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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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


With the aim of defending its national interests in the Mediterranean region, Russia is stepping up efforts to consolidate contacts with Syria, Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Cyprus and Greece. Washington's sanctions against Moscow are blocking Russia's efforts.

The NTV channel last Sunday ended the most popular Russian TV serial "Her Name was Nikita." Viewers will miss the pretty heroine, who warned them against something significant before parting forever. What was her warning?

Prosecutor General Yury Skuratov's speech in the State Duma, scheduled for tomorrow, may be an impressive unmasking of corruption in the upper echelons of power, notes the story, asking and answering the question f What is this supposition based on?

The story comments on the scandal surrounding the criminal proceedings against Prosecutor General Yury Skuratov, who, meanwhile, has accused FSB head Vladimir Putin of "gross violation of criminal law." Putin confirmed the authenticity of the compromising videotape against Skuratov.

Spiritual Heritage (Dukhovnoye Naslediye) leader Alexei Podberyozkin yesterday denied the Yugoslav agency's claim that Russian volunteers had been sent to fight in Yugoslavia.

Rosneft and the Stavropolye administration intend to prepare an agreement for the oil company to invest $9 million to boost the local oil sector.

Transneft head Dmitry Savelyev and acting governor of the Leningrad region Valery Serdyukov last week signed a contract on building the Baltiiskaya pipeline system.

The government presidium discussed Saturday the Economics Ministry's plan for Russia's economic development in the next three years. The government focused on optimistic assumptions.

Political analyst Vyacheslav Nikonov says the West, which he always viewed as a wise, democratic and civilized collective force, has made him feel the world has gone mad. The author also addresses the absurd situation in Russia with Prosecutor General Yury Skuratov, concluding that a game without rules and outside the law has begun in Russia and worldwide.

Commenting on results of the elections to the State Council in Udmurtia, which took place last Sunday, the story focuses on the Communists' crushing defeat.

The Central Court in Tula launched a closed trial yesterday over an organized crime group that sold children. The group was headed by deputy chief physician Ruslan Karagulyan.

The Volgodomnaremont joint-stock company has lodged a suit against Krasny Oktyabr metalworks in the regional arbitration court. Krasny Oktyabr owes the company 298,000 rubles.

A large group of Russian entrepreneurs and industrialists appealed to the head of the Russian state and to all responsible politicians, voicing their concern over the authorities' completeinability to make effective decisions and actions to lead the country out of chaos.

The story looks at main duties of the state unitarian agency, the Financial Agency of Moscow, which is being created now.

In an interview, sociologist Daniil Dondurei, editor in chief of the journal Iskusstvo Kino, talks about numerous current scandals between filmmakers and producers, who often make demands of filmmakers.


There is more talk in the Kremlin that President Boris Yeltsin will dissolve the lower house of parliament if the State Duma votes for impeachment on April 15. Yeltsin is well aware that he has nothing to lose but his post.

President Yeltsin yesterday rejected the State Duma's amendments to the VAT law, which envisaged lowering the tax starting July 1. This means that the tax burden this year will increase.

The story describes the Golden Mask Award ceremony that took place yesterday at the Bolshoi Theater.

The text of a letter to President Boris Yeltsin by Prosecutor General Yuri Skuratov, offering measures to return Russian capital from abroad.

The Basmanny District Court of Moscow yesterday began to consider the lawsuit of the head of the Prosecutor General's Office economic affairs department Nazir Khapsirokov against Novaya Gazeta. The latter accused him of spreading the scandalous videotape against Yury Skuratov.

The Moscow Regional Court has sentenced two of the four members of a very dangerous gang to the death penalty. The gang committed 15 contract murders between 1992 and 1994.

Imperial Bank yesterday lost its last chance to be called a bank. On April 14, the arbitration court will declare it bankrupt.

Following SBS-Agro, which has begun to pay off its clients who failed to transfer their savings to Sberbank, Rossiisky Kredit promises to clear off its debts to depositors before June 1.

The story describes how UES energy company has responded to Prosecutor General Yury Skuratov's letter circulated in the State Duma last week, which said UES head Anatoly Chubais' appointment was illegal.

The Moscow government announced its intention to sell the popular Hotel Belgrade to fund the renovation of Gostiny Dvor.

The story looks at results of the tender on the right to make a second major renovation to the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.

Literary critic Mikhail Novikov reviews Nabokov's commentaries on his own English translation of Pushkin's "Eugene Onegin," which were published recently.


Internet users are likely to experience difficulties on April 26 because of a new virus called CIH.

Should Russia send weapons and volunteers to Yugoslavia? In an interview, Krasnoyarsk Governor Alexander Lebed offers his opinion.

The story describes how teenagers truly learn about sex, while teachers only discuss special school programs.


The Moscow tram today is marking its 100th birthday. The story describes its interesting history.

Engineers from the Moscow Aviation Institute have developed a unique model of the artificial heart.

The story describes the first victims of the religious holidays celebrated in Moscow, including April 4, Palm Sunday, when two elderly Muscovites died in city churches during the services.


