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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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

July 16,1998;


The recent drought in 35 regions has destroyed a considerable part of the grain harvest, which this year may amount to only 60 million tons -- last year it was 90 million. Since neither the government nor banks are willing to help, several provinces have created their own cooperative crediting structures, which is a reliable way out.

400 residents of Ivangorod, in the Leningrad region on the border with Estonia, sent a petition to President Yeltsin, demanding that their city, with 13,000 inhabitants, be put under the jurisdiction of Estonia.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who is on a 10-day tour of Latin American countries, has suggested holding a "summit of the millennium" in 2000, at which heads of state and government would be able to assess their accomplishments and draw lessons from their mistakes.

Two Russian extremely talented sisters Diana, 10, and Angela, 12, Knyazev are the youngeststudents to enroll at the Finance Academy in Moscow .

Sverdlovsk Governor Eduard Rossel has made the decision to go to St. Petersburg to attend the funeral service dedicated to Tsar Nicholas II and his family. Rossel stated that he decided to build a church in the place of the killing of the tsar's family.

Tax chief Boris Fyodorov and his team started special regular checks July 15 on 700 wealthy Russians to see how they pay taxes.

Volgograd bureaucrats have made a local orphanage pay a 186,429 ruble electricity bill to the city budget through an arbitration court.

The Ulyanovsk Regional Court has suspended the activities of the democratic party "Vatan".

The government's anti-crisis program allots a considerable role to state vodka monopoly, which is evidenced from the special alcohol decree signed by Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko.

Political observer Stanislav Kondrashovcomments on the upcoming visit to Moscow by U.S. President Bill Clinton, which was announced last week, and which, unlike the Russian press, was widely commented on in Washington.

Young intellectuals from 19 countries have come together in Moscow for the first World Intellectual Festival he being held in the former VDNKha.

Literary critic Maks Khazin reviews a book titled "Mass Media in Russia: Laws, Conflicts, Legal Violations" published by the Glasnost Fund.

Commentary is made on the IMF credit to Russia and how it may complicate the business of many Russian banks.


In an interview Patriarch Alexy II talks about his attitude toward the forthcoming burial ceremony of tsar and his family and about the Church's authority in society today. The Patriarch also speaks about his attitude toward oligarchs and about his latest meeting with Gazprom head Rem Vyakhirev.

The financial crisis together with the government anti-crisis program prompts foreign investors to leave Russia. The State Duma yesterday passed a bill on foreign investors in Russia.

A new super-toxic synthetic drug -- etonitazen -- has appeared in Moscow, which drug users have nicknamed "Chinese dwarf." The drug has already killed 20 people.

Russian diplomat Valentin Moiseyev, who is in Lefortovo Prison now, has been officially accused of high treason, but officials are not sure that his case will get to the court.

Russian oligarchs are ready to take part in the privatization of leading state enterprises in Georgia, whose head of state, Eduard Shevardnadze, met with Boris Berezovsky this week.

Gangsters on July 14 killed three and seriously wounded another three holidaymakers in the tourist center "Solnechnaya" in the outskirts of Toghliatti.

Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov met with 25 young economists who graduated from economics faculties of leading higher schools this year. They came to the meeting at Nemtsov's invitation to get a job in the government.

The Alfa-Group consortium has launched a project reorganizing its financial business. In an interview Alfa-Group head Mikhail Fridman talks about this project.

The insurance surveillance department of the Finance Ministry intends to increase five-fold the charter capital of the Russian insurance companies, as a result of which a considerable number of them may go bankrupt.

The Moscow Photo House has opened an exhibition "Sports in Photos" in Maly Manezh within the framework of the World Youth Games.


Gazprom has drastically reduced gas supplies to Yekaterinburg, where nearly all city heating stations stopped functioning on July 14. The gas situation in Volgograd is also tense:Volgogradenergo has managed to pay Gazprom only 10 percent of what it owes for fuel used. The story shows how the local residents suffer due to Gazprom-government squabbles.

Scientists from Hawaii University are probably going to make the first cloned mouse next week.

Journalist Yelena Kolyadina visited convict Tatyana Samkina in a Vologda prison. Her four children were adopted by an American family, which failed to ensure them a happy life. Yelena hopes that her children will be returned to her.

Polish citizen Magdalina Vevioska, 31, secretary of the UN mission in Georgia, was killed yesterday in her apartment in Tbilisi. Also covered in Kommersant Daily.

In what way do great Russian patrons of the arts of the 19th century differ from the new Russians? In an interview Lev Krasnopevtsev, director of the unique Museum of Russian Patrons of the Arts and Philanthropists, answers this question.

Russian Oksana Nikiforova and German TorstenWitman, a married couple from Tyumen, have won the recent World Ball Dancing Competition, which took place in Moscow.


Serious personnel changes are expected to take place soon in the Cabinet because Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko has quarreled with the president's administration.

The rumors about a plot against President Yeltsin, those who may be spreding them, and whether the president may tender his resignation are discussed.

Svyato-Troitsky Belopesotsky Convent (Stupino District , Moscow Region) will celebrate its 500th anniversary this year.

Moscow police have detained an Afghani citizen, 37, who grew heroin on the balcony of his rented apartment in Prospekt Vernadskogo. The police have found 4.1 kilograms of quality heroin worth $1 million. Also covered in Kommersant Daily.

In an interview poet Andrei Dementyev, who turns 70 today, and who heads the Russiancorrespondents' center in Israel, talks about his job there and about his birthday party today.


At his long-lasting meeting with President Boris Yeltsin on Thursday, former Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin agreed with the president that his participation in Russia's political life should be more active both within his movement and outside of it. What did Chernomyrdin have in mind? Also covered in Noviye Izvestia.

