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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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


The Moscow Region Arbitration Court on Friday satisfied vodka distillery Topaz's suit against the local tax inspectorate in Pushkino. The story examines the essence of the conflict.

Gazprom head Rem Vyakhirev decided to defend his friendly Itera corporation from additional taxes. Vyakhirev has sent a letter to Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov asking him to lift natural gas excises from Itera's daughter enterprises.

The Cabinet will discuss Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref's economic development program at its extraordinary session on June 28.

What will the government's economic program look like after all proposals from the Center for Strategic Planning have been taken into consideration? Five economists and financiers share their views on the issue.

Business analyst Mikhail Leontyev reflects on how, in view of recent developments surrounding the Media-MOST holding and its head Vladimir Gusinsky, its political guarantees have considerably increased the holding's capitalization.

More than 100 people were arrested on charges of securities fraud last week in the United States, the largest crime-fighting operation ever. Among those arrested were members of five alleged New York Mafia families.

The story reports on how Vladimir Putin's first success in international affairs contrasted with his first failure in domestic political affairs.

Economic issues dominate the traditional presidential message to the Federation Council (25-30 pages in the 40-page document) to be delivered late this week or at the beginning of next week. The story examines its major sections.

It became clear last week that the State Duma will not be able to pass all chapters of the second part of the Tax Code before it goes into summer recess. This was confirmed by both the government and the State Duma.

The story analyzes results of the fourth Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, which several years ago was called the "Russian Davos."

The emergence of the Russian Aluminum company has become sensation No. 1 on the metals market. In an interview, director Oleg Deripaska predicts domestic aluminum plants will become daughter enterprises of Russian Aluminum this year.

The story features the "Playboy Photo Exhibition," which recently opened at the Manezh Exhibition Hall.

If accusations against Media-MOST owner Vladimir Gusinsky are proved in court the oligarch not only will find himself in jail but also lose his holding, which the story notes is hardly realistic.

Late last week the Agency for Restructuring Credit Organizations, or ARKO, selected agents for restructuring SBS-Agro Bank, with one of them being the KPMG company, a world leader in auditing and consulting. The story tells what other agencies were also selected.

A Luxembourg company, with Austrian Commerzbank and Swedish Telia as its shareholders, has voluntarily "washed away" its controlling stake in the St. Petersburg holding Telecominvest and in addition has agreed to invest $100 million in the holding.

The American ICN Pharmaceuticals corporation late last week revealed plans for its division into three companies. The story comments on the project.

The first shareholders meeting in the history of Ukraine's Nikolayev Alumina Plant has consolidated the position of the Russian Siberian Aluminum at the enterprise. The story looks at its debt problems.

Norilsk Nickel would like to change its strategy on the world market - to reject traders' services and launch its own independent metals trade. The story reveals the company's ambitious plans.

The world oil market is preparing to increase crude oil deliveries in the third quarter. The decision will most likely be made at an extraordinary meeting of OPEC ministers that is scheduled for Wednesday.

Gazprom head Rem Vyakhirev's future fate will depend on how President Vladimir Putin's plans relate to the plans of the head of his administration, Alexander Voloshin.

The final refusal of the government to create a state-owned oil company does not at all mean that Slavneft, ONAKO and Rosneft will soon go private. Their existence as state property suits many companies that would like to buy them.


Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev began his official visit to Russia on Sunday. The story looks at the agenda of his negotiations with President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov.

In an interview, Audit Chamber head Sergei Stepashin talks about the concept of performance and renovation of his agency in the new conditions f a new economic development program and reform of the state power agencies.

The Moscow GAI has summed up results of its work in the first five months of this year. The number of people killed in road accidents increased by 2.3 percent compared to the figure for the same period last year. The story describes a disquieting situation on the city roads.

Lev Chernoi, president of Mobilization and Development, a Russian public association, shares his special views on the recent arrest of Media-MOST head Vladimir Gusinsky, offering a concrete program of action to prevent similar acts.

The story examines the situation in the domestic regional media market, which has seen the emergence of a new force - private media holdings for provincial readers. The story answers the following questions: What know-how ensures the success of provincial editions? Will the federal press be able to endure their growing pressure? What changes on the market of periodicals will be provoked by the reform of the federal power bodies?


