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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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




IZVESTIA


The Agency for Restructuring Crediting Organizations (ARKO) in the next several months intends to save another two banks from collapse. The story reveals ARKO's plans. The story also explains the notion behind the phrase "system-forming banks."


Former State Duma deputy and former Tax Minister Georgy Boos has on Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov's recommendation been appointed election campaign head of Otechestvo, Luzhkov's political party. A short commentary is given on the appointment. Also covered by Kommersant Daily.


The government has "slightly" changed the use of the money earned from the sale of U.S. and European Union humanitarian aid. Previously it had decided to spend the money on pensions, but now the plans have changed. Also covered by a Kommersant Daily commentary.


The State Customs Committee has included Interprombank on the list of banks that may act as guarantors for enterprises holding accounts with the bank to pay customs fees to the customs authorities.


The Supreme Court has stated that the criminal proceedings against Prosecutor General Yury Skuratov were instituted on a legal basis. The story reveals the essence of the case. Also covered in a Kommersant Daily commentary.


Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin has signed a decree concerning the use and the destruction of drugs. The major provisions of the document are examined.


The White Nights Festival of Stars has opened in St. Petersburg.


KOMMERSANT DAILY


The presidential administration's preparations for the upcoming parliamentary elections are in full swing - its special HQ is working on theelection, with a new organization, "Rossiya," being its major political mouthpiece. Rossiya, with Prime minister Sergei Stepashin as its leader, will comprise several right-of-center parties and movements.


Nonresident GKO holders will be able to reinvest their money from Wednesday after a restructuring. Brokers are optimistic, saying that the domestic stock market will experience a real boom soon.


The legendary Brest Fortress, where on June 22, 1941 the first German attacks were repelled, is in a very poor state of repair today. It has no money to pay for the gas that keeps an eternal flame burning.


When speaking at the First World Congress of the Russian Press on Tuesday, controversial tycoon Boris Berezovsky said that Russia does have any clear-cut policy - either at home or abroad.


The State Duma, parliament's lower house, on Tuesday overcame the presidential veto on a law providing the Central Bank with control over Russian banks' relations with their foreign counterparts in offshore zones. What the president disliked in the law was the expanded powers of Central Bank head Viktor Gerashchenko.


The tax authorities now know how to make oil companies pay taxes to the budget: sign an agreement with them on 100 percent tax payment under threat of switching them off from export pipelines. So far, only 14 big oil companies have signed such agreements.


Two leading Russian retail firms selling tobacco - Savva Universal and Yunekt - have announced the creation of a general manufacturing network, which will form the basis for a future merger. The new network will control 20 percent of the tobacco market.


KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA


At a ceremony to lay wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, President Boris Yeltsin, when greeting the dozens of state officials present there, deliberately ignored Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov. The story examines the possible reasons. Also covered by Kommersant Daily.


A powerful thunderstorm in St. Petersburg on Monday evening killed 16-year-old Kostya Kuzovov. The story describes how it happened. Also covered inIzvestiya.


According to the European Commission's calculations, the full restoration of Kosovo will cost about $3 billion. The story explains which world organizations will be responsible for the project. Also covered by Kommersant Daily.


Highly- regarded filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov will be awarded with a unique Swiss watch Thursdaymade by the Breguete company, which has made a special batch of its famous watches to celebrate the Pushkin jubilee. The award is for Mikhalkov's outstanding merits in boosting Russian culture.


Wednesday marks the 110th anniversary of the birth of poet Anna Akhmatova, and her museum in St. Petersburg is ten years old as well. The story offers several excerpts from memoirs by the poet's friends.


The Scorpions rock group will give a concert in the Yubileiny Sports Palace in St. Petersburg on Wednesday. The story features the band's program in the city.


One story examines ten achievements of Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko, who took up the post five years ago.


The official Agency of Political News (APN), with Lev Sigal as its chief editor, appeared on the Internet three weeks ago. In an interview, Sigal speaks about his brainchild.


According to information from the Agency of Political News, the presidential administration has decided that Boris Yeltsin should extend his duties for another term. The administration, at the initiative of Yeltsin's daughter, Tatyana Dyachenko, intends to merge Russia and Belarus into a single state with Yeltsin as its head for a transitional period. This decision was made recently by a group of the Kremlin's political analysts, listed here.


There is a chance to save the Mir orbital station from destruction. With this aim in mind, the Energia company is looking for funding, and cosmonauts Titov and Sevastyanov have created the People's Charity Fund. But the question is - Does it make sense to prolong the station's life? In an interview, Cosmonaut Alexander Serebrov answers this question.


One story reports on how the Soviet KGB in 1982 arrested Soviet citizenVladimir Nikishin and 25 other Muscovites for watching the film "Emmanuel," which marks its 25th anniversary today.


MOSKOVSKY KOMSOMOLETS


After Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov's resignation, the Kremlin "family" has only two headaches now: Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov and suspended Prosecutor General Yury Skuratov. According to information from the presidential administration's Political Planning Board, the family has already worked out plans for the presidential elections in 2000.


The parking lot in front of the central building of the Russkoye Zoloto company in Pervy Shchipkovsky Pereulok resembled a real battlefield Tuesday after a group of unidentified gangsters attacked the office. As a result, three people were seriously wounded. The story describes what happened. Also covered in Kommersant Daily.


According to information from the State Assay Office attached to the Finance Ministry, jewelry of the highest standard will be made in Russia for the first time.


