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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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


"The Prosecutor General's Office has not only failed to reform its structure- it has managed to fully preserve its organization and the duties formed by Stalin to comply with the needs of the one-party state." This is stated in a letter sent at the end of last year by Vice-Chairman of the Supreme Court Vladimir Radchenko to former President Boris Yeltsin. The story comments on the message focusing on acute problems of judiciary reform, above all, lack of restructuring in the prosecutor agencies.

The State Duma Budget Committee in a couple of days intends to discuss amendments to the Law on the audit chamber. In accordance with its head Sergei Stepashin's proposals, his agency's powers may be considerably extended, above all, in controlling the budget process. The story examines the proposed duties.

First Deputy Energy Minister Alexander Kochnev on Monday accused former plenipotentiary representative in Chechnya Nikolai Koshman of abusing power. Kochnev stated that Koshman's directive on restoring the functioning of the South Oil Company (YUNKO) in Chechnya and renaming it "Grozneft" was illegal. As a result, the Chechen administration sold oil without a license and at a reduced price. In an interview Yakuba Deniyev, First Acting Deputy Head of the Chechen Administration, sheds light on the situation. The story comments on the issue.

US President Bill Clinton on June 19 lifted economic sanctions against North Korea, which now has acquired the right to export to the USA its raw materials and other goods.

The Tverskoi Inter-Municipal Court today is expected to consider a complaint from a lawyer of Media-MOST head Vladimir Gusinsky about his recent illegal arrest. The hearing was declared closed. The story notes that in Media-MOST's opinion, the Prosecutor's Office may upset the planned procedure.

A six-month major renovation project has been launched in the main book storage section (28 million books and manuscripts) of the State National Library (formerly the Leninka). The $10 million project will be conducted mainly by French firms. The story details the project.

Crime. Lieutenant-General Uruzmag Ogoyev,52, commander of the 11th Air Force Army is suspected of gross financial and economic violations and abuse of power. The story details his case.

The Justice Ministry on Monday registered the political party "Unity". Its co-leader Boris Gryzlov declared its "splendid" aims, promising to make a sort of a "wonderland" out of it.

Dmitry Chvilyov, deputy prefect of Moscow's Southeastern administrative district, was detained on Friday for bribery. The story details his case.

The story reports on how the secret services are using political technologies to track domestic politics, and on the image of President Vladimir Putin that they have managed to shape.

The story gives facts to prove the point that the Kremlin is disgracefully losing the struggle for public opinion. Now, the Kremlin administration is seeking ways of extricating itself of the shameful situation with the "Gusinsky case."

Wine-producers yesterday made an attempt to become a political force- they submitted a draft charter on principles of interaction between alcohol producers and sellers. The story reveals the essence of the charter.

American businessman Denis Tito has signed in Moscow a preliminary agreement with the group commercially exploiting the Mir station. He promised to fully fund his expedition to the station in 2001.

The special government session to discuss the economic program mapped out by the Gref Center for Strategic Planning yesterday was postponed until June 28. Economic analyst Julia Ulyanova explains the major reasons for postponement.


Pavel Rozhkov, who was responsible for the financial-economic issues in the former Sports Ministry, has been appointed head of the State Sports Committee. The story comments on the appointment, focusing on his powers.

In an interview Zurab Samushia, commander of the legendary partisan detachment "White Legion" (viewed in Georgia as a national hero and in Abkhazia as a world terrorist) talks about the aim of his struggle and about his enemies.

The story reports on how a presidential representative in the Privolzhsky Federal District, Sergei Kiriyenko has "perfected" in his own way the presidential decree on creating the federal districts.

Natural disaster. A powerful storm with pouring rain and hail yesterday hit the Volga region, leaving several people dead and injured, and bringing considerable material damage to dozens of cities and villages. The story gives details of the disaster.

The State Customs Committee has intensified control over the American chicken quarterlies imported to Russia. The story examines the latest government measures.

American philanthropist George Soros stated yesterday that he intends to hand over to his eldest son Robert full control of his foundations. The story comments on his statement.

