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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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


At yesterday's meeting with leading politicians, including four ex-prime ministers, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced the completion of the first stage of federal troops' special operation on the territory of Chechnya, focusing on its successes and failures. Putin also outlined plans for further actions. Also covered in Izvestia, Kommersant Daily and Vremya MN.

The U.S. Republic National Bank of New York has sent notifications to several Russian banks that their correspondent accounts will be closed as of Oct. 18. This bank figures in the story in USA Today about laundering $15 billion through four accounts in the Bank of New York and through one account in the Republic National Bank of New York. The story describes its subsidiary bank in Moscow. In an interview, Yukos deputy head Konstantin Kagalovsky, Russia's ex-representative in the IMF, comments on the decision of the U.S. bank.

St. Petersburg police have arrested several people alleged to have stolen many unique artifacts from the Peter and Paul Fortress and the State History Museum of St. Petersburg. Among the group is museum curator Konstantin Karasev.

In an interview, chief coach of the Russian national football team Oleg Romantsev speaks about the forthcoming match with Ukraine on Saturday. Also covered in Kommersant Daily and Izvestia.

Chechnya's President Aslan Maskhadov yesterday signed a decree imposing martial law in the republic, which the military and politicians view as the beginning of war. The story notes that this most probably is a response to the federal troops' operations there.

The Republican majority in the U.S. Senate has unexpectedly resumed its interest in the General Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The Clinton administration is in a hurry to find arguments that may help persuade two-thirds of Senators to vote to ratify the Treaty. Also covered in Kommersant Daily.

A story reports on how Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's proposal to impose tough economic sanctions against Chechnya is being put into practice.

One story provides figures and facts describing the results of the Moscow police's anti-terror operations conducted in the city over the past three weeks. The results were discussed Tuesday at the Moscow Interior Ministry.

At the concluding session of the Holy Synod Wednesday, participants are expected to discuss the Church's stand on the parliamentary election campaign.

The story looks at a new wording of the national security concept, which was discussed and approved yesterday at the session of the Security Council. Also covered in Kommersant Daily.

The story features a scandal surrounding Sobinbank, which has been suspected of involvement in money laundering through the Bank of New York. Moscow police and the Federal Security Service (FSB) officers yesterday inspected one of the bank's subsidiarieson 10, Ul. Povarskaya. It has been revealed that financier Alexander Mamut, member of President Yeltsin's inner circle, is active in the Sobinbank's Board of Directors. The story describes the results of the police raid. Also covered in Kommersant Daily.

TV-Tsentr vice-president Sergei Korzun yesterday tendered his resignation because he disagrees with the policy of the channel's leadership.

Vyacheslav Nikonov, head of the Politika Fund, offers an in-depth analysis of the present-day tendencies in Russian politics, viewing them as gloomy. In his opinion, the "challenges for Russian statehood are very serious," with the Chechen one being the most alarming.

In an interview, suspended Prosecutor General Yury Skuratov speaks about his present position, the Mabetex case and the state of several criminal cases at the Prosecutor General's Office.

The story features an interesting method being used by activists from the bloc of the Union of Right Forces to collect supporting signatures.

In an interview, First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko optimistically speaks about the fate of the draft budget-2000.

On Wedenesday, the Moscow City Court will begin to consider a criminal case of Yury Zhulikov's gang, which terrorized Moscow between1995 and 1997. The 15-strong gang is accused of several killings and armed attacks on banks and commercial firms.


The next CIS summit, with the "traditional" agenda being the "permanent reform" of the Community, is scheduled for Oct. 8 in Yalta.The Belarus Foreign Minister press service stated that President Alexander Lukashenko will not attend.

The Krasnoyarsk Prosecutor's Office has accused ex-governor Valery Zubov of exceeding his authority; he allegedly transferred budget money that was allocated for resettling northerners to the Karusel firm.

The Russia-London Club negotiations are expected to begin Wednesday, but Russian Finance Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said Tuesday he would not attend and that Vneshekonombank head Andrei Kostin would replace him.

One year ago, General Albert Makashov made anti-Semitic pronouncements, which led to several proceedings being instituted against him in court - but he has never been put behind bars.