Speaking in the State Duma on Wednesday, Finance Minister Mikhail Zadornov failed to shed light on the issue concerning the terms of the IMF's unprecedented credit of $12.5 billion to Russia. Russian people, in whose name the president, government and deputies govern the country are probably unaware that it is they who will have to pay for it.

The government made the decision to give $800 million out of the $1.5 billion to be released to Russia by Japan to the coal sector of the economy.

In an interview, Konstantin Melnik, grandson of Dr. Botkin, personal doctor of tsar Nicholas II and his family, who stayed with them to the last minute, talks about his attitude to the burial ceremony July 17.

The phenomenon of fascism and the comparison of the present situation with the one that in its time brought it to power do not provide any ground to speak about "the danger of fascism" in Russia, which genetically is unreceptive to this 20th century plague, political scientist Igor Maksimychev of the Europe Institute, notes in this story viewing fascism from different angles.

How will developments proceed in Russia and around it after the IMF releases its stabilization credit? The story focuses on a pessimistic scenario as the most probable one from all considered here.

Senior research associate at the Institute of General History, Julia Kudrina, vice president of the Association of World War I Historians, was the first Russian researcher to get permission from Danish Queen Margaret II to work with the Archives of the Danish Royal House.Kudrina offers little-known facts from the diaries and letters of tsar Nicholas II's mother, Empress Maria Fyodorovna, about the saddest period in the tsar's life in 1917.

The story describes Russian Orthodox poet Olga Sedakova, who was the first in Russia to receive the Vatican Prize for literary achievement from the hands of Pope John Paul II.


According to reports from the Migration Service in North Ossetia, another 15 families, Ossetian refugees, are coming back home Thursday to South Ossetia. Their return has become possible due to an agreement on the settlement of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict signed by the presidents of Georgia, South Ossetia and North Ossetia.

Tax police officers are checking 230 mediating coal firms selling coal extracted by Kuzbas miners in Siberia. According to information from the tax police, about 15 organized criminal groups control about 50 percent of coal trade in Kuzbas.

The water level in Lake Baikal and artificial reservoirs has decreased considerably, which is very dangerous for Russia's hydroelectric power stations. The story focuses on the possibly grave consequences of this development.

The Tula Regional Court on Thursday will continue to consider the criminal case of former Tula Governor Nikolai Sevryugin, who is accused of abuse of power and embezzlement of budget funds. In an interview, local prosecutor Anatoly Sedukhin talks about the case.

Tamara, the wife of murdered General Lev Rokhlin, has rejected her first testimony, which may seriously change the course of the investigation. Her daughter, Yelena, reminisces about the events on that night when her father was killed.

Authorities in Kaluga have made the decision to close Priokskaya Gazeta, the most popular newspaper in the whole region. Today its 101st issue may be the last one. The story says why.


The story describes a successful police operation conducted by Russianand Belarussian special services to detain three bandits, who they claim kidnapped 4-week-old Yegor Nisevich on March 10 in Moscow. The bandits demanded $480,000 for Nisevich's release.

Valery Draganov, head of the State Customs Committee, has issued a decree concerning new rules of registering customs documents for commodities carried by air. The story reveals the document's essence, stating that shuttle dealers are unaware what losses they will sustain.

A critical financial situation in the armed forces holds back army reform, forcing many officers give up their service. The only thing that gives them hope is an unpredictable political situation in Russia.

The parliament is to finish its spring semester today if nothing extraordinary happens (if it does not decide to stay for another week to finish the consideration of the government anti-crisis program).

Lipetsk medical experts have taken several effective disease-prevention measures to save convicts in local prisons from catching AIDS. What are they?


Moscow has announced a mediating firm: the Goldman Sachs financial corporation, one of the most popular American investment banks -- which will deal with converting the Russian GKOs. Is it a successful deal for Americans?

The government's new privatization program has provided foreigners with the right to take part in the project (such was the IMF's demand). Commentary is made on the document.

The Federation Council on July 9 approved a law concerning the main guarantees of children's rights in the Russian Federation. The story discloses its essence, saying that instead of defending the children, the document allows them to protest and submit petitions.

The story cites excerpts from 59 letters OG has received from the Pushkinsky District in the Moscow Region to show how local police officers beat, insult and humiliate their detainees.

The International Competition of Sand Sculpture is being held in Luzhniki's Bolshoi sports arena as part of the cultural program of theWorld Youth Games. The story features its participants from 12 countries and their works.

The KPRF is the only mass political party in Russia, which is organized, disciplined and experienced in political games. Nevertheless, its real successes are small. It does not rule in the State Duma, though it would like to rule everything. What prevents it from doing so? Does the KPRF have any chance to take power in 1999-2000? The story analyzes the party's position today.


The problem of heavy drinking remains one of the most acute in the city: neither any ban, nor skyrocketing prices, nor wages arrears can make Russians give up this evil. The city's 17 detoxication centers are overcrowded. The story describes one of them.

In an interview Oksana Dmitriyeva, Labor and Social Welfare Minister, talks about the problem of wage arrears, pensions and children's allowances.


Document. The Regulations of the Russian Government. The Provision on the Administrative Department of the Russian Government. Full text.


Over 60 percent of Russian army units, stationed abroad (in Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Belarus and Latvia) is made up of strategic rocket troops. In an interview, General Vasily Kolesnikov talks about their life and service there.


Why are the Kalmyk people leaving their native land today? President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov views Kalmykia as a chessboard and all its people as pawns, says Lidiya Dordzhiyeva, spokeswoman for the Kalmyk charity organization "From Heart to Heart". Journalist Larisa Yudina, who was killed last week, devotes her last story to Lidiya Dordzhiyeva.