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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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


The Supreme Court on July 23 is expected to consider the legality of the recent elections of head of the Republic of Karachayevo-Cherkessia. The appeal to the Supreme Court was sent by supporters of Cherkessk Mayor Stanislav Derev, who lost the May 16 elections.

The Labor Ministry has developed a new draft law that will allow authorities to control the market of the unemployed and to improve the system of their registration. A short commentary on the document.

India has demanded that Pakistan complete the withdrawal of its armed formations from India by July 16. Thus, Delhi has demonstrated will to uphold its territorial integrity. The story comments on the measure.

The Tax Ministry has submitted to the government a draft bill that envisages a lower tax on the wages fund. The point in view is deductions to non-budgetary funds, the aggregate rate of which should decrease almost 7 percent from the existing 39.5 percent down to 32.7 percent. The story examines major provisions of the draft.

Right-of center bloc leaders Anatoly Chubais, Sergei Kiriyenko and Konstantin Titov and also several businessmen met Monday to discuss the idea of forming single election lists of the right-wing forces for the upcoming parliamentary elections. The story describes their efforts and results. In an interview, Vneshekonombank head Andrei Kostin comments on the results of the meeting.

Krasnoyarsk region Governor Alexander Lebed through his directive Tuesday imposed a state of emergency because of 44 powerful fires raging in the region. The story reveals the essence of the measure.

The story highlights complicated relations among media magnates Boris Berezovsky, Vladimir Gusinsky and Alexander Smolensky after the Aug. 17 financial crisis, which has made their struggle for control over the mass media market today even more fierce than before.

The Finance Ministry almost 10 months after the August crash, when the GKO default was announced, decided to enter the market of borrowings. Official results of the Monday auction to place the bonds of the state savings loan were announced Tuesday.

Officials from the International Monetary Fund confirmed Tuesday that the session of the IMF board of directors that will discuss issuing a credit to Russia will take place July 28 just to coincide with Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin's visit to Washington scheduled for July 27. The story comments on the issue.

The government is working on a decree aimed at considerably increasing export duties on crude oil. Starting Aug. 1, the size of the duty will be established at 7.5 euros per ton, if the document is signed by the prime minister. The story reveals the essence of its major provisions.

The Moscow city government at a session Tuesday discussed the critical situation with poor grain and vegetable harvests this year due to severe drought and locust invasion. The story gives facts and figures to illustrate the point.

Political analyst Mikhail Chulaki discusses the issue of merging Russia and Belarus into a single state, saying that the process should take a long time. The author focuses on Tatarstan President Mintimer Shaimiyev's response to the idea and on possible consequences.


Federal Security Service officers have blocked a major channel for funnelling capital from Russia. Several criminal groups in Moscow and Alexandrov, in central Russia, using fake foreign economic contracts had funnelled abroad about $200 million. Five bankers have been accused of the contraband and of laundering illegal capital. Three of them have been arrested. The story details the case.

A street bill board showing controversial oligarch Roman Abramovich appeared Tuesday on Kutuzovsky Prospekt but two hours later it was replaced with a board advertising Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov's Otechestvo movement. Who ordered the ad with Abramovich and why did it disappear?

In an exclusive interview, former St. Petersburg Mayor Anatoly Sobchak, who on Saturday voluntarily returned home from his Paris exile, speaks about his further plans.

Deputy Tax Minister Dmitry Chernik said Tuesday that, starting next year, income tax will be considerably decreased. The story notes, however, that against the background of inflation, the decrease will hardly be noticed. The story comments on his statement.

A story that is likely to reveal the Kremlin's secret plan for reburying Lenin will be published in the next issue of the magazine Kommersant-Vlast.

William Ferrero, head of the scandalous Andava company, has agreed to collaborate with Swiss Attorney General Karla del Ponte. This happened several days after Swiss law-enforcers found documents in the office of Andava, which is involved in the criminal case on Aeroflot's financial illegal deals. The story details the case.

Novaya Sila leader Sergei Kiriyenko, claiming the mayoral seat, is continuing his anti-Luzhkov campaign. Thus, on Tuesday he announced holding City Day, his own variant of Luzhkov's brainchild. The story reveals his ambitious plans.

