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

March 25, 1998.


In an exclusive interview (several hours after his appointment), acting

Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko speaks about his new tasks at the new post,

about a "very complicated" economic situation and about his team. Segodnya

covers a story about Kiriyenko's plans.

Which ministers from the old Cabinet have a chance to retain their posts in

the new government? Also included in Kommersant Daily.

The British government has issued a directive to customs services, airport

and sea port guards, saying that they should be ready for a bacteriological

attack by Iraq. Similar warnings were issued for other NATO countries.

Starting at 2 a.m. March 29, Russia will switch to daylight savings time -

the clock hands should be moved one hour ahead.

"The Portrait of Pyotr Basin" by artist Orest Kiprensky, which disappeared

from the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg during War World II, was returned

on the occasion of the museum's anniversary. Kommersant Daily also covers

the story.

The Central Bank has recommended the residents to restrain from doing

transactions with Belarussian rubles.

Deputy Economics Minister Sergei Mitin stated that the machine-building

complex last year increased its output (for the first time in the past five

years) by 2.6 percent from1996. Short information.

Colonel General Leonty Shevtsov, the Commander in Chief of the Interior

Forces, said that in 1999 the number of its servicemen will supposedly be

cut to 220,000 as a result of army reform. Also covered in Kommersant


It took only two compact discs to fit five volumes of the Brokhouse and

Efron encyclopedic dictionary.

Dalenergo ordered that electricity supply to Vladivostok be suspended,

because of its huge debt to the energy company. The story explains why the

city has found itself in such a disgraceful situation.

What consequences may President Boris Yeltsin's firing of the Cabinet on

Monday lead to?

How have businessmen and politicians responded to President Boris Yeltsin's

sacking of the government? Three VIPs speak out.

With Viktor Chernomyrdin's resignation the Our Home Is Russia Party will

remain the "party of power," like all other political parties supporting

reform policy, party leader Vladimir Ryzhkov noted Tuesday, speaking about

its new difficulties. But the article notes that Ryzhkov has greatly

overestimated the party's chances. Kommersant Daily also feature this


The story explains why Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov has retained his

post in the current political government crisis.

Former First Deputy Prime Minister Anatoly Chubais had to resolve unpopular

tasks paying a dear price for them. He issure it was worth paying for the

results he has achieved as the story talks about Chubais' ups and downs at

his posts in the president's administration and the government. His

statements are also cited. Segodnya has a story about Chubais' chance to

take up the post of the head of Unified Energy Systems.


Will the former head of the State Taxation Service, Alexander Pochinok, pay

taxes for his dacha in Uspenskoye, for which he paid 443 million old

rubles? Pochinok fills in his income declaration form to show how he does


The Greek authorities early in April will have to extradite Russian Andrei

Kozlyonok, a co-founder of the American Golden Ada company, whom the

Prosecutor General's Office has accused of looting more than $180 million.

But Kozlyonok does not want to come back home. The interview explains why.

The Federal Fund for the Protection of Depositors' Rights has announced a

competition to select a new company to govern its assets - about 290

million rubles. How soon the deceived depositors will get their

compensation will depend on the activities of the new company.

The Novik patrol boat construction project at the Yantar shipbuilding

factory in Kaliningrad, which began in 1997, may be suspended because of

financial problems.

A road accident in the suburbs of Murmansk yesterday injured several

reporters who accompanied Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko on his

visit to this city. Lukashenko himself arrived a day earlier.

The Grodno Regional Court yesterday supported the ruling of the Oshmaynsky

Court (of Jan. 28) concerning the case of ORT journalists Pavel Sheremet

and Dmitry Zavadsky. Segodnya also covers the story.

A story talks about the plan for merging the airborne troops and the air force.

Boris Gusev, commander of the Volzhsky Cossack army, and Vladimir

Pizhanchikov, head of the Bulat military production association, signed a

contract on arming the Cossacks with cavalry swords.

