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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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

SEGODNYA (26/10/99)

Several members of the Kremlin inner circle, including Roman Abramovich, head of the Sibneft Moscow subsidiary, and media tycoon Boris Berezovsky, have been nominated as candidates to the State Duma. Commenting on the nominees, the story concludes that a faction of the presidential family may emerge in the lower house of parliament. This story was also reported in Izvestia.

General Viktor Vlasov, chief of the St. Petersburg city and region Interior Department, tendered his resignation Saturday when he was harshly criticized at the session of the Inter-Department Anti-Terrorism Commission. The story reports on how Vlasov himself explained his decision. This story was also reported in Izvestia.

An article examines several key points of Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko's speech before the State Duma scheduled for Oct. 27.

In a short interview Central Election Commission Chairman Alexander Veshnyakov talks about the next stage of the CEC's work with the registered blocs and parties.

The State Duma today is expected to make another attempt (probably the last one) to pass (in the first reading) the year-2000 draft budget. The story reports on how the Finance Ministry is trying to overcome major differences with the Communist-dominated Duma on several points. This story was also reported in Kommersant Daily.

The 188-strong commission representing various services andsections of the Interior Ministry yesterday launched a comprehensive inspection of the Moscow Police Department, which will last until Nov. 23. The story comments on the action. This story was also reported by Izvestia and Kommersant Daily.

Suspended Prosecutor General Yury Skuratov yesterday stated that he intends to take ORT program host Sergei Dorenko and his former colleague Alexander Rozanov, Deputy Prosecutor General, to court. Skuratov has accused them of slandering him. The story comments on Skuratov's decision.

Chechnya's military leaders have completed preparations for the operation codenamed "Jihad," which envisages inflicting reply strikes on the federal troops and ousting them from the whole territory of the republic. In addition, leaders of Chechen gang formations plan to commit a series of terrorist acts in Ingushetia and North Ossetia. This story was also reported in Kommersant Daily.

World chess champion Garry Kasparov has won a global chess game on the Internet. The story highlights results of the game. This story was also reported by Vremya MN.

The story explains why Tula farmer Nikolai Baklanov who brought his apples to Moscow to sell them could not do so. Instead he had to give them out to passers-by near the metro station Ulitsa 1905 Goda.

The TV-6 Channel on Monday announced that it has annulled its agreement with the TSN Channel and launched its own news program. The story features the project. This story was also reported in Kommersant Daily.

The Ukrainian opposition has failed to nominate its single candidateto run for the presidency in the elections scheduled for Sunday. The story comments on the issue. Kommersant Daily.

In an interview Alexei Golovkov, adviser to the leader of the Unity bloc, talks about its prospects and ideology.

A story describes Russian companies participating in the project "Sakhalin-1" and their shares in it.

What will happen if the State Duma rejects the year-2000 draft budget today? In an interview, First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko answers this and other questions about the possible fate of this document.

A story reports on how swans suffered from a leak of crude oil on the Neva River on Oct. 9 and 10 when an oil tanker ran aground.


The Prosecutor General's Office for the first time has sent a criminal corruption case to court - State Duma deputy Vladimir Trofimov, head of the SD International Affairs Committee, has been accused of demanding a bribe from the Unified Institute of Nuclear Research. The story details the case.

A new powerful player - the state - may emerge in the domestic stock market in the near future if the government approvesa plan developed by the Russian Federal Property Fund. The point is that the Fund would like to receive the right to make transactions with state packages of shares in the stock market. The story describes the Fund's efforts to win the struggle for control over the stock market.

The Central Election Commission on Saturday registered the fifthparticipant in the election campaign, the Union of Right Forces. The story explains why the registration procedure made its co-leader, Irina Khakamada, and fourth candidate, Pavel Krasheninnikov, irritable.

Bashkiria this year has failed to pay its income tax to the federal budget. The story explains which measures Tax Minister Alexander Pochinok had to take to change the situation.

A World Bank mission arrived in Moscow on Monday to discus a disbursement of a $100 million tranche to Russia for structural reform in the Russian economy. The story points to factors that hold back the tranche.

