the works to close dozens of markets like Cherkizovsky in order to prop up light industry.

Putins Party to Rescue Struggling Plants

United Russia will launch a program that envisions sending teams of party members to rescue struggling socially significant companies, a party official told Vedomosti.

Service Gets Tough On Spelling Errors

The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service has annulled contracts worth 1.2 billion rubles ($38.5 million) for state orders because of typographical distortions in six declarations, and more than 2,000 other violations have been found and will be investigated.

Number of People Detained Is on Rise

After an initial drop, the number of detentions and prisoners is creeping up toward pre-reform levels.

$4M Luxury Yacht Made for the President in Secret

The planning and interior of the only other presidential yacht, the Rossiya, were designed to the tastes of Boris Yeltsin.

Kasyanov Takes Control of 66 State Companies

Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov on Tuesday plucked control of the country's 66 state-owned firms from the Property Ministry in a move intended to combat corruption in the bureaucracy.

Prosecutors Launch Rail-Link Inquiry

A criminal case has been filed against a company that failed to pay back some $76 million in loans to build a high-speed rail link between Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Kasyanov Overturns Yet Another Klebanov Deal

The government has done a back flip over a $1.2 billion contract to sell China 40 Su-30MKK fighter jets, with Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov transferring the contract from the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aviation Production Association, or KnAAPO, to Aviation Military Production Complex Sukhoi.

Transaero Chairman Appointed Lawmaker

Like Sibneft's Roman Abramovich and Norilsk Nickel's Alexander Khloponin, Alexander Pleshakov now has a seat in the Federation Council for the Penza region in central Russia.