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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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


Law-enforcers in Novorossiisk, southern Russia have launched a large-scale police operation to clear this sea port from criminal Chechen, Armenian and Georgian groups controlling the port's economic life. After several arrests, bandits were quick with reply: They killed local police chief Yevgeny Fedoryakin in his dacha late last week. The story describes how it happened.

"Whatever Berezovsky says, communism is impossible to eradicate," said Communist Party ideologist Anatoly Lukyanov on Sunday. He was backed by the State Duma's Yabloko faction deputy head Sergei Ivanenko. Communism is impossible to ban because it's impossible to ban ideology, but it's possible to show the party, which has overstepped its bounds, its proper place. What is needed to do that is only political will. The story reports on how democratic forces have responded to the Communist Party's latest calls stirring up dissension.

Federal and local Dagestani police have arrested the leader of the Republican Party, Magomed Aliyev, head of the Mais firm, who organized a criminal group that produced counterfeit dollars. The story details the group's "dollar business."

Aeroflot made the decision to lower prices of business class flight tickets by 30 percent starting Nov. 10. What has made the company take this step?

The Central Bank's directive of Nov. 5 has allowed banks to exchange hard-currency cash not only in specialized exchange offices but also in any cash offices of the authorized banks. The story reveals the essence of the directive.

The Central Bank has issued a report titled "The Central Bank's Currency Policy" on the Internet, the main idea of which is that "almost nothing now depends on the Central Bank in the currency market." The story comments on the document.

The State Duma, the lower house of parliament, on Tuesday is expected to discuss the government anti-crisis program at its closed parliamentary hearings, with the participation of Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov. The government plans to increase the 4th quarter budget deficit by nearly 25 percent as compared with the variant, with which Finance Minister Mikhail Zadornov tried to move the IMF. The story discloses several figures from the budget.

About $40 million that belonged to former Ukrainian Prime Minister Pavel Lazarenko and Supreme Rada Deputy Nikolai Agafonov was frozen in several Swiss banks. Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office appealed to parliament with a request to remove their immunity.

How have Cabinet head Yevgeny Primakov and his apparat responded to the "war" declared by Communists on mass media? The story criticizes the government's statement prepared by the government information board.

At his meeting with field commanders Monday, Chechnya's President Aslan Maskhadov made the decision to declassify the place where Ichkeria's first President Dzhokhar Dudayev was buried. Also covered in KomsomolskayaPravda.

The story looks at the main results of the visit by Igor Malashenko, First Deputy head of the Media-MOST Holding board of directors to the United States, where he met with local journalists and political analysts. He denied the rumors that he went there to ask for money.

Tula Governor Vasily Starodubtsev has imposed an obligatory identification of alcohol in his region, which has made vodka prices skyrocket. The story comments on the measure and its consequences.

The death of Vasya Marchenko, 3, shocked the whole of the city of Yekaterinburg on Nov. 5, when the child, on his way home from the theater with his parents collapsed into a sewer hole and sank. The story details the tragedy.

The flooding that hit the Trans-Carpathian region of Ukraine has left nine people dead and more than 20 homeless. The story details the calamity.

In an interview, Central Bank spokesman Gennady Kuznetsov describes thereal state of affairs at Inkombank, which lost its license recently. Many specialists believe that the bank will revive.

In an interview, former head of the Central Bank Sergei Dubinin, now deputy head of the Gazprom board of directors, explains the major reasons behind Inkombank's collapse.

The story analyzes the results of the fourth round in the London negotiations between the Russian delegation and foreign GKO holders. The Western investors agreed on restructuring Russia's debt on the conditions, which are favorable for the government. In exchange for that, Russia will not defend its leading banks, which will soon become property of foreigners.

Krasny Oktyabr last week announced its plan to buy out Petrokonf stock in St. Petersburg from the German Kraft Jacobs Souchard concern. The story views this deal as unique.

Who is to blame for the present economic and financial crisis and what's to be done next? In an interview, Dmitry Zimin, head of the Vympelkom cellular provider, shares his views.

A plenary session of the Filmmakers' Union will open tomorrow to discuss complicated relations between the Russian, Moscow and CIS filmmakers' unions. In an interview, Rustam Ibragimbekov, head of the Confederation of CIS and Baltics Filmmakers' Unions, speaks about the conflicting situation.


Nov. 10 marks Police Day in Russia. On this occasion, the Interior Ministry staff on Zhitnaya Ulitsa will celebrate it with vodka and decorations. The story highlights the holiday program.

Does Russia really need to buy food from abroad? What should be done to boost its own agricultural sector? Economic observer Yevgeny Anisimov reflects on this acute issue.

In an interview, poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko speaks about his new collection of poetry titled "Farewell, Red Flag!" which was recently published inMexico.

The story looks at Washington's changing policy in relation to Russia. Americans have no doubt that Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov's Cabinet's economic program is almost for sure doomed to failure.

Investors from the six commercial banks on Nov. 29 will come to Sberbank to withdraw their money. How is Sberbank preparing to meet them? In an interview, Alexander Solovyov, deputy head of Sberbank's board of directors, answers this and other questions.


