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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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

September 9, 1998.


Kaliningrad governor Leonid Gorbenko Sept. 8 introduced a state of emergency in his region. As in the whole of Russia, the social and economic situation has dramatically worsened there in the past two weeks.

The Council of the Samara regional branch of the Our Home is Russia movement has demanded that Viktor Chernomyrdin apologize in public for insulting governor Konstantin Titov at the recent session of the Federation Council. The local council of the movement also insistson holding its extraordinary congress and early re-election of Viktor Chernomyrdin.

According to reports from the State Statistics Committee, the inflation rate in August amounted to 15 percent, compared to the expected 3 percent. And what inflation can be expected in September? A commentary gives a pessimistic prognosis.

Alan Greenspan, head of the U.S. Federal Reserve System, has made a serious warning about possible negative consequences of the world financial crisis for the American economy. Can the Great Depression of 1929 reoccur? Two analysts show how Russia may gain from the world financial crisis.

How to assess the results of voting on the candidature of Viktor Chernomyrdin in the State Duma on Sept.7 and what consequences could be expected for society. Three influential politicians share their views.

Sverdlovsk governor Eduard Rossel has introduced a state of emergency in his region. Rossel released a decree creating an anti-crisis committee, which enjoys unlimited powers in normalizing the work of banks, industrial enterprises and the social infrastructure.

What the emerging middle class in six cities has lost as a result of the current economic and financial crisis.

In an interview State Duma deputy speaker Vladimir Ryzhkov assesses the plans and ambitions of the opposition in the State Duma. He also says what President Boris Yeltsin should fear today.

The Pension Fund's debts to elderly people have topped 23.5 billion rubles, with no sources to decrease them, deputy head Alexander Zarubin stated.

The agreements on state guarantee of private deposits between Sberbank and six commercial banks have been signed on time. The story describes what depositors should do after that.

In an interview filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov, head of the Russian Filmmakers' Union, gives his opinion on what people should do in this crisis situation.


A political commentary says it is now President Boris Yeltsin rather than State Duma deputies who has prolonged the absence of executive power in the country for at least two days. What Yeltsin should urgently do now is to leave his "Gorki" as soon as possible. Anydelay is unforgivable.

In an exclusive interview former head of the Central Bank Sergei Dubinin talks about the future possible fate of the Russian banking system and of depositors' money.

Eli Agamerzayev, a Chechnya government envoy in Stavropolye, was kidnapped in North Ossetia on Sept. 7. The story describes how it happened.

The Prosecutor General's Office has decided to charge a criminal investigator for the murder of Tamara Rokhlina, wife of deceased General Rokhlin. The story explains why.

Yegor Gaidar explains the reasons behind the current crisis, saying that the government should conduct liberal economic policy, which could save the country from collapse.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, politician and businessman Boris Berezovsky stated in part that he may back Alexander Lebed in the next presidential elections, saying that he has changed his attitude to the general.

In an interview with the Italian Corriere della Sera, Vladimir Gusinsky named four politicians who could replace President Boris Yeltsin. Gusinsky said Yeltsin should not resign today.

After the IMF released a stabilization credit to Ukraine, Leonid Kuchma acted as a CIS leader (who has been recognized by the West in his new role) at the CIS session in Baku. Baku is viewed as the Head Quarters of the TRACECA eurasian project and is being turned into the CIS economic center.

Foreigners in Moscow are preparing to leave the city in case mass disturbances occur in October.

Colonel Valery Radchikov, who has been accused of a terrorist act in the Kotlyakovskoye Cemetery several months ago, which left 14 people dead and more than 20 injured, will face a court trial soon.

Many heads of Moscow companies are voluntarily quitting their posts, turning from the middle class into the caste of "untouchable". The story describes the process.

ONEXIMBank clients complained that the bank is ] deliberately delaying the receiving of cash money as payments of customs duties. As a result, people have to pay fines for cargo standing idle.


The story gives the names of three candidates to replace Central Bank's head Sergei Dubinin, who tendered his resignation this week.

The minimum salary in Russia is 83 rubles and 49 kopeks. According to Interfax, it can buy three things today -- a litre of oil, two meat cans and a loaf of white bread. Other facts and figures illustrating the food and price situation in regions.

The story gives Acting Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin three recommendations how to win 226 votes in the State Duma at the third attempt to be approved for the post of cabinet head.

Illustrious St. Petersburg film actor Igor Mikhailov has found a way to overcome the food crisis -- he is breeding rabbits. He says that he knows how to feed Russia with the most delicious, cheapest and healthiest meat.

Georgian officials from the local State Department did not allow Russian border troops to take a shift at Georgian border outposts. The story describes a scandalous incident at one of the posts.


The story warns about three major threats posed by the current political, economic and financial crises in Russia.

The story describes how a 15-year-old nephew of Chechnya's ex-leader Doku Zavgayev, who was kidnapped in the spring, managed to escape Chechen captivity.

Two employees, aged 27 and 28, from the Astra customs terminal were shot dead at the door of a 14-floor apartment on Klyazminskaya ulitsa. One of the possible reasons behind the murder is a struggle between two criminal groups for the right to control the terminal.

Mayor Yuri Luzhkov has signed a decree on introducing discount cards (International Students Cards) in Moscow, the owners of which will enjoy considerable discounts in city hotels, museums and cultural centers.

The story describes how prices of basic food in Moscow skyrocketed as of Sept. 7, according to reports from the City Statistics Committee.

