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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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

April 1, 1998.


Though the Ukrainian Communists had a strong showing in the Sunday parliamentary elections, it's far from being a triumph. The story gives facts and figures on the preliminary results.

President Boris Yeltsin has signed a decree on the spring army conscription campaign, which give 16 official reasons allowing young people to be released from army service.

Is there an alternative to the alternative army service?

The story looks at the results of Russia's consultations on the fate of the Caspian Sea with Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Iran. Will they be able to reach consensus and leave the sea undivided?

Navy commander Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov said that Russia's strategic nuclear submarine of the Borei class (its construction lasts five-seven years) will be ready in the years of the 21st century.

The Moscow government has approved a major renovation project for the Kursky Station which will cost about $200 million.

The time limit for submitting income declaration expires today (it's not an April Fools joke). The story talks about what can be expected from this campaign, which this year seems to have appeared more effective than last year. The story gives facts and figures to illustrate the point.

GAZ director Nikolai Pugin has conducted secret talks in Egypt on assembling Russian Gazel vehicles in Egypt.

Sergei Bachinin, editor of the Kirov newspaper Vyatsky Nablyudatel (in opposition to the local authorities) was sentenced to one year in jail and then amnestied.

In an interview, newly appointed Interior Minister Sergei Stepashin stated that he and Sergei Krayukhin are members of President Boris Yeltsin's team.

Commenting on President Boris Yeltsin's "democratic reforms" conducted through "tsarist rule," The Washington Post political observer Jim Hogland notes that "Yeltsin is manoeuvering for the sake of his own defense rather than for Russia."

The story talks about the Russian-Namibian negotiations, focusing on the documents the two presidents have to sign in Moscow today, particularly an inter-governmental agreement on diamond extraction, which could possibly be a blow to the De Beer's monopoly. Also covered in Kommersant Daily.

How to drink alcohol and still keep a clear head afterward? The problem seems to have been resolved in a laboratory at the St. Petersburg joint-stock company Chizhik. In an interview, its head biologist Vladlen Gurov talks about a great discovery.

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev states and answers the question, "Is it possible to speak about Russia's grave economic position, calling at the same time on foreign businessmen to invest in the Russian economy?"

China's economic successes are impressive. How has the country managed to achieve them? What are major the factors? Two opposing views are presented.

GAI traffic police officials in the Pushkinsky district of the Moscow region have launched a campaign to combat illiteracy among their officers. From now on, before taking the job, they will be examined on Russian writing skills.


Federal and local prosecutors have inspected children's orphanages, boarding schools and shelters for homeless children. The results are horrible as widespread theft leaves children miserable and always hungry. The story gives facts and figures to illustrate the point.

State Taxation Service head Alexander Pochinok on Tuesday spoke about the need to impose a new tax on real estate and he himself may become the first person to pay it as an owner of a dacha in the settlement of Uspenskoye, outside Moscow.

President Boris Yeltsin on Tuesday stated his intention to approve thecandidature of Alexander Tikhonov for the post of education minister, which means that the concept of reform (with negative provisions for students) suggested by Tikhonov has been officially accepted.

A government spokesman yesterday stated that the budget that the president signed four days ago will be sequestrated.

During his consultations Tuesday with the Communist Party, the Narodovlastiye group and Agrarian Party officials, acting Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko made a good impression on them, which does not mean at all that the State Duma will approve his candidature April 3.

Acting Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko will present the State Duma his government economic program (worked out by Yegor Gaidar) on April 3.

In an interview, Yevgeny Bychkov, former head of the Russian precious metals committee, talks about how Russia appeared on the world diamond market without De Beer's mediation.

President Boris Yeltsin has signed decrees ratifying the agreements with Kazakhstan on leasing military proving grounds on its territory. The documents, however, do not mean that all disputable issues have been resolved.

Russia today is expected to introduce new excise stamps on alcohol, which will show the volume of bottles.

Krasnodar Governor Nikolai Kondratenko is waging a struggle against "CIA agents," So far he has tried to oust two Americans, who pretended to be specialists from the U.S. National Democratic Institute.

Sverdlovsk Governor Eduard Rossel has sustained a second political defeat in a row -- the Moscow Zamoskvoretsky Court has restored Vladimir Kostousov as head of the Sverdlovsk State Television and Radio Co., whose resignation was Rossel's aim.

The Moscow City Government's science and industry department has submitted a concept of boosting city industry for 1998-2000. The document states that Moscow will lose its present status of industrial center and will become a city of science and high technological production. All ecologically unfavorable enterprises will be removed outside the city limits. The project will cost 15 billion rubles ($2.5billion).

Moscow prosecutors have completed their investigations of the Board of Economic Crimes in Moscow's branch of the Interior Ministry, which has revealed numerous cases of power abuse, bribery, theft and incompetence.

State Taxation Service for the Omsk region has declared a search for Sergei Sidorov, former head of Narodny Bank of Siberia, who is suspected of swindling and averting tax payments.

The Federation Council budget committee has submitted a draft law ridding the Central Bank of its independent status and turning it into an ordinary state department.

The collegium of State Property Ministry on Tuesday endorsed a plan for selling nine large state-owned facilities in 1998.

Konditerskoye Obyedineniye Rossiya joint-stock company in Samara controlled by the Swiss firm Nestle signed an agreement with the local industrial association Sumven on the delivery of packaging material.