Vneshekonombank has issued scholarships to top students from Moscow financial and economic institutes. The story features the event.

The story reports on how Spanish newspapers highlighted first lady Lyudmila Putin by lavishing praise on her during her recent visit to Spain with her husband f President Vladimir Putin.

Health Minister Yury Shevchenko speaks about serious changes in the sphere of health care, above all, in a crackdown on tuberculosis and in the vaccination system.

Four and a half years ago, Chechen terrorists in Grozny attempted to kill Deputy Internal Minister Anatoly Romanov, commander of the MVD Internal Troops in Chechnya. General Romanov has managed to defeat death after being in coma for 18 days. In an interview, his wife Larisa Romanova, who has been taking care of him, talks about her husband.

According to information from the City Sanitary Inspectorate, several dangerous diseases have hit Moscow this summer. The story describes them, offering several recommendations how to evade infections.

Does Moscow need detoxication centers? In an interview, several Interior Ministry officials responsible for these institutions talk about such centers and their patients.

The story features a telephone hotline in Moscow City Hall that receives citizens' complaints against law-enforcement officers. (19,13)


The Clinic of Pain, the first hospital of this kind in Russia, has been opened in Moscow, in which doctors are working on a comprehensive system of alleviating patients' suffering. The story features the clinic and its specialists.


In an interview, Lieutenant General Vladimir Shamanov, 43, the youngest army commander in the North Caucasus, speaks about his strict principles, about his demand for iron discipline in his army, about his views of the war in Chechnya and about his family.

The latest amnesty, thanks to the State Duma's strange mercy, will allow thousands of murderers, corrupt state bureaucrats and bribe-takers to go unpunished. The story gives facts and figures to illustrate the point.

Document. The Statement by the Political Committee of the Russian United Social- Democratic Party, or ROSDP, signed by its leader Mikhail Gorbachev on its attitude toward policy conducted by the new leadership and to the new executive power agencies. Full text.

Political analyst Mikhail Krugov, who analyzes the political situation after the latest elections, notes the military elite that was ousted after the 1991 putsch has returned to supreme power. Thus the military-oligarch union is governing the country today. The formation of the government and the division of the federal military districts with disarming ingenuousness prove this. The author views the recent searches in Media-MOST offices and the arrest of media magnate Vladimir Gusinsky as the opening by the military of the third front.

In an interview, political scientist Viktor Minin gives his arguments, saying that the arrest of the media magnate Vladimir Gusinsky has strongly reduced Vladimir Putin's presidential term.

The newspaper Humanite has printed a report by the state Service of General Security and the results of an investigation by an independent agency specializing in a search of confidential economic information. The common subject of their studies was new Russians' realty in France. The story gives interesting facts.

The story focuses on a failed aim of President Vladimir Putin's recent visit to Spain, which he never made public.


A new agency f the Interdepartmental Commission on Reforming the System of Social Benefits f has emerged in Russia. In an interview, its chairman Alexander Pochinok talks about measures his agency will take in cracking down on a great number of benefits.

In an interview, Akhmad Kadyrov, newly-appointed leader of the Chechen administration, says how he intends to restore a peaceful life in the republic and whether or not its residents are willing to accept it. (1,3)

Lithuania's parliament has passed the law on compensating the losses from the former Soviet occupation of the republic. The latter intends to demand from Russia as the legal successor of the Soviet Union hundreds of billions of dollars for material damage over the 50 years of "Soviet occupation." Kemerovo Governor Aman Tuleyev comments on the issue. (1)

Document. The draft Agreement between Russia and Uzbekistan on the procedure of provisions by Russia to Uzbekistan military grounds for conducting military shooting exercises by Uzbek army and air force units. Full text.

TRUD (17/6/2000)

The story is devoted to so-called office romances, the number of which has considerably increased after perestroika f probably because CPSU punitive agencies have been abolished.


Flamboyant pop star Filipp Kirkorov, known for his brightly sequined costumes, on Friday failed to take part f despite promises f in a Kremlin concert by Israeli pop diva Dana International. Kirkorov explained the reason. In an interview, he speaks about his latest unpleasant incident in Minsk, Belarus, and about his upcoming guest performances in Samara.

Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov on Friday had a secret meeting with the heads of 25 banks. The story describes major issues they discussed. Also mentioned in Nezavisimaya Gazeta and Izvestia.

