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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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


The Federation Council has developed its own amendments to the presidential draft bill concerning the procedure of forming the upper house of parliament. The story reveals their essence noting that the amendments may bring to naught the president's idea of creating a professional and independent (on governors) Federation Council. Also covered in Kommersant Daily, Izvestia, Vremya Novostei, and Vremya MN.

President Vladimir Putin (in Italy) stated yesterday that inter-regional agencies combating economic crime will be created in the near future on the basis of the emerging federal districts. The story examines their structures and functions.

President Vladimir Putin has appointed Yury Zaostrovtsev head of the Economic Security Department to exercise control over the financial and banking spheres, the natural habitat of oligarchs. The story offers several episodes from his former FSB career.

Crime. Alexander Kruk, leader of the public and political association "Uralmash," was found dead on June 5 in House 42 on Ulitsa Nezabudka in the suburb of Sofia (Bulgaria). The article describes how it happened.

The Audit Chamber (AC) in the near future is expected to resume comprehensive checks of ORT's financial and economic activities. This was stated yesterday by AC deputy head Eduard Krustkaln. Brief.

Ex-State Duma Deputy Gennady Burbulis, former state secretary, has been appointed vice-governor of the Novgorod Region. He will be responsible for collaboration between the region and both houses of the Federal Assembly. Governor Mikhail Prusak explained why he needs Burbulis today. Also covered in Kommersant Daily.

The article explains why the Press Ministry, which Wednesday prolonged the temporary license to TV Center, has changed its attitude toward this television company.

Yekaterinburg Chief Sanitary Physician Boris Nikonov has officially declared that the AIDS epidemic has hit the region, where the number of patients has exceeded 289. The story looks at urgent measures taken by local authorities to combat the disease. Also covered in Kommersant Daily.

The city government has decided the fate of Lefortovo Park. The construction of a tunnel of the third transport ring under the part has been suspended until 2005. The story comments on the decision.

The Judicial Chamber on Information Disputes under the president that was created in 1993 has been abolished. Chamber members today are discussing several variants of their survival. The article comments on the measure.

In an interview Mikhail Fedotov, secretary of the Journalists' Union, an author of the Soviet Press Law (it was passed 10 years ago) and of a new press draft law, speaks about the factors which allowed the press to be free. Fedotov sharply criticizes Press Minister Mikhail Lesin calling his recent acts toward TV channels illegal.


Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov on Tuesday submitted to the Federation Council a list of his deputies, who will control the newly formed federal districts. The story comments on the list, pointing to prosecutor Mikhail Katyshev, a notorious fighter against oligarchs, who has tendered his resignation.

St. Petersburg governor Vladimir Yakovlev, who went to Minsk for a two-day visit at the invitation of Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko, did not know that he was invited as a teacher for the Belarussian leader. The article explains why Lukashenko needs him today.

The State Duma has applied to Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov with a request to nationalize "Radio-1 Kultura," which went bankrupt recently and suspended its broadcasts. This absurd request may be met, notes the article, saying that if it's done the losers will be Iosif Kobzon and the "Moskovit" holding that owned the company over the past 3 years and invested $4 million into it.

The Moscow Kristall Distillery has applied President Vladimir Putin with a letter (given here) complaining that its director general and several other managers have been fired illegally.

Anatoly Chubais, head of the national power grid "Unified Energy Systems," on Tuesday stated that changes with Western investors' remarks taken into account will be introduced in his plan of restructuring the company. Thus, Chubais agreed that he is unwilling to conflict with foreign shareholders. The story examines his stand on the issue.

The Samara "Aviakor" aviation-building enterprise is awaiting a new director. Its present head, Viktor Petrishchev, who has worked here for only three months, will tender his resignation on June 15. The "Sibirsky Alyuminy" controlling "Aviakor" will have to find a new head who will be able to save the enterprise from bankruptcy (specialists say that it's impossible to do).

Alexander Mamut, head of the Overseeing Council of the MDM Bank, has been withdrawn from the Board of Directors of Sobinbank. The story describes how it happened.

The State Duma Thursday is expected to elect a new head of the Commission on the Protection of Investors' Rights. Sergei Generalov, former Fuel and Energy Minister, is candidate No. 1 for the post.

Moscow Vice -Mayor Valery Shantsev at the session of the Council on Authorised Banks (attached to Moscow Hall) stated on Monday that the status of these banks may be changed. The article reveals the essence of his statement.

The euro yesterday went up to a record high - $0.958 - over the past seven weeks. The article looks at major reasons behind its growth.

The Federation Council (FC) on Tuesday discussed the state program of reforming the securities market. The senators recommended that the president, the cabinet, the State Duma and the Central Bank adopt proposals on reforming the domestic stock market. The article comments on the FC decision.

