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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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

July 01, 1998.


President Boris Yeltsin signed a decree over the weekend intended to improve the highway network. The document also envisages several toll highways. The government should submit a draft law to the State Duma this year.

Speaking at an international forum in Krans-Montana, Switzerland over the weekend, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko criticized Russia and its leaders.

Four armed servicemen from a motor-rifle unit of the Leningrad Military District who were stationed in Pechenga deserted a garrison guardhouse Sunday. When an attempt was made to catch them the next day, two of them were killed. Also covered in Noviye Izvestia.

Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu said late last week that his teams have managed to prevent two catastrophes comparable the Chernobyl disaster in scale.

In early July, the "Novomoskovsk" nuclear submarine K-407 (according to NATO classification, "Delta-4" or "Dolphin") will launch a three-stage rocket into space. The rocket is an RSM-54, known in the West as SS-H-23. Its front part will contain, instead of four nuclear units, a German research micro-satellite "Tubsat-M."

The board of directors of the Central Bank decided to raise the refinancing rate from 60 to 80 percent per annum starting June 29. Also covered in Kommersant Daily.

Experts from the State Trading Inspectorate say that in the first quarter of the year the quantity of fake vodka on the domestic alcohol market halved (19.2 percent compared with 44.3 percent in the previous six months). The improvement is attributed to stricter government control over the domestic vodka market.

Russian Unity Party members, or Barkashovites, held their first regional conference in Kaluga last Sunday. Party functionary Oleg Chukanov called on the participants to struggle for power, above all, at the coming State Duma elections. It is suggested that the Justice Ministry should ban the Barkashovites because it encourages nationalist intolerance.

At a plenary session of the Yabloko Council held Sunday and Monday in Golitsyno (Moscow region), Yavlinsky's opposition party decided for the first time to back the majority of the stabilization draft laws submitted by the government to the State Duma.

Political scientist Vyacheslav Nikonov comments on positive features of the government anti-crisis program, pointing to possible negative consequences if the State Duma fails to approve it.

When meeting Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko yesterday, President Yeltsin said "we don't have a crisis in Russia," and, therefore, the government program should be called "stabilizing" rather than "anti-crisis".

In an interview, American political scientist Dimitry Simms, who heads the Nixon Center for Peace and Freedom in Washington, says IMF financial aid to Russia is unlikely to save it from its current hardships.

Commentary is made regarding the current negotiations with the IMF in Moscow regarding issuing Russia $10 billion-$15 billion in financial aid.

In an interview, the chief artistic director of the Moscow Theater for Youth Valery Fokin speaks about his new production, Chekhov's "Tatyana Repina", which will be presented at the International Theater Festival opening in Avignon next week.

An analysis is made of a package of 13 draft laws, a fiscal bloc of the anti-crisis program, which the government has submitted to the State Duma for consideration. Also covered in Finantsovaya Izvestiya.


President Boris Yeltsin yesterday signed a package of five economic decrees to show the IMF that the government is able to implement the anti-crisis program without the State Duma's approval. One decree concerns the management of federal property abroad, the wording of which strongly differs from the one that was recently approved by Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov.

So-called Terrorist Number Two Salman Raduyev threatens to commit several terrorist acts in response to the current trial of two Chechenfemale terrorists, Fatima Taimaskhanova and Aset Dadasheva, in Stavropol.

Presidential Constitutional Court envoy Sergei Shakhrai comments on his unexpected resignation.

Poland's President Aleksander Kwasniewski talks about his friendly relations with President Yeltsin. He also says he promised Yeltsin to remove all artificial barriers on the Polish-Russian border.

Yuri Semyonov, head of the Russian Energia Space Complex, made a sensational statement last week, saying the "Mir" orbital station may fall to Earth this year.

Chechnya' Foreign Minister Movladi Udugov said his country is ready to send its peacekeeping force to Kosovo, thus participating legally in resolving the Kosovo conflict.

Russia's Foreign Ministry is sure that Chechnya's efforts to join the U.N. are doomed to failure.

Yasen Zasursky, dean of the Journalism Faculty of Moscow State University, discusses the future of the Kommersant Publishing House.

Businessman Ziya Bazhayev, head of the Alyans Group, talks about the decision made by the Kommersant Publishing House to increase the number of its shareholders.

A cholera epidemic may hit Moscow, since the source of contamination of two cholera patients has not been found yet.

The Yaroslavl Regional Court has sentenced convicted murderer Andrei Timofeyev, leader of the Solntsevo criminal group, to death, and his accomplices, to several years in jail.

The Almazy Rossii-Sakha shareholders' meeting last Saturday approved the company's overseeing council for 1998. One unexpected result was that Pavel Borodin, head of the Presidential Economic Affairs Administrative Department, has become a member.

The UES board of directors yesterday approved changes to the board. The company's head Anatoly Chubais now has new, competent businessmen to carry out the company's restructuring project.

GAZ and the Austrian Steyr auto company signed an agreement on launching the joint production of diesel engines to be used mostly in GAZ-3302, or Gazel, trucks.

The newly-appointed artistic director of the Bolshoi ballet troupe Alexei Fadeyechev talks about his new post, about his relations with Bolshoi chief director Vladimir Vasilyev and about his creative plans.


One year has passed since Boris Yeltsin's daughter Tatyana took the post of presidential image-maker. Practically unnoticed, she has managed to become the most authoritative adviser to the president.

The Arbitration Court has ruled that starting from today Noviye Izvestia should change the style of its name on the front page.


Ex-Soviet Marshall Dmitry Yazov speaks to Pravda, blaming America and praising Stalin.


The government issues a decree to cut government spending.

Transport tariffs will be 25% cheaper according to a new decree.

Changes on citizens' election rights are published.

The government issues orders about how those who need to use drugs for their medical treatment should carry them in order not to be bothered by drug dealers.

Medical drugs are discussed: who has the right to make and sell them, and other regulations.

Rules are outlined on how to obtain a licence from the state on mobile communications operations. Frequency standards will be given to mobile operators only with a paid contract.