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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

04/15/1997

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Izvestia Accuses Premier of Censorship

The battle for political control of Russia's most prestigious newspaper took a new turn Monday when the Izvestia daily made accusations of ""political censorship"" against Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin and Russia's biggest oil company, LUKOIL. In a front page article, Izvestia's foreign editor, Sergei Agafonov, wrote that Chernomyrdin refused to approve a major deal for LUKOIL if it did not silence Izvestia. LUKOIL is Izvestia's biggest shareholder. The article said that the prime minister had been outraged by an article in Izvestia that alleged he had amassed a personal wealth of $5 billion through his ties to Gazprom, Russia's gas monopoly. The newspaper alleged that Chernomyrdin responded by denying approval for a government decision awarding LUKOIL a 15 percent share in an international consortium formed to develop the Karachaganak oil deposit in Kazakhstan. The stake currently belongs to Gazprom, which Chernomyrdin headed until 1992.

Deserter Caught After Citywide Hunt

A 19-year-old army deserter who wounded an elderly pensioner with an assault rifle was arrested Monday night after eluding a citywide police search for nearly three days, authorities said. Roman Minin, who deserted his elite guard unit Saturday morning with a Kalashnikov rifle and 180 rounds of ammunition, was arrested in the attic of a building on Studencheskaya Ulitsa in western Moscow, Interfax quoted an Interior Ministry official as saying. The official, Alexander Shevchuk of the ministry's Moscow branch, said Minin was wearing civilian clothes at the time of his arrest. The weapon and ammunition were not immediately recovered, Interfax said. Minin was part of an elite unit assigned to guard Defense Ministry facilities and offices in Moscow. He disappeared early Saturday morning after leaving the guard room at air force headquarters on Bolshaya Pirogovskaya Ulitsa.

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