It has become a tradition to have portraits of presidents in Kremlin and White House office rooms. The story highlights officials who have them in their rooms, though, as the story says, it's not easy to get quality photos of the president.

In an interview, former Vologda regional Governor Nikolai Podgornov, who spent 28 months in jail and was recently released according to the amnesty, speaks with disgust about several prisons he was kept in. Podgornov also shares his views on the issue of removing deputies' immunity that is being heatedly debated today in the Federation Council.

Crime. The number of killings lately has considerably increased in the Moscow region, which has turned into the "territory of death." The story gives several concrete cases to illustrate the point.

"Ekipazh" Group searchers over the weekend made a unique find on the border between the Moscow and Smolensk regions f a Mercedes Benz 290 that was a general staff auto of the Nazi army made not long before World War II. The story describes the find.

Breakthrough in medicine. Doctors in the Research Center of Rehabilitative Medicine and Spar Treatment in Moscow have developed a new method of treating stomach ulcers without surgery. The story gives details.

In an interview, poet Konstantin Vanshenkin, author of the lyrics of many popular Soviet songs, who at the age of 17 volunteered to go to the front, talks about his best songs and about his new poems recently published in LG.


According to a Kremlin source, the decision on Media-MOST head Vladimir Gusinsky's arrest was made by the Kremlin "Family" before Vladimir Putin's visit to Spain, thus making him hostage to the group's provocative plans. The story examines the president's "team" (which lawyer Genry Reznik has called a "furious pack") and further possible developments.

Media-MOST head Vladimir Gusinsky, was unexpectedly released in the evening Friday when it was already dark and when there were no television cameras and reporters. The article comments on the event, answering the question why it was not done in the morning. Also covered in Kommersant Daily, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Komsomolskaya Pravda, MK.

The Russian Statistics Agency reported Friday that the inflation rate over the first 13 days of June amounted to 1 percent, with the price growth over the past week being 0.6 percent. The story explains the inflation growth and the current tendency of ruble depreciation, which is becoming ever more apparent. Story also featured in Kommersant Daily, Vremya Novostei.

The US Senate has actually suspended the implementation of the treaty on restructuring part of Russia's debt ($485 million) to the American government within the framework of the agreements with the Paris Club of Creditors. The reason is the continuing war in Chechnya. The story comments on the issue, focusing on its consequences.

The story features the completion of the first private expedition to the Mir space station, saying that it remains state property, but, starting April, its exploitation has been controlled by the joint venture Mircorp. Also covered in Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Komsomolskaya Pravda.

Head of the GAI Main Board Vladimir Fyodorov announced several serious changes of GAI rules. The story reveals their details. Also featured in Kommersant Daily, Noviye Izvestia, Komsomolskaya Pravda.

The Moscow Inter-Bank Currency Exchange has launched a program "High Technologies" within the framework of the stock sector of the Exchange. The story details the project. Also covered by Kommersant Daily.

Five years ago the federal Alfa Group troops stormed the Budyonovsk Hospital that was captured by commander Shamil Basayev's rebel unit. These tragic events shocked Russia: terrorists, who killed many civilians, were allowed to go unpunished. The story tries to assess these events. In interviews three state officials directly linked to these developments share their views.

The chapter of German Gref's Strategy of Russia's Economic Development on reforming the banking system has caused heated debate, especially the issue of the state's withdrawal of capital from three state-owned banks f Vneshtorgbank, Vneshekonombank and Sberbank. The Central Bank, according to the IMF's demands, is recommended to withdraw from the founders' boards of Russian foreign banks and state-owned banks within Russia. The story examines several ways of reforming the banking system.

Vladimir Malyshkov, head of the Moscow Consumer Market and Services Department, stated that the Moscow government's protectionist measures have resulted in considerable production growth f 15 percent in the first quarter of this year. A brief commentary.

A story examines a new project of the <i>Igra</i> (Game) TV company and its head Vladimir Voroshilov.

In an interview TV Center first vice president Alexander Nekhoroshev explains why the company has dropped its suit against the Press Ministry not long before the court's consideration.

An unidentified gangster killed businessman Alexei Kachkov, 40, director-general of the Eskalibu-M firm, on the landing of his house Thursday. The story gives details. Also covered by Kommersant Daily.

