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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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


The story offers a harsh commentary on President Boris Yeltsin's sacking of Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin Monday, saying that all of Russia has censured the resignation. The Kremlin , however, has given hope but no guarantee that the new Cabinet head will not, like Stepashin, be fired in three months. Several politicians and public figures share their viewpoints on the resignation. Also covered in Kommersant Daily, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Vremya and Moscow News.

In one of his recent pronouncements, former Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin had said: "We (Russia) may lose Daghestan. The situation there is very bad". The story gives facts confirming the statement and features a menacing scenario of the current war in Nagorny Daghestan. Also covered in Kommersant Daily.

Russia has paid France another $50 million as part of its tsarist-era bond debt. The payment was under an agreement of mutual understanding between Russia and France to settle mutual claims occurring before May 9, 1945.

The FBI has announced plans to more vigorously crack down on the Russian mafia both inside and outside of Russia. The story highlights the desire of the FBI and the FSB to cooperate closely in combating organized crime.

The Forestry Committee reports that more than 400 fires in the Leningrad region have sharply increased the amount of carbon monoxide, chlorides and other harmful chemicals in the air. The result is an outbreak of allergic and cardio-vascular diseases, caused by what the story describes as a disturbing ecological problem in the region.

State Duma speaker Gennady Seleznyov said Monday that he hopes that deputies on August 16 will confirm Vladimir Putin a prime minister on the first vote. The story explains this favorable attitude towards the former FSB director.

The Communists, who organized the election bloc, "For Victory", are seeking allies among regional governors. The story shows that they are not succeeding.

The Crimean government and Russia's Goskino have decided to pool efforts to help the 80-year-old Yalta Film Studios overcome its financial crisis. The story examines concrete measures they are going to take.

The IMF mission is expected to arrive in Moscow on Aug. 24 to see how Russia is fulfilling its obligations under the program approved jointly with the IMF in July. In an interview, Mikhail Zadornov, presidential special representative for negotiations with international financial organizations, talks about the current macroeconomic situation in Russia. (Also covered in Finansoviya Izvestia.)

One of the deputies of Central Bank head Viktor Gerashchenko may be appointed temporary manager of SBS-AGRO bank. (Also in Finansoviya Izvestia.)

Major shareholders in YUKOS expect in the near future to propose that owners of YUKOS daughter companies exchange their shares for those of the holding. Thus, YUKOS has decided to quicken the process of consolidating the company, following the path of Sibneft. The story reports on how the share exchange may complicate the position of investor Kenneth Dart,who has for a year been successfully torpedoing the YUKOS consolidation.(Also in Finansoviya Izvestia.)

Not long before its resignation, the Cabinet stepped up its efforts to fulfill the World Bank conditions for receiving a third loan for structural economic reform. Yury Sentyurin, department head in the Anti-Monopoly Ministry, comments on the issue. (Also in Finansoviya Izvestia.)

The new law concerning personal property taxes took effect on July 21. The story notes that the law legalizes the arbitrary rule of bureaucrats, who will decide how much tax the population will pay for apartments, houses and other personal property. (Also, in Finansoviya Izvestia.)

The German Deutsche Telekom AG concern announced its purchase of the British operator of mobile communications One2One. The deal costs $11 billion.(Also in Finansoviya Izvestia.)

St. Petersburg City Hall has found out that several city vodka producers are evading taxes with the help of a special scheme. The story highlights the alcohol war between city authorities and producers.

The story describes cheap cafes, the number of which has considerably increased in Moscow.


Daghestan's Islamic Shurah today intends to adopt a declaration on creating an independent Islamic state. What will be Russia's response?

In an interview, the newly-appointed acting Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, talks about his steps to form a new Cabinet, about the criminal case against the firm headed by Luzhkov's wife Yelena Baturina and about his political platform as a candidate to the presidency.

Full text of President Boris Yeltsin's televised speech on Monday.

The story examines major reasons behind the recent conflict, which happened in the Bering Strait between Russian fishermen and the US Coast Guard.

Another tax to be levied on cashless currency transactions may appear in Russia. This Tax Ministry initiative is a possible reply to the Central Bank's proposal to eliminate a similar tax on cash transactions.

The Bulgarian Privatization Agency last week gave LUKoil the exclusive right to buy 58 percent of stock in the Neftokhim company. LUKoil must decide what to do before Sep. 30.

Russia's gold currency reserves in July decreased by 1.9 percent, and on Aug. 1 amounted to $11.921 billion.

Mayor Yury Luzhkov, who visited the Alexander Shilov State Picture Gallery, stated that it may occupy a neighboring building on 7, Ulitsa Znamenka. The story describes the circumstances which prompted the mayor's decision.

Popular St. Petersburg bard Alexander Rozenbaum plans to sue the Liga Prav Publishing House for $100,000 for the alleged illegal publication of his collection, "The Golden Series".


Hardly had the helicopters of General Anatoly Kvashnin, chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, and his accompanying team landed on the airfield of the Botlikhsky district in Daghestan, when Wahabbites bombarded them with grenades. No casualties were reported.

In an interview with Raisa Gorbachev's physician, Thomas Buehner, of the University Hospital in Muenster, Germany, talks about the successful completion of the fist stage of her treatment. The treatment cost 112,000 DM.



