Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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

SEGODNYA (5/10/99)

President Boris Yeltsin's son-in-law Leonid Dyachenko may bring much trouble to the president's "family" - an unofficial source said Dyachenko on Oct. 14 may be summoned to testify before a jury in New York about his offshore accounts. U.S. federal investigators have demanded that the New York firm "Belka Trading Corporation" and about a dozen other companies produce all documents pertaining to payments made to Dyachenko of approximately $2 million over the past several years. All this became known during recent congressional hearings on the Russian mafia's money laundering through the Bank of New York.

The presidential decree returning tax bodies' powers to the tax police has taken effect. In an interview, Vyacheslav Soltaganov, Director of the Federal Tax Police Service, reveals the essence of the document.

The creation of the Unity bloc has not justified the hopes of the Kremlin. To begin with, the first three candidates in the "anti-Luzhkov" bloc should have been quite different. The Kremlin, however, is willing to provide the bloc with "super-backing" to allow Unity to overcome a 5 percent barrier. Also covered in Izvestia.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Monday that he had found a way out of the Chechen refugee situation in Ingushetia, whose number has exceeded 100,000. Putin proposed creating a state commission responsible for accommodating refugees on Chechen territories that have already been "cleansed" of gunmen. Also covered in Kommersant, Komsomolskaya Pravda and Vremya MN.

A group of banks intends to lodge a complaint against the State Customs Committee, which has canceled the previously announced tender on the right to service the accounts of regional customs.

The Unity bloc had a closed congress over the weekend. Also covered in Kommersant.

According to General Gennady Troshev, commander of the federal troops in Dagestan, Chechnya has been completely blockaded. Not one top official in the Defense Ministry could answer two main questions: How are military actions proceeding in Chechnya? What may be expected in the near future? In a short interview former Interior Minister Anatoly Kulikov shares his viewpoint on the issue. Also covered in Kommersant.

A sensational interview by President Boris Yeltsin's daughter Tatyana Dyachenko published in The Sunday Times appears to be fabricated, presidential press secretary Dmitry Yakushkin said Monday. Also covered in Komsomolskaya Pravda and Vremya MN.

The British newspaper The Independent reported over the weekend that IMF Executive Director Michel Camdessus may resign soon. Several circumstances, however, suggest this does not correspond with reality. Also covered in Kommersant.

In an interview, newly-elected Novgorod Governor Mikhail Prusak shares his views on election bloc building, saying how he found himself in the Unity bloc.

Political analyst Leonid Radzikhovsky tries to answer the question: Who is mass media tycoon Boris Berezovsky, with television's scandalous journalist Sergei Dorenko as his mouthpiece, workingfor?

How much will the upcoming parliamentary campaign cost according to the Law on Elections to the State Duma and how much may it cost in reality?

The American Leap Wireless telecommunications company has announced a suspension of all its operations in Russia. The company is to close down one of its Russian daughter structures - the Transworld companies group - and suspend funding to another daughter company - the Cyprus holding Metrocommunications.

KOMMERSANT (5/10/99)

Who was Academician Dmitry Likhachev to you? How do you assess Likhachev's role in building Russian statehood? In a short interview, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who Monday attended the civil funeral in St. Petersburg, answers these questions.

During the showing of the film "The Barber of Siberia" in Samara on Oct. 3, Sergei Solovei, leader of the local branch of the National-Bolshevist Party, threw a pear at filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov, who arrived at the city to meet with audiences.

Russian diamonds with "De Beers" mark may appear soon on the domestic market. The South African corporation proposed the Kristal factory in the central Russian city of Smolensk labelsome of its products. The story examines the unprecedented terms suggested by De Beers.

In an interview, the Kristal diamond factory director general, Yury Rebrik, speaks about the Kristal-De Beers project.

The commission to elect an audit for the Central Bank held its firstsession in the State Duma on Monday.

The Foreign Ministry has attempted to impose discriminatory measures in medical insurance of foreigners arriving in Russia.

Volvo AB shareholders agreed with the leadership's proposal to buy 100 percent of the stock of Swedish heavy trucks manufacturer, Scania company.

The magazine Fortune published its annual rating of the 20 most respected companies in the world.

The Central Bank has submitted to the State Duma a draft of the "Guidelines of the Single State Monetary-Crediting Policy in 2000."



In its efforts to create a so-called ***cordon sanitaire***, a barrier to block the free movement of people and goods, around Chechnya, the military deliberately have not declared the beginning of the ground operation in Chechnya, though one has already been launched. Also covered in Noviye Izvestia.

Presidential elections were held Monday in Abkhazia, though not a single state in the world has recognized it as an independent state. Georgia views Abkhazia as a part of its territory and said the elections were illegal.

A second round of the "Russiagate" scandal may begin soon with accusations that Vice President Al Gore developed technological cooperation with Russia, with considerable damage to U.S. security.

In an interview, State Duma Deputy Yelena Panina, chairman of the Zemstvo movement, comments on the appeal of State Duma deputies initiating the creation of the Peoples Deputy bloc for supporting independent candidates. Panina believes that the political elite should be changed.

In an interview, Iser Kharel, founder of the Israeli secret intelligence service, MOSSAD, talks about its membership, tasks and work methods.


Many Russian leaders, such as Mary El President Vyacheslav Kislitsyn, and ordinary people are sick and tired of social troubles, intimidated by terrorist blasts and dream about Josef Stalin's iron fist, which, as they believe, would protect them from all misfortunes. What all these people forget about is Stalin's labor camps with millions of innocent victims.