The story features a scandal that erupted at Most-Bank yesterday when tax police officers unexpectedly arrived to inspect its documents.

The 6th International Exhibition "Internetcom-99" opened yesterday at the Exhibition Center on Ulitsa Krasnaya Presnya.

The story describes Moscow's unexpectedly tough response to the behavior of Belarus, which has allowed Cuban sugar to be delivered through its corridor. Moscow has banned Belarus sugar import.

The story looks at three GSM networks that will emerge soon in St. Petersburg and highlights a new cellular project.

The story describes the situation on the domestic employment market, with about 9.1 jobless, which is 12 percent less than the figure for February this year.

The aviation insurance market is facing a revision of the spheres of influence. The Military- Insurance Company and ROSNO are become major players on the market.


What interested ex-prime ministers and State Duma faction leaders at their meeting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin yesterday was what the government wanted to do with Chechnya - to conquer the North Caucasian republic completely or to make short work of its extremist rebels? The participants in the meeting were satisfied with what Putin told them.

The Justice Ministry has registered a Society of Journalism Faculty Graduates of Moscow University.

A scandal erupted at the state-owned Kama Paper and Pulp Combine in Perm when a government commission arrived there to fire its director and replace him with a government protege.

French environmentalists have launched a special "health-improving" operation aimed at saving the Irtysh River.

The number of Chechen refugees, who blame Russia's federal authorities for what has happened to them, is increasing with each passing day. The story provides figures to illustrate the point.

The Khasavyurt peace agreement signed between Chechnya President Aslan Maskhadov and General Alexander Lebed after the 1994-1996 war have disappointed many Chechen officials and ordinary people.

In an interview Konstantin Titov, head of the Federation Council Budget Committee, shares his view on the draft budget-2000 and on the Budget Code that will go into force on Jan. 1, 2000.

The story features a serious struggle ongoing in Britain for control over the National Westminster Bank (NatWest), one of the four leading banks in the country. The Bank of Scotland has made an official proposal to buy NatWest.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is expected to sign a decree decreasing taxes levied on idling oil wells. This was stated by Deputy Fuel and Energy Minister Valery Garipov.

In a recent statement, six highly-respected members of the hierarchy of the Armenian Apostolic Church have expressed their deep concern over the situation that has shaped on the eve of the forthcoming elections (Oct. 26) of new, 132nd Catholicos of all Armenians.

In an interview, Kazakhstan's Ambassador to Russia Tair Mansurov, talks about specific features of the parliamentary election campaign, which is winding up; elections to the lower house of parliament (majilis) are scheduled for Oct. 10.

A Chinese ballet troupe, which has celebrated its 40th anniversary this year, is winding up its guest performances in Moscow. Also covered in Vremya MN.


The names of several show business stars have made it on the election lists of several blocs. With a critical look at their toverly ambitious plans, political analyst Yury Bogomolov concludes that these stars do not know the main thing about themselves - each of them is a mere name.

Mordovia has to supply about 15,000 tons of potatoes to Moscow, but the trouble is that it has failed to harvest that much and will have to use the potatoes of private farmers to honour the contracts signed with the Moscow government. Mordovian authorities decided to use the farm produce requisitioning method.

Sverdlovsk governor Eduard Rossel proposed to the State Duma that it discuss the issue of instituting death penalty for drug dealers. The story comments on the issue.

The governor of Krasnodar, through local mass media outlets, has applied to all residents of the region with a call to prevent non-residents from buying up shares of local enterprises. The story explains what factors have prompted him to make such a call.

The U.S. companies MCI WorldCom and Sprint has signed a merger contract, which is evaluated at $115 billion.

The story examines successful business done by the Indian Industrial Commercial Enterprises International pharmaceutical company (IN COM) on the Russian market, including its charity programs for Russian invalids.

The story reports on how Moscow and Washington will collaborate in the sphere of nuclear science, according to two decisions made by the Russian government recently.

The YUKOS oil company has refused to receive a license for the right to extract oil from the Severo-Chupalsky deposit in the Khanty-Mansiisk Autonomous Area, since its real reserves happened to be less than promised.

The government and the Central Bank have different evaluations of economic parameters, which may negatively affect the budget-2000. The story offers figures to illustrate the point.

