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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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


All clinical tests of new medical treatments have been suspended beginning March 15, according to the government decree concerning bringing in and taking out medicines from Russia. The story looks at the negative consequences of this decision.

The military leadership of the Kurdistan Workers Party said Monday that all areas frequented by tourists in Turkey have become military zones. The group called on foreign states to warn their citizens to restrain from visiting Turkey. The story describes a tense situation there.

The Lipetsk local administration and City Hall have created a Gubernsky Bank, which has received official status. The story takes a look at its shareholders.

The Leningradskaya Atomic Power Station is the first station in Russia to receive a license from the State Atomic Inspectorate to use radioactive substances. What will the station gain from this license?

The Sverdlovsk regional government has developed a method aimed at protecting its people from bootleg vodka. The story describes the method.

Members of Chechen field commander Khottab's family were taken hostage in Chechnya on Saturday night. The leader of the opposition group, Shamil Basayev, accused the government of President Aslan Maskhadov of the crime. Also covered in Kommersant Daily.

The story features a complicated situation in the Republic of South Ossetia, where a prolonged government crisis threatens to grow into an armed conflict. What circumstances have caused the crisis?

The story reports on what Russia has reached in negotiations with the International Monetary Fund and what factors may affect their results. Also covered in Kommersant Daily.

Newsweek magazine is the only publication to which Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov has given an interview on the occasion of his Cabinet's six month anniversary. The story comments on major issues.

The story reports on the continuing conflict between multi-millionaireKenneth Dart and Sibneft, which is controlled by Boris Berezovsky. Also covered in Kommersant Daily.

Rosestbank in the Samara region has reached an agreement with Western creditors on restructuring its debts on their credits. The story comments on the deal.

Kalmykia's parliament has passed a bill on boosting gambling businesses in the republic. The first law of its kind in Russia allows the authorities to launch virtual casinos on the Internet. The story comments on the document.

The story comments on the cooperation agreement reached late last week between the Samara Sibirsky Aluminum Works and Volkswagen.

The government has allowed several legal vodka factories to produce alcohol in addition to their usual products. The story comments on the decision and reports on what factories have been granted the permission.

Daimler-Chrysler last week said that it had given up a previous deal with Nissan and the planned purchase of the cargo section of the Nissan Diesel company. The story explains why.


The prosecutor's office of the Rostov region has "rehabilitated" State Duma deputy Albert Makashov, saying that he did not mean to insult anyone when he used the word "Yids," in referring to Jews. The story criticizes the prosecutors for their hopelessness in dealing with the him.

In an i nterview, Lema Tagirov, a representative from Chechnya's Prosecutor General's Office in Russia said that Interior Ministry Major General Gennady Shpigun was kidnapped with the aim of collecting a ransom.

The story looks at two centers of power - the Kremlin and the Central Clinical Hospital where President Boris Yeltsin is staying for the eighth time (in total 161 days) since he took office and where presidential decrees are now signed.

The Stavropolye regional court will consider a criminal case accusing former prosecutor Yury Lushnikov of abusing power. The story details his allegedwrongdoings.

The Moscow police have closed the Moscow Ararat brandy factory on Myasnitskaya Ulitsa, accusing its managers of not having the proper documents and unsanitary conditions. The story describes the case.

Bee Line network owners yesterday announced an unprecedented decrease in the prices for mobile phones. The story looks at how its competitors have responded to the decrease.

The Russian branch of the international Diners Club card company has announced its new project to issue a new card, which will work only in Russia.

The Tyumen Oil Company, or TOC, has sent its proposal to Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Bulgak and Fuel and Energy Minister Sergei Generalov to merge TOC with Rosneft, ONAKO and Slavneft. The story looks at the proposal.


In an interview, Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov said that he is willing to make a huge compromise in relations with Russia, adding that the only thing Chechnya will never give up is independence. Maskhadov failed to say whether Major General Gennady Shpigun will be released by his kidnappers.