The story offers a chronological order of the reshuffling of five Cabinet heads over the past 18 months.

Editor in chief Vitaly Tretyakov tries to elucidate President Yeltsin's new political scenario, for which he has selected Vladimir Putin as its main character.

Political scientists have negatively assessed President Yeltsin's decision to sack Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin. The State Duma, the lower house of parliament, however, in the opinion of many analysts, will most probably approve the candidacy of Vladimir Putin for the post of prime minister on the first vote. Five experts share their viewpoints on the issue.

Historian Gai Khanov, head of the Publicity Holding, notes that two major rivals representing real power in Russia will figure prominently in the upcoming parliamentary elections, with two super-blocs becoming the leaders in the struggle for State Duma, the lower house of parliament, seats. One of them is being formed by the Kremlin administration and the other by Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov. The story features these two parties of power, which have launched an irreconcilable fight for leadership.

Viktor Ilyushin, head of the State Duma Security Committee, stated Monday that, according to his information, Kremlin chief of staff Alexander Voloshin acts in concert with Chechen field commander Shamil Basayev. Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov has the same opinion, saying that Basayev helps President Boris Yeltsin keep power.

An interest group in St. Petersburg has begun to collect signatures for holding a referendum on merging the Leningrad region and St. Petersburg . In an interview, Yury Loskutov, deputy head of the Regional Security Problems Institute, who is claiming the gubernatorial seat, says why he supports this idea.

Despite the resignation of the Cabinet and the current hostilities in Gorny, Dagestan, the preparations for a meeting between President Boris Yeltsin and Chechen President AslanMaskhadov are nearing completion.


Several election blocs would like former Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin to join them. The story attempts to guess what bloc Stepashin will rally with.

Is the Cabinet's resignation one of the Kremlin's steps to emergency measures and to the canceling of the elections? Five political scientists and State Duma, the lower house of parliament, deputies share their viewpoints on the issue.

Political analyst Leonid Radzikhovsky explains why President Boris Yeltsin had to sack Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin, who, in his opinion, appeared to be too meek in preventing regional governors from joining Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov's political movement. Former Federal Security Services Director Vladimir Putin now should show his firmness and win over governors to his side.

Former Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin does not recommend to the newly-appointed Cabinet head Vladimir Putin that he allow Nikolai Aksyonenko to remain as his first deputy.


Political analyst Otto Latsis comments on major reasons behind President Boris Yeltsin's sacking of Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin, focusing on several negative consequences of this act.


The presidential decree on setting the date for the elections of deputies to the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, of the Federation Assembly.

The Resolution of the Constitutional Court on the case of checking the constitutionality of the April 15, 1998 Federal Law concerning cultural valuables that were brought to the USSR after World War II and are being kept on the territory of the Russian Federation.


The story comments on President Boris Yeltsin's sacking of Cabinet head Sergei Stepashin, saying that the Kremlin seems to become blind and having no idea about the future consequences of its political steps.

Several state officials and economists share their negative viewpoints on the resignation of Cabinet head Sergei Stepashin.

President Boris Yeltsin's farewell speeches to former Prime Ministers Viktor Chernomyrdin, Yevgeny Primakov and Sergei Stepashin are provided.

In an interview, Fuel and Energy Minister Viktor Kalyuzhny examines major reasons behind the gasoline crisis. He also speaks about his initiative to make oil companies control auto fueling stations.

Former Fuel and Energy Minister Sergei Generalov analyzes main reasons behind the current fuel crisis in Russia. A Moskovskiye Novosti Internet poll shows that 12.7percent of Russians have stopped using their cars because of the gasoline crisis, and 47.3 percent have not been affected at all.

The story highlights the Trans World Group empire, with all the countries and companies it embraces, which is doing more than just trade in metals.

Political analyst Andrei Grachov, who specializes in international affairs, views Russia's foreign policy as unstable, saying that the country may become a laughing stock if it constantly changes anger into acquiescence in its foreign policy.

For several millennia, people were sure that solar eclipses bring misfortune. However, astronomers have proven that the Sun's presence in the Moon's Shadow does not affect human health in any way.

An outburst of bubonic plague has been hit Kazakhstan. Is the disease threatening Russia? In an interview, doctor Anatoly Lipnitsky, deputy director of the Anti-Plague Research Center, answers this and other questions.


The story gives several facts showing that the new procedure of receiving a Moscow ***propiska***, a residence registration document, has become more complicated than before.

According to reports from the regional sanitary center, an outburst of tropical malaria has been registered in Dolgoprudny, Moscow region, where three servicemen late last week were hospitalized with the disease.

Specialists from the Fauna Department of the Moscow Housing-Utility Administration recommend that dog owners refrain from taking their pets outside during the solar eclipse on Wednesday.

In an interview, Sports Minister Boris Ivanyuzhenkov says that the process of Russian athletes' departure abroad should be controlled. Also covered in Moskovskaya Pravda.

Several experts comment on President Boris Yeltsin's sacking of Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin.


What do you think of State Duma Deputy Nikolai Gonchar's initiative of holding a referendum on merging Russia and Belarus into a single state? Four State Duma deputies, heads of different committees, share their viewpoint on the issue.

What factors have aggravated the political situation in the North Caucasus? Three politicians answer this question.