A story highlights five political parties and blocs that have received the right to launch election campaigning.

President Boris Yeltsin on Friday signed a decree selling the state's 49 percent share of the Tyumen Oil Company. The sale is expected to take place this year. The story examines its terms.

State Customs Committee head Mikhail Vanin stated yesterday that not more than 50 customs warehouses out of the 417 will be left in Moscow, adding that it will be Mayor Yury Luzhkov who will close them. The story says why.

A big scandal has erupted in the Russian stock market - 80 million shares of Gazprom (about 430 million rubles) have been frozen in the accounts of such leading players as Sberbank and Troika-Dialog. The securities were stolen from the Financial Partners company in April. The story details the scandal.

The legislation on production sharing agreements that was passed five years ago does not work. Why? What should be done to makeit effective? PricewaterhouseCoopers lawyer Anatoly Averkin explores the issue.




Georgia's head of state Eduard Shevardnadze in an interview with The Financial Times, stated that Georgia would like to join NATO and that its membership will not be spearheaded against Russia, with which Georgia would like to maintain friendly and good-neighborly relations. The story comments on Shevardnadze's statement.

Lawyer Djakhan Polliyeva, deputy head of the presidential administration, looks at several previous unsuccessful attempts to make amendments to the Constitution.

The Railway Ministry decided to raise tariffs on passenger and cargo transportation starting Nov. 1. The story examines circumstances that have prompted the decision.

Expert Azhdar Kurtov of the Public Right Center examines major provisions of the draft Russian-Belarussian Treaty on creating a Union state.

What can the Kremlin and the State Duma expect from Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko's speech in the State Duma tomorrow? Nothing good, the story notes.

In an interview, Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev talks about the fate of the CIS Customs Union and about his views on the current political developments in Russia.


The story discusses a serious issue of paying out promised dollar wages ($1,000 a month) to federal troops fighting in Chechnya, otherwise they may leave the battlefield for home since the term of army service for many of them is nearing completion.

A group of young people Monday lay down on the pavement in front of City Hall on 13 Ulitsa Tverskaya, and with their bodies spelled the word MAFIA . Not a single city official came out to speak with them but police officers detained some of them.

U.S. diplomats at all levels are acting as if it were to warn Russia against possible serious negative consequences in case it does not halt soon its military actions around Chechnya. A serious diplomatic attack on Russia and its positions is expected to be launched by several countries, including Turkey and Azerbaijan. Also covered in Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

Chechnya's plenipotentiary representative in Moscow Mairbek Vachagayev was officially accused Monday of illegally keeping arms. The story comments on the case, focusing on Chechen government official Apti Batalov's response to the incident.

At the recent Russia-European Union summit, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin presented a 18-page document called " The Strategy of Development of Russia's Relationships with the European Union in 2000-2010".

The Justice Ministry has sent to the Supreme Court a statement of claim on the banning of the all-Russian political and public movement "Spas," the federal election list of which contains the name of Russian National Unity leader Alexander Barkashov.


On Oct. 31, Ukraine will elect its president. Three stories feature the presidential election race there and its participants. Also covered in Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

In an interview, Sergei Mndoyants, deputy campaign manager of the Fatherland-All Russia election bloc's headquarters, asserts that Moskovskie Novosti's information (in issue #40) on an alleged conflict between Primakov's and Luzhkov's supporters is untrue.

State Duma deputy Viktor Sheinis, an author of the Law on Elections, looks at whether mass financial violations can be expected during the election campaign and what means will be used to detect violators.

The story highlights St. Petersburg as a leading criminal city today where dirty and bloody politics have become a common feature.

The World Bank announced that it has launched (after The Wall Street Journal's publication) its own investigation into an alleged abuse of power by former bank employee Leonid Grigoryev. As World Bank deputy director from Russia in 1993, Grigoryev allegedly provided to Inkombank secret information on fluctuating rates of its bonds.

Economist Yevgeny Yasin, a former Economics Minister, comments on the annual report on the Russian economy made by the Mc Kinsey Consulting Company.