The YelAZ-GM corporation in the near future will launch production of Opel Vectra cars in Yelabuga (Tatarstan). The story examines the company's ambitious plan, explaining why it may be unsuccessful.

The Novolipetsk Metal Combine on Monday announced the withdrawal of its accounts from Rosbank. The story explains its decision and calls the decision "technical."

Aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi held its shareholders' meeting on Saturday. In an interview its head Mikhail Pogosyan talks about its results and about the situation in this aviation design bureau.

LUKoil has launched its program to build a network of 10 filling gas stations in the Kaliningrad region. The first one will be opened in the near future. The story describes the project.

The Vivendi company and the pay TV Canal Plus will buy the Canadian Seagram Co. Group for $30 billion. The story comments on the deal.


The dollar until at least the end of the year will not cost more than 30 rubles. This was stated yesterday during a meeting between Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov and Central Bank Head Viktor Gerashchenko.

Since the latest excise increase, the death toll from using low quality alcohol has risen in the same proportion as "vodka" revenues have risen in the budget. The story features the fierce struggle over new alcohol excises.

Media-MOST head Vladimir Gusinsky believes that his recent arrest will hardly be the last and that the Kremlin will try to select new victims from among the oligarchs.

Economic analyst Semyon Novoprudsky compares the beginning of former President Boris Yeltsin's presidency to the beginning of Vladimir Putin's, focusing on the presidents' economic plans and on the results of these plans.

Will Itera's daughter enterprises be freed from gas excises? Three economic experts share their viewpoints on the issue.

The story features a qualitatively new generation of people that have emerged in Russia over the past years. Economist Mikhail Delyagin, director of the Institute of Globalization Problems, calls it the generation of winners.

The forthcoming reform of the tax and budget systems makes regional governors seek additional sources for their local budgets. The administration in the Tyumen region initiated its own tax reform. Thus, the Regional Duma backed the legislative initiative of Governor of the Yamal-Nenets District Yury Neyelov, who proposed to levy a tax on enterprises' property.

The pro-Moscow leaders of local administrations in Chechnya have requested that President Vladimir Putin order the release of Mufti Kadyrov from the post of head of the Chechen administration.

At the meeting of CIS defense ministers in Moscow on Monday the Russian side tried to find out the other countries' views on such significant issues as the crack-down on terrorism, nuclear security and military-technical cooperation in the sphere of developing a common nuclear defense system.

In an interview Sergei Tarasov, head of "Seta Holding", a leading exporter of linen fabrics from Russia, and an owner of the "Severlyon" linen factory in the Vologda region, speaks about his intention to create a large association of linen enterprises in Russia.


The Novokuznetsk Metal Combine (NkAZ) creditors' meeting is today. NkAZ outside manager Sergei Chernyshov, acting in the interests of Sibirsky Alyuminy Group, has excluded from the register of creditors a considerable part of Kuzbasenergo's debts.

Dresdner Bank and Commerzbank have launched negotiations on a merger. The combined assets of the two banks would equal $772 billion, and together these banks may become the second largest bank in Germany and be amongst the ten largest world banks.

The Moscow Mikromashina Plant, once a leading producer of home electrical appliances in the former USSR, has launched the production of cheap electrical kettles and has quickly outstripped Bosch, DeLonghi, Electrolux and others.

Due to the struggle for control over the Novolipetsk Metal Combine (NLMC), the Interros holding company has incurred considerable losses: thus, the NLMC decided to withdraw from Rosbank (a financial link of Interros) all of its $1.5 billion in working means.

The Nevsky factory, a Russian founder of the ABB Nevsky joint venture, which makes components for turbines, would like to acquire control over the whole enterprise. The story examines its chances.

The story describes what will happen with Gazprom after its head Rem Vyakhirev retires in a year.

The GUTA-Invest company has announced its intention to release 450 million rubles in bonds in preparation to boost Internet projects. The story looks at the market's reaction.

The State Duma credit organizations and Financial Markets Committee have created three commissions with the aim of expressing their position to the submitted draft bills relating to banks with state participation. The story features a description of their duties.

The Moscow Arbitration Court yesterday refused to honor the suit lodged by SBS-Agro depositors, who demanded that he court find the registration of the "Pervoye OVK" Bank illegal.