According to a new budget economy program adopted by Moscow institutes and universities for the period of the crisis, students will pay all the utility bills of their high schools.

What is happening to the country? What factors have prompted the crisis? What should be done to overcome it? In an interview politician Gavriil Popov answers these and other questions.


President Yeltsin was probably not ready yesterday to reply to the State Duma's rejection of his nominee Viktor Chernomyrdin for the post of Cabinet head, which explains his silence yesterday. From all evidence, neither the president's team, nor Yeltsin himself has any kind of program of action for the time being, notes a political commentary.

Yegor Gaidar, director of the Institute of Economic Problems in the Transition Period, said yesterday that the resignation of the Kiriyenko government was the most serious error made by President Yeltsin since the Chechen war.

Yuri Koptev, director of the Russian Space Agency, stated that the Russian side signed an agreement with Kazakhstan on renting the Baikonur Cosmodrome, which will cost Russia $115 million a year.

The story features major reasons behind Kaliningrad Governor Leonid Gorbenko's decision to impose a state of emergency in his region.

How do Moscow food shops and markets look today? In the opinion of Russian farmers, a real war between sellers and buyers may begin in the city soon.

What the State Duma opposition headed by Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov would suit best today is the dissolution of the duma, which seems strange, because only recently the deputies feared it the most.

Gazprom head Rem Vyakhirev and Goran Lindal, president of the ABB electrote chnical concern yesterday signed a long-term agreement on working together in shaping gas transport systems, gas and oil extraction and boosting Gazprom's energy program.

The story describes an extensive network of domestic regional airlines and their major problems after the disintegration of the Soviet Union.

Journalist Dmitry Bykov devotes his story to great Russian writer Lev Tolstoy, whose 170th birth anniversary is being marked Wednesday.

The story is a comprehensive analysis of the main political, economic, financial and social events in August, with possible results of their political consequences.


Representatives from 13 political movements and parties yesterday set up an all-Russian coordinating council to back the labor unions' protest act -- No to pernicious -- scheduled for Oct. 7.

The economic crisis in Russia, which is a big tea consumer, has made world prices of several tea brands fall. This is what the London Financial Times reports today with reference to experts from India's and Sri Lanka's trade and industry agencies.

Officers from Georgia's State Guard Service have detained a Pakistani citizen, who regularly observed the American Embassy in Tbilisi.

The Russian prison and labor-corrective camps had been placed under the jurisdiction of the Justice Ministry by Sept. 1, before they were controlled by the Interior Ministry,

according to the president's decree.


Police officers Tuesday arrested Frangopulov, a manager of the Eskado commercial bank, on charges of being involved in illegal deals by First Deputy Finance Minister Vladimir Petrov, who was detained earlier.

Law enforcement officials have accused Vyacheslav Kobets, first deputy governor of the Magadan region, of abusing power for his personal gain and conducting illegal deals with precious stones.

Mayor Yury Luzhkov and his team even more often discuss an official introduction of the dollar and other currency into the money circulation in Moscow. The story comments on Luzhkov' latest decree to display price tags in dollars or conventional units in city shops.

The best world chess player, Gary Kasparov, admitted that the World Chess Council he created cannot afford holding a new chess tournament for the title of world champion.

Economic dictatorship has started functioning in several Russian provinces, including Kaliningrad, Omsk, Chuvashia and Krasnoyarsk.

Is civil war a possibility in Russia? Does it have at least two serious armed forces, which are ready to kill their countrymen for the sake of market reform? Military observer Pavel Felgengauer concludes that there is no ground for a political split in the armed forces.

MOST-bank has announced the beginning of the second coupon period for its 100-ruble and 1000-ruble bonds starting Sept. 15.


Political observer Georgy Satarov looks at a political scenario of the right-wing dictatorship which, in his opinion, suits Russia best today and for which the country has all the necessary prerequisites.

According to results of the latest opinion poll (6,000 respondents) conducted by the Institute of Parliamentarism Sociology (headed by Nugzar Bertaneli), 65 percent of people view the current economic situation as unbearable and 27 percent as hardly bearable. The story gives other facts and figures to show how people are losing trust in their leaders.

State Duma deputy speaker Vladimir Ryzhkov looks at major factors, which have caused the crisis of power in Russia. The author compares this crisis with the Colorado beetle, which it's very difficult to kill and which does huge damage.

The story highlights a rapid disintegration of the banking system, which means that the unified financial and economic structure begins to collapse, with regional banks trying to establish their own systems independent from the federal authorities.

In an interview, Krasnoyarsk Governor Alexander Lebed explains why the Federation Council supported Viktor Chernomyrdin. Lebed admits that Boris Berezovsky is one of his political partners.

After the collapse of the GKO pyramid, it became clear that there was no financial market in Russia. The banks were actively buying only two products -- the GKOs and the dollars. But a high profit has appeared to be extremely unreliable. The story features major reasons behind the collapse of several banks and the future fate of the most effective banks.

Do opposition parties and leaders plan any disturbances in Moscow? There are five political parties that are encouraging people to take to the streets in October.

The story highlights measures taken by the Moscow government and personally by Mayor Yury Luzhkov to rebuff any massive disturbances in the capital city.


What is the true essence of the Aug. 17 decision of the Central Bank and the government, which made several banks bankrupt? Why has the Central Bank selected SBS-Agro to be its first victim? In an interview, its head Alexander Smolensky answers these questions.

Economic observer Vladimir Kucherenko offers several measures, which,he believes, will help Russia preserve its integrity above all and overcome the economic and financial crisis.