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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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


Federal troops Wednesday took control of a strategic area in Dagestan. The story notes that, having announced the beginning of a "decisive stage" in fighting against the Wahabbites, a militant Moslem sect, the federal forces will have to reach tangible successes in the near future in order to allay public opinion. Also covered in Kommersant Daily and Segodnya.

Acting First Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai Aksyonenko has instructed the Federal Migration Service and several other ministries that they must within one day submit a draft government decree concerning additional funds for Dagestani residents who have to leave their homes due to current hostilities in their region.

The Central Election Commission Wednesday registered the first election bloc - Voice of Russia. The story says why its former allies asked the commission not to do it. Also covered in Kommersant Daily.

Economic experts predict that industrial growth in Russia will soon halt. The story comments on their statements.

Practically all Russian politicians, including Federation Council Speaker Yegor Stroyev and former Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, speak now about the need to introduce amendments to the Constitution. The story stresses that they are doing it above all for political expediency.

Former Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin's appearance in St. Petersburg's political arena before the gubernatorial elections may strongly aggravate the position of Mayor Vladimir Yakovlev.

The surgeon ward of the leading oncological center in the world has become operational in Yekaterinburg, which may provide cancer treatment to 50,000 patients a year.

Former head of the presidential administration Nikolai Bordyuzha is expected to take the post of Ambassador to Denmark. The State Duma International Affairs Committee has approved the appointment.

Nizhny Novgorod customs officers have handed over six 18th to 19th-century icons, four crosses and a prayer book to the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. All these things were previously stolen and slated to be taken away abroad.

Political analyst Maxim Sokolov points to distinguishing features of the elections in Russia and the way people take part in voting.

Literary critic Mikhail Osovtsev reminisces about a legendary speech by Soviet writer Mikhail Zoshchenko at the Leningrad regional literary conference in 1946, at which he sharply criticized Soviet censorship in literature.


Former Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin Thursday may announce which election bloc he is going to ally with. It will be a right-of-center coalition, which as its organizers hope, will attract the attention of Right Cause, New Force and Our Home Is Russia.

In an interview, Oleg Morozov, head of the executive committee of the All-Russia movement and member of the coordinating council of the Fatherland-All Russia election bloc, talks about the latter'splans for the near future.

The story describes a split that has occurred in the Omsk Communist regional organization prior to the local gubernatorial elections.

Moscow police have detained several distributors of a letter by Mikhail Dvornikov, Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov's rival in the mayoral election campaign. The letter carries a slogan saying that Luzhkov is a criminal.

The story features city spending on Moscow City Day on Sep.4 and 5: The city will reportedly spend 40 million rubles ($1.62 million) on the event.

The story comments on the new provision concerning voucher investment funds, which allows them to play more risky economic instruments than before.

Highly-regarded economist Mikhail Delyagin analyzes basic reasons behind the gasoline crisis, which today is worrying everyone, including the new prime minister, Vladimir Putin. The crisis is the first test for his Cabinet, notes Delyagin.

In an interview, Dmitry Khilov, deputy head of the Federal Securities Commission, explains why it has made concessions to voucher investment funds.

The government hopes to use the Central Bank to add revenue to the federal budget; the Justice Ministry will decide whether or not the Central Bank should pay taxes. Thus, the Tax Ministry Friday intends to send its inquiry to the Justice Ministry to see if the Central Bank's refusal to pay taxes is legal.

The report offers a rating of large Russian enterprises, compiled by Kommersant Dengi on the basis of 1998 results.


The government decision to pay $1,000 to soldiers fighting in Dagestan has created new serious problems: How will this money be procured? The number of Defense and Interior Ministry troops is about 5,000. Also covered in Kommersant Daily.

The story examines several ideological differences between left and right wing parties and movements, with the major one being their attitude toward ownership.

A reporter describes how he has stolen gold in Kolyma - his editorial assignment - in order to demonstrate the lack of control of the gold business in this region.

A new outburst of allergies has hit people who are prone to them in autumn. The story points out several allergens, focusing on ways to treat them.

In an interview, Olga Popova, girlfriend of Nobel Prize winning poet Boris Pasternak,speaks about her unforgettable meetings with this great man.

The story describes a unique book titled "100 Recorded Albums of Soviet Rock Music. 1977-1991: 15 Years of Underground Recording," by Russian rock music researcher Alexander Kushnir. The book is expected to hit bookstores soon.

The story describes how the melodies of popular songs written in Soviet times are used by contemporary singers, who simply change the lyrics. This, notes the article, is evidence that today's Russia lacks musical creativity and innovation.


Political observer Alexander Khinshtein introduces Sergei Sokolov, head of private security agency Atoll, which is unofficially controlled by controversial tycoon Boris Berezovsky. Sokolov has made sensational confessions about his agency's activities.

The story comments on Fatherland leader and Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov's statement in the TV program "Facing the City" in which he discussed his political bloc's new problems. Also covered in Segodnya, Izvestia and Vremya MN.



Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's pronouncements and former Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov's statements have many features of future presidential candidates' election programs.

The story reports on what major changes will take place in the state-owned Channel VGRTK in the new television season, which will begin Aug. 28.

