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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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


A 260-vote strong union of KPRF, Unity and People's Deputy's factions, which decided to reserve the right of parliamentary majority, has emerged in the State Duma as a result of long bargaining for commanding posts. This nomenklatura and Communist troika intends to divide the most prestigious posts among themselves, and, according to this scenario, KPRF Central Committee member Gennady Seleznyov is again to become speaker, with Unity member Lyubov Sliska as the Duma's first deputy. Alexander Shokhin, a People's Deputy Group member, comments on the situation.

Our Home is Russia, or NDR, co-leaders Viktor Chernomyrdin and Vladimir Ryzhkov on Monday joined the Unity faction. The story comments on their behavior, saying that not long ago Ryzhkov, a faction head in the former Duma, opposed the merger of Our Home and Unity. Ryzhkov noted in part that, following its leaders, the whole party NDR will merger with Unity by the end of this month.

In an interview Natalya Kagalovskaya-Gurfinkel, former senior vice president of the Bank of New York talks about the investigation of so-called suspicious accounts. She also says what happened in August 1999.

A powerful Atlantic cyclone last night came close to Moscow, which will cause snowstorms, frost and strong winds in Moscow.On Saturday the daytime temperatures are expected to go down to minus 20 degrees Celsius.

The European Union may impose economic sanctions against Russia due to its continuing anti-terrorist operation in Chechnya. This was stated Monday by the press service of the Coordinating Council of Domestic Commodity Producers. The question of sanctions may alreadt be considered on Jan. 24 at a session of EU foreign ministers in Brussels. The story comments on the issue.

State Duma deputies Monday were bargaining for the post of head of the State Duma Bank and Finance Committee, which supervises the activities of the Central Bank. The story discusses several candidates who are vying for the post.

The attempt to make citizens' spending conform with their incomes has already suffered a fiasco since the law, which took effect Jan. 1, does not work. This was stated by the Professional Association of Registrators, Transfer-Agents and Depositors. Its head Pyotr Lanskov comments on the situation.

Relatives of Communist Party high-level functionaries, who are buried at the Kremlin wall, decided to unite with the aim of defending their rights for a "worthy attitude and immunity of burials from discrimination due to political and religious motives." The story examines the aims and plans of this new association.

Serious changes are awaiting the Moscow government: Mayor Yury Luzhkov is to endorse a new structure of city executive power. The story reveals the essence of the Mayor's plan.

The story features a new company - GlaxoSmithKline - which has been created as a result of the recent merger of the British pharmaceutical company Glaxo Wellcome and the British-American company SmithKline Beecham PLC.

OPEC oil-producing countries decided to prolong for an indefinite time the limits for oil extraction, which were imposed in March 1999. The story, commenting on the decision, notes that Russia will benefit from it.

Two foreign diplomats - their names are given - became victims of road accidents in Moscow that took place Sunday. The story describes how the accidents happened.

Russia decided to take part in the election of a new head of the International Monetary Fund. Russian Ambassador to Japan Alexander Panov stated to Japanese mass media that Russia will back the candidacy of Eisuke Sakakibara, former deputy finance minister of Japan.

The Belarussian Interior Ministry late last week launched a sanctioned special operation to confiscate all firearms from the population. The story reveals the essence of the operation.

Political analyst Leonid Radzikhovsky comments on the political aspect of the current war in Chechnya, saying that after Dec. 19 Vladimir Putin did not need it but that it's absolutely impossible to stop it.

The Association of Russian Banks has applied to the Central Bank with a request to revise the demand for increasing the normative of deductions to the Fund of Obligatory Reserves. ARB head Sergei Yegorov believes that imposing the higher normative retroactively and the tough time limits for its fulfillment place the crediting organizations in a hard position and worsen their liquidity.


In an interview First Deputy Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov says in part how he intends to resolve the problem of inadequate budget funding, which, in his opinion, is a key issue today.

Former Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank Konstantin Lubenchenko, ex-chairman of the Council of the Union in the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, has been appointed minister and plenipotentiary representative of the government in the State Duma. The story comments on the appointment.

At the latest KPRF congress, the Communists, despite journalists' expectations, demonstrated their unity and unanimously backed the candidacy of their leader Gennady Zyuganov for the post of president. The KPRF leadership believes that, judging from the results of the State Duma elections on Dec. 19, Zyuganov may win 40 percent of the vote.