The presidential administration on Tuesday prepared a draft of the presidential decree on awarding orders and medals to 42 paratroopers, who took over the Pristina airport in Kosovo. The story examines the project.

Australia has toughened the procedure of issuing entry visas, especially to young Russian females. The story comments on the measure.

The Foreign Ministry has taken an unprecedented step in issuing insurance polices to foreigners. From now on, only those Western companies that reinsured polices with Russian insurance agencies may insure foreigners coming to Russia. The story notes that this decision may provoke a big scandal on the insurance and tourist markets.

Three big law firms of the United States, Britain and Germany - Rogers and Wells, Clifford Chance and Punder, Volhard, Wever und Axster - announced in New York Tuesday that they intend to merger into a large judiciary agency, with the staff of lawyers alone exceeding 2,700.

The USA-Russia (TUSRIF) investment fund, which is willing to invest $50 million in the Russian mortgage crediting system, has opened a $1 million line of credit to Petrovsky Bank from St. Petersburg.

The combined catalogue of artifacts, stolen or lost during World War II in Russia was presented Tuesday in the Catherine the Great Palace in the Tsarskoye Selo Museum-Preserve.


Following the path of Stalin's daughter Svetlana Alliluyeva, Sergei Khrushchev, another offshoot of Soviet Communist Party General Secretaries, has changed his motherland. On July 12, he and his wife Valentina became U.S. citizens.

In an interview, former Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov speaks positively about a possible merger of Otechestvo and All Russia. He also talks about his future plan concerning the upcoming parliamentary elections.

The story highlights the positive and negative aspects of the government program of developing the bodies of the Federal Treasury.

A citizen of Guinea Lai Kamara, an administrator in the "Yolki-Palki" Restaurant on Ulitsa Kuznetsky Most, has found happiness in Moscow.

A special commission from the Auditing Chamber, for the second month running, has been inspecting the financial affairs in the State Duma to see how it spends the budget money. In an interview, Duma Deputy Konstantin Borovoi, who hates Communists, says they spend a lot of money for their own purposes and that the State Duma, with their help, has been turned into a commercial enterprise.


Street artists on the Old Arbat, who, like matryoshki and lanterns, have become its commonfeature. Whom do these artists select for their creative work?

Controversial tycoon Boris Berezovsky has decided to take part in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

The criminal case of suspended Prosecutor General Yury Skuratov has taken a new turn. On Monday, Prosecutor Yury Bagrayev, who opposes the official viewpoint of Skuratov's guilt, was fired from his post.

Moscow police on Monday detained two swindlers from Guinea, who worked as sorcerers and enchanters in Moscow.

In an interview, TV 6 Director-General Alexander Ponomaryov says how his channel is going to take part in the parliamentary election campaign.

Alumina magnate Lev Chernoi, head of the Public Anti-Crisis Committee, says how he is going to save Russia from the crisis.




UN experts say that the six-billionth person will be born on the planet on July 17, which is significant not only in and of itself - it may be considered a key point in the history of world civilization since six billion is exactly half of the maximum number of homo sapiens as a species.

In an interview, CIS Minister Leonid Drachevsky says the Russia-Belarus Treaty may help boost the Commonwealth of Independent States.

A new super-modern neuro-surgery complex was opened by the Burdenko Research Neuro- Surgery Center on Ulitsa Chetvyortaya Tverskaya-Yamskaya in the center of Moscow.

Ashot Dzhazoyan, General Secretary of the International Confederation of Journalists' Unions, notes that when watching TV or leafing through newspapers the impression is that there is nothing happening in Russia besides various elections. He suggests that different cultural events should also receive some press coverage.

In an interview, Alexei Podberyozkin, chairman of the Central Council of the Spiritual Legacy (Dukhovnoye Naslediye), a public and political movement, talks about the chances of several new left-wing blocs being formed in the upcoming elections, the collapse of the People's Patriotic Union of Russia and about his movement's program of action.


Deputy Secretary of the Security Council Alexei Ogaryov (close to the Kremlin "family"), with support from Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov, is pushing ahead a decree on merging all special arms exporters (Rosvoorezheniye, Promexport and Rostekhnologia) into a single holding with Rosvoorezheniye at the head. The decree could be signed in a couple of days. Klebanov says its aim is to toughen state regulation related to military-technical cooperation with foreign states, but opponents suggest that there are other motives for the legislation.

