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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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


At the Security Council session Monday Prime Minister Vladimir Putin declared war on corruption, promising to destroy corrupted bureaucrats using all possible means provided by the state. It's not difficult to guess what means will be used in this anti-corruption campaign, which will allow Putin to pressure the Kremlin's political rivals. Also covered by Vremya MN.

Veniamin Yakovlev, head of the Supreme Arbitration Court, shares his views on the court's role in the state and on the state's role in the court.

General Prosecutor's Office official Georgy Chuglazov, who has started an investigation into the scandalous Mabetex case, which did restoration work on the Moscow Kremlin, sheds light on several little-known aspects of the case.

According to well-informed sources, a new aviation corporation will soon be created to modernize Russia's jet fighters. The Kremlin has designed the project to pump out money from the military-industrial complex budget into the Kremlin's election machinery.

Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze on Monday reiterated that Russian border guards will not be allowed to stay on Georgian territory to jointly guard the border with Chechnya. Shevardnadze has also stated that Russian troops will not be allowed to cross the Georgian border to enter Chechnya, as was planned previously. Also covered by Vremya MN.

A municipal museum of modern art will be opened in Moscow before the end of the year. The project has been initiated by sculptor and chief Moscow artist Zurab Tsereteli.

The election campaign is being accompanied by a frenzied outburst of anti-Western sentiment.

Political analyst Leonid Radzikhovsky reports on how the Kremlin is struggling against the Fatherland-All Russia bloc, trying to discredit its leaders in every possible way.

A program to transfer electric power stations from natural gas to coal will be submitted to the government for consideration in the near future. One of its authors is Sergei Generalov, director of the Investment and Heating-Energy Complex (HEC) Development Agency, who stated that it will be possible to accomplish this transfer within three years. Anatoly Usachov, head of the HEC Economics Department, speaks about the expediency of the project.

Wages in the north should be standardized. In view of this, the Labor Ministry intends to sign a special agreement with Norilsk Nickel, Gazprom, ALROSA and other big enterprises working in the north.

Sergei Bogdanov, chief of the Public Relations Center of the Federal Security Service Board for Moscow city and region, speaks how the FSB cracks down on so-called "telephone terrorists" and how the media influence them.


A big scandal has erupted at the MAPO military-industrial complex, one of two Russianaviation complexes that makes fighters - on the orders from its director, Nikolai Nikitin, the enterprise has started to assemble passenger Tu-334 planes, which means that it will never see get any military projects again.

President Boris Yeltsin has failed to sign a law introducing a new, more liberal scale of income tax. This means that from 2000, Russians will have an even tougher scale than now, with a maximum tax rate of 45 percent.

One story comments on Finance Minister Mikhail Kasyanov's unsuccessful negotiations with International Monetary Fund head Michel Camdessus on the disbursement of another tranche to Russia. Kasyanov, as the story notes, understands that Moscow will not receive any money from Washington unless federal troops leave Chechnya. In this way, Kasyanov has dealt a blow to next year's budget. Also covered by Vremya MN.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Monday instructed the Russian ambassador to the United States to sign an agreement with the World Bank on disbursing to Russia $30 million for introducing a system of national statistics. Vladimir Sokolin, head of the State Statistics Committee, reveals the essence of the project.

Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov on Saturday signed a contract on the construction of a commercial and entertainment complex, to be called "Sadovoye Koltso." The story describes the resurrection of this project, which was already begun previously on a square near Kursky Station but suspended after the August 1998 crisis.

The Royal Bank of Scotland on Monday announced its intention to buy National Westminster Bank for $42.5 billion. The story looks at the situation surrounding NatWest.

Tyumen Oil Co., or TNK, late last week bought Chernogorneft for $176 million; Sidanko and its shareholders view this deal as illegal. TNK intends to send Sidanko shareholders several proposals on cooperation. The story examines these proposals in detail.

A government commission on exports stated late last week that it would be expedient to build a branch of the Sukhodolnaya-Rodionovskaya oil pipeline to bypass Ukraine. Transneft has already received an assignment to prepare technical documents.

The Tabakprom Association, which is a collective owner of the Prima trade mark, has decided that, from Dec. 1, all tobacco factories that are not members of the association must stop the sale of these cigarettes. The cost of Tabakprom membership is $500,000.

Trade Minister Mikhail Fradkov says how Russia will gain from its membership of the WTO.


