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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

WHAT THE PAPERS SAY: Bad Memories of Girls' Bathroom Haunt Putin

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's childhood was hard. Of course, he was picked on by the other boys. And their favorite trick was well known - they would pushhim into the girls' bathroom and pin the door shut on him with their shoulders. The girls would scream and beat the poor boy with their book bags and their sacks that they brought their changes of shoes in. And he would break out and run to me and bury his head in my lap and groan, "Maria Ivanovna, I will chase them off one of these days. I'll get them." And I used to stroke his head and tell him, "Volodya, you will grow up one of these days and you will understand much and you will look at things differently, and today's offenses will seem small and insignificant in the future. And now, run to your lessons, Volodya." I would tell him, "what do you have now, Russian?" And he would walk away with a sure step. And I thought that I had made peace in the school. But no. Those little menaces would catch Volodya again and throw him right back into the girls' bathroom.

From a letter published in Nezavisimaya Gazeta on Sept. 28 by someone named Maria Ivanovna, who claims to be a former teacher of Putin.

Staying Fit With Fidel

After Fidel Castro spoke with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, Komsomolskaya Pravda had a chance to ask him a few informal questions:

KP: President Castro, how do you manage to stay in such excellent physical condition?

Castro: Work - that's your answer. I work all the time. And discipline. In all things: in the way I schedule my day, in work, even in food.

KP: And what do you eat?

Castro: You have to watch that carefully, so that it helps you gain strength. More carbohydrates, less oils, less wine, fewer sweets.

KP: How many hours a day do you work?

Castro: I've never thought about that. I don't have time. I think I work all the time. I meet with businessmen, then speak with bankers and then I still have to study huge amounts of information. I read more than 300 pages a day, on all problems, about our lives and about international politics. By the way, I follow events in your country. I am following events in Chechnya. I'm following it on the Internet.

KP: Ah, so you work on a computer?

Castro: They help me keep up as I track down all the information I can.

From an interview with Fidel Castro published in Komsomolskaya Pravda on Sept. 30.

Trash Can Aesthetics

As there is no one architectural style in Moscow, there is no one single design for trash cans. Each different division of the city's public works department orders its own trash cans and each of them heads in the direction of their own taste dictates - as well as the amount of money they have on hand.

"What are we, bureaucrats?" the head of the public works division for the Tverskaya region, Alexei Zhiganov, says. "Why should there be one trash can style? We had 70 years of that. These are different times and variety is better."

Of course, Russian-made trash cans are beyond competition. The materials are cheaper and they hold more than their foreign counterparts. The best judge of trash cans, however, is the people who have to deal with them the most, dvorniki, or city maintenance and cleanup personnel.

Alexander Borzov, who works on Ploshchad Ilyich, is a traditionalist:

"The best are the simple, square cans. They are heavy, sure, but you can still pick them up and dump them out."

Alexander Kotelnikov, who cleans down by the Metropol, however, likes the Western designs.

"Plastic cans, of course, are better. The plastic bags fit in them better and it is pleasant to lift them out with your hands. Of course, if the bags are ripped at the bottom, you end up having to scoop up the trash by hand."

Izvestia, Sept. 30

Swedish Will Contested

They were married in 1997, when the Russian bride was 37 and the Swedish farmer was 80. Their families requested their names not be used because the case is still in court. The case concerns this: Having lived with her husband for all of a month, the young Russian bride gathered up her things and went back to Russia.

Her husband pined and pined for her - and then he died.

To the surprise of relatives and neighbors, it turned out that the estate of the modest farmer was a small fortune of about $170,000. And at the reading of his will, he named only three beneficiaries: his Russian spouse and her two children.

The sisters of the deceased were incensed and filed a lawsuit in court. They had only lived together for 30 days. And besides that, the sisters declared to the court, their brother had been seeing another lover for an entire year before he met the Russian, and this lover was from Estonia!

Despite these arguments, the court will most likely rule that the estate goes to Russia.

Komsomolskaya Pravda, Sept. 30