In an interview, Yevgeny Kolyushin, responsible in the Central Election Commission for funding elections and referendums, explains why there might not be many new deputies elected to the next State Duma and about funding parliamentary campaigns.

The Central Election Commission in the Sverdlovsk region has rejected all 30,000 signatures collected in support of regional gubernatorial candidate, Vladimir Zhirinovsky.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schr?der tried without success to persuade Ukraine authorities to stop using nuclear heating stations, having promised them credits if they would.

Russia may lose many billions in currency earnings from its gas sales abroad. Gazprom plans to double its gas supplies by January 2000 to strategically significant regions for Russia - Turkey and Balkan countries. But there are suggestions that Gazprom's agreements with its partners may be frustrated.

Weather specialists say that heat will again prevail throughout July, with sharp effects on plants and a rapid spread of different pests.


A British Embassy delegation visited the Old Believers' commune in the Tula region with the aim of seeing how the commune has spent $6,000 the embassy presented to it.

In an interview, economist Vladimir Rau, Director of the Working Center of Economic Reform under the government, discusses Russia's economic growth and the more or less stable ruble.

The Presnensky Court has temporarily adjourned (for the second time) to consider the suit lodged against the Defense Ministry by mothers of servicemen who were killed in Chechnya.

Not a single Russian politician this year has experienced so much attention and interest from mass media as Novaya Sila leader Sergei Kiriyenko, who has "won" lots of negative epithets. They all were used after he had announced his intention to run for the mayoral seat in Moscow. The story notes, however, that his struggle for the post has a fictitious character - inreality the ex-prime minister is taking part in the Kremlin "family's" operation to hobble Luzhkov before the presidential elections.

Meticulous Senators before their summer recess called Speaker Yegor Stroyev an "impostor" rather than a speaker (or even Senator) in the direct sense of this word. After Stroyev was re-elected to the post, he missed the inauguration procedure.


Political analyst Vladimir Lapsky examines new aspects in Russian-U.S. relations after the end of the armed conflict in Kosovo.

The full text of the federal law on introducing amendments to the Law concerning the State Tax Service (passed by the State Duma on June 23, 1999 and approved by the Federation Council on June 25, 1999) is proivided.

The full text of The Federal Law concerning Foreign Investment in the Russian Federation is provided.


In an interview, Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin speaks about his relations with the presidential administration, his views about Russia's future state structure, Russia-IMF contacts, his working meeting with President Boris Yeltsin, the acute problem of Chechnya and about his wife as a professional financier.

Several new theaters and drama studios have opened in Moscow lately, many of which have been lucky enough to obtain newly renovated premises.

Agricultural specialist Konstantin Dyutin, who has developed the "Astrakhansky" variety of watermelons, gives several effective recommendations as to how to choose a ripe delicious watermelon.


Muscovites have begun making telephone calls with a variety of complaints to the hot line opened recently by mayoral contender ex-Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko.

A special prison in the Tver region for HIV-infected convicts has been established. About 16,000 HIV-infected patients, including 526 children, have been registered in Russia.


Russia's interests in the Balkans cause great headaches for Moscow. Hardly had dangerous disputes with NATO ceased when the Milosevic issue was raised again. On the one hand, Russia is not interested in replacing the present Yugoslav leader with another politician (demanded now by the Yugoslav opposition and the West), but on the other hand, Russia has no reason for supporting a very unpopular world leader. Political analyst Nikolai Paskhin comments on Moscow's policy line in the Balkans.

Several previously unknown documents featuring Soviet writer Mikhail Bulgakov's relations with the communist regime and personally with Stalin have been unearthed.

In an unprecedented case, the whole leadership of the Prosecutor General's Office was allegedly bribed in the context of the Skuratov case. The act was organized both by individual persons and by the state system of benefits and privileges, which is actually a "reservation of socialism in the no longer socialist Russia".

In an exclusive interview, Sports Minister Boris Ivanyuzhenkov, 33, who is an athletic man and an alien among bureaucrats, speaks about himself, his family and his achievements before taking up this job less than a month ago.


A private crematorium has been established by veterinary doctor Alexander Karpenko in Zelenograd. It is the only one of its kind in Russia. Also covered by Noviye Izvestia.