General Andrei Nikolayev and academician Svyatoslav Fyodorov have announced the creation of a new election bloc, the founding congress of which took place over the weekend in the Moskovsky settlement. The bloc, which supports "democratic or new socialism," is based on seven organizations. The story examines its program. Also covered in Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

A group of St. Petersburg intellectuals has sent a letter to the State Duma, or lower house of parliament, with a proposal to pass a bill canceling deputies' immunity. The story examines the provision on deputies' immunity envisaged by the Constitution.

Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov has applied to Western organizations with a request to suspend their financial aid to Russia because, as Maskhadov sees it, with this money Russia funds the war in Chechnya. Besides, the president proposed to station an international peacekeeping force in Chechnya under the aegis of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Russia intends to make new proposals, kept in secret so far, in the world arms market. With this aim in view, General Anatoly Kornukov, Air Force commander in chief, went to India on Monday to "test strength" in the radically new sphere of military-technical cooperation. The story sheds some light on the new proposals.

It took President Boris Yeltsin more than a month to sign Mikhail Zadornov's request to release him from the post of special presidential representative for negotiations with international financial organizations. This post, which was usually instituted in emergency situations when the country badly needed money, is likely to be needed again. It is not excluded that former Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin will take up the job.

About 100 Tula trolleybus, tram and bus drivers have left their city for Moscow, where they can earn 3,000 to 4,000 rubles a month rather than the 800 rubles they earn at home. Other workers, too, are leaving the city. The outflow of workforce to Moscow has become a real disaster for Tula authorities. The story comments on the problem.

The story examines several changes that the conciliation commission responsible for putting finishing touches to the draft budget for 2000have proposed to introduce to the document. The commission recommended that the State Duma, parliament's lower house, pass the draft budget in the first reading.

The story analyses several new, post-scandal demands set forth to Russia by the International Monetary Fund. The story explains why it will be difficult to honor them all.

Procter & Gamble, together with Coca-Cola and Mars, is among the companies whose operations on Russia's consumer market act as a barometer of the Russian investment climate for the whole Western business world. The story gives figures showing that the companies are sustaining losses in Russia due to a considerably reduced demand for their products.

Telephone numbers that are easily remembered are called "golden" and "silver," for example, 900-0000. As it turns out, they are sold for $50.


Gazprom on Sept. 30 suspended its gas supplies to Chechnya because the republic owes the company 1 billion rubles ($32.2 million).

A group of State Duma deputies has visited Volgodonsk, where the Sept. 16 terrorist act has left 14,850 people without shelter: What the deputies saw there shocked them. The government has allocated 50 million rubles ($1.96 million), whereas the total amount of damage is estimated at almost 500 million rubles.

In an interview, Eugene Lawson, head of the American-Russian Business Center, says how contacts between U.S. and Russian businessmen changed after the Aug. 17, 1998 financial crisis .

At Monday's session of the Central Election Commission, its head, Alexander Veshnyakov, unexpectedly stated that six people had been stricken from the federal election list of candidates. The story comments on the issue.

Unlike the Vostoktransflot Primorye region shipping company, which has gone bankrupt, the formerly inefficient shipping company Primorskoye Morskoye Parokhodstvo has received a second lease on life. In an interview, Director General Alexander Kirilichev says how it happened.

The story examines strategic and political reasons behind the insulin scandal that erupted one year ago between the Ferein pharmaceutical firm, owned by State Duma Deputy Vladimir Bryntsalov, and the Danish Novo Nordisk company, a world leading insulin producer.


In an interview, Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov speaks about his emotional response to ORT television journalist Sergei Dorenko's latest accusations against him - and he promises to take him to court.

The story reports on how local Communists have lost the recent mayoral election in Volgograd, Southern Russia.

In an interview, Dmitry Rogozin, leader of the Congress of Russian Communes, talks about the election program of his association and about its allies.

Tyumenenergo now has been placed under control of Anatoly Chubais, head of the national power grid Unified Energy Systems, or UES, which means that Tyumenenergo's funds will go to UES's treasury.

Human rights plenipotentiary Oleg Mironov answers questions from readers about the current registration system in Moscow, which many people view as illegal.

In an interview, Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov shares his views on the current developments in his and neighboring republics.

In an interview, Yusef Bodanski, leading expert on the U.S. Congress, talks about Saudi Arabian millionaire terrorist Usama bin Laden and his contacts with Chechen field commanders. Bodanski also speaks about bin Laden's possible plans.

The story reports on space flight on the International Space Station. The experiment is being conducted by the Institute of Medical and Biological Problems.

In an interview, sci-fi writer Boris Strugatsky talks about his new book and future plans.


The appeal by the Central Election Commission to all TV companies and newspapers explains what services they should provide during the current parliamentary election campaign and how they should provide them.


The story tries to find out how Yury Yukhman, chief of the Lyubertsy Police Department, has managed to get the post of police boss of thewhole Moscow region. Whose protege is he? Lyubertsy Governor Igor Akkuratov has sent a letter to the Moscow Regional Duma asking the same question.

According to reports from the Moscow prosecutor's office, the number of serious crimes from January to September considerably increased, largely surpassing the figure for the same period last year. The story cites figures illustrating the point.

Metro authorities have chosen two stations -Sukharevskaya and Belorusskaya - to install electronic information boards with running texts on the ceiling. The story describes the project.

In an interview, Moscow Ecology Minister Leonid Bochin says what his ministry does to protect the environment of the city.

The Chechen question will exist for many decades to come and each political party and leader claiming a role in Russian political life must have a clear-cut and effective stand on the Chechen issue and a program of effective measures. Seven politicians share their views on this problem.


Political observer Vasily Safronchuk presents a harsh commentary on federal authorities' decision to build a ***cordon sanitaire***, a boundary restricting the free movement of poeple and goods, in Chechnya.