Residents of the Ivanovo, Tver and Kostroma regions in Central Russia have no idea they are in the center of wide-scale, four-day military exercises of several air force units, which are being carried out according to the annual military training plan. The story gives figures to illustrate the scope of the exercises.

MFK-Renaissance has transferred $460,000 to a special bank account of the Interior Ministry to help the families of those who died during the recent fire in Samara.

On the eve of the March 16 Memorial Day of the Latvian Waffen SS, Latvian Nazis from the pro-fascist organization "Perkonkrusts" sent a letter to local newspapers, threatening to kill 43 "undesirable reds" and Russians. The story provides several names of potential victims, St. Petersburg journalist Alexander Nevzorov among them.

The story reports on how Mordovian Federal Security Service, or FSB, officers and prosecutors discovered an 18th-century bell weighing 500 kilograms in the republic. The bell is said to have adorned the original Church of Christ the Savior. The story describes the unique find.

What should be done to restore the confidence of Russian people and foreign investors in Russian securities? Who should investors be defended from? What are the differences between the Federal Securities Commission and the Central Bank? What has happened to PIFs? In an interview, Dmitry Vasilyev, head of the Federal Securities Commission, answers these questions.


Prosecutor General Yury Skuratov is expected to make a speech in the Federation Council, the upper house of parliament, on Wednesday and explain reasons behind his resignation. If Skuratov says who forced him to resign, the consequences are unpredictable. Calm now depends only on one person - Yury Skuratov, notes political analyst Alexander Khinshtein in his commentary, which offers several scenarios of what may happen. Also covered in Izvestia and Kommersant Daily.

Swindlers dressed as priests have been collecting money from passengers in metro stations, allegedly for the needs of their churches. The story describes a procedure of issuing special permission to collect church donations.

The story says that quite a number of Muscovites who commit suicide today prefer jumping from ninth-story windows. Several cases illustrate the point.

According to reports from the Moscow Labor Union Federation, the poverty line for the average Moscow three-member family exceeds 6,000 rubles ($260). The story offers other figures illustrating low living standards in the city.

Political observer Alexander Budberg comments on Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky's recent meeting with President Boris Yeltsin in the hospital and on the president's possible ideas (not pronounced aloud) about replacing Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov.


One story points to several factors showing that the Primakov-Communist Party alliance is close to disintegration. An explanation for the Communists' preference for the so-called "self-sufficient economy" is given.

The State Duma is to decide Tuesday when it will hold a session to impeach President Boris Yeltsin and what the procedure for setting forth accusations against him will look like. Political observer Ivan Rodin looks at Yeltsin's possible response to all these developments.

Buryatia's authorities intend to take urgent measures aimed at ensuring seismological safety on the territory of the republic. These measures were determined at a special session held by the administration of the republic's president, Leonid Potapov. The story focuses on the major measures.

Another story comments on the major achievements of First Deputy Prime Minister Yury Maslyukov's three-day visit to Indonesia and Japan as the government's top economics representative.

Opportunities to increase direct foreign investment have been completely negated by the current political instability in Russia . This is an opinion shared by Vladimir Mau, head of the government's Working Center for Economic Reform, and by Peter Vestin, an expert at the Russian-European Center for Economic Policy. The story comments on their viewpoints.

Another story looks at the long and painful process of privatization at the Vyborg Pulp and Paper Combine in the Leningrad region, which started in 1992. How is it faring today?

Ever since Moscow and Kiev ratified the Russian-Ukrainian Treaty, there has been every legal ground to put it into effect, but its opponents are trying to find any possible circumstances to hold back the process. The story offers arguments voiced by the treaty's opponents.

Outstanding Soviet writer Yury Bondarev, author of many popular novels in Soviet times, turned 75 Tuesday. In an interview, the writer speaks about his teachers, his friends and his writing.

Citing documents in their story investigating the financial deal First Deputy Prime Minister Yury Maslyukov signed with Angola's government in 1997, economic analysts Tatyana Koshkaryova and Rustam Narzikulov conclude that this move may have exposed Russia to many millions of dollars worth of liabilities.