The last month of the election campaign shows that the authority and prestige of the Communist Party and of the election bloc For Victory led by the Communists have considerably increased in many regions. If two or three months ago many analysts noted the "end ofthe Communists' leadership" and their departure to the"second echelon of Russia's political life," then today they have to admit that it's the Communist Party that has the strongest organizational and political potential to win the upcoming parliamentary elections. Both federal and regional public polls show that there are several objective grounds for such conclusions. The story examines the major ones.

The story looks at Mondays' opening at The Tretyakov Gallery of a display of artifacts andworks of Russian classical art that the museum purchased in 1998-1999.

A story looks at how the Central Election Commission restricts the election rights of political parties and blocs, thus violating the Constitution, and concludes that such actions are impermissible.

Political analyst Nikolai Vladimirov comments on recent major political developments - growing confrontation between the Kremlin and Fatherland-All Russia, President Boris Yeltsin's real or imaginary sickness and the skyrocketing growth of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's presidential rating.

Amber confiscated from poachers in the Kaliningrad region may go to restore the legendary Amber Room, which disappeared from St. Petersburg during World War II.

The story examines serious problems experienced by gold-extracting enterprises in the Krasnoyarsk region, where even during the 1996-1997 economic crisis, the overall volume of gold output was maintained at a stable level.

In an interview, General Alexander Pavlovsky, head of the Belarussian State Committee of Border Troops, explores the legislative basis underlying relations between the border services of both countries.


The West is unintentionally pushing out Russia out of the world community, with the International Monetary Fund being selected as an instrument of the act. The story offers several facts showing how the West is trying to punish Russia financially for its military operation in Chechnya. The article looks at how have Russian politicians and financiers have responded.

The story offers several of the income declarations of Communist Party candidates that were submitted to the Central Election Commission.

The German Reemtsma tobacco company announced that in 2000 it plans to invest $100 million in its factory in Russia.

The Moscow Inter-Bank Currency Exchange now has a rival: Former deputy head of the Exchange Alexei Mamontov has, on the basis of the Moscow Inter-Bank Currency Association, created a trading system with a turnover in the first month of its performance exceeding $100 million.

On Nov. 23 the State Duma approved (in the first reading) a draft of the new Customs Code. In an interview, Sergei Istomin, the head of the Legal Board of the State Customs Committee, examines its major provisions.

In an interview, Lithuania's President Valdas Adamkus examines several serious problems in his republic's relations with Russia.

The literary magazine Novy Mir is celebrating its 75th birthday. Its editor-in-chief Andrei Vasilevsky speaks about its plans in 2000.


The Federal Currency and Export Control Service has developed a new concept of currency control in Russia that is based on the principle of preventing legislation violations.


Rosinformcenter has released an official report by the Defense Ministry on a 30 square kilometer oil swamp that threatens to swallow the whole city of Grozny. The report says that the swamp has been expanding for nearly nine years now and is a result of activities by approximately 15,000 small illegal private factories, which made low quality petrol and kerosene. The story notes that today the two warring sides in Chechnya are bringing the threat of ecological catastrophe closer.

Human rights activist Sergei Kovalyov, as before, is opposing Russia's military operation in Chechnya. In an interview, he gives several facts showing that Russian reform has collapsed.

Three candidates - the present administration head, Anatoly Tyazhlov, General Boris Gromov and Olympic biathlon champion Alexander Tikhonov - are claiming the gubernatorial seat in the Moscow region. The story examines their chances.

The story highlights Austrian foreign investor Frants-Iogann Rainl,55, who for three and a half years has been living and working in Belarus.


A political portrait of Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu, leader of the Unity election bloc, is presented.

A political analyst examines what the Kremlin might expect from the Unity bloc and the bloc's main principles and participants.


A wonder child named Seryozha weighing 6.7 kilograms has been born in Voronezh. The story features a happy mother and father Tatyana and Sergei Yelyutins.

In an interview, head of the national power grid "Unified Energy Systems" Anatoly Chubais explains why he does not want to run for the parliamentary elections.

Political analyst Vladimir Zavyalov reflects on who might be mayor of Moscow if Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is elected president of Russia. The author says why it won't be Yury Luzhkov.


The full text is presented of an extraordinary document issued by the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences, authored by Moscow University Professor Leonid Leskov, entitled "Do Not Miss This! To All Research Associates of Russia, University Professors and Teachers, School Teachers and to All Russian Intellectuals."