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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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


Japan's leaders are preparing for decisive negotiations with Moscow on the fate of the Kuril Islands and on the signing of a peace treaty. The Iomiuri Shinbun newspaper carried a sensational story with reference to government sources saying that Tokyo is willing to make a new compromising proposal on the Kuril Islands. The story reveals the essence of the proposal.

A presidential decree issued early this month concerning army service may serve as a good supplement to the federal law "On Military Duty and Army Service." The story comments on its articles concerning several circumstances, under which soldiers may quit their army service early.

President Boris Yeltsin is expected to sign a decree on reforming the structure of his administration with a 20-25 percent cut of its staff. In addition, a new presidential board to deal with issues of regional policy and local government will be created.

The Central Election Commission stated Jan. 13 that it will not interfere with the struggle going on in Vladivostok city courts for holding the mayoral elections on Jan. 17. The story looks at the current situation in the city.

Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov is expected to arrive in Kemerovo and on Jan. 15 he will preside over a government session in this city, which will consider the social and economic situation in the Kemerovo region and a program aimed at its stabilization.

The greater metropolitan area of St. Petersburg and Ladoga Vladimir has awarded governor Vladimir Yakovlev the church Order of Daniil Moskovsky. Vladimir Yakovlev thanked the metropolitan of Vladimir for the honor given to him saying that he is an atheist but he honors the Orthodox traditions.

The newly-elected legislative assembly of St. Petersburg held its first session, which started with a scandal over a draft bill concerning additional welfare measures for war veterans. The bill in part provides considerable benefits to people awarded with the medal "For the Defense of Leningrad," and if passed, the budget losses will amount to 42 million rubles. The story describes other issues discussed by the session.

Bashkiria's President Murtaza Rakhimov has signed the resignation papers for Prime Minister Rim Bakiyev to encourage him to head the local branch of Luzhkov's Fatherland. Rakhimov, who is a skilful player in the political game, intends to wage his bet on Yury Luzhkov, whom he views as his fellow-countryman.

Many people, who only yesterday were devoted to Krasnoyarsk governor Alexander Lebed, are leaving his party. The split in Lebed's team against the background of today's economic turmoil and the rapidly growing opposition around aluminum magnate Anatoly Bykov, poses serious threat to Lebed's political career. The story looks at Lebed's steps, which have caused the split.

Mali's President Musa Traore, who was a friend of the former Soviet Union, has been accused of huge embezzlements. He is facing the death penalty.

Another round of the negotiations between First Deputy Prime Minister of Tatarstan Ravil Muratov, head of the KamAZ Board of Directors, and representatives from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will take place in Moscow. The two sides will discuss restructuring the auto giant's debt (exceeding $1 billion) to the bank. The story looks at the possible outcomes.

The Unified Energy Systems of Russia company has made the decision to raise heating and electricity bills for the population, explaining this forced measure by the errorsin tariff-forming policy over the past several years. The story comments on the measure.


Lenin's bronze bust (weighing 350 kg) was stolen from the Yuzhny children's township in Anapa, Crimea. Apparently, the value of the metal was what interested the robbers.

Surgeons at the Novosibirsk Blood Circulation Pathology Research Institute for the first time in the world have performed an open heart operation on an 11-year-old boy with serious heart problems. The story details the surgery.

IMF Executive Director Michel Camdessus believes that all financial and economic hardships in Russia are the consequences of its past history. He says that the IMF's credits have helped prevent hyperinflation and carry outprivatization, which demanded much time. The progress was at hand but it happened to be not enough. The story features Camdessus's optimistic predictions for Russia's future.

The Moscow City Court ruled that the deceased General Lev Rokhlin's wife Tamara Rokhlina, who is suspected of killing her husband, will stay in custody until spring. The story comments on the court ruling.

The story gives a "black list" of seven Russian organizations made last year by the American Administration, which accused them of illegal cooperation with Iran. Russian scientists from another three research institutes, which have been arbitrarily accused of the same "sin," promise to prove their innocence.

A sensational court trial is going on in the Krasnoyarsk Region, where district administration head Viktor Chmutov has been accused of organizing a contract killing. The story details the crime.


The story features a maternity home of City Clinical Hospital No. 36, which admits all expectant mothers, including "newcomers to Moscow," who often have no documents and who are infected with serious diseases. Many women, after giving birth to their kids, often leave the hospital on the same day without their baby and without saying good-bye to those who saved their life.

With the aim of cracking down on crime among students, many institutes and universities in Moscow have created their own security services. The story features such services at the Moscow Youth Institute where a FSB officer has taken up the post of deputy director. This is the first experiment of security services in the Moscow higher education system.