A story reports on how Vladimir Putin's style of personal contacts with Western leaders radically differs from that of his predecessor, first Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Much of the Western mass media, the story notes, interpret Putin's image in a negative way and, with the arrest of Vladimir Gusinsky, Putin's international image has begun to collapse.

During his visit to Kishinev, President Vladimir Putin announced the creation of a state commission on intensifying the settlement of the Trans-Dniestrian conflict (it was Moldovan President Pyotr Luchinsky's request). The new commission will be headed by Yevgeny Primakov. The story comments on the decision.

Security Council Secretary Sergei Ivanov last week in Tashkent announced Russia's intention to quit the agreement on the visa-free regime with the CIS countries. The story examines the officially stated reasons behind the decision. Also featured in Vremya MN.

General Vyacheslav Achalov, head of the All-Russian Officers' Assembly, has been offered a seat in the Security Council. This was announced Saturday at the Congress of the Movement in Support of the Army by its leader Viktor Ilyukhin. The story comments on the statement.

State Duma deputy Boris Berezovsky has called upon the class of entrepreneurs in Russia to create a "useful opposition to Vladimir Putin". In an interview with Spiegel, Berezovsky shared his views on the recent developments around Media -MOST head Vladimir Gusinsky.

The story examines preliminary results of mayoral and City Duma elections in Vladivostok on Sunday.

The Moscow government on Saturday discussed results of the first year of the implementation of the Moscow Master Plan for 1999 to 2020. The priority in housing construction now will be a major renovation of old buildings rather than the construction of new apartment blocks. The story examines the essence of these new approaches.

An article examines problems facing the Italian Embassy in issuing visas to Russian travelers, many of whom planning to go to Italy in June will be unable to do so. Also covered in Kommersant Daily.

Rosbank last week presented to Russian private investors its new trading system for share operations through the Internet. The story features its advantages.


During his meeting with Gazprom head Rem Vyakhirev on Thursday, President Vladimir Putin tried to find out whom the NTV television company belongs to. The story focuses on Vyakhirev's forced confession. Also featured in Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Komsomolskaya Pravda.

On the eve of the official power transfer from Russian government representative Nikolai Koshman to Chechnya's new head mufti Akhmad Kadyrov, the political situation in the republic has seriously aggravated, threatening with civil war. The story gives facts to illustrate the point. Also covered in Noviye Izvestia, Vremya MN.

Audit Chamber head Sergei Stepashin on Friday signed the first cooperation agreement with the Federal Tax Police Service. The story examines the major provisions of the document.

Telephone tariffs in July will be raised in different regions by 20 to 50 percent. First Deputy Communications Minister Yury Pavlenko explained the expediency of the measure.

Former Secretary of the Defense Council Yury Baturin has launched preparations for his second space venture. This was stated Friday by deputy chief of the Cosmonauts' Training Center Andrei Maiboroda. Also covered by Noviye Izvestia.

A story examines results of the merger of MDM Bank and the RESO-Garantia insurance company.

The AvtoVAZ leadership has made public its plan for reforming the enterprise, which is to be divided into nine units, future independent companies. The story examines the project.

Telecominvest on Friday announced changes in its shareholders' configuration f its blocking package of stock was bought by Promstroisvyaz, a daughter structure of the St. Petersburg Industrial-Construction Bank. The story comments on the deal.

Norilsk Nickel has begun to create its own marketing network abroad. For this aim in view, the company will buy up foreign traders who today are trading in Russian metals on the world markets. If the project is a success, the company's profits will increase many-fold.

After the recent searches of Soyuzplodimport, the company may lose its popular vodka trademarks. The story looks at the state agency's proposal to nationalize them.

The French Credit Agricole Indosuez Bank decided to drop its suit against Rossiisky Kredit Bank. The article views the bank's consent to make concessions to the Russian bank as Alexander Livshits' first success at his new post of head of Rossiisky Kredit's board of directors.

The Credit Suisse Moscow company announced Friday the end of its business in Russia. Its Credit Suisse fund will be placed under the management of the Pioner Pervy company. The story comments on the deal.

The Baltic states are marking a sad anniversary f 60 years of Soviet occupation. The story features the event.

A story reports on how visas are being issued to Russians today at the American Consulate on Ulitsa Novinsky Bulvar.