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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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


In an interview US Ambassador to Russia James Collins shared his views on Russia's role in resolving the Kosovo conflict, saying that the Kosovo problem has really complicated American-Russian relations.

The government has signed another decree concerning the medicine market, which is aimed at resolving one of the most acute social problems - making medicines affordable for ordinary citizens. The story focuses on major provisions of the document.

President Boris Yeltsin has found the economic position of the Kaliningrad region unsatisfactory. In this context he instructed Cabinet head Yevgeny Primakov, Kremlin staff chief Alexander Voloshin and regional governor Leonid Gubenko to take urgent measures to put the federal program of boosting the Special Economic Zone in the Kaliningrad Region into effect. The story focuses on Yeltsin's concern over Russia's geopolitical interests in the region.

The Security Council session scheduled for April 27 will consider the issue of boosting Russia's nuclear weapons complex. This was stated Tuesday by Security Council Secretary Vladimir Putin.

Chechnya's President Aslan Maskhadov will not take part in the Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov's meeting with leaders from North-Caucasian republics, scheduled for April 17 in Vladikavkaz.

The State Press Committee in the first quarter of this year reprimanded six Russian publications for propaganda of political extremism and other violations of the Law on Mass Media. Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye is one of them. No other names are mentioned.

The story examines the tense political and social situation in the Kemerovo region on the eve of the elections to the Regional Council of People's Deputies and to local government bodies scheduled for April 18.

In an interview General Nikolai Reznichenko, First Deputy Director of the Federal Border Service, gives figures to illustrate a tense situation on the Russian state border, which as he says, at times resembles a frontline in a war.

The government has submitted to the State Duma a draft of the federal law concerning amendments to the law on licensing several types of activities. They directly concern the firms which act as mediators in selling coal.

Mayor Yury Luzhkov on April 12 held a secret meeting to discuss the future financial situation in the TV-Tsentr company. The story notes in part that a decision of principle was made - to increase the Moscow government's joint-stock participation in TV-Tsentr from 67 to 100 percent. The story comments on the decision.

The Moscow ecological police have launched a spring operation called "Clean Autos" in the city, with their 16 ecological posts being very strict in their demands on drivers. The story deals with the operation.

The story reports on how Belarussians are suffering from their President Alexander Lukashenko's recent decree prohibiting them to take food products out of the republic.

Political analyst Alexander Bovin comments on aims of NATO military operations in the Balkans.


A rare historic document - the report to Tsar Nicholas I on results of the court case on Pushkin's duel - has been found in the Russian State Military- Historical Archives. The story examines the sensational find.

According to organizations enlisting volunteers to go to fight for the Milosevic regime, their number has already reached several thousands, while several hundred Russian Muslims are willing to fight on the side of Albanians. The story notes that, according to information from Belgrade, the first Russian volunteers have already arrived in Yugoslavia.

The Chief Designers' Council in the Energia rocket-space corporation held a session late last week to discuss work over the Russian service module of the International Space Station. The story explains why the project is proceeding very slowly.

Sberbank today is expected to start payments to Promstroibank, MENATEP and Most Bank clients. Besides, Sberbank intends to service Kuzbasprombank depositors soon.

Pravoye Delo ( Just Cause) coalition co-founder Yegor Gaidar yesterday made public the coalition's ideological principles in the Column Hall of Trade Unions. The story comments on the document called The Platform for Unification.

The Chinese government has bought a building of the Novoslobodsky Trading Complex in Moscow for $50 million from the Moscow ST Group developing company. The story comments on the deal.

The international armaments exhibition "LAD-99" opened in Rio de Janeiro yesterday. The story reports on what Rosvooruzheniye has displayed there.

The Georgian-Ukrainian-Azeri military exercise began in Georgia yesterday with the aim of training forces to defend pipelines and other communications. The story details the event.

The Moscow Vladimir Vysotsky Museum was closed Tuesday, because its inner yard has collapsed. The story describes the natural calamity.

The State Property Ministry headed by Farit Gazizulin intends to launch a new stage of privatization. The story examines the ministry's privatization program for this year.

