Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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

July 22, 1998.


The political situation in Chechnya is becoming ever more tense with each passing day. The article covers the possibility of civil war and describes the conflicting parties. Also covered in Kommersant Daily.

Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev's recent visit to Yerevan and his talks on bilateral military cooperation there have made neighboring Azerbaijan indignant. The Azeri Foreign Ministry's statement explains major reasons.

The Anti-Terrorist Commission under the president has held a session to discuss measures intended to crack down on extremism in general and in Chechnya in particular. Justice Minister Pavel Krasheninnikov stated that the commission concluded that the Wahhabite movement is not extremist.

Russian human-rights activists have called on leading chess players of the world to boycott the World Chess Olympiad in Elista,Kalmykia scheduled for Sept. 26. The article discusses what prompted this action.

Two Russian television journalists, Oleg Safiulin and Igor Galanov, and their interpreter were detained Tuesday at an outpost of the Kosovo Liberation Army.

Saratov Governor Dmitry Ayatskov stated Tuesday at a regional government session that star Alla Pugachyova announced her intention to run for State Duma deputy in the Engels one-mandate constituency. If elected, she would replace Communist deputy Oleg Mironov, who was appointed human rights plenipotentiary not long ago. The article makes a mock of Pugachyova's desire.

The investigation service of the Moscow tax police has instituted criminal proceedings against former managing director John Bailey of Johnson and Johnson and its chief accountant, Wayne Blanchard. The two are accused of evading taxes. Also covered in Kommersant Daily and Moskovsky Komsomolets.

The government commission is arriving at Kemerovo today to see wherethe budget money allocated for miners' wages goes. Miners have again blocked a local railroad there.

The Supreme Court on July 20 made a ruling repealing both temporary and permanent residence permits. Moscow authorities, however, may oppose the ruling. Commentary is made on the court's decision.

Yakutia produced over 30 tons of gold annually in Soviet times, making this region the country's "currency shop." But today, only "gold dust" is left. The story describes those golden days.

The editorial board of "The Modern Library," part of Random House publishing, has put out a list of the top 100 examples of English-language literature. Vladimir Nabokov's "Lolita" takes fourth place.


In an interview, Alpha-Group chief Mikhail Fridman talks about the development of the anti-crisis scenario and the role of the oligarchs in it.

By releasing a smaller credit than promised earlier, the International Monetary Fund has punished the government for its failure to make the State Duma approve the fiscal austerity package. The article address the reaction of the Russian financial market.

Russian customs officers are at a loss. They don't know how to control the flow of imported commodities going to Chechnya through Georgia along a new motorway. The Customs Committee justly believes that it's the Russian government that is responsible now for an increase in contraband to Russia because of a government treaty with Chechnya on cooperation in the customs sphere.

The article addresses the rumor that Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko has offered Primorye Governor Yevgeny Nazdratenko a ministerial post in the Cabinet.

Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko and Gazprom head Rem Vyakhirev agreed that the gas company will begin paying back its debts to the government in a week. This unexpected agreement has become possible due to unprecedented mutual concessions. The concessions are described in the article.

A contract on delivering the aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Gorshkov to India will be soon ready. Russia hopes to earn at least $2 billion on this "deal of the century," which alone is nearly 80 percent of the volume of last year's sales of Russian armaments.

The Tula Regional Court considered the bribery case of Tula ex-governor Nikolai Sevryugin for two days. One of the witnesses made a sensational statement, saying he was involved in the governor's illegal deals. He promised to return the $30,000 that he claims to have earned on them.

The Rostvertol joint-stock company (Rostov-on-Don), a leading producer of military and heavy-cargo helicopters, has bought Rostpromstroibank, which is on the verge of bankruptcy. It was allegedly the Rostov regional administration that asked Rostvertol to sign such an unfavorable deal.

Participants in the stock market are rejoicing: the Federation Council, or upper house of parliament, has approved amendments in the law on profit tax levied on enterprises and organizations. According to the amendments, losses from securities transactions will be deducted from the levied profit. Specialists say this will prompt an influx of rubles to the stock market and boost tax collections to the budget.