The Soros Fund Management company has announced its reorganization. The story details the project.

The Federal Securities Commission is taking the firsts steps aimed at halting the violation of American ADR holders' rights. What are these steps?


The Founding Congress of the Communist Party of the Russia-Belarus Union is scheduled for July 15. Oleg Shenin, chairman of the Union of Communist Parties, commented on the new party, noting that it will not split the communist movement of Russia and other former Soviet republics.

At a meeting on June 30, Gazprom shareholders are expected to discuss an amendment to the company's charter concerning an earlier resignation of its leadership. Until recently such a possibility was excluded in principle.

The paper examines three factors explaining why authorities released Vladimir Gusinsky on Friday evening, which undoubtedly became their defeat in one of the main battles. Also, 13 lessons are given for any uprising that may be staged in Russia.

The attempt by several mass media to present the recent arrest of Vladimir Gusinsky as an anti-Semitic act has no ground and sense, a commentator at the paper said.

In an interview, Adygeya's President Aslan Dzharimov talks about the nationalities and language problems in his North Caucasus republic. He also speaks about its economic progress made over recent years.


Israel has tested its own cruise missiles, launched from a submarine in the Indian Ocean. Thus, the story notes, Israel has become the third country (after the United States and Russia) to independently make cruise missiles.

Cheril Pope, the wife of Edmond Pope, who in April was arrested in Moscow on charges of espionage, has arrived in Moscow to help her husband. She intends to meet with several high level state officials.

Unidentified thieves stole over the weekend many valuable exhibits from the Decembrists Museum in Novoselenginsk (Buryatia).

Krasnoyarsk governor Alexander Lebed often uses aircraft though officially he has no such right. And what state officials enjoy this right?


The story features a "military" operation conducted late last week by policemen and officers from the Krasnoselsky Military Registration and Enlistment Office in a dormitory of the Bauman Technical University to register senior students for the army service.

The Russian Orthodox Church is shaping public opinion for the canonization of the last Russian Tsar -- Nicholas II.

Polyanka villager Boris Belov on June 1 caught a rare South American piranya in a local lake.


A green disc, "Omofor," -- a unique key to the human brain -- has been stolen, multiplied in a piratical way and appeared on sale in Moscow radio bazaars. The disc contains psycho music that affects the human brain. The story features the disc and its dangerous effects.


In an interview Moscow School Principal Anatoly Pinsky, an author of the education reform policy at the Gref Center for Strategic Planning, talks about new approaches to the education system, about its new principles, criteria and priorities.

The story reports on how the St. Petersburg "Russkoye Video" television company has unexpectedly become the main trump in a big game between the Prosecutor General's Office and the Media-MOST holding.

In his first interview since the new government Deputy Prime Minister Valentina Matviyenko talks about a new social policy, focusing on several significant aspects.

Professor Vladimir Kvint of the High Business School of Fordham University in New York, a member of board of directors of several American and European companies, makes his prognosis of Russia's economic development offering several effective recommendations.

The story features a 3-day congress, "Assessing the Crimes of Communism," that took place last week in Vilnius, Lithuania and its tough decisions in relation to Russia as the legal successor of the former Soviet Union.

Russia now has two chief rabbis representing indepentently the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia (FEOR) and the Congress of Jewish Religious Associations and Organizations of Russia (KEROOR). The story notes that influential political forces standing behind the election of the "parallel" chief rabbis are probably the same as those standing behind the arrest of Vladimir Gusinsky.


Turkmenistan's president Saparmurat Niyazov decided to create an artificial water reservoir in the middle of the Karakum Desert. The story describes the project.

The J.T.I.-Yelets factory has been a leading tobacco waste processing enterprise in Russia for 15 years. Its director-general Ivan Golovko speaks about its origin and unique products.

In an interview Major-General Leonid Kuznetsov, chief of the law department of the Federal Tax Police Service, talks about people evading taxes and public attitude to them.


Letters from all over the country addressed to President Vladimir Putin go to the Kremlin. The story examines their content.


The story gives a political portrait of Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, who for a short period had made a breathtaking career.