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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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


Unified Energy Systems head Anatoly Chubais called on the government to take measures aimed at regulating the export of oil products. Fuel and Energy Minister Sergei Generalov has come out against imposing export duties.

Krasnoyarsk Governor Alexander Lebed ordered that starting Jan. 12 a tax be levied on heavy trucks carrying large-sized cargo along local roads.

The International Anti-Discrimination Fund was launched in Moscow late last week with the aim of legally defending refugees who are from the former Soviet republics.

Stavropolye police after a three year search have arrested Valery Kim - also known as Khlebny Baron - head of the Bread of Stavropolye firm, on charges of swindling.

The devastating earthquake in Spitak, Armenia on Dec. 7, 1988, left more than 25,000 residents dead and destroyed 21 towns and 324 villages. Former Soviet Prime Minister Nikolai Ryzhkov reminisces about that horrific event.

What are the preliminary results of the Dec. 6 second round of early mayoral elections in Anzhero-Sudzhensk in the Kemerovo region.

In an interview, Railway Minister Nikolai Aksenenko answers these and other questions: What is the share of railway transportation in Russia's turnover of goods? What are the ministry's relations with Unified Energy Systems? How has the banking crisis affected the ministry's financial position?

There is a higher demand for hard currency lately, which has raised the dollar exchange rate. The article analyses several causes. Also covered in Kommersant Daily.

Kondpetroleum, created in March 1993 from the Krasnoleninskneftegaz oil extracting company, is on the brink of bankruptcy. The article looks at factors that have led to the company's difficulties.

World figure-skating champions Natalya Bestemyanova and Andrei Bukin have created their own show called "Icy Miniatures." In an interview,the dancing pair speak about their project and the poor state of figure skating in Russia today.


The newspaper profiles the breathtaking political career of Nikolai Bordyuzha, newly appointed head of the presidential administration.

Anatoly Nekrasov, chairman of the Nizhny Novgorod regional election commission, has been released from his post for giving an overly frank interview to the local newspaper Monitor.

Kiev has not yet responded officially to the arrest in Switzerland of former Prime Minister Pavel Lazarenko, who Swiss authorities charged with money laundering. A Swiss criminal investigator has arrived in Kiev to discuss the case with his Ukrainian counterparts.

The Central Bank's guidelines of the unified state monetary-crediting policy for 1999 is published in full and accompanied by commentary.

Moscow police conducted a wide-scale operation to catch criminals and their leaders over the weekend. Among several arrested was Mikhail Filin, alleged leader of the Red Cossacks, who in the past has spent several months in jail on charges of involvement in the murder of TV journalist Vladislav Listyev.

The Moscow city court yesterday began to consider the criminal case of Colonel Viktor Pavlov, deputy chief of the Federal Security Service Academy, who is accused of extorting $5 million from a Moscow businessman.

Prosecutors in Novokuznetsk have accused Yevgeny Braunshtein, former director general of the Kuznetsky Metal Combine, of corruption. In the past three months, the local prosecutor's office instituted criminal proceedings against 57 combine managers and members of its board of directors.

In an interview, Ziya Bazhayev, head of the Alyans Group, speaks about his attitude toward the Primakov Cabinet, the government anti-crisis program, the existing tax system, the state's role in the economy and several priority economic sectors.

A power struggle has started over control of the Russian Bank forDevelopment after First Deputy Prime Minister Yury Maslyukov instructed aides to create the bank. Its budget is estimated at 60 billion rubles ($2.9 billion) and it is expected to handle huge financial transactions, probably including the Sberbank deposits.

The central banks of European Currency Union countries lowered interest rates last Thursday. Analysts view this as a dress rehearsal before the opening of the European Centrobank, which will begin to function in less than a month.


Stalin's personal interpreter Valentin Berezhkov, who died last week, handed over a manuscript of his sensational reminiscences to the Vagrius publishing house. The newspaper publishes excerpts.

An article commenting on Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov's recent plan to intensify the state's role in the economy, notes that he has begun to create a new holding out of companies that have not been privatized yet, for example, Rosvooruzheniye, Rosneft and Rosgosstrakh.

In an interview, St. Petersburg playwright Alexander Volodin, 79, the author of many film scripts, speaks about his new book, "The Notes of a Drunk Man."

Entertainer Larisa Dolina and many other famous singers and dancers will take part today in a charity concert devoted to the Day of Overcoming Difficulties. The show plays in the Rossiya Concert Hall.