In an interview First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko speaks about his family and his likes and dislikes.


The Moscow police prefer using fists and batons to communicate with the public, as evidenced by many incidents, including the latest one with Spartak fans in the Ramenskoye Stadium. The story offers a commentary by the City Interior Ministry press service and the Moscow OMON.


According to information from the Moscow Epidemiological Service, the number of hepatitis B patients in the first five months of the year increased by seven percent, while the figure for hepatitis C patients increased by 31 percent.


One story describes several new types of educational establishments that will open in Moscow on September 1.


NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA


NATO's air war against Yugoslavia has led to serious consequences directly threatening to the population of Southeast and Central Europe. Thousands of tons of explosives, which NATO planes dropped on Yugoslavia in TNT terms equal to several Hiroshima bombs. In view of this, a real danger of ecological catastrophe is threatening Europe. The story gives facts and figures to illustrate the point.


The communique signed by heads of state and government of the Group-8 countries duringthe summit in Cologne on June 18 to 20. Full text.


The Moscow city government has endorsed a draft law regulating acoustics in the city. The document says special areas will emerge in the city where authorities will control the noise level day and night. The story reveals the essence of the law.


Nadezhda, the only women's large radio station in the world, may be closed down soon because of lack of funds. The story looks at its serious financial problems.


Sverdlovsk governor Eduard Rossel has received Registration Certificate No 1 to take part in the gubernatorial election together with his eight rivals. The story looks at the alignment of political forces in the region.


The Russian leadership's desire to gain Western leaders' favor at the Cologne summit has led to paradoxical consequences - Russia, as a G-8 member, has agreed to write off debts of several developing countries when Russia itself is up to its neck in debt. The story comments on the issue. (also covered in Noviye Izvestia)


In an interview First Deputy Trade Minister Georgy Gabunia comments in part on Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin's statement on Russia joining the WTO within the year 2000.


NATO in early July plans to launch its large-scale American-Moldovan military exercises on the territory of Moldova near the Russian border. The story reports on how this venture will affect Russia's interests.


NOVIYE IZVESTIA


What role will the Russian peacekeeping contingent play in Kosovo? What are its powers there? In an interview General Georgy Shpak, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Paratroops, answers these and other questions.


In an interview religious writer Zoya Krakhmalnikova, who on Friday was awarded the Andrei Sakharov Prize "For Civil Courage of Writer", talks about the great role religion may play in the life of society today.


The story reveals several facts of corruption in the Main Military Prosecutor's Office where two personnel officers sold good jobs to young specialists.


SEGODNYA


Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin's recent statement on a global renovation of the defensesector, the special State Commission responsible for reforming the military-industrial complex (MIC) with Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov as its head held a session on Monday to appoint new leaders of MIC agencies. The story examines MIC agencies and their new leaders.


The Health Minister's Provision on the List of Medical Restrictions for Work with Top Secret Documents will take effect on June 27. The story focuses on its major points.


Russian state-owned oil companies will probably withdraw from the Balkan Oil Consortium taking part in the competition on the sale of Neftokhim (Bulgaria). The story explains why.


The Jazz Orchestra of the New York Lincoln Center conducted by trumpet-player Wynton Marsalis will give a concert in the Kremlin Palace on July 5. It will be the orchestra's second guest performance this season. The story highlights the orchestra and its brilliant musicians.


In an interview Professor Leonid Rybakovsky, head of the Social Demography Center, speaks about acute demographic problems in Russia. He offers several figures to illustrate the decreased birthrate in Russia.


ARGUMENTY I FAKTY


Tatarstan's President Mintimer Shaimiyev speaks about his "flourishing" republic, about the political election bloc "All Russia" and its initiators.


When preparing for the parliamentary elections, Russian political parties and movements are likely to follow Lenin's behest - "before uniting one must divide". The story shows how they do it.


The average wage in Russia today is 1,370 rubles, which is half of the minimum consumer budget (2,567 rubles ). The gap between the incomes of the poor and the rich in Russia is 26 times (in Moscow it's 48) The story offers other figures to show how much money people need for a normal life.


Several political analysts answer the following questions - Why did NATO launch the war against Yugoslavia? Does Kosovo have a military-strategic significance? Why is it essential for Russia to take part in the peacekeeping process in Kosovo and in a continuing military presence there ?What fate awaits Yugoslavia? Has NATO scored a success in its campaign? Has Russia lost or won this Balkan conflict?


There are practically no anecdotes about showbusiness stars but people often mangle their names deliberately. The story gives examples to illustrate how they do it.


ROSSIISKAYA GAZETA


The State Duma resolution on declaring the amnesty for prisoners went into force yesterday. One of its authors Alexander Zubkov, a Justice Ministry official, comments on the document.


At its regular session Thursday the government is expected to discuss a draft of the FederalEducation Program. In an interview Moscow University Rector Viktor Sadovnichy shares his opinion about this document.


The Nuclear Power Ministry is willing to offer the government a $5 billion credit for 20 years. Where will the ministry get this money from? The story features the offer and its aim.


The President's Instruction concerning urgent measures aimed at solving the computer problem- 2000 in Russia. Full text. (also covered in Segodnya)


On the eve of his visit to Cologne to attend the G-8 summit, President Boris Yeltsin gave an interview to the German magazine Spiegel. RG offers it in a slightly abridged form.