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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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




IZVESTIA


The impeachment vote in the State Duma scheduled for April 15 is likely to considerably change Russia's political map. Three options to prevent the procedure are proposed - legal, force and personal.


Two weeks after NATO launched attacks against Yugoslavia, President Slobodan Milosovic is trying to make cunning moves, like in a chess game. The story notes that not only three American soldiers, who were taken prisoner, have become pawns in this game but also thousands of Albanian refugees on both sides of the Yugoslav border. The story comments on Milosovic' current and further moves.


The State Duma has passed a law on state protection of morality and the citizens' health, strictly controlling products and material of a sexual nature.


Finance Minister Mikhail Zadornov rejected information suggesting the previous $4.8 billion credit of the International Monetary Fund had been looted.


FSB and Interior Ministry officials show complete helplessness in releasing Major General Gennady Shpigun from Chechen captivity. Will they pay $15 million in ransom demanded by Chechen kidnappers for the general?


The story offers several details of the recent attempt on the life of former commander in chief of ground troops General Vladimir Semyonov, a contender the presidential post in Karachayevo-Cherkessiya.


The Moscow railway authorities intend to launch a major renovation of the smaller railway ring. Railway Minister Nikolai Aksenenko and Mayor Yury Luzhkov are expected to sign the appropriate documents.


Sakhalin regional authorities are reported to switch off electricity in all army units, on border outposts and the FSB and judiciary offices because the federal budget owes the Sakhalin region 350 million rubles for energy supply.


Russia has likely lost one of its military allies, Uzbekistan. President Islam Karimov yesterday harshly criticized Moscow's plan to sign a Dushanbe-Moscow treaty on Russian military bases on the territory of Tajikistan.


Preparation and holding honest democratic elections to the State Duma is a key task facing the Central Election Commission. But if the State Duma in two months' time fails to pass amendments to the Law on Elections, the CEC will have difficulties in tackling this task.


The State Duma Budget Committee yesterday considered amendments to the currency legislation, which were submitted by the government. The deputies approved an amendment to chapter 28 of the law on banks and banking activities, according to which the Central Bank will enjoy the right to limit Russian banks' establishing relations with offshore zones.


The story offers details of the secretive telephone conversation on April 6 between Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov and U.S. Vice-President Al Gore.


Political analyst Vladimir Abarinov reveals the essence of the Balkan military operation for the Americans.


KOMMERSANT DAILY


In an interview, former head of the Central Bank Sergei Dubinin, deputy chairman of the Gazprom Board of Directors, answers questions about Prosecutor General Yury Skuratov's accusations of the Central Bank's illegal activities.


Former Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin yesterday met with President Boris Yeltsin. According to the newspaper, the Kremlin plans to replace Cabinet head Yevgeny Primakov with Chernomyrdin. The commentary notes that this plan will only aggravate the current tense situation.


Muscovites who bought tickets for the KISS concert, which was canceled because of NATO bombings in Yugoslavia and protests at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, have lost at least 10 percent as a result of the cancellation.


Tax Minister Georgy Boos has proposed cutting the highest income tax rate 2.5 times for annual earnings exceeding 500,000 rubles.


According to Emergency Situations Ministry's forecasts, serious spring floods may hit 37 regions in Russia in mid-April. The story examines the measures taken by the government to prevent damage by the expected natural disaster.


The law on the pension fund budget in 1999 has established huge fines for those who evade paying taxes to the fund, which is done in defiance of the Constitution and the tax code.


In an interview, SBS- Agro head Alexander Smolensky's lawyers Nikolai Gagarin and Boris Abushakhmin tell how Smolensky has accepted the warrant for his arrest.


Who says that Russians cease to like America? Feature journalist Valery Panyushkin tries to explain the current wave of anti-American sentiments among Russians.


The Russian group of Elbrus companies, which have developed the fastest computer microprocessor in the world, has impressed Mayor Yury Luzhkov, who stated that the Moscow government would take part in funding the project.


Literary critic Mikhail Novikov reviews writer Vladimir Sorokin's new novel "Blue Lard," which has been published by Ad Marginem, saying that it's a great event in Russian literature.


KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA


The story offers detailed answers to five questions about the religious holiday Easter and the traditional way it's celebrated in Russia.


What role does President Yeltsin attach to Mayor Yury Luzhkov in his political game today? The story comments on the president's current moves.


MOSKOVSKY KOMSOMOLETS


In a telephone interview, Swiss Attorney General Carla del Ponte has accused Interior Minister Sergei Stepashin of lying.


The story offers several Easter cake recipes and ideas for painting Easter eggs.


The story describes how Moscow authorities are cleansing the city of private shell-form garages.


According to reports and figures from the Moscow Prosecutor's Office, the crime rate in the city has decreased.


The Interior Ministry has written and sent to city police headquarters new rules saying how police officers should behave during public protest rallies.


A special sarcophagus for protecting ancient icons against possible blasts, gun shots and from temperature fluctuations will appear soon in the Church of Christ the Saviour.


In an interview, State Duma deputy Vladimir Zhirinovsky, LDPR leader, talks about his attitude toward the latest political developments.


NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA (9/4/99)


Stavropolye governor Alexander Chernogorov April 7 ordered that his region's 114 km-long border with Chechnya be closed. The story examines factors, which prompted the governor to take this step. (1,5)


All the sides - the president, the government and the Communist-dominated State Duma are preparing for the April 15 impeachment procedure in the lower house of parliament. Political analyst Andrei Kamakin reflects on what the sides may expect from one another and on what concessions they are ready to make. (1,3)


In the context of NATO military actions in the Balkans, Poland is trying to demonstrate its loyalty to the Alliance. The story gives several facts to illustrate the point. (2)


The story comments on Russia's policy towards the North Caucasus, including Chechnya, noting that it's expedient today to consider the State Duma's proposal on creating a special power agency (the Ministry of the Caucasus) to coordinate the federal authorities' activities in that region. (5)


NOVIYE IZVESTIA (9/4/99)


The government and the Krasnoyarsk Regional Administration have signed an agreement on measures aimed at stabilizing the situation in the region's coal sector. A brief commentary of the deal. (1)


The story reports on how ten days ago one group of Muslims in Moscow seized a mosque from another group on Bolshaya Tatarskaya Ulitsa - in this way some Russian Muslims decided to mark the 20th anniversary of the seizure by Islamic extremists of the Al-Kharam mosque in Meccam in 1979. (7)


Clashes between Russian and Finnish truck drivers due to cargo transportation orders have been going on since the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1990. Today they are clashing over the redivision of the transportation market. The story features these developments. (1,2)


SEGODNYA (9/4/99)


The danger of Communist revenge is as real today as never before, which is evidenced by the Kremlin's plan for counteraction. The presidential administration today is talking about the opposition's scheme to impeach the president as threatening power. The story examines the Kremlin's 2-point plan. (1, Nezavisimaya Gazeta,1,3))


A group of the State Duma Popular Rule faction has submitted to the lower house of parliament a document actually demanding that military censorship be imposed in ORT, RTR and NTV television channels. The story reveals the essence of the document. (2)


The government has agreed at last to meet the World Bank's basic condition for receiving its credit - to restructure the coal sector and this year it will offer for sale almost 25 percent of the domestic coal facilities. The story examines the government coal sector restructuring scheme. (4)


The Svyazinvest shareholders' meeting scheduled for April 27 intends to revise the holding's chapter to turn it from the investment company into the gover ning one. The government also intends to take several steps aimed at consolidating the holding and on its basis creating an all-Russian operator company. A merger of Svyazinvest with Rostelecom may be a variant of projected transformations. In an interview Alexander Krupnov, head of the State Communications Committee, talks about upcoming reform. (5)


About 100,000 residents in Moscow and St. Petersburg may become readers of a new 12-page Russian-language newspaper to be published soon by the Independent Media company. The story highlights the project. (5)


The 2nd International Art Festival to be devoted to Solomon Mikhoels is scheduled for April 21-29 in Moscow. Among its sponsors are the Mikhoels Culture Center and the Atikva Charity Jewish Culture Fund. (6)


The Pushkin Museum of the Fine Arts on Ulitsa Prechistenka has opened an exhibition devoted to Pushkin and Word Culture. It shows all personalities whose names are associated with Pushkin. (6)


ROSSIISKAYA GAZETA (9/4/99)


In an interview Vladimir Mayor Igor Shamov, member of the Organizing Committee of the All-Russian Conference "Financial Guidelines of Local Government", who has attended a government session of the Local Government Council, examines major contradictions on the issue of self government among regional governors. (6)


The devaluation of Kazakhstan's tenge will allow the republic to double its grain and meat purchases. The story comments on the decision made by Kazakhstan's government and National Bank to institute a free rate of the national currency. (7)


In an interview Sergei Filimonov, expert in housing-cooperatives affairs, talks about the rights of housing cooperatives and their current conflicts with the Moscow Property Committee. (23)


The government has made the decision to hold a World Congress of the Russian Press. ITAR-TASS Director-General Vitaly Ignatenko has been appointed head of its Organizing Committee. (22)


The story examines the latest achievements by Russian specialists in creating artificial blood, skin and lungs. Inadequate funds inhibit their further efforts. (27)


The story features a Moscow pensioner, a retired history teacher Klavdia Zeryukayeva, who recently celebrated her100th birthday. (29)


SLOVO (9-13/4/99)


Along with many frozen or disappeared productions and joint projects in St. Petersburg as a result of the August 17 crisis, a considerable number of consumer goods and food producers are expanding the scope of their activities. In an interview St. Petersburg Mayor Vladimir Yakovlev optimistically talks about his city which has survived the crisis with minimal losses. (2)


TRUD (9/4/99)


Since he took office in May 1998, human rights chief Oleg Mironov has received 7,000 complaints from Russian citizens, who have suffered from human rights violations and ask for help. In an interview, he mentions the most urgent ones. ( 5)


Different types of solar radiation affect (often negatively) people's health. In an interview, Viktor Frolov, head of the unique laboratory, studying these solar effects, says that ultra-violet rays that are expected to hit the Earth in October may have a dangerous effect on human lives. (17)