Former First Deputy Prime Minister Anatoly Chubais hopes to get a job with the Unified Energy Systems company.


On a list of 20 most influential politicians in Russia in March by Vox Populi sociological service, former Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin takes second place despite his resignation.

Viktor Sadovnichy, Rector of Moscow State University, which heads the Russian Rectors' Union, discusses the issue of reforming the present system of higher education in Russia.

Not many St. Petersburg residents know that there is an island (in the form of a triangle) called Novaya Gollandiya, or New Holland, in the central part of the city, 800 meters from the Bronze Horseman and the St. Isaac Cathedral. It will be open to the public in 2003.

Today marks the 125th anniversary of the birth of the acclaimed composer Sergei Rachmaninoff. Two concerts will be given in the Grand Hall of the Conservatory on April 5 and 6 in honor of this great composer.

A Children's Cultural Center has opened in the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, which is a joint project of the museum and the Culture and Children Charity Fund.

Space exploration by first satellites has helped scientists make a wonderful discovery: Ourplanet is surrounded by powerful waves of radiation, and the period between 2005 and 2008 will be the most dangerous for orbital flights in the International Space Station. A story by Mikhail Panasyuk, director of the Research Institute of Nuclear Physics.

In an interview, Rainer Gerold, Director of the General Directorate on Science, Research and Development of the European Commission, speaks about its cooperation with Russia.

The problem of brain drain has become very acute in Russia over the past six years. About 80 percent of mathematicians and 50 percent of theoretical physicists have left the country to work abroad. What should be done to stop the process?


The Nationalities Ministry has launched special courses for Russian teachers from the Baltic and CIS countries with the aim of improving their knowledge of the Russian language. Over 500 teachers have already arrived in Russia.

Law enforcers in the Yaroslavl region have detained two groups of killers and their "clients." One group of contract killers consisted of Moscow police officers.

Today Mir cosmonauts Talgat Musabayev and Nikolai Budarin are expected to step into outer space to set a new world record in the number of spacewalks -- five in a month.

How many Muscovites have failed to pay taxes and what measures should be taken to make them do it? A story by journalist Valery Yakov.


After investigating a rough copy of acting Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko's economic program, factions from the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, were convinced that the candidate for the post of Cabinet head is not ready to offer them an effective document that could change the economic situation for the better. Also covered in Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov has issued a decree on the representatives of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria in other states. The decree abolishes the institute of Chechnya's representatives in Russian regions, stating that Ichkeria will send its plenipotentiaries to 21 states, including Russia.

The Moscow City government yesterday endorsed a construction project of the first line of the mini-metro from Kievskaya Ploshchad to Moskva-City. The cost of the project exceeds $130 million.

The GAI traffic police operation "Pedestrian" is being conducted in Moscow for the second time with the aim of reprimanding those, who violate traffic rules.

How work on production-sharing draft laws is progressing in the State Duma? In an interview, Alexei Mikhailov, head of the Duma's Natural Resources Committee, answers this and other questions.


The Law on military duty and military service has come into effect today. In an interview, Yury Kravtsov, adviser to the State Duma Defense Committee, comments on the document.


What taxes do the Russians pay today and how much? There are only two persons in the whole of Russia, who voluntarily agreed to pay higher taxes for the good of Russia.

In an interview, satirical writer Viktor Shenderovich, author and producer of the NTV television Saturday program "Kukly," talks about new puppets, which are being made for the program in France. Also covered in Moskovsky Komsomolets.

In an interview, Central Bank boss Sergei Dubinin comments on the government's resignation. He also speaks about the federal authorities' relationships with financial oligarchs.

German school history textbooks (for eighth-grades) carry a chapter devoted to Lenin, saying that the leader of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia had a son, Alexander Steffen, the sixth child of Inessa Armand. In a short interview Steffen, who was found in Berlin by the newspaper, reminisces about his parents. The story also features an excerpt from Armand's letter to Lenin.

A new satirical program "Vesyoliye Rebyata" will appear on ORT state television this fall.

Businessman Alexander Altunin last July was taken hostage by a group of gangsters in Moscow, who for over four months kept him in a basement. From a young handsome man Alexander turned into a decrepit gray-haired old man with lifeless eyes.

During the month of April, the smell of ammonia can be felt throughout Moscow, which is dangerous for people's health. The story describes the unfavorable ecological situation in the city, citing facts and figures.


The Olympic Stadium intends to close its swimming pool, because a blue whale that recently arrived from Florida, will be put there.


State Duma Deputy Yekaterina Lakhova gives facts and figures to show that the problem of discrimination against women still exists in Russia.

What holidays do the Russians celebrate and how?

Does confrontation exist within the Moslem community in Dagestan? In an interview, Dagestan's Mufti Saiidmukhammed Abubakarov answers this and other questions.


When former Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin announced his presidential bid for the election in 2000 last Saturday, many people interested in big politics thought about what it might lead to. Politician Sergei Filatov notes that Chernomyrdin's statement created a new political situation in Russia.

The information published by Berliner Zeitung about acting Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko, who in 1994 allegedly received a training course in the U.S. totalitarian sect Scientology, shocked the Germans, who view the sect as a structure threatening the fundamentals of democracy and statehood.