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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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

July 24, 1998.


In reply to Mayor Yury Luzhkov's intention to take tough measures to crack down on drug dealers and drug addicts, experts say that any decision to combat this evil by force will only worsen the situation and cause a drastic increase in the number of crimes. The story gives figures to illustrate an alarming drug situation in Moscow city and region.

According to reports from the State Statistics Committee, the gross domestic product in the first half year decreased 0.5 percent (as compared with the figure for the same period last year), while industrial production increased only 0.1 percent. The story analyzes these figures.

In an interview, Sberbank head Andrei Kazmin talks about bank-client relations, which, as many people say, are unequal. Kazmin also talks about the present state of banking accounts, about the compensation of pre-reform deposits and the bank's new services.

Twenty miners from Nizhneamurzoloto in the Khabarovsk region have been staying deep in the mine since January. They demand paying out wage arrears for 1996-1997.

The government may undergo serious personnel changes. The story looks at several Cabinet members, who may resign soon.

Deputy foreign ministers from five Caspian Sea states are expected to hold a meeting early this fall to resolve the issue of the Caspian status. The story looks at their differing stands causing debate.

President Boris Yeltsin is entering the twilight of his political career, which is evidenced from his behavior before going on holiday: He has made the final decision not to take part in the next presidential elections. The story focuses on Yeltsin's latest decision.


Tax chief Boris Fyodorov has "invented" a new method of making wealthy Russians pay taxes: He invites them for tea in his office on Ulitsa Neglinka. Is his method effective? The story looks at several results.

The Labor Ministry Friday will hold a closed session to consider a draft of the new labor legislation, according to which the employers may sack any undesirable worker. The story analyses the draft's major provisions.

Thursday's attempt on the life of Chechnya's President Aslan Maskhadov, the reasons behind which nobody knows, could mean the beginning of civil war in the region. Law enforcers say that former field commanders are dividing the drug business among themselves, which yields major profits to Chechnya.

The Nizhny Novgorod Election Commission on Thursday received 24,000 signatures, necessary to register jailed candidate Andrei Klimentyev for the mayoral elections scheduled for Sept. 27.

In an interview, First Deputy Chairman of the All-Russian State Television and Radio Co. Eduard Gindileyev, head of RIA "Vesti" program board of directors, talks about changes on the channel according to the latest government resolution.

Meeting demands from the International Monetary Fund, the number of defense strategic enterprises to be left in the hands of the government (for government control) will be 300 out of more than 3,000 at the beginning of this year. The opposition in the parliament will do everything in their power not to allow the government to "sell out the Motherland."

In an interview, Dato Nur Adlan, executive secretary of the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation Organization, who is in Moscow now, says that his agency will help Russia integrate in the world economy, which he discussed with Russian high officials.

U.S. Vice President Albert Gore, who arrived in Moscow on Thursday, will demand from Russia that it suspend all deliveries of nuclear technologies to Iran as Gore also did in Ukraine before coming to Moscow.

Kemerovo police detained a sex maniac, who for six months had kept the locals in fear. The maniac is accused of six acts of rape of small children.

The Moscow government has launched preparations to mark poet Alexander Pushkin's 200th anniversary. In honor of this event, the government has given 6,000 rubles ($968) to each of the poet's eight descendants of retirement age out of a total of 47. Next year, this action will be repeated.

All Russian airports, except Migalovo in Tver, on Thursday suspended the passage of shuttle traders' cargoes from abroad. This is the way the market has responded to the release of the recent State Customs Committee's directive concerning arranging customs documents on commodities carried by air.

The Sistema Moscow holding firm has sold part of its stock (3.8 percent) in the Moscow Telephone Networks, or MTN, to ONEXIM-Interros Group. As a result of the deal, the share of Svyazinvest, with ONEXIM-Interros being its shareholder, has increased in the MTN to the size of the blocking package.

In order to make Rosneft more attractive for buyers, the government decided to consider the issue of imposing outside administration in the company, with anti-crisis management specialists taking part.

Adidas intends to change its strategy on the Russian market: It has decided to invest in advertising for a healthy way of life. Thus, in two years Adidas will open its own fitness center in St. Petersburg.


Soviet writer Vladimir Dudintsev, who became one of the most widely read authors in the Soviet Union due to his two novels -- "White Clothes" and "Man Shall Not Live by Bread Alone" -- died Thursday at age 79.

The story features a new political movement in Volgograd -- the Party of Cosmic Communists or Christian-Leninists -- who believe in two gods at the same time, Jesus Christ and Vladimir Lenin. The movement numbers about 10,000 believers. What are its principles and tasks?

There is an abundance of vodka in Moscow with all possible labels -- for weddings, for funerals, for "gubernia day of literature" and even for elections. How can a drinking person resist the temptation to taste a new vodka every day?

In an interview filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov, head of the Russian Filmmakers' Union, said: "Russia today is again on the threshold of a 1917 [Revolution]. If the president [irrespective of how long he is going to or how long he is allowed to rule] fails to prepare his successor, the country and [President] Boris Yeltsin himself may expect [the same as] what happened in Russia 80 years ago."


