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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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

IZVESTIA (24/6/99)

State Duma deputies are in a hurry to improve their material well-being before the start of the election campaign. Thus, on Wednesday they passed an agreed-upon variant of amendments to the Law on the Status of the Federation Council and State Duma Deputies. Also covered by Kommersant Daily.

It will cost government organizations and departments $187.4 million to resolve the year 2000 computer bug, the special government commission stated Wednesday.

Collective farms in Udmurtia have begun to use, again, the work-day system to pay workers.

ORT television director general Igor Shabdurasulov stated that his channel has its own political preferences in the upcoming election campaigns.

The Military Council of the Eastern District of the Interior Troops Wednesday presided by Air Force deputy commander-in-chief General Kavun discussed an emergency case, which happened last week near the Chuguyevka village in the Primorye region, Far East. Forty-four soldiers fled the unit because of regular beatings by officers.

Over the past three weeks, the efforts of the Tax Ministry increased budget revenues by 40 percent and those of the Customs Committee, by 63 percent. This, however, is not enough: the gap between revenues and expenditures has been expanding for the second month already.

Bank BIN plans to realize the 8th emission of its bonds, which will allow it to increase its charter capital by 140 million rubles ($5.8 million), bringing it up to 395 million rubles.

Russia intends to continue its demand that the German government compensate the Soviet citizens who, during World War II, were forced to work in Germany.

SDM Bank's Board of Directors decided to open a branch in St. Petersburg in addition to those already opened in Krasnoyarsk, Perm and Voronezh.

UNEXIM Bank, on Wednesday, stated that economic consequences from a possible revoke of its banking license may do considerable damage to its shareholders and creditors, especially foreign money lenders.

Tests of the modernized fighter MiG-21, which was brought back from India, began Wednesday on the Russian proving ground Akhtuba outside Astrakhan, Southern Russia. The expanding conflict with neighboring Pakistan has made the Indian military step up their program of rearming the national army.

Deputy State Property Minister Sergei Molozhavy said Wednesday that the State Property Ministry may sell, in the third quarter, a 9 percent package of LUKoil stock. Molozhavy said the H-S-B-C Investment Bank company is working out its proposals on the starting price of the package and in the near future, will submit them to the ministry.

The extraordinary session (the 49th) of the Federation Council will open June 25, when it is expected to consider over 25 draft laws passed by the State Duma and also the major issue of using the Russian Armed Forces in Kosovo.


Finance Minister Mikhail Kasyanov urgently left for New York on Wednesday for negotiations with American creditors, who disagree with the decision of the London Club to defer the payment of Soviet-era debts until Dec. 2. Ten U.S. investment funds have threatened Russia with a court trial.

The main Military Prosecutor Office has made a resolute step to defend suspended Prosecutor General Yury Skuratov against blackmail and violations of his private life. Former head of the presidential administration Nikolai Bordyuzha was summoned for testimony.

Air Force Commander-in-Chief Anatoly Kornukov confessed Wednesday that he did not allow Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov to use a helicopter Saturday. But the key figure responsible for the action may not have been Kornukov.

St.Petersburg police yesterday arrested a group of gangsters that had mined a city school building. The criminals, among whom were several members of the Russian Unity Party, planned to unleash systematic terror in the city.

Writer and philosopher Alexander Zinovyev, who lives in Munich, announced Wednesday his intention to come home to Russia forever on June 30. In an interview, Zinovyev explains his decision.

Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin's book titled "The Law-Enforcement Bodies and Special Services of Russia" has been published by Rostov Publishers "Phoenix".

Two dozen resorts (with facilities and prices listed) in Russia and in the Commonwealth of Independent States are awaiting holidaymakers. Stalin's dacha on Lake Ritsa is available for rent.

First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko has approved the creation of an inter-department group to solve the fate of problem banks. A decree expanding the powers of the Tax Ministry in relation to such banks is expected to be signed soon. Kommersant obtained a letter from Minister Alexander Pochinok to Khristenko, revealing the essence of the ministry's claims.


The FSB used a robot Tuesday in defusing a powerful bomb outside the offices of the Interior Ministry. The story describes this "wonder of engineering." Also covered by Moskovsky Komsomolets.

School graduates enjoying a farewell dance ball Friday, may go to any of the 57 developed countries to receive a higher education. This opportunity has become possible due to State Duma efforts to pass a special bill earlier this week.

The State Duma is expected Thursday to pass the bill concerning the state anthem of Russia, which will use the melody of the anthem of the U.S.S.R. Most legislators approved the bill previously, saying the music was good but the lyrics should be changed.

In an interview, First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko focuses on four major factors that may ensure the realization of the agreement with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other creditors. He also predicts the dollar rate in the year 2000.

In an orphanage (from the Kinderdorf-SOS project) in Tomilino, outside Moscow, children of alcoholics and criminals live a happy life.

A special section of the Museum of the Armed Forces in Moscow exhibits about 28,000 flags, banners and standards (with the 1945 Victory Banner and fascist standards among them).

On Thursday, the RTR television channel will show the film "To Love," which was shelved for 21 years when banned by Soviet CPSU ideologues.


Media tycoon Boris Berezovsky has lost his former power and authority.

The Kremlin administration has given to suspended Prosecutor General Yury Skuratov the status of " outcast," openly demonstrating its hatred for him . On Wednesday, Skuratov was not able to leave for Switzerland to meet Swiss Attorney General Karla del Ponte. Political analyst Alexander Khinshtein comments on the case. Also covered by Kommersant Daily and Izvestia.