Tax Minister Georgy Boos sent a letter (given here) to Cabinet head Yevgeny Primakov with his proposals aimed at restructuring the domestic banking system. The story looks at his proposals.

The British Trans World Group company has resumed its efforts to again obtain control over the Sayany Aluminum Zavod (SaAZ). The story describes the TWG's plan.


Yury Savelyev, Rector of Baltiisky State Technical University in St. Petersburg who recently fired American professors, has instituted scholarships named after Slobodan Milosevic.

Mordovian FSB officers in Saransk have found a secret underground laboratory, which made special eavesdropping devices and videocameras for spying. The story describes the laboratory with its expensive equipment.

In an exclusive interview Irina Khakamada, Director of the Institute of Entrepreneurship and leader of the Obshcheye Delo (Common Cause) movement, talks about her political scenarios for Russia's future development.

The story features the Gorodishche factory in the Vladimir region, which makes things for women's hygiene. Last year the factory received the Platinum Star, a prestigious international award for its quality products. Its director Pyotr Shcherbakov speaks about his profit-making enterprise.

Experts answer eight questions about a possible merger of Yugoslavia with the Russia- Belarus Union. What will the sides gain from a new union?

Ex-Defense Minister Igor Rodionov comments on the current situation in the Balkans, stressing that Russia should give up its ambitions of Soviet times.

The government decided to merge state-owned Rosneft, Slavneft and ONAKO. The story examines three possible variants of their union.

Legendary Russian hockey goalkeeper Vladislav Tretyak plans to open his own hockey school in Moscow. In an interview he speaks about his project.


The Moscow government yesterday opened an exhibition-fair devoted to Pushkin's 200th jubilee at the Exhibition Center on Ulitsa Narodnogo Opolcheniya, with more than one hundred firms taking part. The story features several exhibits.

The story describes Moscow beggars, who now are successfully pretending to be Kosovo refugees in order to make Muscovites merciful so that they will give them money. The story also explains why Moscow cannot receive refugees.

A savage killing of two young women was committed on Monday, when two teenagers found body parts in a sewage drain under the Shelepikhinsky bridge. Detectives were unable to identify the victims.

Prosecutors from the Moscow Military District have strictly reprimanded commanders of the Dzerzhinsky Interior Troops elite division for horrible sanitary conditions. Prosecutors say that because of this servicemen last year committed 443 crimes. The story details a troublesome situation in the division.

The Moscow GAI board and the city government have taken tough measures to make all Moscow drivers pay taxes to the Road Fund.

The story notes that the number of Russian men who agree to be sterilized has increasedlately . The story describes the operation which has become common in Russia today.


The story comments on the negative results of the meeting yesterday between Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright, focusing on the West's slightly changed stand on the pattern of the Yugoslav war. Also covered in Noviye Izvestia and Segodnya.

Russia does not exclude the possibility of limiting the import of American goods in response to the U.S. anti-dumping measures against Russian steel. This was stated Tuesday by Alexei Ruzhin, a high-level official from the Ministry of Commerce.

The launch of the Russian-French venture to the Mir orbital station is scheduled for April 16. The story describes its crew and their complex space program.

A photo display featuring Russian jazz stars opened yesterday in the building of the Moscow City Duma. The story discusses the exhibit.

Passions have been raging around the draft law on the bar for several years already but the law itself is nowhere in sight. Strangely, lawyers themselves have become its opponents.

The story reports on how Mayor Yury Luzhkov used his meeting with President Boris Yeltsin Tuesday to popularize his movement. The story shows how skillfully he did it. Also covered in Segodnya.

The Syas pulp and paper factory (in the Leningrad region) has been polluting Lake Ladoga, which has been turned into a dump of factory waste for many years. The story discusses a disturbing situation in the region.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has accepted Slobodan Milosevic's invitation to visit Belgrade. The story discusses what could be expected from this visit. Also featured in Noviye Izvestia.

The 6th Congress of the Our Home Is Russia public and political movement is scheduled for April 24. In an interview its leader Viktor Chernomyrdin talks about his movement, which will have its 4th anniversary in May.

