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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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

SEGODNYA (20,22/5/2000)

The presidential representatives in the seven newly-announced federal districts will begin to exercise their duties on April 1, 2001 when the new Federation Council is formed. This is stated in an explanatory note to the draft bill (cited here) concerning the procedure of forming the FC, which President Vladimir Putin submitted to the State Duma on Friday. Duma presidential representative Alexander Kotenkov stated that the president's initiatives in no way limit the governors' interests and are in full compliance with the Constitution. The story comments on the document, stating how in reality it will affect the governors' powers. Also covered in Kommersant Daily and Komsomolskaya Pravda

Law-enforcement officers Friday launched the second stage of their operation against the Media-MOST holding - this time against its private MOST Security Service agency. The story describes the operation, its aims and results.

The story reports on several new appointments in the new cabinet, focusing on the traditional character of President Vladimir Putin's personnel policy, despite all expectations.

In an interview - his first one in this post - newly-elected President of Taiwan Chen Shui-Byan describes the current Taiwan-Russia relations as stable, focusing on his intentions to expand them in several spheres, science and advanced technologies above all, and increase investment in the Russian economy.

The Primorsky Regional Court on Friday indicted several local high-level Interior officials (their names and posts are cited) for abusing power and fabricating criminal proceedings against former Vladivostok Mayor Viktor Cherepkov. The story features the case, its winner and losers. Also covered in Kommersant Daily and Komsomolskaya Pravda.

At the founding congress on Saturday, the Union of Right Forces, or SPS, election bloc was to be transformed into an all-Russian public and political organization. The story looks at several documents to be adopted by the congress and changes in its leadership. Also covered in Vremya Novostei.

The Moscow Arbitration Court on Friday announced its ruling to ban the Press Ministry planned auction of the No. 3 TV Channel until it considers a suit lodged by the TV Center channel. The story gives details. Also covered in Kommersant Daily and Vremya Novostei.

An unidentified bandit Thursday poured sulfuric acid on Natalya Rudenko, 55, First Deputy Head of the "Sheremetyevsky" territorial administration in the Northeastern District of Moscow. The story describes how it happened. Also covered in Kommersant Daily and Moskovskii Komsomolets.

A new version of the "I Love You" computer virus has appeared on the Internet. Specialists believe that it will not impose a serious threat to Russian users. The story describes the virus, its effects and possible consequences.

Former military prosecutor of Chechnya, Vakha Murtazaliyev, Chechen leader Aslan Maskhadov's comrade-in arms, was detained Friday on charges of participating in illegal armed formations.The story gives details.

The Stockholm Arbitration Court has sequestrated $60 million of accounts of several organizations linked to the Russian state. The decision was made to ensure a suit lodged by the Swiss NOGA firm. Sequestrated accounts included those of the Central Bank and of several joint stock companies with state-owned capital. The story comments on the court's decision. Also covered in Kommersant Daily.

Commentary is made regarding the newly-appointed Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov's recent statement that the "further consolidation of the ruble does not meet the interests of the Russian economy."

A profit-making type of electronic commerce - inter-corporate deals through the Internet - the so-called business-to-business trade - is for the first time gaining its boost in Russia. The PriceWaterHouseCoopers consulting company and the computer corporation Oracle on Friday announced their joint initiative to create branch-trading grounds in the Runnet. The story details the project.

The Finance Ministry's overall debt to the Central Bank as of Jan. 1, 2000 amounted to 421.66 billion rubles (around $14.9 billion), against 265. 818 billion rubles for the same period last year.

President Vladimir Putin has rejected amendments to the draft bills submitted by the government to the State Duma concerning reforming the banking system. Pavel Medvedev, head of the Duma Credit Organizations Committee, explains the situation around these legislations.

Two officials from the Prosecutor General's Office (their names are given) arrived in Switzerland on Sunday to take part in a session of heads of Russian and Swiss prosecutor's offices. They will discuss issues pertaining to their cooperation in investigating several criminal cases, including the Aeroflot case with oligarch Boris Berezovsky linked to it. The story gives details of the case, explaining why the Prosecutor General's Office is unwilling to consider it now.

A scandal may erupt at the annual World Congress of the PEN-Club, which will open in Moscow on May 23. A delegation from the German PEN-Center intends to raise a question on the Chechen war and a complicated situation with human rights in Russia. The story comments on the issue.

The story describes a powerful fire that broke out Friday in the artillery storages of military unit 71403, located on 159 Chelyabinskaya Ulitsa in St. Petersburg. And only today could firefighters get to the place. Also covered in Vremya Novostei.

Education Minister Vladimir Filippov, who has retained his post in the new Cabinet, stated Sunday the need to reform the existing educational system. He said that the government is already working out a new education strategy that will cover both secondary schools and the system of a higher education. The story comments on the minister's statement.

Three guards were killed yesterday at night in the shop "Million Small Items" on Ulitsa Prishvina in the Moscow neighborhood Bibirevo. The story details the case.

The State Duma Budget Committee today is expected to discuss two government notations concerning the second part of the Tax Code - imposing the single rate (13 percent) of the income tax and prospects of the single social tax, which will combine all current deductions to the non-budget funds (their number is four today) The story examines possible debates during the discussions.


The Communications Ministry's License Commission on Friday provided Moscow city and region with a license - the third one - for delivering mobile communications services in the GSM 900/1800 standard. The Sonic Duo company - the Finnish Sonera Corp. and Tsentralny Telegraph joint venture - intends to invest $300 million to boost the network and organization in the production of mobile telephones. These plans may drastically change the situation in the Moscow cellular communications market. The story comments on the project. Also covered in Vremya Novostei.

The story examines the following aspects of President Vladimir Putin's new political power system - i.e. presidential representatives in the seven federal districts - from the point of view of its ability to work effectively and in harmony with local governors, the Kremlin administration, the government, the military-industrial complex, etc.

The story reveals the essence of three draft bills on reforming the state power system, which President Vladimir Putin submitted to the State Duma on Friday. The documents will bring more trouble than joy to governors, the story concludes.

In a short interview, former First Deputy Prime Minister Yury Maslyukov, head of the State Duma Committee on Industry, Construction and Science-Consuming Technologies, shares his views on the newly-appointed Cabinet.

The Federal Security Service has found one of the most powerful sponsors of the Chechen rebels - the International Islamic Charity Organization, Al-Haramein Islamic Foundation. The story describes its activities. Also covered in Komsomolskaya Pravda.

Deputy Prosecutor General Vasily Kolmogorov has ordered to resume the criminal proceedings against the Atoll private security agency, which investigators view as oligarch Boris Berezovsky's special service. Three months ago the case was suspended and now State Duma deputies have made prosecutors resume it. The story details the case.

The St. Petersburg Taksofony company Friday announced its joint venture with Svyazinvest - the National Taxophone Network. The story comments on the deal.

The first Internet shop in Europe has gone bankrupt. The investors of the British company trading in sport clothes refused to fund it.

The Cinematography Committee, Goskino, has not been included in the structure of the new government. Its functions have been handed over to the Culture Ministry. The story explains the latest developments and appointments.