In an interview, former presidential press secretary Sergei Yastrzhembsky, who was fired by the president last week and who works in the Moscow government now, speaks about his previous work with the president and reporters.

State Duma deputy General Andrei Nikolayev was appointed honorary president of the Avangard children's field hockey club in Elektrostal.

Mayor Yury Luzhkov on Dec. 15 canceled a congress of the Russian National Unity party in Moscow, and the following day the angry RNU leader Barkashov threatened the mayor with actions. On Dec. 17, Luzhkov applied to the prosecutor's office with a demand to institute criminal proceedings against Barkashov.

The Moscow government made the decision to launch a new network of fast-food cafeterias in the city which visitors will be treated to special potato dishes.


Krasnoyarsk governor Alexander Lebed, heading a peace-keeping mission in the North Caucasus, issued a statement yesterday saying that for the first time in two years Russia is on the brink of a large-scale conflict in the North Caucasus. The story looks at circumstances that pushed Lebed to make this statement.

President Boris Yeltsin only economic adviser, Alexander Livshits, who was fired in the wake of the Aug. 17 crash, made daily reports for the president for several years. He still continues his daily monitoring and analysis of the economy, though today he does it for himself. His analysis of the current domestic financial and economic situation gives a clear but sad picture of Russia's foreign debt , its relationships with the IMF, its budget, the GKO pyramid and the general Western attitude toward Russia.

The story comments on unsanctioned press reports that appeared Jan. 12 on the possibility that the Russian president's administration may fire at least several hundred employees.

A new public organization - the International Academy of Spiritual Unity of the Peoples of the World, with reputed scientist Georgy Trapeznikov as its head - has just been launched this week. The story looks at this new organization.

Sergei Baburin, Deputy Speaker of the State Duma, parliament's lower house, talks about the Russian-Ukrainian Treaty , which he believes should not be ratified at any cost. The document, he believes, contains many negative points which may seriously aggravate Russia's relations with Ukraine.

Anatoly Dolgolaptev, head of the League for Supporting Defense Enterprises in Russia, is assured that his country has everything necessary for boosting economic growth. The story looks at major prerequisites for promoting this growth.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has issued a statement on Chernogorneft's failure to observe its rights as a creditor, saying that the bank is disappointed at the creditors' meeting held on Dec. 14, in which many creditors failed to attend. The story comments.

The story highlights major personel changes in the Belarussian government. What factors have caused them?

In an interview, Kazakhstan's Ambassador to Russia, Tair Mansurov, gives his assessment of the results of the recent presidential elections in his republic, saying that Nazarbayev's victory is a triumph for democracy.

The story offers little-known facts about how the poet Alexander Pushkin met Tsar Nicholas I.


The story discusses the possibility that World War II mines remain undetected underneath Moscow. Specialists say that the most dangerous place in this respect is Marshal Zhukov Prospekt near a construction site of a future Mcdonald's.

Krasnoyarsk governor Alexander Lebed yesterday appointed his adviser on youth issues, Nikolai Verner, as the new deputy of social issues.

The State Duma will consider Friday a draft law concerning the insolvency of credit organizations. The story looks at those who will gain from this law.

State Duma deputies yesterday voted to remove Alexei Mikhailov, an author of the draft law on production sharing agreements, from the post of head of the S.D. Natural Resources Committee. The story comments on the deputies' decision.

The trading of new state securities that were received in exchange of the frozen GKOs-OFZs is expected to begin tomorrow in the Moscow Inter-Bank Currency Exchange. Trading of OFZs to be cleared off after Dec. 31, 1999 will resume Thursday. But there is serious apprehension that the trading will not attract many clients. The story explains why.

Aeroflot's board of directors has approved a new structure for its management. From all indications, the company intends to make a considerable cut of its top managing personnel. The story gives details of the reorganization program.

The State Duma has prepared a new draft of the tax code that has been submitted to committees for consideration. The story comments on thedocument.

First Deputy Prime Minister Yury Maslyukov is heading a Russian government and Central Bank delegation for the Russian-American Harvard forum, and has already met with IMF Executive Director Michel Camdessus. The story features the tasks he faces at the forum and other forthcoming meetings with officials from the IMF, the World Bank and the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development.


In an interview, MBM Bank head Valery Tonkikh explains how his bank has managed to survive the financial crisis.

The full text of the law on introducing amendments to the Federal Law on Production Sharing Agreements.

The full text of the government decree concerning the provision on army service registration .