The Russian Video International Media Service company has received the exclusive right to sell advertising air to two Hungarian television channels. This is the first case in which the Russian company will control advertising on a foreign television channel.

Deputy Finance Minister Mikhail Kasyanov announced Tuesday the official results of GKO conversion into eurobonds. The government has managed to decrease by a third the August and September payments on GKOs, which has slightly improved the situation with servicing the state debt.

The German Daimler-Benz Aerospace (DASA) concern has announced its intention to consider the Russian-Ukrainian plane An-70 as the basic model for creating a European military and cargo aircraft.

What will private investors gain from the credit released to Russia by the International Monetary Fund? Does the threat of ruble devaluation remain? The article describes how private investors may benefit from the International Monetary Fund's credit release to Russia andaddresses the threat that a ruble devaluation may still occur.

More than ten years ago, the Soviet government received from France paintings and the archives of artists Mikhail Larionov and Natalya Goncharova. This, however, is not the end of the story. Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko last week ordered that French lawyer Jacques Saad, who resolved the problem, be paid approximately $600,000 from the budget. But as it has turned out, Saad was fired from the guild of French lawyers for dealing with this case. The story cites little-known facts of the case.


The article gives details of an incident that occurred in January 1998, when 19 shots were fired at the dacha "Barvikha-3" of former Cabinet head Viktor Chernomyrdin. Kremlin special services kept this incident secret.

In an interview, American economist Marshall Goldman talks about current Russian economic hardships and ways of increasing tax and other revenues.

In an interview, world chess champion Anatoly Karpov's wife, Natasha, a real Russian beauty, talks about her happy life with her "chess king."

The outstanding Russian filmmaker Yuri Gherman turned 60 Wednesday, and Tuesday, he was awarded the Order For Great Services to the Fatherland. In an interview, he talks about his controversial films.


Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov has launched a campaign to crack down on drug addicts and dealers. His first victims will be night clubs and discos.

The whole family of police officer Yevgeny Minin was hospitalized for medical examination after eating a watermelon laced with mercury.

Moscow city authorities will remove the oil from the Moscow River with the help of special helicopter-mounted laser equipment.

With the aim of raising the birth rate in Moscow, a Russian research center, together with the Children's Hygiene Research Institute, hasdeveloped a program for senior schoolgirls to be included in school curricula.


Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko, speaking before State Duma deputies late last week, asked for additional powers to conduct radical market reform. This is just what President Boris Yeltsin did in October 1991 when he spoke before participants in the Congress of People's Deputies. The article comments on the draft law concerning additional powers for the government.

The Russians' living standards will decrease nearly 20 percent -- such is the price for a new $11.2 billion credit to be issued to Russia by the International Monetary Fund. The article discusses how burdensome the credit will be for the Russian taxpayers.

How do you assess the progress of military reform in Russia? What, in your opinion, are main trends in your cooperation with the Russian Defense Ministry and what will be your practical steps? What do you think about Russia's concern over NATO's expansion to the east? In an interview, US Defense Secretary William Cohen answers these and other questions.

Rumor has it that Federal Security Service Director Nikolai Kovalyov may resign. The article discusses possible candidates to replace him.

Does Russia really need the institution of the presidency? Why can't it be a parliamentary republic? What wouldn't have happened in this country if it had remained so? Political scientist Boris Vishnevsky looks at several arguments.

In an interview, Viktor Ilyukhin, head of the State Duma defense committee, talks about the problem of impeaching the president, which, in his opinion, should be done without delay.

Describing the economic and financial position of his company, Yevgeny Ananyev, Director General of the "State Company Rosvooruzheniye" federal state-owned unitarian enterprise, focuses on its military and technical cooperation with foreign states.


Justice Minister Pavel Krasheninnikov has endorsed a package of measures intended to put into effect a protocol concerning abolishing the death penalty in Russia, part of the European Convention on Human Rights and Basic Freedoms.

Aeroflot will use a military airport in Klin in the Moscow region together with the Defense Ministry. The appropriate document was signed by Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko.

According to information from the regional disease prevention center, the number of HIV-infected and AIDS patients in the Far East has reached 118 lately, which is 40 more than the figure for the beginning of the year.