The All-Russia movement of regional governors will hold a congress in Ufa on August 21. State Duma Deputy Rinat Gindullovich, one of the movement's coordinators, speaks about the program of the congress.

The story tries to find out if there are any reasons behind foreign investors's fears that Gazprom may be nationalized.

In an interview, Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Kunitsyn talks about the economic situation in his region, its foreign economic ties, Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma's decree on canceling VAT on tourists' vouchers and several other issues.

The draft of the amendments to the preamble and chapters 3 to 8 of the Constitution, submitted by former presidential advisers Georgy Satarov and Mikhail Krasnov, is presented.


Sergei Baburin, leader of the All-People's Union party, and Dmitry Rogozin, leader of the Congress of Russian Communities, have agreed to launch an election bloc in the hope ofwinning the parliamentary elections.

Russia and India have signed an agreement on delivering a batch of K-31 combat helicopters with radar equipment. This was stated Wednesday by Kamov aviation company head Sergei Mikheyev.

Vladimir Kryuchkov, Soviet KGB boss in August 1991, member of the GKChP Committee and now a member of the Communist Parties Union, shares his viewpoint on the August 1991 putsch.

Ten members of the August 1991 GKChP Committee and their adversaries from the democratic camp speak about those distant events. Also covered in Noviye Izvestia.

Thursday the government is expected to discuss the draft budget for 2000. In an interview, acting First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko examines basic approaches to it.

Mikhail Shvydkoi, head of the All-Russian State TV and Radio Company, or VGTRK, on Wednesday officially announced the completion of the formation of the Unified Production- Technological Complex of state electronic mass media on the basis of VGTRK.


Illustrious Taganka stage chief artistic director Yury Lyubimov has received Hungarian citizenship. The corresponding documents were signed by Hungarian President Arpad Henz and Wednesday were given to Lyubimov in the Hungarian parliament.

The Gorky Auto Factory, or GAZ, before the end of this year will deliver to South Africa 500 GAZel microbuses equipped with Austrian Steyr diesel engines.

In early July, the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, passed amendments to the law concerning currency regulation and currency control that, the article says, discriminate against foreigners. It says in part that all foreigners leaving Russia and having foreign money with them should be ready to part with it.


In an interview, former Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov answers the following questions: What has prompted your decision to accept the offer from the Fatherland-All Russia bloc? Is your decision connected with former Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin's resignation? What connects you with Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov? What do you expect from the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, if your bloc takes up leading positions in it ? Are you still devoted to perestroika ideals as before?

No one in Russia today wants to believe that the Kremlin simply missed the invasion of Chechen gunmen into Dagestan. It's hardly possible, notes the story, focusing on several possible scenarios of that event, one of them being that presidential administration head Alexander Voloshin had a secret meeting with Chechen commander Shamil Basayev.

Political analyst Anatoly Kostyukov comments on the new Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's assignment, explaining why Putin's position is worse than former Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin's.

General Anatoly Kvashnin, chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, appointed SovietMarshal Dmitry Yazov, former Soviet Defense Minister, to the post of head of the Scientific Council attached to the Marshal Georgy Zhukov Memorial Museum. The story says why this appointment is unusual and raises many questions.

Aug. 19 marks the Russian religious holiday ***Yablochny Spas***, or Apple Harvest. This is a holiday of unity and the reconciliation of all people; it is a symbol of kindness and good deed, prosperity and hope for a better future. This is exactly what the Yabloko party is working for, and therefore, it decided to make Aug. 19 its annual holiday.

Military observer Viktor Litovkin comments on the recent statement by the new Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, who intends to resolve the Dagestani armed conflict in 1 1/2 to two weeks. Litovkin stresses that this is impossible.

The Constitutional Court recently made a sensational statement: It acknowledged that over the past 7 years, Russian arbitration courts and tax agencies ignored the basic principles of the Constitution. The story introduces several lawyers and specialists in civil and criminal law who share their views on the issue of how to make the judiciary power the third and truly independent power.

The story notes that Sverdlovsk Governor Eduard Rossel has reasons to hope for a positive outcome of the gubernatorial elections, scheduled for Aug. 29.

The first Soviet atom bomb was tested outside Semipalatinsk on Aug. 29, 1949. In an interview, Angelina Guskova, a scientific expert in the United Nations Atomic Radiation Committee who then was a doctor at the local prison, speaks about the first radiation-contaminated patients who appeared in 1950 after the test.


A source in the Organizing Committee of the Party of Deceived Depositors said that controversial oligarch Boris Berezovsky had taken part in the founding congress of the interest group that created this party. The source also said that Berezovsky will not take part in the work of the new party - he will only fund it.

On Sep.4, the festive ceremony of laying the first stone in the foundation of the future Irina Rodnina Ice House, a physical culture and health improving complex, will take place on Shlyuzovaya Naberezhnaya. It will become a center of sports life in the Zamoskvorechye municipal district. In an interview, Alexei Serzhantov, chief architect of the project, and Andrei Bokov, Director of the Moscow Research and Design Institute of Culture, Sports, Rest and Health Facilities, speak about the project.


In an interview, Lyubov Kudelina, Deputy Finance Minister, talks about military budget spendings this year and preliminary plans for 2000.