Moscow city authorities decided to double the cost of utility services for the population beginning July 1.

The Moscow City Education Committee has approved a new program for secondary school senior pupils, who will have a hour class of Russian every week.

Zinaida Khlopina, director of the state unitarian enterprise "Viaduk" was killed Wednesday in her apartment on Kargopolskaya Ulitsa.

Viktor Sadovnichy, rector of Moscow State University, which, due to President Boris Yeltsin's decree, has received the status of an autonomous higher school, answers questions from Moskovsky Komsomolets readers.

Moscow city authorities decided to create a Moscow international school of photography, which will be attached to the Museum Exhibition Complex "Moscow Photo House."


In an interview, the commander of a detachment of paratroopers, General Georgy Shpak, talks about the life of Russian peacekeepers in Kosovo and about their relations with NATO troops.

The newly appointed head of the Federal Migration Service, Vladimir Kalamanov, would like to reform the agency now.

According to government sources, Anatoly Chubais, head of Unified Energy Systems, may resign soon, despite official assertions from UES's leadership that this will not happen. Alexander Voloshin, head of the presidential administration, is playing a considerable part in the behind-the-scenes political game.

Five years in jail - such is the sentence that was conferred upon Grigory Volchek, head of the Perm regional state TV film and radio company "T-7," by the Perm district court. Volchek is accused of squandering 36,000 rubles ($1485) of his company's money.

The public has no idea who has made the decision to cancel the national census that was scheduled for this year. Alexander Tkachenko, editor of the Russian Demography Magazine, examines several negative consequences of this decision.

For the whole of the past year the Nizhnetagil Metals Combine has been a classic example of discord between shareholders, creditors and the regional administration, which are quarreling over the financial and political dividends of this industrial giant.

Samara Governor Konstantin Titov and head of the Yukos oil company Mikhail Khodorkovsky have signed a general cooperation agreement. What will each side gain from the deal?

Andrei Fyodorov, head of a fund for political studies, describes the expanding political conflict between President Boris Yeltsin and his administration and Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov and his team, with more and more politicians getting involved in this confrontation. The author shows how today's Luzhkov, as Otechestvo leader, differs from the politician he was a mere six months ago.

The results of political ratings for May show that the Kremlin "family's" influence on political developments in Russia remain dramatically increased.


Captains of the Vostoktransflot air company got together Wednesday on the central square of Vladivostok to protest against local dealers - managers of shipping companies - who earlier promised to renovate the fleet but have in fact sold it.

Gazprom shareholders, who on June 30 will hold their annual meeting, will have to decide who - Rem Vyakhirev, Viktor Chernomyrdin or any other candidate - will take up the leadership of the company. The story looks at their chances. Also covered by Segodnya.

One story reports on how the U.S. has helped Russia to develop economically since 1990. Facts, figures and conclusions are given in chronological order.

In an interview, highly regarded Polish filmmaker Kshishtof Zanussi, who headed the jury at "Kinotavr," a recent international film festival, explains how prizes are awarded at filmfestivals.


One story offers several facts which help explain why the provinces dislike Moscow and Muscovites.

State Duma deputies in tsarist Russia had to pay fines when they missed sessions without valid cause. This story reports on how much the State Duma cost the tsarist Treasury.

One story examines how much the State Duma costs the Russian budget today. The upkeep of each State Duma deputy this year will cost the state budget 1,750,000 rubles ($72,000).

The Central Bank will not revoke licenses from commercial banks despite pressure from the International Monetary Fund. This was stated by Central Bank boss Viktor Gerashchenko on Wednesday. He said that the bank can only do this with objective reasons.

Mikhail Piotrovsky and Irina Rodimtseva, directors of two Russian museums - St. Petersburg's Hermitage and the Moscow Kremlin Museums - were awarded Northern Star Orders at the Swedish Embassy in Moscow on Thursday. In interviews with them, they talk about their achievements and new tasks.


In a friendly talk with Yegor Yakovlev, the newspaper's editor, Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov talks about the reason behind his recent visit to the Kremlin to meet Kremlin chief of staff Alexander Voloshin.

In an interview TASS Director-General Vitaly Ignatenko, head of the Organizing Committee of the World Congress of the Russian Press, talks about Interfax as TASS' main competitor in the domestic market and about what troubles him most as the leader of one of the most influential information agencies in the world.

The State Duma is putting the finishing touches to a draft law limiting the production and sale of products of a sexual nature. The city council in Novosibirsk endorsed a similar

decree early this year that is doing only harm.

One story highlights the Ecological Party, the only "green" party in Russia. It has been permitted to take part in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

Alexander Barkashov, leader of the Russian Unity Party, has decided to take part in the upcoming parliamentary elections. Does he have any chance of winning? The story focuses on his allies.


In an interview, Ivan Grachev, the deputy head of the State Duma Property and Privatization Committee and leader of a political movement entitled "Development of Entrepreneurship," talks about the concept of managing state property and about new laws concerning state property.

In an interview, Ruben Asatryan, director-general of the Moskvich car company, talks about the company's new models and about how joint production with Renault helps themsurvive today.


In an interview, Iosif Ordzhonikidze, deputy premier of the Moscow government, talks about his foreign economic trade department, about the city budget, about Moscow's foreign debt and about several other issues concerning the city.


In an interview, controversial Krasnoyarsk businessman Lev Chorny rejects all the media talk about him that focuses on his relationships with media tycoon Boris Berezovsky and Krasnoyask Governor Alexander Lebed.


The full text of the document "The Economic Strategy of the People's Patriotic Union of Russia (Communist Party)" is given.