The state-owned Ritual-Service agency made the decision to launch a City Information Inquiry Center Service-310, which will provide any information concerning funeral documents and ceremonies. The new service will start functioning round-the-clock Aug. 3.

A crow,which happened to be in an aircraft engine, caused the cargo plane An-24 to crash Thursday night in St. Petersburg. One person was hospitalized with many burns. Also covered in Kommersant Daily.

The story looks at mentally-sick Muscovites, many of whom live in communal apartments, which they have turned into filthy rubbish dumps. Their suffering neighbors apply to authorities, who due to the present law, are helpless to do anything for them.



Editor Vitaly Tretyakov looks at the positive effects of his recent article titled "The Issue of Power" has made on domestic political developments.

The West's decision to release $4.8 billion to Russia for stabilizing its financial markets has sparked a capital exodus.

NG has conducted its own investigation on how many Muscovites and their guests trust their money to commercial banks and how many prefer to keep their savings under their mattresses.

Historian Vadim Medvedev, an adviser to the president at the Gorbachev Fund, examines several stages of Yeltsin's rule, concluding that the current round, Kiriyenko's, will not last long.

This September will mark the fifth anniversary of the CIS Treaty on the creation of the Economic Union.

In an interview General Klaus Naumann, chairman of the NATO Military Committee, talks about NATO-Russia military cooperation.


In an interview, the chief of the Main Military/Medical Department of the Defense Ministry, discusses how Russia cares for its 3.5 million army and navy veterans.


The government has passed a bill submitted by tax chief Boris Fyodorov according to which all Russians who failed to pay taxes in 1992-1997 are advised to do so now.

While top executives are seeking money for the Treasury, local governors and chiefs are getting rich receiving huge profits from state property.

The government intends to impose a state tobacco monopoly in 1999 as an anti-crisis measure, which is expected to halt the flow of low-quality cigarettes from abroad.

The full text of a federal law concerning the state's right to compare big purchases with individuals' actual earnings is given.

The full text of the federal law on introducing amendments to the Federal Law on Public Association is given.

The full text of the government decree on specific features of paying the Value-Added Tax, or VAT, is given.

July 25 will mark the 18th anniversary of the death of bard, poet and film and theatrical actor Vladimir Vysotsky. One of his best friends, Valery Sakharov, reminisces about his days with Vysotsky.


Workers at the Gus Khrustalny Cut-Glass factory in the Vladimir Region have been receiving, instead of wages, crystal chandeliers and other items produced by the factory. The workers then try to sell these goods to tourists who pass through Vekovka on the train.

According to the Central Bank's public relations department, the volume of gold currency reserves in Russia as of July 17, 1998, amounted to $ 13.6 billion as compared to $13.7 billion on July 10.

Starting last week, the Sibneft company began to conform to the Charter on Corporate Administration.

Russia and Angola plan to sign an agreement soon on cooperation in developing cut-diamond complexes in both countries. Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko has signed a government decree to this effect, which pleases the Almazy Rossii-Sakha company.


The story comments on U.S. Vice President Albert Gore's current visit to Russia, saying that increasing criticism of U.S. President Bill Clinton's Russian policy inside Washington makes Gore's visit largely political. Also covered in Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

Migration police will emerge soon in the Saratov region, says Tatyana Regent, head of the Federal Migration Service. Also covered in NoviyeIzvestia.

Starting from August 1, all Russian tourists must buy visas (the cheapest in Europe--$5) to travel to Poland.

World Bank Director Michael Carter and Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko, World Bank executive for Russia, have signed protocols on the World Bank credit SAL-3 to be released to Russia in September, intended to fund the structural transformation of the Russian economy.

Former Agriculture Minister Viktor Khlystun took his successors aback by saying he is creating a so-called Institute to study the state of the agrarian market, which is intended to help boost many agricultural enterprises.

The preliminary results of a federal government commission's thorough research into the Kuzbas economy are reported. The commission was ordered by Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov, and is meant to focus mainly on the coal-mining sector.

The government is trying to avoid the errors it made during the previous Rosneft auction. The RFFI yesterday announced that it had received applications from four investment banks that are prepared to compete for the right to give financial consultations during Rosneft purchases.

The city government has endorsed a renovation project that will expand the 4.6 hectares of the Hermitage Gardens in downtown Moscow up to 10.1 hectares.

Russians today swear much more than they did ten years ago. The story reports on how a former Moscow school teacher, Oleg Eduardovich, organized a local association of schoolchildren called "Life Without Filthy Language" in his backyard.

A swarm of bees attacked residents of 25 Volgina Street in Moscow on Thursday night. Residents had to close all windows and doors and apply to the city emergency service for help.


Political observer Anatoly Salutsky analyzes two legitimate constitutional ways of President Yeltsin's power to quit early.


In an exclusive interview, Speaker of the Federation Council Yegor Stroyev talks about his view on the current financial crisis, on the IMF's credits, on ways to overcome the crisis, on the presidential elections in 2000, and on the ratification of the START2 Treaty.