Prosecutor General Yury Skuratov has been nominated to run for a State Duma seat in Buryatia. Will he accept the offer?


Krasnoyarsk Governor Alexander Lebed is willing to do everything in his power to keep the city of Norilsk in the region. The city may transfer to the Taimyr Region, as the legislative assembly there has laid claim to Norilsk. The story focuses on the city's enterprises, which make a considerable contribution to the wealth of the region.

The Pacific region has launched a new program of international contacts. In connection with this, the French frigate Prerial has arrived in Vladivostok. The story describes the program of its visit.


The military training system is to undergo serious change in the near future. Defense Ministry Lieutenant General Anatoly Sidorenko announced a program that envisages big cuts in military schools and military departments at universities and institutes. The story comments on the program.

After long talks in high-government offices on appointing five new members to the Central Election Commission (CEC), Kremlin officials Monday evening discussed the appointment of Nikolai Ryabov, Russia's Ambassador to the Czech Republic and a CEC member on a part-time basis, to the post of Commission head.

According to the Financial Times of London, the U.S. administration is willing to "persuade other G-7 countries to write off a considerable part of the debt that Russia inherited from the former USSR." The story notes that this possibility has arisen since former Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin's recent negotiations with U.S. Vice President Al Gore in Washington.

AvtoVAZ has decided to reject the services of foreign suppliers - the ruble devaluation has made the auto factory revise its relationships with them. AvtoVAZ has no intention of using imported metal and electrical equipment any longer. The story explains how it will benefit from this measure.

The Inter-Departmental Coordinating Committee, formed by the Central Bank with the aim of boosting the banking sphere in Russia, is holding its first session on the subject of full information privacy. One of the main functions of the new agency is to help in distributing international and foreign funds issued for the restructuring of the banking system. The story describes the new committee, its duties and the Tuesday session.

Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov is expected to sign a law on the experimental sale of land in Zelinograd. In an interview, Viktor Damuchiyev, head of the Moscow Land Committee, speaks about the prospects of selling land in Moscow.


One story comments on the problem of Prosecutor General Yury Skuratov, saying that on Wednesday he will either cease to be prosecutor or Russia will cease to be a country of tough presidential rule. Switzerland's federal prosecutor, Karla del Ponte, may arrive in Moscow to back Skuratov.

The Moscow government is expected to consider a draft decree on imposing a second excise stamp on every pack of cigarettes. The story reveals the details of the measure.

A Moscow family shares its impressions about the pilot issue of Hustler, the pornographic magazine, which is edited by Alexander Nevsky.

In his first interview since quitting, the former chief of the State Customs Committee, Valery Draganov, discusses the reasons behind his recent resignation.

The appointment of Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky to the post of first deputy prime minister with responsibility for the economy would mean that President Boris Yeltsin and the Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov have come to an agreement to give Russia the chance of political peace up until the next elections. The story comments on the issue.

Legal expert Sergei Alekseyev analyzes several controversial provisions of the existing Constitution and major amendments proposed by different State Duma factions.

Starting with this issue, No. 10, MN begins to publish photos of Russian children who are available for adoption. The federal data bank of the Education Ministry today contains about 60,000 such photos, which have been collected from 81 Russian provinces over the past five years.


In an interview with Newsweek, not long before his visit to Washington to attend the 11th session of the Russian -American Commission, Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov talks optimistically about Russia's relations with the IMF and about his relationships with President Boris Yeltsin and businessman Boris Berezovsky.

What factors are holding back the integration of Russia and Belarus? In an interview, Valery Loshchinin, the former Russian Ambassador to Belarus, answers this and other questions.

Kuzbassrazrezugol, the largest coal-extracting company in Russia, has scored considerable results in boosting labor productivity. Its head, Viktor Kuznetsov, gives concrete figures to illustrate the point.


In an interview, Dr. Heiner Gamm, Director General of Knauf, a company that makes construction materials, talks about his company's profitable business in the Russian and CIS markets.