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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

A brief look at the stories making headlines in the Russian-language press

Oct. 2, 1998:


The story analyses major aspects of First Deputy Prime Minister Yury Maslyukov's anti-crisis program, which the government considered at its session Thursday. The story points out that the program will push back the national economy to the level of the early 1990s. This program will not help Russia become a country with a full-fledged market economy in the next several years. Also covered in Kommersant Daily and Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

The story highlights the all-Russian student protest act Thursday, which was organized by the Russian Association of the Students' Labor Unions. How did the protest act proceed in four cities, how many students took part in them and what were their demands?

The story comments on Azerbaijani President Geidar Aliyev's recent statement, saying that the Russian military bases in Georgia and Armenia and also the delivery of Russian arms to Armenia destabilize the situation in the Trans-Caucasia.

The collegium of the State Customs Committee on Friday will consider a new wording of the Tax Code. What will Russian and foreign enterprises and organizations maintaining foreign economic contacts gain from the new code when it takes effect?

Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov has proposed to pass a draft law making it possible to release governors from their post if their work is not effective enough. How have governors responded to the premier's proposal?

Yabloko economic experts have submitted to the government their program aimed at restoring trust in Russia, in its economic policy and national currency. The story shows how it differs from Maslyukov's package of anti-crisis measures.

While the prices of domestic products went up 25 percent to 40 percent since the crisis began, railway tariffs for exporters rose 2.4 times. Such is the essence of the railways minister's urgent telegram to the government. Are there any objective reasons behind the increase in tariffs? None, says the story looking at several instances to prove the point.

Do you fear the coming social protest act on Oct. 7? What do you think of the proposed idea to merge several regions? Will your region be able to survive the crisis? In an interview, Saratov Governor Dmitry Ayatskov answers these and other questions.

The story looks at major results of Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov's recent visit to Belarus and his talks with President Alexander Lukashenko. Most intriguing was President Boris Yeltsin's personal letter to Lukashenko.

The Yekaterinburg City Court is considering a criminal case of a local gang, which is accused of 21 killings and about 90 robberies.


Former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Fyodorov comments on the government anti-crisis program, saying that he agrees with statements by Western analysts criticizing the IMF for giving financial aid to Russia.

The story says that whatever financial and government officials say about the dollar, the control over its circulation is a logical and necessary measure in the government policy at the present stage.

The Audit Chamber has completed its check of the Slavneft state-owned company. The story looks at its results.

Alexander Yakovlev, director of the Federal Debt Center, stated Wednesday that in a year the money earned on selling debtor enterprises' property will amount to hundreds of billions of rubles. The economic crisis, however, may paralyse the center's efforts.

The newly appointed Education Minister Vladimir Filippov stated that he knows who can save the education system from collapse.

The story looks at wages and salaries, which have been decreased two-three times in all sectors and spheres of the national economy. And this is not all. Top managers assure that in December the size of wages is expected to go down to the 1994 level and, according to some forecasts, to the 1991 level, when $200 was considered good money.

The story highlights the sad fate of the Kaliningrad Amber Combine, which two years ago was turned from a joint- stock company into a state-owned unitarian enterprise. The tax police this week have expropriated its property for debts.

Leading U.S. steel companies have demanded that anti-dumping measures be imposed against Russian exporters of hot rolled steel. Companies from other countries may follow suit. If access is closed for the Russian metal workers, Russia will lose billions of dollars in hard-currency earnings.

The French Elf Aquitaine corporation has sold its share of capital in the joint venture SeverTEK, in the Nenets autonomous region. Slightly more than a month ago it quit the strategic alliance with Sibneft Elf and has no other production projects in Russia.

The Swissair Avia company announced that starting Oct. 14 it will give up its flights on the Samara-Zurich air route.

The hard-currency market did not reacted in any way to the draft anti-crisis program discussed by the government Thursday. The story looks at its state.

The story looks at six winners of the Booker Prize for the best Russian novel in 1997.


The State Duma, the lower house of parliament, has prolonged the law on state support of mass media. The Journalists' Union secretariat believes that it has played a significant role in this act.

How do you assess the current situation in the country? Why has the prime minister taken a member of Vladimir Zhirinovsky's ultranationalist party to his government? Who has gained from the Aug. 17 government reshuffle? What is Yabloko's political rating today? In an interview, Yabloko deputy leader Vladimir Lukin, head of the State Duma international affairs committee, answers these and other questions. He also says that NATO is the least dangerous side for Russia today since Russia is a nuclear power with over 10,000 warheads.

The story reveals several "secrets" form the organizers at the main headquarters of the national strike scheduled for Oct. 7.

Moscow police have arrested Moscow extrasensory healer Mikhail Uvarov, 30, who is accused of many killings of children. The story describes his crimes.

In order to take political power today, one should struggle for the control over Transneft rather than over the "post service, telegraph and telephone," like it was in Lenin's times. The story points out the great authority of the Transneft company.

What serious changes are awaiting ORT, RTR, NTV and TV-6 television channels in October? They intend to give up at least 20 programs.

The story features plans and the future fate of the Bolshoi Theater, which remains one of the most favorite theaters for foreign art lovers.