The Yabloko Central Council last Saturday decided that Grigory Yavlinsky, like all other candidates to the presidency, should be nominated by a public group of supporters rather than by his party in order to show that he is supported not only by his party but by the public as well.

State Duma deputy Lyubov Sliska who is claiming the post of SD speaker may lose her deputy mandate - Saratov Communists intend to lodge a complaint in the regional court to declare the results of the SD elections in the region illegal. The story describes the conflict.

The benefits of bringing cars to Russia by private persons expired Monday. Now the State Customs Committee and the Economics Ministry expect the new system of auto imports to yield the budget not less than $100 million a year.

Avtoframos, a joint venture of the Moscow government and the French Renault auto giant, will begin to assemble Renault Megane. The story features the project.

In an interview Pavel Sitnikov, head of the Rosagroprom enterprise, shares his views on state orders, noting that they are not always profitable, as many people think.

The Afghan Taliban movement has recognized Chechnya's independence and announced the establishment of diplomatic relations with the government of Aslan Maskhadov. The Chechens now will collaborate with the Taliban and terrorist number one Osama ben Laden who is hiding out in Afghanistan.



The third State Duma Tuesday at its first session will elect a speaker and discuss the distribution of commanding posts in its committees. The story features the program of the session. Also covered in Izvestia and Komsomolskaya Pravda.

The story features the meeting Monday of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe delegation, headed by Lord Russel-Johnston, with acting President Vladimir Putin. The focus was Chechnya and Russia's military action there. Russel-Johnston is leaving for the republic Tuesday to see with his own eyes what is happening there. Also covered in Izvestia.

Editor in chief Vitaly Tretyakov reflects on the fate of acting President Vladimir Putin, focusing on three unpleasant consequences for him March 26.

Chinese and Russian defense ministers have signed a memorandum on mutual understanding and further military cooperation in the spheres of mutual interest. The story describes recent Russian-Chinese negotiations, focusing on the spheres of military cooperation.

Philosopher and feature journalist Viktor Aksyuchits shares his impressions about the results of the recent elections to the State Duma, parliament's lower house, focusing on the presidential campaign and on Vladimir Putin's role in the national awakening of Russia.

In an interview, Communist Yegor Ligachov, who has the honor of opening the first session of the new State Duma, the lower house of parliement, speaks about several main aspects in the legislative work of the Duma, which he will focus on in his address to the deputies.

Acting President Vladimir Putin is selecting staff for his election headquarters and its leader. A group of candidates consists of his comrades-in-arms, with whom for many years he worked in St. Petersburg.

St. Petersburg Governor Vladimir Yakovlev may lose his post this spring - the gubernatorial elections in the city have been scheduled for April 2. The story examines a list of candidates.

In an interview, North Ossetian President Alexander Dzasokhov criticizes federal authorities for the war in Chechnya and the behavior of regional governors after the Dec. 19 parliamentary elections. He also speaks about his attitude toward Vladimir Putin.

In an interview, Vladimir Kazarin, executive director of the Black Sea branch of Moscow State University, talks about Vladimir Putin's promise to speed up the opening of this branch in Sevastopol and about the meaning of the opening of this educational establishment for Moscow University andfor Russia.

In an interview, Anatoly Malofeyev, first deputy head of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Belarussian-RussianUnion, says he believes the union state may help halt the systematic crisis that occurred as a result of the break-up of the U.S.S.R.


Political analyst Andrei Kolesnikov explains why acting President Vladimir Putin does not need the economic forum in Davos, which Russian politicians, who visited the fairy-tale place before him, came to like very much.

A truly new political reality, which can seriously change the economy, has emerged in Russia: For the first time over the past 10 years, the leader of the country is enjoying the support of the public, which means he may demonstrate his incorruptibility and independence on economic elite. The election of the president does not depend on the oligarchs' financial support, hence, they do not place any obligations on the new power.

An outburst of tropical malaria, a rare disease in Russia's central regions, has been registered in Vladimir, central Russia, where 16 people were hospitalized with the disease.

Specialists in the Justice Ministry have prepared a draft of the federal law regulating the work of this department. Along with this, Justice Minister Yury Chaika intends to create two new agencies: a legislation board and a board on relations with justice branches in the provinces.

The story features several devoted colleagues with whom acting President Vladimir Putin in 1994 worked inSt. Petersburg and who he may invite to work with him in Moscow.

