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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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

July 15,1998:


Gazprom, starting yesterday, considerably decreased its gas supply to Volgogradenergo and to Sverdlovenergo due to their huge debts to the gas monopolist, which in turn cannot pay its taxes to the federal budget. Gazprom head Rem Vyakhirev's press secretary stated that the company has to take this measure because, being threatened with bankruptcy, it has to follow the government's instructions.

Anatoly Chubais,special presidential envoy for negotiations with foreign financial organizations, agreed with international creditors on a fundamental change in Russia's financial policy, with the aim of changing the structure of Russia's debt. Also covered in Noviye Izvestia.

Alexander Morozov, member of the executive committee of the movement in support of the army, intends to submit to prosecutors a document shedding light on the murder case of General Lev Rokhlin. Morozov said this yesterday before being interrogated in the Prosecutor General's Office.

Saratov governor Dmitry Ayatskov has announced his intention to run for the presidency. The aim of his statement is to distance himself from the president and the government and to show that he is no longer a player in the Yeltsin team. A commentary is made regarding the governor's step.

The story features a Russian peacekeeping force stationed in South Ossetia that has been guarding peace in the region for six years already. The recent death of five Russian soldiers in Abkhazia, however, shows that Russia's efforts to mediate international conflicts are far from successful.

The forest fire that hit the Volgograd region July 13 because of a terrible drought has left five people dead.

An analysis is made of several documents that Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko signed in Tokyo during his recent visit there. Also covered in Kommersant Daily.

Experts say that in 2002 Russia will host 46 million foreign tourists.This optimistic prognosis has been made by the influential European organization "Euromonitor," which specializes in studying the commodity and services market. The document says that in five years Russia will become the third most attractive tourist center after France and Spain.

The only functioning reactor in the Chernobyl nuclear station has gone out of control, with its energy exceeding all permissible limits. A special commission has launched an investigation of this incident.

All children are invited to take part in the construction project, which started yesterday and will last until July 19, of a unique toy tower in Moscow's Teatralnaya Ploshchad.


Officers from the Kirghiz National Security Agency and the FSB anti-terrorist center have detained four men who are suspected of killing former Vice-Governor of St. Petersburg Mikhail Manevich on August 18, 1997. They are also suspects in several contract killings.

The State Duma has to decide today or tomorrow whether to approve the government anti-crisis program and a package of tax draft bills. Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko promised in Japan that new taxes will be levied in Russia by August 1.

The Polish Foreign Ministry yesterday announced a decrease starting August 1 in the cost of entry visas for tourists from Russia and Belarus. The Polish president made this promise to Russians during his recent visit to Moscow.

Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko instructed the Finance Ministry to allocate 2.7 million French francs from the federal budget to pay French lawyers for their services in the legal settlement of issues pertaining to the works and archives of artists Mikhail Larionov and Natalya Goncharova.

The Russian military satellite "Kosmos-2350" launched this April to observe American regions with strategic nuclear missiles has stopped transmitting signals, indicating a major malfunction in the domestic defense system.

State Duma deputies believe the drug law contradicts the Constitution;they intend to submit their case to the Constitutional Court.

The Moscow government has announced a competition for the best project of making city roads . It is prepared to allocate $1.5 million for planting trees and gardens in Kutuzovsky Prospekt.

Police have arrested a group of bandits in Gomel who offered to sell the NTV Channel a child, Yegor Nisevich, who was kidnapped in Moscow in March. Also covered in Moskovsky Komsomolets.

Kemerovo governor Aman Tuleyev has issued a decree stating that all small private shops selling and buying nonferrous scrap should be closed.

Four Russian companies have been included in the Forbes' rating list of 800 leading world firms. Commentary is made regarding the rating.

The protocol signed Monday by the Inter-Department Balance Commission and the Federal Insolvency Service has provided AvtoVAZ with rather favorable economic and tax conditions. An analysis is made of the document.

Jazz composer Gherman Lukyanov yesterday introduced his new jazz band in the new Moscow jazz club, Krasnaya Ploshchad Dom 1.


Mayor Yuri Luzhkov yesterday was awarded the Gold Olympic Order; he is the second after Boris Yeltsin to be given this award.

The government has announced that, starting September 1, teachers will not receive the funds earmarked for teaching materials; this may cause a new wave of teachers' strikes.

A family of three, including a 36-day-old infant, was found murdered Monday in their apartment on Voronezhskaya ulitsa.