The story talks about the ailing Russian middle class, which has been hit by the financial crisis. Will it be able to recover? The government anti-crisis program does not contain a word about it.

Businessman Sergei Ivantsov from the Entrepreneurs' Council at the Moscow government, was killed Wednesday in his car in the Khimkinsky District of the Moscow region. The story describes how it happened.

Russia's Gostandart Committee has toughened the safety standard for city buses carrying children, providing them with new modern safety devices.

In an interview newly appointed Labor and Social Welfare Minister Sergei Kalashnikov, speaks about first steps he is planning to take at his new post.

What do you think of the idea of banning dollar circulation in Russia? Four experts speak out.

Moscow police Wednesday evening arrested Lieutenant Vladimir Bubnov, unit commander of the Vityaz brigade of the Interior Ministry troops, who was trying to sell explosives.

The Moscow city government decided to open municipal children's sports schools in all city districts, which existed in Soviet times.


In an interview, Krasnoyarsk governor Alexander Lebed suggests ways to prevent social unrest and predicts President Boris Yeltsin's resignation in the near future.

Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev has announced a program to democratize the country's political system on the heels of his presentation of his government's anti-crisis plan.

Yuri Shevtsov, leader of the Russian People's Republican Party, looks at the current political crisis and tries to explain its peaceful character, focusing on the role of his party in recent developments/

Yabloko's eight-point package of economic stabilization measures has been submitted to the government for consideration, and is published in Nezavisimaya.

A group of U.S. military experts on genetic identification worked for two weeks with their Russian colleagues in Rostov-on-Don to identify 300 soldiers who were killed in the Chechen war.

The 1st Congress of the Soyuz public and political movement will take place in the Hall of Columns in the House of Unions. It will be a new version of the Soviet parliamentary faction of the same name. State Duma CIS affairs committee member Georgy Tikhonov describes the organization's goals in an interview.

Nikolai Solovyov, Russia's ambassador to Indonesia who helped form Russia's policy on Japan, has died.

Russia's best lobbyists in August are listed. Sergei Turanov, a spokesman for the Economic News Agency, comments on the rating.


Regional governors enter a new capacity as members of the presidium of Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov's Cabinet.

The government has paid out two months' worth of arrears to military servicement. According to information from the Defense Ministry press service, 3.8 billion rubles was transferred to the ministry's accounts.

SEGODNYA (2/10/98)

The State Duma Council accused Finance Minister Mikhail Zadornov yesterday of violating the law on the budget: The ministry first arbitrarily cut the Duma budget from 692.1 million rubles down to 510.5 million, and then suspended payments.

Two drunk men were arrested for vandalizing several foreign-made cars on the territory of the Australian Embassy in Moscow.

Sverdlovsk governor Eduard Rossel is telling Yeltsin what to do with the dollar, implying the executive is helpless to make its own decisions on this signicant issue. The president apparently changed his position twice.

The Defense Ministry has faxed a memorandum titled " The Coming Changes in the Leadership of the Defense Ministry are Objective" to Segodnya, saying Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev may resign to become chief of the General Staff and that the general protest set for Oct. 7 could lead to bloodshed.

For the first time in postwar history, Japanese vessels fished yesterday in the Kuril Islands zone. Tokyo will pay more than $74,000 for this privilege. The money will be transferred to the Finance Ministry's accounts before the end of November.

The World Bank is ready to work with the Primakov government to help it overcome the economic crisis, said World Bank Vice President Johannes Linn, who is responsible for the East-European and Middle Asian region.

Trading at the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange happen in two stages, starting Oct. 6.

The revenue part of the Moscow city budget for 1998 will probably not be fulfilled, an official from the city Economic Policy Department said Wednesday at the session of the Moscow City Duma, which was discussing changes in profit tax rates.


In an interview, Spiritual Legacy movement leader Alexei Podberyozkin, deputy head of the State Duma International Affairs Committee, assessing the resignation of First Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Shokhin and its impact on the Primakov's government's status as a "coalition."

Sakhalin's future depends on several bills under consideration at the State Duma. For now, not a single investorhas quit Rosneft-Sakhalainmorneftegaz.

The creation of vertically integrated domestic industrial enterprises promises to insure a reliable support of the new state policy.

Residents of Nizhnevartovsk and the Khanty-Mansiisk autonomous region would like the local administration to speed up its decision on production sharing agreements said German Khan, vice-president of the Tyumen Oil Company, in an interview.

PRAVDA (2/10/98)

Artist Alexander Shilov will celebrate his birthday Oct. 6. The eponymous gallery that features his works opened last year.

TRUD (2/10/98)

Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov during his recent visit to Britain at the invitation of the Labour Party, met with journalists at the Russian Embassy. He spoke about Moscow, its own independent budget, about his plans for the next presidential elections, about Russia-Ukraine relations, about his impressions about the Labour Party members, about the IMF stand, about coming winter and Moscow's winter food supplies.

Lawyers discuss the case of Tamara Rokhlina, being investigated for the murder of her husband, General Lev Rokhlin.

Political observer Vitaly Golovachev analyzes the creation and collapse of the treasury-bill pyramid and the consequent financial tragedy for the country.