The newspaper analyses the current scandal at TV-Center surrounding its leadership.

Two students from Moscow State University were found dead Sunday on the bank of Borisovsky Pond. They are believed to have committed suicide. The story reports that suicides have grown in the city.

Renovation of the dam in the Bitsa recreation zone, the territory of the 17th century Trubetskoi estate has killed nearly one ton of fish and other marine life.

Yelena Vasina , a leading stylist from the L'Oreal Professional salon, advises eight top politicians on their hair and clothing.


Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov has ordered that work be started on the restoration of the economy in Chechnya. The prime minister may become the first Russian politician that Chechnya can trust.

ZUBR, a new public movement with the motto "For Stable Crisis-Free Development of Russia," emerged late last month when its founding congress was held in Dubna in the Moscow region. The movement's members are scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs and local and regional administrators.

Tataria's government decided to forbid the export of milk and meat from the republic, which local entrepreneurs view as an incompetent decision and as a "step backward from the market."

A session of the enlarged presidium of the Coordinating Council of Domestic Commodity Producers, which took place in the State Duma late last week, discussed acute problems facing the gold-extracting sector of the Russian economy.

Today the Commonwealth of Independent States marks its seventh anniversary. On this day in 1991 Russia, Belarus and Ukraine signed a three-party agreement on creating the commonwealth, with the other former Soviet republics joining later.

Political scientist Viktor Gushchin, in an article, looks at arguments as to why regional governors will not allow Mayor Yury Luzhkov to realize his ambition of becoming president of Russia.

In an interview, Voronezh Governor Ivan Shabanov talks about his and the region's complicated relationships with the federal authorities and the mass media.

A museum of lanterns, which opened in St. Petersburg late last week, is highlighted. The first electric lanterns appeared in this city 125 years ago.


Though more than three weeks remain before New Year's Eve, an acute shortage of champagne is already being felt in Moscow. The Moscow Champagne Factory and the Kornet Distillery will be able to meet the New Year demand only by 40 percent to 45 percent. The Moscow Food Department is upset that t hese wine producers export much of their champagne to other cities.

Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov replies to Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky's inquiry into corruption in the government.

A source in the Central Bank said that seven banks yesterday were barred from participating in currency trading at the special session of the Moscow Inter-Bank Currency Exchange. He stated that the Central Bank gave appropriate recommendations to the Exchange.

Central Bank First Deputy head Tatyana Paramonova confirmed that it will be impossible to implement the whole planned volume of additional ruble printing without serious consequences on the ruble rate.

The Federal Aviation Service of Russia on Dec. 8 signed a $670,000 grant issued by the American Agency for Trade and Development as technical aid to renovate the aviation control system in the Far East.

Banks have suffered a lot not only due to government debts but also because of the credits they issued to industrial enterprises.

Scores of unsanctioned parking lots have emerged in the center of Moscow, causing growing concern among city environmentalists.


A new bride-money kalym of 2,000 rubles ($98) has been fixed in Ingushetia, and is too high for many young people in the republic, causing an increased number of bachelors there.

Moscow police Monday detained Andrei Sharomov, head of the Moscow Yabloko youth association, and two other participants for protesting against bringing nuclear waste into Russia.

In an interview in Israel, Interior Minister Sergei Stepashin answers questions on how to destroy the economic base of organized crime.


Author Georgi Vladimov describes his greatest impressions of reading Nobel Prize writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn's latest book, "Russia Crumbling."

Many Russian scientists who have left to work in the West express concern over the brain drain from Russia and over the problem of the survival of Russian science. The story cites excerpts from their discussion on the Internet.

The government this week intends to submit to the State Duma the draft federal budget for 1999, which takes into account the new tax policy.

In an interview, Michael Carter, World Bank Moscow branch chairman, discusses the possibility of receiving another tranche from the World Bank.

Moskovskiye Novosti observer Igor Sedykh, author of the story about Sergei Mikhailov (Mikhas), whose criminal case is being considered in a Geneva court, has acted as a witness because the court used his article for the case.

Few Muscovites know that there is a special agency in the city called the National Fund for Abolishing Communal Apartments, which is located on Ulitsa Solyanka.

This story features a Russian traditional pastime, sledding, which is gradually disappearing.


In an interview, Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov talks about his recent visit to Germany and about the new stage in Russian-German relations after the August economic crisis and the radical change in Germany's ruling coalition. He also talks about the government's three weak points.