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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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


The rehabilitation of the Chechen oil sector will make huge profits for certain oil companies. Acting President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree appointing Rosneft to coordinate all restoration and construction work within Chechnya's oil infrastructure. Rosneft has already received over 100 million rubles for this.

Russia is on the brink of expulsion from the Council of Europe. As the council's leadership has changed its stance over Chechnya, Russian diplomats have again to prove that the Russian view and human rights are compatible. Also covered by Kommersant Daily, Izvestia and Vremya MN.

With the appointment of General Vyacheslav Tikhomirov as commander of the Air Force troops in Chechnya, acting President Vladimir Putin has attempted to breathe a second wind into the stalled Chechen campaign. The story notes that Putin urgently needs an upturn in the war. Also covered by Kommersant Daily.

An IMF mission arrived in Moscow on Tuesday, and the president of the World Bank is expected to come to Russia within the next week. Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko talks about Russia's negotiations with the international financial organizations. Also covered by Vremya MN.

One story examines the agenda of the Commonwealth of Independent States summit, which opened in Moscow Tuesday. One of the issues is the election of a new chairman of the CIS Council, and no one doubts that Vladimir Putin will be unanimously elected to the post. Also covered by Kommersant Daily, Izvestia and Vremya MN.

Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin on Tuesday was to be awarded the highest order by Belarus for his contribution to furthering Belarus-Russia relations. The ceremony will take place at the Belarussian Embassy in Moscow.

Leaders of the State Duma majority parties and Speaker Gennady Seleznyov on Monday failed to reach a compromise in their negotiations with leaders of a Duma minority who are boycotting the work of the lower house of parliament. Also covered by Kommersant Daily and Izvestia.

The NTV-Plus television company Monday began broadcasting a French channel, TV-5. The story describes the event, focusing on the TV-5 network.

Acting President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine's President Leonid Kuchma on Tuesday were expected to sign a treaty on the additional delivery of 5 billion cubic meters of Russian gas to Ukraine.

Kemerovo Governor Aman Tuleyev speaks about his ideological differences with the Communist Party leadership. He also says what should be done to end the war in Chechnya.

Alexander Burkov, leader of the "Peace. Labor. May" movement in Sverdlovsk, intends to join the presidential race. The story describes the movement and its leader.

Many apartment blocks and businesses in Primorye have been left without heating and electricity due to a breakdown at the Primorskaya electric power station, the second in the past 10 days.

After a 15 percent increase in bread prices in Ukraine, authorities have launched an experiment on system of electronic bread cards. The story reveals the essence of the experiment, which has begun in Odessa.

Tuesday, Jan. 25 is Tatyana's Day - students are celebrating the birthday of Moscow State University and their own holiday. Yury Afanasyev, rector of the State Humanities University, shares his views on the model modern university. Also covered by Izvestia.

The Officers' Center "Ratnik" on Sadovaya-Kudrinskaya Ulitsa, with former Interior Minister Anatoly Kulikov being one of its directors, has been damaged as a result of a fire on Saturday.The story explains why the mass media have failed to report on this accident.


According to a decree, Sergei Shatalov has again been appointed first deputy finance minister after first occupying the post in 1997. The story comments on the appointment, noting that this personnel change consolidates the position of Anatoly Chubais.

The "For Human Rights" movement led by Lev Ponomaryov on Monday sent a complaint to the Central Election Commission against acting President Vladimir Putin's initiative group.

Acting President Vladimir Putin on Monday signed a decree for another increase in pensions. Two million pensioners receiving the minimal pension will get an additional 10 percent .

The United States has reacted badly to Russia's decision to restart Mir.

Bislan Gantamirov, commander of the Chechen militia, describes his unit's work, saying that it could have done a lot more if it had received timely and effective support from federal troops.

The Dalenergo board of directors was on Tuesday expected to conduct an extraordinary session in Moscow to endorse an appeal from the company to acting President Vladimir Putin. It contains a proposal to create a government commission to come to the region to discuss the urgent issue of increasing electricity tariffs.

The federal arbitration court of the northwestern district of Moscow on Monday suspended the implementation of a decision canceling the treaty on the founding of the Lomonosov Porcelain Factory . This decision gives foreign shareholders a three-week respite.

LUKoil has bought a controlling interest in the Pressa publishing complex, which is the company's second publishing purchase after buying Izvestia. The story notes that the company now owns the main newspaper printing houses in the country.

A conflict between Almazny Bereg shareholders for control over the Verkhotinsk diamond deposit worsened over the weekend. The Canadian side has resumed court proceedings against its Russian partner, Arkhangelskgeologodobycha. In response, the Russian side has applied to acting President Vladimir Putin for help.

Two leading recording companies - the EMI Group PLC and Time Warner Inc. - on Monday announced their merger. The deal is valued at $20 billion.

Peter Hayer, head of Porter Novelle PR agency, arrived in Moscow on Monday. The aim of his visit is Porter Novelle's decision to enter the Russian market.

Camel and Winston cigarettes, the most popular brands in the world, are to be produced in Russia, according to JT International.