The analytical note prepared for the government discusses the political situation in Russia, summing up results in March 1999.

A list of 100 leading politicians in Russia in March. In third place is KPRF leader Gennady Zyuganov (in February it was Luzhkov). Vox Populi research center expert Alexander Komozin comments on the rating.

Speech by Vladimir Ryzhkov, head of the State Duma Our Home faction, at the session of the movement's commission on April 2. Ryzhkov stated in part that Our Home Is Russia as an all-Russian public and political movement is non-existent today and that its second birth willtake place at its 6th congress scheduled for April 24.

Political analyst Pavel Venediktov answers the question - What will happen with the impeachment procedure? focusing on the sources and possible consequences of the general crisis, which has hit presidential power.


President Yeltsin Tuesday signed a decree changing the make-up of the Security Council: there will be two new members - State Duma speaker Gennady Seleznyov and Federation Council head Yegor Stroyev.

The Justice Ministry has completed its checks of several public organizations, including the movement in support of the army and the Honour and Motherland movement with leader Alexander Lebed. Currently it is inspecting the activities of the KPRF party.

Krasnoyarsk governor Alexander Lebed late last week instituted a new structure in his administration - the Security Council. The story discusses its functions.

The General Prosecutor's Office has lodged a lawsuit in the Irkutsk regional arbitration court, which is will rule out whether the privatization of the pulp and paper factory polluting Lake Baikal was legal.


In an interview Alexander Veshnyakov, head of the Central Election Commission, talks about his meeting with President Yeltsin and about his agency's plans for the upcoming parliamentary elections on Dec. 19. Also in Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

Samara governor Konstantin Titov, informal leader of the Voice of Russia election bloc of governors, went to Japan to present the bloc in the member state. The story discusses the program of the visit.

The Primorye Arbitration Court today will decide on the fate of the Dalenergo joint-stock company, which may become the first enterprise in the domestic energy sector to go bankrupt.

The State Trading Inspectorate has proposed to impose the state monopoly, quotas, bar coding and the accounting system on the consumer market. The article examines several factors that prompt such measures.


The story discusses the earnings of President Yeltsin and his family and also of Deputy Prime Minister Valentina Matviyenko last year.

Two brothers - Nikita Mikhalkov and Andrei Konchalovsky - both highly-regarded film makers, have been competing with each other for recognition all their lives. The story focuses on their strong and weak points and on what they think of each other.

Sergei Karaganov, head of the Presidium of the Foreign and Defense Policy Council, reflectson what Russia wins and loses in the current Balkan conflict.

Ex-President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev shares his views on NATO military actions against Yugoslavia and on the issue of creating a new Belarus-Russia-Yugoslavia union. Gorbachev concludes that the war in the Balkans has shown that arms should be stockpiled long in advance, which means the beginning of another arms race.

The story presents a political portrait of Yugoslavia's President Slobodan Milosevic, who has had an impressive career.

After the August 17 financial crisis, 294 Russian banks have frozen more than 21,6 billion rubles. First they pretended to be "victims " of the state, accusing it of drawing them into the GKO pyramid. But even after the Central Bank made the decision to issue them stabilization credits, the banks have failed to pay off deposits to their clients. The story tries to answer the question - Where is the money?

Why does Russia need the Commonwealth of Independent States? Is it profitable for Russia to pay for its special relations with the former Soviet republics-CIS members? Ex-Economics Minister Yevgeny Yasin answers these questions.

Head of the Soyuz banking group Alexander Smolensky, former head of the SBS-Agro Bank, who is staying in Austria now, may be arrested on charges of swindling according to the warrant issued by deputy Prosecutor General Mikhail Katyshev. Smolensky, who has created an impressive "empire" of five profit-making companies in Austria, is likely not to be in a hurry to come back home. What is awaiting him in Russia?

The story notes that the presidential economic affairs department (upravleniye delami) every year builds 2,000 European-style apartments in prestigious districts of Moscow. Who are the lucky people that get to live in them?

Only several dozen out of hundreds of city casinos will be able to survive the economic crisis. The story discusses the huge taxes levied on casinos.