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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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


During its recent tests in Plisetsk last week, the super-modern ballistic missile Topol-M has shown an unprecedented ability for unpredictable manoeuvering due to its high technical qualities, which help the missile easily overcome the potential enemy's air defense systems. The story highlights Topol-M and its excellent technical specifications.

The story fiercely criticizes Russia's political elite, who use Pushkin and his jubilee celebrations, like other types of property, in their own selfish interests - to acquire additional wealth and authority. The story stresses that all this brings immense disgrace to the jubilee festivities of post-Communist Russia. Several examples illustrate the point.

The story describes a grave error made by GAI on April 20 when it issued Order No.297 concerning the activities of the GAI Road-Patrolling Service. The latter was provided with unlimited powers on city roads.

The story examines the results of the latest opinion poll conducted by the All-Russian Sociological Research Center (VTSIOM) to see how public opinion has responded to the resignation of the Primakov Cabinet and how it treats the new government.

The State Duma on Friday passed (in the third reading) the tough draft law on advertising medications and medical services. The story looks at its major provisions, focusing on items for which advertising is prohibited.

Due to Chechnya's lack of clear-cut legal status, Chechen bandits are committing crimes, sometimes in an unprecedented (exotic) forms and in the most unexpected places. The story describes the illegal activities of several Chechen companies selling arms in Africa.

A fierce struggle is going on today around the Our Home leadership - its present boss Viktor Chernomyrdin may quit the post to exchange it for the career of a high-level state official. The story speculates on who will claiming his seat of Our Home leader.

According to Interfax and a reliable source in the Central Bank, the latter is considering the possibility of returning the license to Imperial Bank. The story stresses that the rebirth of problem banks with the backing of their shareholders and creditors is one way of restructuring the domestic banking system. The story examines Imperial Bank's situation.

The story highlights the first winners of the new state award for sponsor activities in the sphere of culture and art. The prize was instituted late last year.


Though the Federation Council has failed so far to make a decision to send a Russian peace-keeping force to Yugoslavia, the Defense Ministry last week launched preparations for sending volunteers there. The story describes the campaign in the Sverdlovsk region.

In his first interview the newly-appointed Finance Minister, Mikhail Kasyanov, says how he was appointed to this post. He also speaks about Russia's foreign debt situation and about his negotiations with the London Club.

The Military Prosecutor's Office of the Northern Fleet has declassified the criminal case of 19-year-old sailor Alexander Kuzminykh, who last September seized a submarine in the military base in Gadzhiyevo (Murmansk region) and killed 8 sailors there.

The Central Election Commission Friday sponsored a meeting of state election organizers with commercial structures specializing in political consulting and pre-election technologies. The meeting was the first step towards creating an expert's council with the aim of certifying professionals in this sphere and preventing "dirty technologies" from being used in the election struggle.

The story describes a detailed cultural program of major festive celebrations (June 5 and 6) in Moscow devoted to the 200th anniversary of the birth of Pushkin.

A serious religious conflict may erupt in Vladivostok where the city administration has cancelled its previous permission to build a mosque. The story says why.

Ukraine's government has officially proposed to Cyprus to buy a batch of T-84 tanks made in Kharkov. This means that Kiev has resorted to an open confrontation with Russian arms manufacturers and exporters. The point is that Cyprus, which in 1996 bought Russian T-80U tanks, has been viewed as Russia's trade partner. The story highlights the Moscow-Kiev conflict.

Controversial tycoon Boris Berezovsky said on Friday that his LogoVAZ is negotiating on the purchase of the Kommersant Publishing House. Also covered in Komsomolskaya Pravda.

Skoda Auto and the Avtoframos (Renault and Moscow government joint venture) stated Friday that they had postponed signing investment agreements with the Russian government until fall. The story explains.

The Samara regional Administration has won the struggle for control over Volgotanker, a leading river steamship-line in Russia. Valery Gorchakov, supported by the local authorities, became the company's director-general.

The 8th International Banking Congress devoted to restructuring the Russian banking system finished its work in St. Petersburg on Friday. The story notes that the Congress failed to answer the major question - where to get money for reviving Russian banks. Four famed bankers share their views on the banking congress and its decisions.

The main Russian Film Festival Kinotavr opened in Sochi on Saturday. This year Kinotavr is celebrating its 10th birthday. The story describes its participants and guests. Also covered in Komsomolskaya Pravda.


The story offers six answers to six questions about the peace plan for Yugoslavia.

Six State Duma deputies say that they would have done the same thing Pushkin did if they had learned about their wives' disloyalty.