The Moscow City Duma has passed on first reading a draft bill concerning animals. The story looks at the bill's major provisions.

The commission for the canonization of Tsar Nicholas II has for the first time found that there are no obstacles for the canonization of the Russian tsar.



The story offers new facts about the recent spying scandal in Poland, as a result of which Polish authorities decided to expel nine Russian diplomats from the country.

An exhibition "The Family of Vladimir Ulyanov [Lenin]" has opened in Gorki Leninskiye, which is 30 kilometers from Moscow. The story features its interesting exhibits.

Anatoly Kucherena, director of the Argument lawyers' bureau, examines three serious obstacles in the way of Russian democracy.

In an interview, State Duma Deputy Viktor Chernomyrdin shares his views on the behavior of the Duma minority, a so-called parliament in exile. He also speaks about reasons behind his party's defeat in the recent parliamentary elections and about his attitude toward acting President Vladimir Putin.

Theater critic Grigory Zaslavsky examines several serious reasons behind failures of the Moscow Pushkin Theater.

The military operation in Chechnya is coming to an end. It's hard to believe that Russian leaders will soon state an end to fighting there - either at the end of February or early in March. Moscow is working over variants of political settlement for the Chechen conflict.


The State Duma, parliament's lower house, has entrusted Deputy Vladimir Zhirinovsky with presenting Russia's interests on the international arena - he actually heads a Russian delegation attending a session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France. The story reports on how this fact may negatively affect Russia's international prestige.

In an interview, North Ossetian President Alexander Dzasokhov says he maintains contacts with Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov and he supports the idea of holding Russian-Chechen negotiations.

The conflict between Yukos and part of its shareholders from its daughter enterprises around the exchange of shares is not over. A major opponent of the exchange is Troika-Dialog. The story details the conflict.

The story reports on how Moscow journalist Svetlana Markova tried to find a baby-sitter and failed to do it.


The Siberian Chemical Combine, part of the structure of the Nuclear Power Ministry, and Group Alyans have signed an agreement on handing over to GA a controlling package of stock in the Tomsk Petrochemical Combine, which is on the brink of bankruptcy. In an interview, Group Alyans head Ziya Bazhayev says what they will do with this enterprise.

Economic analyst Otto Latsis examines and comments on different pessimistic prognoses for Russia's economic development that have been offered by authoritative Russian and foreign economists.


According to information from the Central Election Commission, the number of presidential candidates has reached 20. The story offers the most interesting ones.

A snow storm and a wind that hit Sochi over the weekend have inflicted huge damage to the area. The story describes serious consequences of the natural disaster.

In an interview, Bislan Gantamirov, commander of the new Chechen militia units, assesses the actions of the federal troops in Grozny and the sentiments of Chechen gunmen.

On Tuesday, all Russian students were to have celebrated Tatyana's Day, a holiday marking the opening of Moscow State University in 1755. Also covered in Moskovsky Komsomolets.

The story looks at errors made by acting President Vladimir Putin, who, as the story stresses, is playing not according to his rules, but according to the rules of former President Boris Yeltsin's team.

Politicians are often seen visiting churches, which has become an obligatory aspect of public life today. And no one is surprised at seeing politicians leaving the church and immediately starting to sling mud at one another. Who then are such people? In an interview, writer and feature journalist Zoya Krakhmalnikova, a research associate at the Institute of World Literature who in Soviet times suffered a great deal because of her faith, shares her views on the problem.

The story features a Russian boy, Misha Yepifantsev, who lives in Grozny and, at the age of 8, lost both legs in 1995 during the first Chechen war. Misha has received effective aid from Sweden, where he was invited for treatment and rest, but the Russian government has paid him only 83 rubles and 49 kopeks. The story also says what rights Misha, in his present state, would enjoy in Sweden if he were a citizen.

Political analyst Maria Berda reflects on the possible political fate of acting President Vladimir Putin if his rival in the presidential race were Yevgeny Primakov or Grigory Yavlinsky, rather than Communist Gennady Zyuganov, with whom it's easy to come to an agreement. Also covered in Noviye Izvestia.


The flu epidemic has hit the Moscow region. The number of flu patients in Moscow in the last week alone has reached 100,000, out of whom 43 percent are children.

Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov on Monday appointed new prefects for the city's administrative districts. The story gives their names.

Zoologists have registered an unprecedented death rate among hares in central Russia. Between February 1999 and January 2000 their population has decreased almost 10 times.

The story reports on how first Russian President Boris Yeltsin is enjoying his life as a pensioner by going hunting. Last week he killed two elks in Zavidovo.


Will the State Duma 'minority' - the Union of Right Forces, Fatherland-All Russia and Yabloko factions - be able to make the Duma majority reconsider its decisions? In an interview, Irina Khakamada, a co-leader of the Union of Right Forces, speaks about their coalition, focusing on its fate after the parliamentary crisis ends.

The story features the Unity faction in the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, and its possible fate, which, as many political analysts say, may be similar to that of Our Home Is Russia, which lost its authority when Viktor Chernomyrdin quit his post.