Igor Yanitsky, head of the Environment and Geophysical Forecast Center attached to the Defense Ministry, stated that strong winds are expected to become common feature in the Moscow region in the next several months. He explained why.

There is much talk in Finland today about the need to revise the results of the 1939-40 winter war and of World War II, as a result of which Russia received part of Karelia and the Karelian Isthmus. This topic that for many years was closed for public debate emerged on the agenda after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. What is the true state of the matter ?

According to reports from the World Health Organization, about 35 million to 40 million people annually join the army of allergy patients, with modern medicine being unable to help them. In Russia, too, this disease is among most-widely spread. In an interview Tatyana Grishina, head of Clinical Immunology at the Moscow Medical Stomatology Institute, says that regrettably many Russian doctors have outdated information about allergies.

The Russian Orthodox Church warned that it plans to leave the World Council of Churches, which means the so-called ecumenical dialogue. In view of this, the Orthodox Church will not send its delegation to a regular World Council of Churches General Assembly, which will take place in Harrare in December. Instead, it will set forth an ultimatum: either a radical reorganization of the world council or a split. The article highlights major reasons behind the conflict.


The government's measure of a tax to be levied starting Aug. 1 on all individuals, who will have to pay 2 percent from all their earnings and even from unemployment and temporary disability allowances.

Deputy Prosecutor General Mikhail Katuyshev has signed a decree on closing the criminal case in relation to the deputy head of the Federal Insolvency Service, Pyotr Karpov. Thus, the Prosecutor General's Office has completed this shameful and absurd case.

Two residents in Beslan, North Ossetia, Svetlana Adziyev, 28, and Regina Adziyev, 12, were taken hostage yesterday, for whom bandits demanded $55,000. Kidnapping is a disgraceful reality in the Caucasus where trade in humans has become a profitable business. The story gives facts and figures to illustrate the point.

An effective kind of export for Russia is the export of promises, which are very well paid for. Thus, deputy head of the presidential administration Sergei Vasilyev stated that in the next 1.5 years Russia may get $22.8 billion for its promise to reach a 3-percent profit from the planned excess of the budget revenues over its expenditure and to refuse from short-term borrowing.

Muscovites will soon be able to watch programs of the so-called cellular television. In September the Moscow Rustel, a branch of the Cellular Vision Technology and Telecommunication of Russia company, is expected to launch its programs.

What should be done to raise the efficacy of using mineral wealth? In an interview Natural Resources Minister Viktor Nekrutenko talks about new government measures in this sphere.

Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov yesterday came up with an initiative to create a special anti-narcotics council in the Mayor's Office and recommended law-enforcers that they treble their efforts in cracking down on drug dealers spreading drugs among schoolchildren.

A unique book titled "The Atlas of Caesium Fallout in Europe After the Chernobyl Disaster" was presented yesterday in the Central Journalists' Club, which is the most objective source of information.


Where do family names come from? The answer can be obtained from a special Moscow agency called "The Origin and History of Your Family Names." The story looks at several family names with interesting origins.

Why are there so few women in the government and among executive managers ? Are they discriminated in Russia? In an interview, feminist activist and writer Maria Arbatova shares her view.

What taxes shall we pay according to the government's anti-crisis program and when? In an interview Dmitry Chernik, chief of the State Tax Inspectorate for Moscow, answers these questions.

In an interview, lawyer Mikhail Burmistrov says he is sure that Tamara Rokhlina, wife of the deceased general, is not guilty. The lawyer also says that he made the impression that investigators are against the presence of any lawyers in this case.

In an interview audit from the Auditing Chamber Veniamin Sokolov talks about the new IMF credit and about the government privatization program for this year.

Who is exercising the real power in Russia today? To what extent do the regions depend on the federal authorities? What do you think of the Novgorod governor's idea that the president should be elected by regional leaders? In an interview political scientist Olga Kryshtanovskaya and State Duma deputy Sergei Sobyanin answer these questions.


Many children fled from parents who wanted to sell them. Journalist Mona Platonova spoke with many of them in the Moscow Temporary Placement Center for such children, who told their stories with tears in their eyes.