Rosneft will be responsible for restoring oil extraction in Chechnya. Acting President Vladimir Putin will sign a special decree on handing over to this company the functions of general executive agency for boosting the republic's oil complex after Jan. 20, when a session of the interdepartmental commission on the Chechen fuel and energy complex takes place in Mozdok.

Russia may receive from Iran an order on building another three reactors for a nuclear power station in Bushehr port. This was stated by Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov after his recent meeting with the secretary of Iran's National Security Council, Hasan Ruhani. The story looks at Russia's cooperation with Iran.

In an interview, Moscow metro chief Dmitry Gayev features planned changes, novelties and problems in his agency. He also says how the city metro is protected from terrorists. Gayev mentions the number of annual human losses in the metro - over 100 people - 80 percent of which are suicides.


According to official reports from the Health Ministry, the flu epidemic has hit one Russian city so far - Yekaterinburg. Three hundred and twelve residents, including 12 children, were hospitalized there Monday.

The story highlights the alignment of political forces in the third State Duma, the lower house of parliament,before its first session Jan. 18.

Acting President Vladimir Putin has signed a directive providing Patriarch Alexy II with Federal Security Service guards. Before, the patriarch was guarded by Moscow police. The story comments on the change of the guard.

In an interview, highly regarded Georgian filmmaker Otar Ioseliani talks about his new film, "The Truth in Wine," which European film critics declared the best film of 1999. Also covered in Moskovsky Komsomolets.


In an interview, former State Duma speaker Gennady Seleznyov speaks about the hearty support given to him by his mother, wife, relatives and friends after his recent defeat in the gubernatorial elections in the Moscow region.

Acting President Vladimir Putin promises considerable financial aid, higher wages and pensions, that will help improve the life of the average Russian. The story examines several possible sources for the purpose.

According to the prognosis of the Emergency Situations Ministry, six horrible disasters and misfortunes may hit Russia this year. The story describes them in detail.

At the recent Russia-Kazakhstan negotiations on the fate of the Baikonur cosmodrome, the Kazakh side promised not to interfere in Russia's space matters. In an interview, Alexander Kuznetsov, spokesman for the Rosaviakosmos board, comments on results of the negotiations on Baikonur.

The story features numerous supporters of the idea of national intolerance in Western industrialized countries, focusing on the situation in Russia.

The story describes a great religious holiday, the Epiphany, which the Russian Orthodox Church will mark Wednesday.


The story describes a conflict between a son and a father in the Moscow Art Theater. Both sides have their own supporters.

The story reports on how the "lying policemen" device on Moscow roads, which arrived here from the West in 1997, has not helped city authorities decrease the number of road accidents.

Czech authorities intend to impose for foreigners new rules of entry, stay and departure from the republic. The story reveals their essence and purpose.

The government has endorsed a new provision on ABC military training for teenagers. The story comments on the document.

Moscow city authorities in the near future plan to toughen sanitary demands for traders in city rynok, or markets, who will have to undergo regular medical examinations. The story reveals the essence of themeasure.

Ten experts answer 10 questions, such as: How do the privileges and duties of the acting president differ from those of the president? Are such alliances as Putin-Primakov, Putin-Zyuganov and Putin-Luzhkov possible and under what conditions? What region in Russia is the richest and what region is the poorest? What is known about Putin's economic program?


In an interview, General Georgy Shpak, 57, commander of the airborne troops, and one of the most popular and respected generals in the Russian army, tells the truth about those soldiers and officers fighting in Chechnya. Many of them are sent there against their wishes.

The story explains why former NATO Secretary- General Javier Solana, chief coordinator of the European Union on foreign policy and security, has changed his stand on Chechnya. Solana has made an unexpected statement in Madrid, Spain, in which he said he opposes the European Union's interference in the Russian-Chechen conflict.

Whether or not Vladimir Putin is willing to conduct realistic reform will be clear when the government and the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, begin to work jointly over a package of "market" laws. So far, as a result of the recent parliamentary elections, power supporters and practical workers of market reform have found themselves in different camps. Political scientist Iosif Diskin comments on the issue.

Acting President Vladimir Putin has opened a new chapter in the dramatic history of church-state relations in Russia. The story gives several facts to illustrate the point.

In an interview, Vladimir Shevchenko, head of the president's protocol service, who worked both with Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin, shares the secrets of his skills.


The Concept of the National Security of Russia, approved through the presidential decree of Dec. 17, 1997.