Ten regional administration heads speak out about their attitude to

President Boris Yeltsin's firing of the Cabinet.

St. Petersburg Mayor Vladimir Yakovlev has signed a directive for the

construction of a stadium (to seat 8,000) in the famous Tavrichesky


The Nizhny Novgorod region intends to launch another economic experiment.

Regional Governor Ivan Sklyarov has signed an agreement with the Higher

Privatization and Entrepreneurship School on developing a regional concept

of governing the property.

The cities of Smolensk and Bryansk and Belarussian police officers arrested

a group of 11 Gypsies, who since the beginning of 1997 committed over 10

killings in Russian and Belarussian villages.

The investigation committee of the Interior Ministry has completed the

investigation of a group of counterfeiters from St. Petersburg, which

between 1995 and 1996 smuggled in more than 40,000 50-thousand-ruble

banknotes from Poland.

Rescuers from the Tatarevo rescuing station in Serebryany Bor on March 23

rescued six people, who fell under ice.

What measures have world oil exporters taken to overcome the current crisis

in the world oil market?

The Russian YUKSI oil holding yesterday signed a memorandum of cooperation

with Schlumberger, a leading international servicing oil company.

The article provides tables showing how the world financial crisis has

affected the position of the banks in the banking world.


In an interview (last Saturday at Berezovsky's dacha outside Moscow), Boris

Abramovich says in part that he has a strong suspicion that the killing of

journalist Vlad Listyev in March 1995 was organized by the Russian special

services. He also speaks about the succession of power, which concerns him

a great deal.

President Boris Yeltsin's firing of the Cabinet has confused the plans of

"Kukly" television show producer Vasily Grigoryev, who talks about his next


Film critics share their opposing impressions on Alexander Nevzorov's

television film "Purgatory" featuring the Chechen war.

A story talks about the Jewish Autonomous Region in Russia, which has

celebrated its 70th anniversary recently.

Where has Russia's gold reserve disappeared to? On the eve of the 1917

Revolution it exceeded 1,337 tons, the biggestreserve in Europe.


The story asks what "acting" means in regards to Sergei Kiriyenko, recently

appointed to the post of acting prime minister.

There are no interracial problems in the life of the Crimean Tatars,

however, the conflicts in the Crimea are generated from up above.

How did Grozny and Washington react to President Boris Yeltsin's sacking of

the Cabinet?

The story presents excerpts from acting Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko's

interviews in the past six months, in which he spoke about the issue of

governing the fuel and energy complex.

Five days are left until parliamentary elections in Ukraine. In an

interview, Pavel Lazarenko, leader of the Gromada political association

talks about Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma's dishonest methods of


In an interview, a Communist leader in Ukraine describes the party's

program and the way he envisions relations with Russia.

What national interests do all CIS states have in the Commonwealth? Is

Russia alone interested in boosting the alliance?

The story looks at Armenia not long before the second round of the

presidential elections is due when voters will have to make a serious

choice. Also covered in Noviye Izvestia.

Ukraine is working for an early ratification of the Russia-Ukraine

Friendship Treaty. Why is it so important for it? State Duma expert

Valentina Korenevskaya clarifies the issue.

In an interview, the president's press secretary Sergei Yastrzhembsky

speaks about the Russian-Ukrainian strategic group dealing with bilateral

cooperation, which he heads. This group is viewed as an element of

presidential foreign policy.

Sociology experts evaluate leading politicians in Moldova, Belarus and

Ukraine in February.


Residents from several apartment blocks on Otkrytoye Shosse are suffering

from several diseases without suspicion that their houses were built of

poisonous materials.

The Emergency Situations Ministry stated that a destructive earthquake

(reaching 9 points on the Richter scale) may happen this year in the Kuril

Islands. It has invited Japanese specialists to work out several measures

to get prepared for the natural disaster.

