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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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


Former Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, the main rival of Vladimir Putin in the presidential campaign, stated Friday that his final decision was not to take part in the presidential elections. The story says how Primakov explained his decision. Besides, the Kremlin administration has prepared drafts of constitution amendments on prolonging the presidential term of office up to 7 years . This is allegedly Putin's initiative. The story comments on the issue. Also covered in Kommersant Daily, Vremya MN and Komsomolskaya Pravda.

The Security Council, at its session presided over by Vladimir Putin, on Friday endorsed the draft of the new military doctrine, which views NATO member-states as partners rather that potential adversaries. The document, though retroactively, has introduced a legal provision on the anti-terrorist operation in Chechnya. The story looks at major articles of the document. Also covered in Kommersant Daily.

The Our Home Is Russian movement held a congress on Friday when its leaders Viktor Chernomyrdin and Vladimir Ryzhkov admitted their failures. In an interview Vladimir Ryzhkov speaks about their "strange" position in the Unity faction.

Federal authorities are likely not to have any information about the fate of Radio Liberty correspondent Andrei Babitsky. Late last week they failed to answer U.S. official inquiries about the correspondent's whereabouts. In conclusion, the story offers two scenarios, saying how the situation may further develop. Also covered in Kommersant Daily, Vremya MN, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Noviye Izvestia and Moskovsky Komsomolets.

Political analyst Mikhail Berger sharply criticizes Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev for his recent pronouncement saying that Sergeyev has at least 9 journalists in reserve whom he is willing to exchange for one soldier of the federal troops .Also covered in Noviye Izvestia.

After his Friday meeting with First Deputy Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov and Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko, Gazprom head Rem Vyakhirev stated that the question about the company's division into two parts is nonexistent. Though, the story notes, only a couple of days ago Vyakhirev spoke about Gazprom's breakup as an already solved matter. The story concludes that , in experts' opinion, Vyakhirev had conducted a kind of a propaganda "special" operation. Also covered in Kommersant Daily and Komsomolskaya Pravda.

A very valuable 15th century icon, Boris and Gleb, which was stolen in 1991 and taken abroad, was returned Friday to research associates of the Ustyug Local Lore Museum in the Vologda region. The story reports how a German collector had bought the masterpiece and returned it to its native land.

German and Austrian stock exchanges announced their plans to create a new electronic ground, which will specialize only in securities of companies from East European countries, Russia included. The story reports how the head of the Russian Stock Exchange, Dmitry Ponomaryov, commented on the event.

NASA head Daniel Goldin stated Thursday that the U.S. Space Agency will launch its own working module to the International Space Station if Russia is unable to do it by July. The story comments on Goldin's angry warning, saying that previously he supported Russia's participation in the international space project.

Tax Minister Alexander Pochinok stated how he envisions the modernization of the existing tax system, which has already begun. First Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Shatalov examined four main problems on the taxes. Also reported in Kommersant Daily.

The idea of stronger influence on prices in raw material market is being lobbied by the Anti-Monopoly Policy Ministry, which has, with several other ministries, prepared drafts of government resolutions on creating exchanges for trade in oil and oil products, metals, timber and so on.

Minister Ilya Yuzhanov has stated that the Anti-Monopoly Policy Ministry intends to interfere in the situation in the financial market. This right was provided to the Ministry by the law on defending competition in the market of financial services, which took effect on Dec. 29. A government resolution that will legalize all the duties of the Ministry will appear this month.

After the blast in the Moskovsky Komsomolets office six years ago that killed journalist Dmitry Kholodov, the leader of the investigative group of the Prosecutor General's Office, Yevgeny Bakin, has at last submitted the case to the Moscow District Military Court. Although suspect Colonel Pavel Popovskikh's two-year jail term ended Friday, the number of gray areas has not decreased. The story details the case. Also reported in Kommersant Daily.

A group of terrorists in Afghanistan on Saturday hijacked a Boeing-727 jet with 151 passengers on board. Foreign ministries and special services of member nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States were thrown into a panic, since there was no information where the jet would fly and land. The story details the incident. Also covered in Vremya MN.

Acting President Vladimir Putin on Sunday stated that Grozny had been liberated from Chechen rebels. Former Interior Minister Anatoly Kulikov commented on Putin's statement, doubting the federal troops' successes.

The Union of Right Forces faction late last week submitted to the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, its own version of the draft land code. The story examines its major provisions.

The Sixth Congress of Russian Pediatricians opened in Moscow on Sunday. The story offers terrible statistical figures on the nation's infant mortality rate, which could have been improved if medical aid were provided on time. This issue will be the focus of the congress.

On Feb. 15, millions of young people, married couples and friends will be celebrating St. Valentine's Day. The story describes different presents Muscovites are lining up to buy, focusing on the most interesting ones .

Limousine companies in Moscow make a tidy profit renting out luxury cars and drivers. The story describes their services and prices.

Several Moscow railway-station authorities have mounted special equipment allowing passengers to enter the railway platforms. Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov has approved the novelty, though legal authorities say it violates the law.


Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov on Friday endorsed higher tariffs on electricity and heating starting Feb. 1, the tariffs have increased on average by 29 percent. The story gives figures on the new tariffs.

General Alexander Zdanovich, chief of the Federal Security Services assistance-program board, stated that the Russian special services are checking information about the smuggling of $1.5 billion into Russia through Arab and U.S. banks for the purpose of lobbying the interests of Chechen rebels in the mass media. Ten leading editors give their views on the issue.

Renault president Louis Schweitser arrived in Moscow late last week to see how the sale of the company's cars are being frustrated in one single country. The situation may be improved, notes the story, as Moscow authorities are willing to place their dying Moskvich auto factory under French control. Both sides can only gain from this step.

Mobile Telesystems has launched communications services in the metro. The story looks at its plans for the next several months.

ALROSA President Vyacheslav Shtyrov on Friday denied accusations of the company's involvement in contraband diamonds, saying that the emergence of contraband diamonds on the world markets would not be profitable for his company.

Rumor has it that the Ochakovo distillery intends to stop production of the popular soft drink "Gin Tonic." The story describes the real situation.

The Prosecutor's Office in the Rostov region has completed an investigation into the criminal case of a 13-member gang of former law enforcers accused of the numerous kidnappings of children of rich businessmen.

Taganka Theater chief artistic director Yury Lyubimov speaks about his new production, "Chronicles," based on several of Shakespeare's historical chronicles, and his beloved theater.

The Petergof Museum will soon put up an exhibition of Tsar Alexander II's personal belongings , which were bought recently at Christie's for $70,000.

Vladimir Grammatikov, director of the Children's and Teenagers' Film Studio, speaks about his creative plans.