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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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

SEGODNYA (1/3/2000)

The Moscow Prosecutor General's Office has instituted criminal proceedings against three candidates - Samara governor Konstantin Titov, businessman Umar Dzhabrailov and former security official Yevgeny Savostyanov - competing in the March 26 presidential elections. They are accused of allegedly producing fake voter signatures to qualify for the race. Their election campaign headquarters assure that the Prosecutor General's Office is meeting the Kremlin's political order. The story comments on the case. Also covered in Kommersant Daily and Vremya MN.

In a short interview Radio Liberty correspondent Andrei Babitsky, who was released from a Dagestani prison and came back home in Moscow, talks about his present status and about his plans. Also covered in Kommersant Daily and Vremya MN.

Press Minister Mikhail Lesin announced the Kremlin's post-election plans in relation to electronic mass media. He stated that the broadcasting licenses of ORT and TV Tsentr, which expire in March and May respectively, will not be prolonged automatically. The story comments on Lesin's statement. Also covered in Kommersant Daily, Vremya MN and Izvestia.

The story examines decisions and conclusions of the Fuel and Energy Ministry's extended collegium, which Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko called "usual" on the one hand and "unusual" on the other hand and his role in it "dangerous and difficult." Also covered in Kommersant Daily and Vremya MN.

Acting President Vladimir Putin must know, the story notes, that he has an "acting sister" in Tbilisi Sofiko Osepashvili, who is two years younger than her "brother" Volodya. The story comments on Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze's response to all Putin's "relatives" in Tbilisi. On Friday Segodnya features Putin's "mother" Vera Putina living in the Metekhi village.

The computer problem - 2000 yesterday caused several computer breaks due to the leap year The story details the problem. Also covered in Kommersant Daily.

Jerusalem announced the publication of a 1,300 page diary by Nazi criminal Adolf Eihman, who was executed in 1962. Until now the diary, which Eihman wrote in an Israeli prison, had been practically closed to researchers. The story describes the publication.

Estonia's security authorities yesterday made public the names of 24 KGB officials, who took part in repressive actions in Soviet Estonia.

In an interview political scientist Leonid Ionin, dean of the Political Science Department in the Higher School of Economics, shares his views on the upcoming political period in Russia, saying that it should be a "radical turning point."

Moscow in the near future may be left without public buses since more than 30 percent of the 5,200 city buses are old and "Mosgortrans," as its head Alexander Ulyanov says, has no money to buy new ones. The story details the problem.

Five world leading auto giants (their names are given) have announced their intention to take part in an auction to sell the South- Korean "Dew Motors" company.

The present Moldovan government decided to boost ecological technologies in agriculture. The previous government last year also planned to overload Europe with ecologically clean and the world's best tomatoes but its project failed. The story comments on Kishinev's plans.


The elections of the IMF head have unexpectedly led to a real war between the U.S. and Western Europe. The story looks at the current disquieting situation with the elections. Also covered in Vremya MN.

The Interior Ministry is verifying information concerning presidential candidates' income and property declarations. Thus, the declaration of acting President Vladimir Putin's wife has no mention of a house. Putin's election HQ, however, does not view it as a violation of the election legislation.

Chechens and human rights activists call the Chernokozovo investigation detention center a real concentration camp because of alleged tortures and mass killings of convicts there. The story gives concrete facts to illustrate the point.

Deputy Prime Minister Valentina Matviyenko stated that she is willing to take part in the St. Petersburg gubernatorial elections scheduled for May 14. The story notes that the acting governor, Vladimir Yakovlev, will not be reelected.

A new scandal is erupting between Moscow and Kiev: Ukrainian authorities have blocked the bank accounts of the Black Sea Fleet units located in Feodosia and Sevastopol. This step by Kiev has led to a complete financial blockade of Russian marines.

Though Moscow's negotiations with the Paris Club have not officially started, Moscow's request that part of its Soviet-era debt ($38 billion) be written off has already been rejected. The story comments on the issue.

Igor Kostikov, newly appointed head of the Federal Securities Commission, intends to launch personnel reshuffles. The story gives several names of officials who could be fired.

The government in the near future is expected to chose a metallurgical plant to launch a production of special large pipes for Gazprom. Several metal combines wish to get a contract.

Thanks to Inkombank acting manager Vladimir Alekseyev's efforts, the Federal Securities Commission will not register an additional printing of "Babayevsky" shares. The story examines measures taken by Alekseyev to ban an additional emission of Babayevsky's shares.

In an interview Central Bank official Maxim Krayushkin explains why the Central Bank worked for the liquidation of Inkombank.

New Gokhran securities will emerge in the market in the near future. The story describes "Koryakgeoldobycha" as their first possessor.

The price of a bottle of beer will increase by 10 to 15 percent in a month. The story looks at factors that will cause beer price hikes.

The most prestigious Geneva International Motor Show opened yesterday. The Russian Moksvich auto factory was refused participation.

Vladimir Putin has signed two government decrees canceling the need to receive special permission for mobile telephones. The story comments on the documents.


The story sarcastically notes that bureaucrats of all levels perceive Vladimir Putin's words or even hints as orders, which cannot be ignored. An examples is the case with Radio Liberty correspondent Andrei Babitsky. The conclusion, however, is that Putin should be very careful, since those who are always ready to oblige his whims may easily trip him up.

NG offers a list of 20 leading politicians in Russia in February. Vladimir Putin, Boris Berezovsky and Alexander Voloshin occupy the first top places. Alexander Komozin, spokesman for the Vox Populi sociological research center, comments on the rating.