A favorable situation has emerged in the agrarian sector for the first time in the past years. In an interview Gennady Kulik, who in the Primakov Cabinet was responsible for agriculture, says how he has managed to score successes. He also offers measures, which, in his opinion, would help further boost agrarian production.

Representatives from three main political groupings have shared key posts in the Stepashin Cabinet. The story offers their names and posts.

The story offers the weather forecast for this week, saying that it will very hot throughout the whole week.

In an interview Federation Council deputy Anatoly Dolgolaptev, author of the federal draft law on science cities (naukograd), says what the latter may gain from the law.

Chairman of the Moscow City Duma Vladimir Platonov answers questions from KP readers about the life and activities of his agency.


The monument named "Yezhi" (Iron Bars), which was erected after the war in honor of the defenders of Moscow 23 kilometers away from the city may be demolished due to the major renovation project of Leningradskoye Shosse. The plan has caused public protests. The story highlights the history of the monument and its future fate.

The story lists 17 city water reservoirs, which have been cleaned and are ready for the swimming season.

The State Sanitary Inspectorate of the Health Ministry suspended the sales of Belgian chickens produced after January 15. The story says why.

Moscow police and FSB officers last week arrested two 24-year-old Muscovites, who two months ago stole computers with unique information about new AIDS medications developed by specialists from the All-Russian Center of Biomedical Chemistry. The story details the crime, saying that it might have caused an international scandal.

Nature protection specialists have registered several cases of crows attacking people in Kuntsevo. A six-year-old child became the victim of these grey birds of prey.

The Academy of the Free Press has awarded professional prizes to 80 journalists (several names are given) working in the sphere of print mass media. Besides, the Soros Fund this year has instituted a Prize "For Establishing the Ideas of Open Society," which was awarded posthumously to Larisa Yudina from the newspaper Sovetskaya Kalmykia Segodnya.

Specialists from the Moscow dolphinarium have managed to place special supermodern radio transmitters on the backs of two large Black Sea dolphins with the aim of conducting unique observation of the animals' movement in the Black Sea. The story highlights the experiment.

Moscow authorities have launched a campaign of marking all video-cassettes sold in Moscow. The story describes the aim of the measure, saying that the same measures are awaiting audio-cassettes and computers Nov. 1.

Veterinary doctors from the Research Veterinary Center have detected a rare kind of intestinal worms in two Japanese cats, which arrived in Moscow together with their owners from Japan. The downy "guests" might have infected Moscow cats.

The president's "family" would like to establish control over the Central Bank: the only thing it has to do is topple C.B. boss Viktor Gerashchenko and place its own man Alexander Lebedev, notorious head of the National Reserve Bank, on the financial "throne." The story comments on the presidential inner circle's ambitious plans.

Specialists from the All-Russian Research Center of Experimental Veterinary Medicine have developed a special device dachshunds that lose their paws in accidents. The story describes the device.

According to reports from the Moscow Prosecutor's Office, the crime rate is continuing to decrease in Moscow. The story gives facts and figures to illustrate the point.


Literary critic Vladimir Razuvayev reveals what Pushkin and his poetry mean to the Russian people, who have created their own Pushkin - the preacher, fighter, the champion of political tolerance and patriot. Despite everything, Pushkin will forever remain with the Russian people through the ideas they themselves have selected from his legacy. The story also offers ten commandments from Pushkin's poetry.

Moscow has failed to make an official statement on the results of the Chernomyrdin-Akhtisaari mission in Belgrade. The story says that even though President Yeltsin approved the results of envoy Viktor Chernomyrdin's peace-keeping mission, it has opened up

differences and disputes in Russia. Apparently, assessing the significance of the results for Russia's national interests has sparked much controversy.

After his meeting with Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev Friday, President Boris Yeltsin phoned Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin, asking him to consider the possibility of increasing defense spendings according to the budget article "National Defense." A Kremlin source said that the step was provoked by a deteriorating international situation. The story comments on the issue.

In an interview Federation Council (F.C.) head Yegor Stroyev answers the following questions: What is the reason behind the regional leaders' growing authority today? Do you think it's expedient to form the Federation Council on an elective basis? What's the F.C.'s most significant achievement and what's its biggest defeat over the past several years? What principal mistakes are the federal

authorities making in their work with regions and regional leaders?

The story discusses how Poland's policy toward Russia and Belarus separately and toward their union has changed after it joined NATO.

The whole Nezavisimaya Gazeta Supplement Figures and Faces is devoted to Pushkin on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of his birth.


Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov has sent 6 million rubles to the Kemerovo "Fund of Risk," saying that Muscovites are willing to help Kuzbas overcome its economic difficulties. The story features the fund , commenting on Luzhkov's act of charity. Also covered in Segodnya.

