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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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

Press review


The West, which, God knows why, is missing the times of the Cold War and the iron curtain, has launched a "dirty" campaign against Russia and Russian business that is based on suspicions. The suspicions, alas, may partly be true, notes the story, since it's quite probable that International Monetary Fund money was really used "not quite for the purpose it was given for." The story comments on President Bill Clinton's Administration's first "modest contribution" to the anti-Russia campaign. Also covered in Kommersant Daily, Vremya MN and Komsomolskaya Pravda.

Chechen authorities have banned all programs of the Russian ORT, RTR and NTV television channels. The Chechen Kavkaz channel Wednesday also ceased its broadcasting. The story says why.

Anatoly Chubais, head of the national power grid Unified Energy Systems, has applied to the Prosecutor General's Office in connection with recent domestic and foreign mass media materials saying that he is allegedly involved in embezzling International Monetary Fund and World Bank credits.

Reports from the government information agency say Prime Minister Vladimir Putin Wednesday signed a directive on the global education doctrine, which must be submitted to the government by Nov. 30. A special government commission headed by Deputy Prime Minister Valentina Matviyenko has been created for the purpose.

The story offers several scenarios of what may have caused the explosion Tuesday evening in a video game arcade at the Manezh shopping center. One of them, the story notes, is that a terrorist act was committed against the Manezh Ploshchad company or against the Torginterlux lessee. Also covered in Kommersant Daily and Komsomolskaya Pravda.

The northwestern board of the Press Ministry Wednesday made an official warming to the St. Petersburg TV and Radio Company, which allowed the scandalous journalist Alexander Nevzorov's critical program "Politics - St. Petersburg Style" to air. Also covered in Kommersant Daily.

The Coordinating Council of the Women of Russia party decided to leave the Fatherland movement, and consequently the Fatherland-All Russia election bloc. WR leader Alevtina Fedulova sent a notification to the Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov's headquarters.

Political analyst Vladimir Korsunsky views the election campaign, which is just unfolding, as already showing signs of approaching a general frenzy.

The story features a working schedule of the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, which plans to hold its first plenary session on Sept. 14.

Political analyst Maxim Sokolov harshly criticizes the right-wing bloc's chosen methods, songs and dances, to win the hearts of voters.

The 12th Moscow International Book Fair opened Wednesday at the All-Russian Exhibition Center, formerly known as VDNKHa. Also covered in Kommersant Daily and VremyaMN.

St. Petersburg police have detained four members of a satanist sect who are suspected of committing several ritual killings.

Representatives from Belarussian political parties, movements and organizations stated that they had created a consolidated opposition to the ruling regime and worked out an action program. The story examines several of its planned acts for this fall.

On Aug. 27, a Russian delegation, headed by Pension Fund head Mikhail Zurabov, and World Bank officials signed a package of draft documents regulating the use of a future World Bank $100 million pension loan.

In an interview, Valery Miroshnikov, deputy director general of the Agency for Restructuring Credit Organizations, talks about problems experienced by regional banks.

The confrontation between Lev Chernoi of the Trans-World Group and Oleg Deripaski of Siberian Aluminum has taken a new turn. Alexei Barantsev, director general of the Krasnoyarsk Aluminum Factory, or KrAZ, controlled by Chernoi, has applied to Unified Energy Systems head Anatoly Chubais with a proposal to meet and discuss a project of merging KrAZ and the Krasnoyarsk Electric Power Station into an energy-metal corporation.

The free Hotmail electronic service, with 50 million users in different countries, was switched off on Monday because of urgent, necessary modernization. Hotmail administrators learned that a group of hackers was using their service.


The story discusses who may be ordering the current scandal surrounding the Bank of New York. Vyacheslav Soltaganov is threatening to investigate the case. Kommersant Daily explains why it does not believe that the investigation will reveal anything good.

Serious personnel changes may take place at the ORT television channel in the near future: General producer Konstantin Ernst may replace director general Igor Shabdurasulov. Also covered in Vremya MN and Moskovsky Komsomolets.

Commonwealth of Independent States member nations Wednesday imposed a new type of customs declaration. The story examines circumstances that have caused this measure.

The story reports on how officers in the military units in the North Caucasus sell their soldiers into slavery.

Heavy rains have caused floods in the Primorye and Sakhalin regions, leaving two people dead and hundreds without shelter. The story describes the natural disaster.

Thursday, Sept. 2 marks the 30th anniversary of the Internet information service. Much is written about its great advantages, but few people know that the Internet is an addiction that has afflicted over 11 million people, including about 90,000 Russians.

Vympelkom cellular phone company, which owns the BeeLine network, published a report Wednesday on its performance in the first half of the year. According to the document, the company is continuing to sustain losses, as it was last year. Since the Aug. 17 crisis, themajority of cellular telephone companies have experienced serious financial problems.

The story describes the first scandal caused by the deprivatization of the Lomonosov Porcelain Factory, with the Property Ministry insisting on its return to state ownership. The conflict has already involved the U.S. investment fund TUSRIF and the U.S. government. Also covered in Vremya MN.

SBS-Agro Bank is continuing to function because the head of the Soyuz banking group, Alexander Smolensky, has not given its license to the Central Bank, as he threatened to do two weeks ago.

In an interview, Yevgeny Shaposhnikov, presidential adviser on aviation and cosmonautics, speaks about the optimistic results of the recent aviation show Max-99 and about the prospects of boosting the domestic aviation sector.