The government has issued a decree obligating all street traders to have cash tills. The measure goes into effect Nov. 16. What is it aimed at? The story criticizes authorities for this absurd decision.

The story gives several little-known details about the collapse of Inkombank, a former leading commercial bank in Russia.

The story describes a serious conflict, which has occurred in the Defense Ministry and the major reasons behind it.


Editor Vitaly Tretyakov has devoted his commentary to Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov (the No. 1 candidate for the victory at the next presidential elections), who has nearly turned from a Communist into nationalist overnight, sharing his anti-Semitic views with Makashov.

Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov yesterday signed a directive on creating a founding group to launch the Moscow Mortgage Agency. The group is responsible for preparing all appropriate documents.

Festivities on Nov.7 showed that the Communist Party is losing its backers, whose number has drastically decreased lately.

Sakha Republic President Mikhail Nikolayev reflects on a complicated problem of supplying fuel and food to the northern regions, which have always been a dilemma for federal authorities. Nikolayev offers his own program to resolve the problem.

Gazprom yesterday invited 36 governors and government and Kremlin officials to make a trip to oil extraction places to see the conditions in which oil is extracted. They are expected to visit Novy Urengoi, Yamburg, Salekhard and several drilling facilities.

On the eve of the October Revolution holiday, Andrei Brezhnev, secretary-general of the all-Russian communist public and political movement made a statement regarding the "Makashov case," saying in part that "Makashov's disgusting anti-Semitic pronouncements reflect the processes happening inside Communist Party.

State Duma Deputy Vladimir Medvedev, head of the Oil and Gas Industrialists' Union, notes that the government's monetarist policy has done considerable damage to the real sector of the Russian economy with a drastic decrease in the gross industrial product being its direct result. The author says that the current crisis in the oil and gas sector may be explained by a complete lack of common interests by the oil companies and the federal authorities.

With the present economic and financial crisis, airports are seeking options in non-flight activities to boost their earnings.

The Karelian Union of Finland during recent years has again been active in its efforts to return former Finnish territories in Russia's Trans-Lagoda area. With the integration of the Soviet Union, this issue has become especially acute.

What changes did the Russian middle class undergo after the Aug. 17 events? The story shows how hard the crisis hit this category of Russians and what they can expect in the future.


The natural destruction of the Russian "border empire," created by former director of the federal border service Andrei Nikolayev, is continuing. Thus, Russian and Georgian border officials signed two significant inter-government agreements last week - on cooperation in resolving border issues and on the procedure of transferring to Georgia those patches of the former Soviet-Turkish border, which up to the last day had been guarded by Russian borderguards.

A draft bill on introducing amendments in the law concerning the fundamentals of the state service has been kept in the government administration for almost two months already. The main amendment in part concerns a point on extra money to be paid to a state employee for the knowledge of a foreign langauge if he/she needs it in his/her work.

The Central Bank on Wednesday will have to decide which banks to save and which to sink. According to their viability, all banks will be divided into four categories.

Not a day passes in restoring the Church of Christ the Savior without quarrels, scandals and mysteries regarding money. This is what the latest meeting of restorers attended by Mayor Yury Luzhkov revealed. The mayor accused Zurab Tsereteli, director of the restoration project, of the abominable state of the matter.

Oleg Tolkachev, First vice prime minister of the Moscow government, over the weekend confirmed the city authorities' previous intention to obtain 49 percent of stock of the All-Russian Exhibition Center. They believe that this way will allow them to yield the maximum profit from the center's activities.


Does Russia need American grain? What does American "humanitarian aid" mean to Russia from an economic point ofview?

The confidential agreements signed by Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov and Chechnya's President Aslan Maskhadov will help hold back their opponents' attempts to destabilize the situation in the republic. Though the talks were held behind closed doors, Moskovskiye Novosti managed to obtain major provisions of the documents.

Tula governor agrarian Vasily Starodubtsev (he won the gubernatorial elections 1 1/2 years ago) to build socialism in his one separate region. His constituents, however, hope that his"experiment" will not last 70 years.

The Moskovsky Delovoi Mir (MDM)joint-stock commercial bank has managed to survive under the blows of the financial crisis. The number of its clients is constantly growing. What is the driving force of its success on the Russian market ? In an interview Andrei Melnichenko, head of the MDM board of directors, speaks about his bank's progress.

What has happened to the Greek newspaper Pravda-5 with Vladimir Ryashin as its editor? And how many Pravdas will be left next year?

The story describes the first national Russian school opened in Moscow on Ulitsa Rikharda Zorge that is funded by the federal authorities.


In an interview Education Minister Vladimir Filippov talks about structural and personnel changes his ministry will undergo soon.

Passions are continuing to rage around the Rosneft state-owned company, which through the court is trying to return one of its most valuable components - Purneftegaz, which is its raw material base.

A hard trial is awaiting Russian-Japanese relations during Japan's Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi's official visit to Moscow scheduled for Nov. 12. The real price of optimistic words given by President Yeltsin during his visit to Japan last year will be tested.


The Primakov Cabinet is often criticized for vague passages and uncertainty in its anti-crisis program. The Financial Times, The Journal of Commerce and Commercial and The New York Times recently carried stories highlighting the program's positive and negative aspects.