In an interview, General Andrei Nikolayev, commenting on the tragedy of the current developments in Chechnya and on their origin, suggests that a legislation on the border status would help resolve the conflict.

The story provides confidential details about how Japanese hostages have been released from Tajik captivity .

In an interview, well-known Soviet dissident Natan Shcharansky, now Israel's Interior Minister, reminisces about his former struggle with the KGB. He also talks about his present-day problem of helping millions of Jews return to their native land.

The story reports on how Western journalists (New York Times correspondent Carlotta Gall among them ) cover the current developments in Chechnya and how two "permanent commentators" - Shamil Basayev and Khattab - comment on them to the world press.

The collegium of the Education Ministry has approved the Program of Child Development in Russia. The story examines its major provisions.


General Vladislav Putilin, a spokesman for the General Staff of the Armed Forces, examines three major specific features of the army conscription campaign this fall. Also covered in Moskovsky Komsomolets.


How realistic is the idea of cloning the mammoth that has been found recently in the permafrost zone on the Taimyr Peninsula? In an interview, biologist Alexander Agadzhan, head of the laboratory of the Paleontology Institute, answers this and other questions about this unique find and planned experiments with it. Also covered in Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

In an interview, Ziya Bazhayev, head of the Group Alyans Bank, speaks about how his bank has managed to evade bankruptcy and how in general it's possible to cope with the problem.

The Arbitration Court of Moscow on Sept. 29 declared MENATEP Bank bankrupt, and several dayslater the newspaper received an indignant letter from V. Savelyev, head of the MENATEP-St. Petersburg Board, who threatened to take the newspaper to court for its earlier publication projecting the bank's collapse.


The story describes how a six-year-old cat named Kuzya in Samara has saved its master Lidiya Mikhailovna from a fire.

Deputy Chief Military Prosecutor Pyotr Gubchenko reportedly gave a bribe to an organized crime investigator in Vladivostok, asking him to close a criminal case on looting precious metals.

In an interview, ex-Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin speaks about his political plans, about Kremlin intrigues and about the Chechen campaign.

In an interview, scientist Vladimir Azhazha, who has written sensational stories about UFOs, speaks about latest discoveries in this sphere by Russian and American scientists.


City authorities intend to make Moscow police officers treat North Caucasus "guests" in Moscow in the same polite manner as native Muscovites. In addition, according to the decision by the city government, police officers will be instructed not to consider ethnic differences when stopping "guests" to show their documents.


In an interview, Tax Minister Alexander Pochinok shares his views on the draft budget-2000 and the huge spending on the war in Chechnya.

In an interview, Irkutsk governor Boris Govorin explains in part why they have created an ecology department in the regional administration.

In an interview, Julia Chukova, a department head at the Institute of Ecology of Man, says that so-called "small doses" of radiation may be fatal. Chukova gives examples to illustrate the point.

In an interview, Arnold Voilukov, First Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank, speaks about how he envisions the future dollar-ruble exchange.

Chechnya's President Aslan Maskhadov has handed over to the CIA materials compromising mass media tycoon Boris Berezovsky.

A story reports on how highly-regarded actor Valery Zolotukhin from the Taganka Theater tried to open his own pelmeni cafe.


The paper publishes calls and slogans devoted to the upcoming 82nd anniversary of the 1917 October Socialist Revolution. Also covered in Pravda.


The outcome of the recent summit of North Caucasus heads of state in Yessentuki prompts thespeculation that governors might not allow federal troops to deal the final blow to the gangs in Chechnya.

In an interview, Mikhail Khatskevich, head of Khoroshovo-Mnevniki District Administration, talks about their program aimed at attracting investors.

The story reports on how suspended Prosecutor General Yury Skuratov has turned into the Kremlin's enemy Number One, focusing on results of the first stage of his struggle against the presidential "family."

In an interview to IRNA (Iran), Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev talks about the possibility of using the Iranian route for transporting hydrocarbons from Central Asia, including Kazakhstan. Nazarbayev also shares his views on the Caspian's status.

In an interview, outstanding philosopher and writer Alexander Zinovyev , who returned to Russia recently, speaks about his main principles and ideology.