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

March 27, 1998.


The presidential administration thoroughly prepared the "troika" summit, but the government crisis, which broke out on the eve of the summit somewhat lowered this event's possible effects.

Today President Boris Yeltsin will name the prime minister, who will be selected from a group of six politicians. What are the main principles underlying the president's choice?

In this spring's army call-up, which begins April 1, draftees will be tested for alcohol and drugs. Those suspected of using them will not serve.

According to the Foreign Ministry, five Russian consulates general in Europe will cease to exist this year, while the number of consulates in CIS and Baltic states will grow.

The government has endorsed a list of state-owned enterprises, which should be removed from the structure of the Railway Ministry and privatized.

The number of refugees to Russia between 1992 and 1997 exceeded 5 million people. This was stated by Vladimir Volokh, chief deputy of the Federal Migration Service.

Police, Federal Security Service, or the FSB, and Khabarovsk customs officers last Wednesday confiscated 880 kilograms of ephedrine in the "Diana Tour" depot. The drug was smuggled into Russia by Chinese traffickers.

On Thursday the State Customs Committee started using the contract system of service.

At the signing ceremony on cooperation with the Central fuel company, LUKoil head Vagit Alekperov urged the government to lower the tax burden on the domestic oil companies with the aim to compensate for a negative effect from the fall of the world oil prices.

Residents in Moscow's Kapotnya housing development are sufferingfrom frequent fires in a nearby oil refinery. People often have to be evacuates at night. A powerful fire Wednesday is one example.

Despite the recent spy scandal, Norwegian Foreign Minister Knut Vollebaek will arrive in Moscow on an official visit.

Specific features of the current gubernatorial election campaign in the Krasnoyarsk region, where many candidates have a criminal past.

The Third International Chekhov Theatrical Festival opened in Moscow on Thursday with "Six Characters in Search of an Author," played by the American Repertoire Theater. Its artistic director Robert Brustin speaks about his theater, the actors and his devotion to the Stanislavsky system.


The Geopolitics Committee of the State Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament, has prepared a draft law on Russian property abroad, which clearly states who should govern it.

Mayor Yury Luzhkov held a special session of the city's building council to decide the future of Soviet sculptor Vera Mukhina's work "The Worker and Female Collective Farmer."

Russian long-distance calling provider Rostelekom and Swedish telecommunication corporation Ericsson will create a multimedia communications network for 88 Russian regions. They are expected to sign a contract Friday.

Boris Nemtsov on Thursday refuted media reports that he accused former Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin and Anatoly Chubais of close contacts with financial oligarchs.

On the 80th anniversary of the military registration and enlistment offices, the Defense Ministry has launched a radical transformation of their operations, which may free them from their responsibility of army conscription.

Russian authorities are preparing to combat flooding this spring, which threaten to strike a large territory.

The Duma on Thursday debated whether or not to legalize prostitution.

Has Boris Berezovsky won or lost the struggle against Chubais?

Luzhkov has signed a decree to conduct competition for filling vacancies in the bureaucracy.

Moscow police have arrested Alexander Karmanov, director of the private military history museum, on charges of doing illegal business with antique weapons.

Prosecutors have completed an investigation of 15 killings and other crimes committed by Igor Rudovichus' criminal group. For six months they were working in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Saratov, Samara and Volgograd.

"Afrika Israel Investments Ltd." has announced a purchase of 20 percent of stock of the Russian "CentreInvest" investment group for $9.5 million.

On the 30th anniversary of the death of cosmonaut Yury Gagarin, cosmonaut Alexei Leonov reminisces about his friend, his hobbies, his family and their training sessions.


Nastya Voronina, 37, daughter of famous Russian film actress Fedoseyeva-Shukshina, is now in Bryansk. Last November she was arrested on a train going from Moscow to Kiev for carrying 700 grams of heroin.

A feature story on crippled children in Moscow, who are being turned into "professional" beggars.

A story about Jenny Cooper and Garry Makkovich, who 40 years ago arrived in the USSR to help its people build communism. To this day they are living in the Vologda region.