The story looks at Russian abbreviations of several election blocs' names, which sound very funny, or indecent.

The story gives facts and figures showing that this summer is likely to set a record for the number of mushroom poisonings.


In a cloakroom at Sheremetyevo-2 airport, workers found a large batch of exotic snakes that was smuggled into Moscow from Madagascar.

The administration of Losiny Ostrov National Park stated that mushroom and berry lovers are devastating the park's flora and fauna.



The decision by ex-Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov to accept the proposal of the Fatherland-All Russia leaders to head the federal election bloc and the decision by another ex-Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin to launch his own right-of center bloc markedly change the alignment of political forces in the run-up to the elections. What motives governed their decisions and what consequences will they have? Also covered in Segodnya.

Will the Cabinet and the presidential administration be able to act as a single team as President Boris Yeltsin wants them to be? The story comments on three significant statements by the president that show that the Kremlin would like to place executive power bodies under its control. Also covered in Segodnya.

In an interview, Yabloko election campaign manager Vyacheslav Igrunov talks about Yabloko's possible allies in the upcoming elections. He notes in part that Yabloko loses out by not joining election blocs.

Ex-Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov has accepted the job of adviser to the Orenburg administration on geopolitical matters. The story explains why the Orenburg area attracts Primakov.

There has been a gasoline crisis in Russia for almost a month. Since mid-July, it has hit 60 regions, with nine of them raising their gasoline prices by more than 20 percent. The story reports on how local administrations are trying to resolve the problem. Also covered in Segodnya.

The story features a fierce struggle being waged by contenders for the presidential post in Ukraine and looks at which political parties and movements are taking part.

The story traces the process of how normal people can turn into vagrants, illustrating it with the fate of one Muscovite.


The story reports on how new Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is forming the new Cabinet.

State Duma Speaker Gennady Seleznyov Tuesday made major participants in the election race happy by giving them all his recommendations as to how to behave.

The story examines Gazprom's unresolved problems and the attitudes of new Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to them.

In an interview, Leonid Grigoryev, director general of the Bureau of Economic Analysis, talks about its main services and those who need them.

General Alexander Lebed, Krasnoyarsk Region governor, declared his opposition to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who backs the government initiative of privatizing theKrasnoyarskaya Coal Company. The population in the area opposess this initiative.

The International Monetary Fund mission is expected to arrive in Moscow on Aug. 23. The story describes the aim of its visit and major issues that will be under discussion.

State Telecommunications Committee deputy head Nikolai Pozhitkov stated Tuesday that the Committee will consider the issue of merging Svyazinvest and Rostelekom before the end of this year. The story looks at what makes the merger expedient today.

The First Moscow Children's Carnival will take place Sept. 5. The story offers its preliminary program.

The story highlights a unique artistic-production enterprise of the Orthodox Church in Sofrino (Moscow region), which makes clothing for the clergy.

The Night Wolves Bike Club has marked its 10th birthday. To honor the event, the club has equipped its Bike Center on Ulitsa Nizhniye Mnevniki and produced new motorcycle models -"Wolf" and "Werewolf." Between Aug. 20 and 22, the club will sponsor the 5th bike show. In an interview, club president Khirurg speaks about the event. Also covered in Argumenty i Fakty.


The story reports on how the Hotel Astoria, a great architectural sight in St. Petersburg, was turned into a joint stock company in 1992.

The story paints a horrific picture of the war in Dagestan, where the number of killed and wounded is allegedly much higher than officially reported. Also covered in Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

Ninety-six percent of Dagestanis view as necessary the participation of federal troops in settling the armed conflict on the territory of the republic. The story offers results of the recent opinion poll conducted in 8 cities and 20 districts of Dagestan.


Ex-Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin is reportedly going to run for a seat in the State Duma from the St. Petersburg Krasnoselsky constituency, where in 1990 he was elected a People's Deputy.


It's not impossible that Tatarstan's President Shaimiyev might remove his name from the first three candidacies in the Fatherland-All Russia bloc's candidate election list. The story looks at five possible scenarios.

The story looks at two political tasks the Kremlin has set before Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, in addition to the economic ones.

The story looks at why President Boris Yeltsin has selected Vladimir Putin as his successor, a politician about whom nothing is known.

Emil Pain, Director of the Center for Ethno-Political and Regional Studies, analyzes thecurrent situation in Dagestan, and above all, why Chechen field commander Shamil Basayev, with 1,500 gunmen, has decided to invade Dagestan. The author also looks at two possible scenarios for the future of this republic.

In an interview, Alexander Zhukov, head of the State Duma Budget Committee, tries to predict the future fate of the ruble.

What measures has the Kremlin taken to consolidate its control over information? Press Minister Mikhail Lesin, head of VGTRK (TV); Mikhail Shvydkoi, ORT director general Igor Shabdurasulov; and Ekho Moskvy Radio editor-in-chief Alexei Venediktov answer this question.

The Irkutsk region with Lake Baikal, rich forests, bauxites, hydroelectric power stations and the legendary Baikal Amur Railway does not receive any subsidies from the federal budget. The story looks at the region's profit-making projects with foreign participation, governmental relations with Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov and about the unfavorable ecological situation on Lake Baikal.


In an interview, Georgy Boos, Fatherland-All Russia bloc campaign manager, says in part why the creation of the bloc makes the Kremlin indignant.