Weather specialists are unlikely to be able to disperse all the clouds over the city on July 19, the last day of the World Youth Games,

More than 20 people and hundreds of cows and other animals have contracted rabies during an outbreak in the Tula region.

The current situation on the Moscow housing market is discussed.

The Moscow theater season of 1997-1998 is reviewed.


The details of the Russia-IMF credit agreement have not yet been made public. There is apprehension that the government had to agree not only with the West's economic demands but with military and political concessions as well.

Chechen oil dealers sell oil cheap, while demanding huge prices for foreign and high-ranking Russian hostages. A reliable NG source says FSB leaders, who know the criminal group that kidnapped presidential envoy Valentin Vlasov, have already collected $5 million out of the $7 million demanded to ransom him.

Ever more people say they are not going to attend the tsar's burial ceremony in St. Petersburg scheduled for July 17.

There is a large amount of radioactive waste on the bottom of Lake Karachai in the Chelyabinsk Region. It was put there by the notorious "Mayak" industrial enterprise. The waste threatens to poison the entire region of Western Siberia.

Officers have arrested Leonid Valko, former deputy governor of the Perm Region, who is accused of embezzling budget funds.

State Duma deputy Nikolai Ryzhkov, head of the presidium of the council for coordinating commodity producers, offers several measures that he thinks may help overcome the present economic and financial crisis.

An overproduction crisis hit AvtoVAZ several months ago. As a result, its workers are suffering from wage arrears; they were last paid in April.


Russia has made efforts to help Belarus defuse the conflict around the "Drozdy" housing complex, according to Vladimir Rakhmanin, head of the information and press department of the Foreign Ministry.

A Russian delegation head by Viktor Blagov, deputy head of the "Mir" space station flight, is conducting negotiations with the American side now to make it pay $2 million to $3 million for services rendered to the American astronauts during their stay on the orbit.

The 8th International Art Festival "Slavyansky Bazar," which took place in several cities of the former Soviet Union and which ended last weekend, is reviewed. Several unpleasant episodes from pop star Filip Kirkorov's stay in Saratov are detailed.

Reports from the Ecological Safety Service say only 50 percent of all ammunition is kept in special warehouses, the rest being left in the open, where it is practically impossible to observe all the rules of its upkeep. Because of this, the Russian army may be threatening its own people.

Philosopher Leonid Blekher, expert from the "Public Opinion" Fund, discusses the issues of Russian society, the Russian national idea and the apparent ideological vacuum observed in Russia today.


In an interview Alexander Shokhin, leader of the State Duma's "Our Home Is Russia" faction, answers questions regarding the price of the IMF credit for Russia and the difficulties Russia will experience when it gets it.

Young athletes participating in the World Youth Games in Moscow have the opportunity to have their eyesight checked with the help of a unique mobile ophthalmological laboratory.

The Moscow government intends to borrow $100 million from Sberbank's Moscow branch to boost city industry. It will be a short-term loan to be paid back over the next month.

The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts will celebrate its centenary in late August. In honor of this, visitors will soon be able to see its treasures free of charge every first and third Wednesday of each month. Also covered in Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

The Moscow City Duma is expected to pass bill on city holidays, which has been already approved during deputy hearings. The document establishes three city holidays.

The demands the International Monetary Fund has made regarding Gazprom in exchange for the stabilization credit are discussed.

The major differences between State Duma deputies and the State Property Ministry in their views of privatization, the consideration of which the State Duma postponed until the fall, are discussed.

Among the issues Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko discussed during his meetings with Chinese leaders was bilateral economic cooperation and possible sales of Russian arms to China. A commentary is made regarding reasons for Kiriyenko's short stay there. Also covered in Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

In an interview in October 1991, now published for the first time, Chechnya's former President Dudayev, now deceased, talks about many political, economic, military and personal issues associated with Russia.

An analysis is made of the present financial policy conducted by the Central Bank.


Never before has the political rating of President Yeltsin been as low as it is now. According to a poll conducted in June, only 12 percent of the population approves of his policies, while 82 percent oppose them.

A political portrait is made of Gennady Seleznyov, Chairman of the State Duma.

Will July 17, the day of the tsar's burial ceremony in St. Petersburg, become a landmark in Russian history? In an interview, writer Gely Ryabov, who was the first person in Russia to find the tsar's burial place in 1979, talks about his investigations.

Sergei Aleksashenko, first deputy head of the Central Bank, looks at the serious consequences of the possible devaluation of the ruble.

Another version of the killing of General Rokhlinis presented, where itis hypothesized that his adversaries used special irradiators to affect his wife's brain.