On Oct. 12 the Federation Council will consider the law guaranteeing citizens' deposits in the banks. According to the law, however, the guarantees will be issued to not more than 20 percent of depositors, excluding 80 percent of Sberbank depositors.

When speaking before marketing sections executives of regional energy companies on Monday , Anatoly Chubais, head of the national power grid Unified Energy Systems has announced his intention to ensure a fantastic growth of "live" money to be collected from consumers in 2000.


Norway's Foreign Minister Knut Vollebeck, chairman of the Organization of Security andCooperation in Europe, stated that the OSCE is willing to act as a mediator in restoring dialogue between Moscow and Chechnya's President Aslan Maskhadov. The story comments on his statement.

Gasoline prices have again skyrocketed in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region. The story offers figures to illustrate the point.

The story examines several advantages and drawbacks of cars specially equipped for using gas as fuel.


In an interview, Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov speaks about his recent meeting with Cuban President Fidel Castro , who looks healthy for his 73 years.

At their recent meeting, State Academic Symphony Orchestra musicians expressed non-confidence in their boss, chief conductor Yevgeny Svetlanov, who spends most of his time abroad.

Mikhail Vanin, head of the State Customs Committee, is continuing to put pressure on the creation of the special customs ministry - he believes that his present-day powers are inadequate to meet the president's assignments.

In an interview, ex-Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin talks about his recent visit to America and about his Our Home Is Russia movement, which has failed to ally with Sergei Shoigu's Unity.

In an interview, church priest Ivan Okhlobystin, 33, former highly-regarded filmmaker, speaks about his family and about his attitude to religion.


In an interview Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu answers five unpleasant questions, explaining why he has agreed to head the Unity bloc.

The story notes that it's too early to "bury" Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov, saying that the Kremlin plays into the hands of Communists.

Ruslan Khasbulatov, former Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of Russia, intends to take part in the parliamentary elections. In an interview, Khasbulatov shares his viewpoint on the developments in Chechnya.

The story examines 12 expenditure articles of the draft budget-2000, saying that its priority items will be debts and defense spendings.

The state every month deducts from wages of all employees 3.6 percent for the Fund of Obligatory Medical Insurance for so-called free medical services, under "The Program of State Guarantees of Providing the Population with Free Medical Aid." The story examines where the money goes.

Drugs are not the only thing that help people relax - every nation has its own nirvana, depending on the climate and the natural surroundings. The story highlights the nations and their different nirvanas.

The story looks at the audio-video market known as Gorbushka, which is open every Sunday in Fili Park (metro "Bagrationovskaya").

AIF offers several chapters from Boris Nemtsov's new book titled "The Provincial in Moscow." These chapters feature Boris Yeltsin, Yury Luzhkov, Tatyana Dyachenko, Grigory Yavlinsky, Anatoly Chubais, Sergei Kiriyenko, Yevgeny Primakov, Sergei Stepashin and the author' worst nightmare.


The press statement by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on the results of the Consultative Meeting with a group of Russian politicians, which discussed the problem of Chechen settlement on Oct. 5 is provided

Boris Jordan, head of the Sputnik investment group, has met with Vologda governor Vyacheslav Pozgalyov to discuss the group's investment projects in the region, above all, the timber concern Kipelovo. Sputnik has invested into it more than $25 million, creating over 500 new jobs.


In an interview, State Duma deputy Aleksei Arbatov, comments on the West's stand on the Chechen issue.

Political scientist Alexander Tsypko highlights the Yeltsin epoch, reflecting on when (and how) the post-Yeltsin epoch will begin.


Political observer Alexander Khinshtein describes the paradoxical situation when with one hand the Prosecutor General's Office is trying to destroy suspended Prosecutor General Yury Skuratov and with the other it acknowledges him as a victim of the blackmail.

Through its special directive, the Moscow government have imposed limits on purchasing imported goods for city needs. From now on, all sections of the city government should buy goods for the city made only by Moscow enterprises.

A unique and long-awaited exhibition of works by two key figures of Russian avant-garde art - Natalya Goncharova and Mikhail Larionov - has opened today in the Tretyakov Gallery on 10, Ul. Krymsky Val.