Russian oil companies are sustaining losses from their oil export. Judging

from contradictory statements, the government is unable to improve the


Passions around the religion law are continuing to rage (and not only in

Russia but in the United States, too),even though it was passed four months

ago. In an interview Andrei Loginov, executive secretary of the Council on

Interaction With Religious Organizations under the president, answersthis

and other questions about the law.


President Boris Yeltsin's secret plan behind his firing of the Cabinet is

revealed. (It was first scheduled for April 9 rather than March 23.)

In an interview, Igor Malashenko, director general of NTV Holding, speaks

about a new company of political consultations, which he heads now, about

his duties in television and about television advertisements.

What have people gained from reform? Playwright Viktor Rozov and pianist

Nikolai Petrov share their opposing views.

A story talks about art trophies, which were brought to the Soviet Union

from Germany after World War II. What artifacts have so far been returned

to Germany?

A story talks about income declarations and what to do with them. It gives

a list of 1997 declarations of 35 highly-placed bureaucrats.

The Magnitogorsk Metal Combine, a former pride of the Soviet economy, is

undergoing "capitalist transformations." Its director Viktor Rashnikov

talks about the recent scandal around property division and about a good

life in the city today when people get wages on time.

Moscow police often stop black people on city streets to see their

documents, thinking that they are Africans living in Moscow without

registration. But it often turns out that they are real Muscovites.

Has fate laughed at film and theatrical actor GeorgiZhzhonov? First, he was

sent to Stalin's gulag and then offered to play the role of a "real Soviet

man" in a Soviet ideological film.

Chief Military Prosecutor Yury Dyomin speaks about cases of killings in the

army and violations of the rights of women in the service.


Specialists at the Moscow City Research Anti-Tuberculosis Center have

developed a new effective medicine to combat TB, which combines the

properties of the anti-tuberculosis preparation and of the immune


Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov on Tuesday approved a concept of building modern

apartment blocks in Yuzhnoye Butovo, submitted by architects from the

Moscow Architecture Committee. The story focuses on its social aspect.

Political scientist Leonid Radzikhovsky looks at a difficult finish of the

epoch of "Yeltsinism," expressing hope that at all costs it will not be

similar to the end of perestroika.

Newly appointed acting Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko talks about his

first steps in the new post. Also featured in Moskovsky Komsomolets.

The Moscow television factory Rubin and joint-stock company Raduga (St.

Petersburg) have announced their plan to assemble standardized stationary

color television sets, using 80 percent domestic parts.


Is it possible that first Soviet cosmonaut, Yury Gagarin, was killed? KGB

official Venyamin Rusayev describes his version of Gagarin's possible


Will State Duma deputies allow the Court or prosecutors to decide the fate

of LDPR's Duma Deputy Vladimir Zhirinovsky? Three deputies speak out.


In the next few days, the water level in the Moskva River may rise by 6

meters. Mosvodokanal specialists, however, say that there won't be any

destructive consequences.

It often happens in spring when mentally sick people kill their relatives

and then commit suicide. Such was the case in Lyublino on Sunday when a

mentally-sick 49-year-old man killed his father-in-law, his wife and a

daughter and then killed himself.


Valeria Novodvorskaya, leader of the Democratic Union of Russia, says that

the Russian people (Muscovites, too) are today unable to elect neither

liberal and democratic leaders nor parliament.


If Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin's resignation is a disfavor - then

for what? If it's a maneuver - then with what aim?

"The Portrait of Nina Kandinskaya" by Russian artist Vasily Kandinsky has

been sold at the recent auction at the Gelos private antiquarian house for

$1 million (the first so highlypriced painting in the legal art market in

Russia). In an interview, the Gelos deputy director, Alexei Zaitsev, talks

about the new history of legal private business in Russia and about

specific Russian features of the auction business.

The story examines how the new Criminal Code works in a women's prison

(with 1,500 inmates) in Mozhaisk, in the Moscow region.