Shortly before Syrian President Hafez Asad's official visit to Moscow, Washington imposed sanctions against three Russian defense enterprises f Tula Instrument Design Bureau, Klimovsk Central Research Precision Machine-Building Institute and Volsk Mechanical Works. All are involved in cooperation programs with Syria. The story reports on Washington's role in hindering the contract to deliver anti-tank complexes to Damascus.

Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev, who began his official visit to Tajikistan yesterday, will discuss issues pertaining to a large-scale treaty to set up a Russian military base in the republic. Russia's military presence there is expected to last 25 years.

The story describes lessons Western democracies have taught Russia in the past several years and conclusions Europe will draw from the present crisis in Yugoslavia.

The Kosovo crisis has pushed the Russian political elite to the brink of complete collapse, and last week the hysteria among politicians reached its peak. The story describes aggressive behavior by deputies in the State Duma.

Kaliningrad archaeologists, who are building the House of Soviets in the center of the city, have discovered 700-year-old remains of apartment blocks. The story details the findings.

Anatoly Kornukov, commander of Ukraine's Air Force, reveals in an interview military cooperation programs with the Russian Air Force.


Does filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov have a chance to win the presidential elections in the year 2000? The story seeks answers to this ponderous question.

According to reports from the Interior Ministry, approximately 1,000 detoxication centers exist in Russia, which human rights activists claim are grossly violating human rights by using excessive methods.


Recently, relations between the State Symphony Orchestra and its chief conductor Yevgeny Svetlanov have eroded. The story explains why this development has transpired even though both parties cannot imagine life without each other.

In his commentary on the domestic situation against the background of the Yugoslav crisis, political analyst Leonid Radzikhovsky notes that the Yugoslav war has become a mirror for self-reflection f two Russias with all their strong and weak points are staring at each other: one Russia red with hatred of America and the other white with fear of the red Russia.

Sverdlovsk governor Eduard Rossel is not sure whether or not he will be able to win the gubernatorial elections scheduled for summer. The story examines his shaky position.


The State Duma last week passed a decree concerning the state of the Armed Forces and Priority Measures aimed at stepping up their combat efficiency. The expediency of such adocument was prompted by the current Yugoslav crisis.

Unlike the "patriots", who are all resolved to "rush" to Yugoslavia, the Russian liberals have failed to reach accord in assessing the military-political consequences of the Yugoslav crisis for Russia. Alexei Arbatov (Yabloko faction), deputy head of the State Duma Defense Committee, and independent deputy Sergei Yushenkov, Defense Committee member and deputy leader of the Russia's Democratic Choice Party, offer their viewpoints.

In an interview Veren Matoc, chief editor of independent Belgrade Radio Station B-92, which opposed NATO airstrikes and which was closed by Yugoslav authorities last week, describes how the station's staff were prosecuted.

The story highlights crowds of Kosovo refugees, whose number has already exceeded 850,000 since the end of March. The story lists seven countries who have offered to take in varying numbers of refugees.

The story describes the readiness of the Russian Black Sea Fleet to fulfill any military assignment from the high command, citing the number of naval troops and ships that have been put on combat alert recently.

Fatherland (Otechestvo) leader Yury Luzhkov is completing work over the Manifesto of his movement, which he intends to present soon to the public. The story looks at the document and at movement's supporters.

In an interview Chechnya's National Hero Number One Shamil Basayev talks about his ideological differences with President Maskhadov. Shamil also speaks about his opponents and allies.

The CIS summit for the first time approved of the Kremlin's behavior, which helped radically change the situation and the mood of its participants. The story comments on Boris Yeltsin's speech, focusing on encouraging things he told his CIS partners who had been awaiting such words from the Russian president for a long time.

In an interview former CIS Executive Secretary Boris Berezovsky talks about his future plans saying that he will continue to be involved in politics. Assessing Primakov's role at the beginning, Berezovsky says that today Primakov is more dangerous than the Communists. He explains why.

The story reports on how the Orthodox world is preparing for its most significant holiday f Easter.


Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov signed a government decree on instituting the average monthly wages in Russia for the first quarter of 1999 for calculating and increasing state pensions starting May 1999.

In an interview Gennady Khodyrev, Minister of Anti-Monopoly Policy and Support of Entrepreneurship ( he took office in January) gives his assessment of the present stage of economic reform in Russia, focusing on major trends of his agency's activities.

In an interview Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov answers the following questions f Howwill developments proceed in Yugoslavia? What should be done to resolve the crisis there? Is Russia going to give humanitarian aid to Yugoslav refugees? Do you think that the situation inside Russia seriously complicates the position of Prosecutor General Yury Skuratov?

The Federal Law concerning the sanitary and epidemiological well-being of the population. Full text.

The Federal Law on the Budget of the Pension Fund of Russia for 1999. Full text.


Political scientist Alexei Kiva examines a fierce struggle launched by oligarchs against Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov and his deputies.

In an interview Boris Fyodorov, who together with Yegor Gaidar and Boris Nemtsov went to Yugoslavia last week, talks about the results of their meeting.


The story features the past and the present of the Kuznetsky Metallurgical Combine. A new team of managers is trying to lead this former metal giant out of chaos.