The story gives similarities and differences between the pre-revolutionary Russian Duma and the post-Soviet State Duma.

In his first interview as a presidential candidate, suspended Prosecutor General Yury Skuratov explains why he has decided to run for the presidency.

Two stories feature acting President Vladimir Putin's work in the East German secret intelligence service as a Soviet agent in 1987. Vladimir Kryuchkov, former chief of the KGB, dismissed information about his former contacts with Putin, and Markus Wolf, former chief of the East German intelligence service, does not remember the Soviet officer, Putin, by name.

In an interview, former Interior Minister Anatoly Kulikov, who was commander of the federal troops in the first Chechen war in 1995, says that Russia's anti-terrorist operation in Chechnya has turned into a real war, which will last for a long time.

An independent public group that may help settle the situation in the Chechen republic has been created in Moscow. The group, comprised of former Chechen economic executives, government officials, businessmen and scientists, is headed by Abdullah Bugayev, vice president of the Chechen government in 1995 and 1996. The group has sent a letter to the government of Russia with its proposals to stop the war. The story examines the content of the letter.

The Interior Ministry, at its recent enlarged collegium, summed up the results of its activities in 1999. The story cites figures on the number of registered crimes linked to illegal arms sales, the illegal funneling of capital abroad, embezzlement and bribery.

The story highlights the difficult fate of Josef Stalin's personal library, which may tell a lot about its owner.

The History Museum has presented to the public an electronic Women's Russian Calendar 2000, which features the great role Russian women have played in the history of their country. The story describes the event.

VEDOMOSTI (25/1/2000)

The Russia's Regions bloc is the first from the State Duma 'minority' to return to the Duma session hall. The story explains why the process started with this faction.

The Bakovsky Factory of Rubber Items has decided to resume production of balloons in Russia, which was suspended four years ago. The factory plans to invest 400,000 rubles in the project.

Arthur Andersen, one of the "Big Five" companies, has announced the creation of a $500 million fund to invest in companies just beginning to work with the Internet.

The Group of Seven leading industrial nations meeting of finance ministers and heads of central banks in Tokyo, focused on the West's relations with Russia in the light of the Chechen developments.

What did Lawrence Summers, U.S. finance secretary , speak about at the recent Group of Seven leading industrial nations meeting of finance ministers and heads of central banks? The story also features the G-7 statement on the results of the meeting.

Who will become the new executive director of the International Monetary Fund? Six economists and economic analysts share their viewpoints on the issue.

What results could be expected from the Commonwealth of Independent States summit that opens Tuesday in Moscow behind closed doors? The story focuses on several bilateral meetings.

Federation Council speaker Yegor Stroyev commented on Russia's position at the current PACE session and its proposal to expel Russia from the assembly, saying: " It's an open challenge to Russia."

On Jan. 31, acting President Vladimir Putin is expected to preside over a session of the commission on Russia's military and technological cooperation with foreign countries. The story looks at successes of domestic arms exporting companies last year.

First Deputy Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov announced Monday the appointment of Sergei Shatalov, a partner of the PricewaterhouseCoopers consulting company, to the post of deputy finance minister - Shatalov quit the post in 1998. In an interview, Shatalov talks about his tasks and duties.


Two giants in the world of music - Time Warner and EMI Group - announced a merger Monday to create the Warner EMI JV - estimated at almost $20 billion. Its share in the world market is about 27 percent.

LUKOIL has bought about 60 percent of shares of the Moscow Pressa Publishing House.

The commission headed by Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko said Monday that the proposals by the Fuel and Energy Ministry on lowering the export duties on liquefied gas from 60 euros down to 20 euros per ton were unacceptable. In the commission's opinion , the budget should receive not less than 60 euros per exported ton.

SIDANKO creditors decided Monday to halt the bankruptcy of the company and signed an agreement. On Friday, the Arbitration Court of the Moscow region is expected to approve the creditors' decision and officially lead SIDANKO out of bankruptcy. Its board of directors headed by BP AMOCO vice president Norman Stanley will resume office.

In their struggle for control over the Lomonosov Porcelain Factory in St. Petersburg, foreign shareholders have won a second small victory over the past five days. The Arbitration Court's October ruling, which stated the factory's assets had to become state property, was suspended Monday.

A group of British companies, including the London international exchange of financial futures and options, plans to open a non-exchange market on the Internet on March 1.

Bank Austria Kreditanshtalt, the Russian daughter of the leading Austrian bank, announced Monday an opening of its fourth branch in Moscow. Austrian banks are expanding their business in Russia.

The Medtronic company, specializing in the production of electronic cardio-stimulators, together with Microsoft and international Business Machines, has begun work on a project that will allow people suffering from heart problems to send information from their cardio-monitors to cardiologists over the Internet.

The American company, Prudential Real Estate Investors, has published a report on the reliability of capital investment in real estate in different countries, as compared with the United States. Russia is at the top of the list of the most risky and, at the same time, the highest profit-making real estate markets in the world.