A visit to the Lozovy Klyuch settlement in the Primorsky region, where director Iosif Kostin turned the local children's boarding school into his harem.


The story talks about the "troika" summit in Bor on Thursday and notes that President Boris Yeltsin has once again shown strange aspects in his behavior which the story reveals in detail. Also covered in Noviye Izvestia.

At a session of the Our Home Is Russia political council on Thursday, former Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin tried to show that "political life does not end with political death."

The story describes how Alexander Livshits, deputy presidential chief of staff, commented on Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin's recent resignation.

Poland's Prosecutor General and Justice Minister Hanna Sukhotskaya made a decision not to extradite to Russia Sergei Stankevich, who is accused of getting a $10,000 bribe from the British organizers of the concert on Red Square in Moscow in 1992. Also featured in Noviye Izvestia and Segodnya.

The Central House of Cinema has announced candidates (their names are given) for the NIKA Prize for 1997.

Alexander Mekhanik, Director of the Institute of Modern Politics, explains the notion of oligarchy, saying that there are three groups in Russian society today that can claim oligarchic power: the military bureaucracy, the civil bureaucracy and the financial-industrial groups. The story also looks at the oligarchy-democracy relationship.

In an interview, Deputy Prime Minister for CIS Affairs Ivan Rybkin shares his view about the present situation in the Commonwealth and several major problems it is facing today.

One of the urgent tasks in resolving the Georgian-Ossetian conflict is determining the political status of Southern Ossetia.

Officials from President Boris Yeltsin's close entourage have worked out a scenario of Yeltsin's re-electing for a third term, in which everything has been thought out to the last point.

Why did former paratrooper General Alexander Lebed go to Washington to seek support? Why is he seeking support from Americans before his election campaign in the Krasnoyarsk region? Why are Americans willing to help him?

The story highlights the fate of Soviet writer Maxim Gorky, which is described as a "fascinating story with a splendid beginning and an unexpected end."

All other stories in the supplement are devoted to this writer.


Experts from the Association for Defending Consumers' Rights say that one in every two buyers in the Russian food shops is cheated in measuring the weight of goods.

After President Boris Yeltsin's firing of the Cabinet, former First Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov gave an interview to The Wall Street Journal, in which he said several compromising remarks about former Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin and his deputy, Anatoly Chubais. Also covered in Segodnya.

The story talks about the first Moscow hospice, a medical institution for cancer patients awaiting death. In an interview, its chief physician ,Vera Millionshchikova, describes specific features of this place.

A story talks about the hordes of Chinese migrants in Siberia, who gradually turn Russia's land into their own.


A special program of modernizing Russia's top secret system of "friend-foe" identification has been developed at the Defense Ministry.

The Moscow Health Committee has to approve a uniform for medical workers, who will monitor athletes at the Moscow World Summer Youth Games.

A big icicle that fell down from a roof in St. Petersburg on Wednesday, killed Ksyusha Yuzypchuk, 12.

Central Bank boss Sergei Dubinin signed a document Thursday morning concerning additional measures to defend the interests of banks' investors.

Why has President Boris Yeltsin fired his Interior Minister Anatoly Kulikov? Is it because he tried to influence the state economic policy and the work of other law-enforcement structures too much?


St. Petersburg authorities have opened (the first state-owned) night shelter for women, who have suffered from their husbands' abuse.

Bodies of two old women, who died more than six months ago, were found in their beds Wednesday in their own apartment in Ulitsa Marshala Rokosovskogo.

Alexei Konoplyansky, 42, chief of the security service of the Sberbank's Tverskoi branch, was killed Wednesday morning near his house in Ulitsa 800-Letiya Moskvy.

In an interview, Alexander Livshits, deputy chief of presidential staff, speaks about his reaction to the government's resignation, about the current economic situation, the draft of the Tax Code and the problem of investing.


During his recent meeting with acting Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko, Mayor Yury Luzhkov gave him a letter (printed in the story) with proposals about the main spheres of cooperation between the Moscow city government and the new federal government.


The resolution of the State Duma concerning the activities of several Russian television companies (signed by State Duma head Gennady Zeleznyov on March 18, 1998).