The Moscow Regional Duma last week rejected three amendments to the regions' Charter, which were proposed by Governor Anatoly Tyazhlov. The story reveals the essence of the rejected amendments and

several possible negative consequences as regards Tyazhlov's relationship with the local Duma.

A fierce food scandal caused by poisonous dioxin found in foodstuffs is raging in Europe. As it became known last week, the Dutch Verkest firm supplied infected feed to 500 pig-breeders and 150 cattle-breeders in Belgium and also to several cattle-breeding farms in France, Germany, the Netherlands and other countries. The story describes the scandal and its possible consequences. Also covered in Segodnya.


Former St. Petersburg Mayor Anatoly Sobchak has promised to return to Russia before the end of this month to take part in the campaign for the parliamentary elections scheduled for December. The story comments on his decision.

Several politicians from the so-called "young reformist" team of Anatoly Chubais have taken upkey posts in the executive power bodies. Ilya Yuzhanov has taken the job of Anti-Monopoly Minister and Sergei Sai has become chairman of the State Land Policy Committee. The story offers several other names from the former Chubais team.

According to reports from the State Statistics Agency, the inflation rate in Russia in May amounted to 2.2 percent as against 3.0 percent in April. Consumer prices over the first five months of this year skyrocketed 22.2 percent (the figure last year was 4.0 percent). The story gives other figures for increased food prices.

UES head Anatoly Chubais has a plan to create a big energy-coal company - UralTEC - in the Urals, which is already called "transnational." The annual turnover of the company is supposed to be $400 million. The story notes that the company's future largely depends on whether or not First Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai Aksyonenko

will like it. In view of this, the story focuses on possible future Chubais-Aksyonenko relations.

Novaya Sila (New Force) leader Sergei Kiriyenko last week allowed himself to criticize harshly the Moscow governance system created by Mayor Yury Luzhkov. Will the two politicians meet in the court? Moscow political analysts say that certain Kremlin forces plan to use ex-Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko to discredit Mayor Yury Luzhkov. The story comments on the issue.

The presidential administration intends to submit to the State Duma a draft bill on declaring June 6 ( Pushkin's birthday) a national holiday and a day off. If the lower house of parliament approves this document then Monday June 6 next year 2000 will be a day off. The story describes how Pushkin's jubilee was celebrated in Moscow.

Through giving aid to countries, which have suffered from wars or natural calamities,Russia may open new markets for its products. The story describes efforts by Russian officers from the Emergency Situations Ministry to establish contacts in several African countries, which badly need first rescuing, and then economic aid.

The Central Bank alone comes out for declaring Inkombank bankrupt, while foreign and domestic creditors and the Tax Ministry are against the measure. The story explains the Central Bank's stand on the issue and Inkombank's plans.

The story highlights banks, which for the current holiday season have prepared various card programs offering many

suggestions, discounts and benefits.

A new financial instrument - corporate bonds issued by the LUKoil joint stock company will emerge in June in the arsenal of private investors. On June 10 LUKoil will begin to place a bond loan with very attractive conditions. The story examines them in detail.


The Federal Law concerning the Special Economic Zone in the Magadan Region (passed by the State Duma on April 23, 1999 and approved by the Federation Council on May 17, 1999). Full text. A commentary.

Document. The Federal Law concerning the Budget of the Federal Obligatory Medical Insurance Fund. Full text.

Viktor Chernomyrdin, leader of the Our Home Is Russia movement, presents the movement's economic program, viewing the task of creating an effective, profit-making and competitive Russian economy as the national priority task.

In an interview First Deputy Chairman of the Our Home Is Russia movement Vladimir Ryzhkov, leader of the Our Home faction in the State Duma, answers the following questions: Is it possible to introduce amendments to the Constitution? What do you think about the emergence of many gubernatorial election blocs?

What is your attitude towards the upcoming parliamentary elections? Are you sure that the public will take part in them?

In an interview Alexander Lebedev, head of National Reserve Bank, says what, in his opinion, should be done to boost the stability of the Russian banking system and its reliability as a partner for foreign investors.


The paper has already reported that President Boris Yeltsin will not quit his post in 2000. According to a new scenario worked out on orders from the presidential administration, a proposal "for the sake of stabilization" will be made to prolong the term of office

of the State Duma for 2 years and then to prolong the term of office of the president. The story says that only something extraordinary may prevent this scenario from materializing. The story highlights the scenario as well as several possible successors to the president, including his daughter Tatyana Dyachenko.

The story offers the political portrait of First Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai Aksyonenko. explaining why he is "irreplaceable."

Finance Minister Mikhail Kasyanov knows where Western credits issued to Russia have gone. He tells his interesting story.