The story gives results of the NG Internet opinion poll to see who will be elected the next president of Russia. Grigory Yavlinsky's opinion rating has approached that of Vladimir Putin.

In an interview Kazakhstan's Prime Minister Kasymzhomart Tokayev talks about his country's economic relations with Russia and Western countries.

The NATO council for the first time in post-Soviet history will take place on the territory of the former USSR - in Ukraine - on March 1-2. This event will happen against the background of another crisis in Ukraine's relations with Russia.

The story features the origin and history of pocket calendars in tsarist Russia, classifying them into three groups.

IZVESTIA (1/3/2000)

In an exclusive interview Alvaro Gil-Robles, the human rights commissioner of the Council of Europe, says that his attitude to what is happening in Chechnya did not change after his visit to the republic. He shares his impressions about his trip there.

The story describes an unprecedented case in the history of the Russian defense sector: On Feb. 29 Director of the Verkhnesaldinsk State Chemical Factory Anatoly Nazarenko applied to mass media, which, in his opinion, is the only way to prevent a catastrophe at his super-secret defense enterprise making nuclear missiles (despite its official name.) So what has happened at the factory?

On Feb. 29 the Foreign Ministry of Russia called on the OSCE mission in Latvia to take the case of war veteran and antifascist Vasily Kononov under its special control. Kononov on Jan. 21 was accused by the Riga Regional Court of "war crimes." Along with this, another court trial over pensioner Yevgeny Savenko is continuing in Latvia: He is accused of his involvement in deportations and illegal arrests in Soviet times. Several other former Soviet NKVD and KGB officials, veterans of the antifascist movement in the former Soviet Union, are awaiting court trials in Riga. The story comments on their cases. Also covered in Komsomolskaya Pravda.

Two rocket-making concerns - Antei and Almaz - will emerge in Russia this week. Extraordinary meetings scheduled for March 2 and 4 will approve the make-up of the new holdings and members of their boards of directors.

The current non-payment crisis is as acute today as never before. Its solution through the bankruptcy procedure attracts several creditors. In an interview Vladimir Dushin, spokesman for the Moscow regional Association of Arbitration Managers, examines this practically new legal institution for the state.


The daytime temperature of plus 4 degrees Celsius in Moscow yesterday has made Feb. 29 the warmest winter day in this century.

Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko met with highly regarded Russian figure-skating coach Yelena Chaikovskaya and her pupil world champion-98 Julia Soldatova to discuss a project of creating a figure-skating school in Belarus.

The story reports on how all higher schools in Primorye are violating the students' rights. This was stated by the Primorye Prosecutor's Office.


Political analyst Sergei Chugayev focuses on Vladimir Putin's major political priorities.

Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov, presidential candidate Number 2, has submitted his income and property declaration. As it has turned out, Zyuganov has a one-room apartment in Kemerovo, which a party functionary after his death left him together with his bank accounts. The story describes the apartment and its new owner.

American citizen Duglas Bois, 33, has become director-general of the Lomonosov Porcelain Factory in St. Petersburg. The story describes how it happened.

The story reports on how sociologists using the latest results of their research assess the chances of presidential candidates in the upcoming elections.


The Kremlin gave Mayor Yury Luzhkov to understand that it's in his interests to call on 6 million Muscovites to vote for the Kremlin candidate in the presidential elections on March 26. The story describes Luzhkov's serious problems.

A leading specialist in the West in the economy of East European countries Anders Oslund, economic adviser to the Russian government (in 1991-1994), witnessed how the market foundation was formed in Russia then. He shares his impressions.

The military operation in Chechnya is nearing completion . The question is what comes next? How to resolve a century-long contradiction between the Chechens's thirst for independence and Russia's logical wish to preserve the republic as its party and thus evade the country's break-up? Eight politicians share their viewpoints on the issue.

Over the past 4 years Saratov governor Dmitry Ayatskov was diligently earning a reputation of the most market-oriented governor and, along with this, he has managed to turn his region into a "preserve" of developed socialism (cheapest bread and vodka in Russia) The story describes how he did all this.

In an interview Vladimir Kozhin (Putin's friend), a newly appointed head of the Kremlin economic affairs directorate (upravleniye delami presidenta) talks about his economic "empire."

In an interview Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky talks about his attitude to Vladimir Putin, (saying that he is his political opponent, though he likes Putin's personal qualities), to the Chechen war and about confidence of his victory in the presidential elections.


The story reflects on possible chances of Samara Governor Konstantin Titov to take up the post of vice president if Vladimir Putin wins the presidential elections.


The State Duma Property Committee has approved the government's initiative to revoke from the State Duma a draft of the state privatization program. The story explains why the government decided to revoke it.


March 1 marks five years since Vladislav Listyev, ORT Director-General, was murdered on the staircase of his apartment house on Novokuznetskaya Ulitsa. The story features two main versions of this murder.

Karachayevo-Cherkessia, which has trusted its deputy's mandate to oligarch Boris Berezovsky, may revoke its deputy because he has failed to keep his promises.

City archaeologists have found in the Moscow region one of the most ancient stone axes in the world - it was made about 9,000 years ago.

The story offers a political portrait of Viktor Gerashchenko, head of the Central Bank, who possesses excellent qualities of professional banker.

TRUD (1/3/2000)

The story reports on how a 12-year old girl was kidnapped and taken away to the USA to be sold to an American family.