Ukrainian authorities have imposed new rules for Russian holidaymakers in Crimea, who will have now to pay $8 for obligatory registration. The article comments on the measure.


The article examines major provisions of the recently printed report "Hard Core Cartels" compiled by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.

The State Duma today is expected to discuss chapters of the second part of the Tax Code devoted to the income and flat social taxes. The article notes that government proposals will most probably be approved.

The conflict between UES shareholders and the company's managers is escalating. Thus, several investors are trying to initiate an extraordinary shareholders' meeting with the aim of replacing its head Anatoly Chubais. If it happens then the presidential administration will have its decisive say.

The Patriarchate's sharp gesture (on the eve of Vladimir Putin's visit to Italy) prohibiting the president to invite Pope John Paul II to Russia shows radically changed relationships between the church and federal authorities. Political analyst Vitaly Portnikov comments on the issue, saying why such relations were impossible during the reign of Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin.

Will the bank "Rossiisky Kredit" be able to resurrect if its head is Alexander Livshits? Three experts share their positive views on the issue.

When discussing possible consequences of the creation of a national missile defense system for strategic stability, what should be taken into consideration is that this is already the 4th attempt in this direction in post-war history, starting in the late 1950s. Different variants of creating such a system have been proposed both in Russia and in the United States. Andrei Kokoshin, former Security Council Secretary, comments on the issue, looking at several variants.

Vneshekonombank has managed to add an agreement on a $1.5 billion credit (it signed with the Italian "Mediabanca" company) to Vladimir Putin's business negotiations in Milan.

According to reports from the State Statistics Committee, in March 2000 alone the creditor debts in industry went up by 5.6 percent or 86.4 billion rubles ($3.08 billion). The story cites several other figures to illustrate a worsened structure of payments in the economy.

The State Duma in a couple of days will discuss the draft bill (in the second reading) concerning tax benefits for mass media. In view of the fact that the draft bill, which the Duma passed in the first reading on April 12, cancels practically all benefits, mass media leaders have applied to Vladimir Putin with a letter asking for help.


Aeroflot and International Airport 'Sheremetyevo' leaders have failed to come to agreement on the concept of construction of a new terminal Sheremetyevo-3. Two companies have agreed that they need it, but they do not know how to divide it. Two federal ministers - Sergei Frank and Gherman Gref - on Friday will help them do it.

The Moscow City Duma has supported several big city department stores (their names are given) in their conflict with "ROSbilding" which wants to buy up their shops. The article features the conflict and its participants.

Russians dislike canned soft drinks, and in view of this, the Rexam company's Naro-Fomisnk factory that makes aluminum cans in Russia has begun to deliver them to Finland and Sweden.

The article features the "Yaroslavnefteorgsintez" shareholders' meeting yesterday that reminded of a boxing clash between managers from Slavneft and the Tyumen Oil Company.

The factories "Komsomolets" (Leningrad region) and "Tetra-Pak Kuban" (Krasnodarsky region) during a big deal to exchange assets have changed their owner - the Swedish SCA has replaced the Finnish "Metsa Serla" company.

The Krasnoye Sormovo Plant has refused to meet the instruction of the Federal Securities Commission that demanded changes in its Charter. The story reveals their essence.

The State Duma's hearings yesterday on the State Program of Boosting the Securities Market showed that this concept most obviously is in no need today. Nevertheless, Alexander Shokhin, head of the State Duma Committee on Credit Organizations and Financial Markets, promised that the concept will be available by fall.

The Russian Trading System stock exchange has announced that it decided to admit shares of the little-known investment company "KIK" to circulate in the trading.

Moscow ice-cream producers for the second season in a row have been sustaining big losses. The article examines several reasons.

"Renault" is offering its car "Renault-19," assembled in Moscow, to sell in installments. The article examines the offered conditions.



In an interview LUKoil head Vagit Alekperov shares his views on state of the oil sector today and on the functions of the newly-formed ministry - Minenergo.

Famed actor Oleg Tabakov has received an offer from the government to head the Moscow Art Theater (MKhAT). The story looks at his response.

Political scientist Gavriil Popov, former Mayor of Moscow, examines several aspects of the government tax reform, focusing on its strong and weak points.

An article reports on how the community of different collectors may make use of the Internet.


Children from the "Azino-2" Leisure and Recreation Center in Tatarstan have found a cemetery of German POWs during their recent folklore expeditions. Brief.

An article highlights German army draftees, who, after refusing to serve in the Bundeswehr, are doing their alternative service in the center of Moscow.


Nikolai Koshman, representing the federal government in Chechnya, has signed a directive on resurrecting the Chechen YUNKO oil company, handing over to it all duties on reviving and using the oil complex of the republic. The story comments on the document.

A story describes a serious eye disease - myopia - which many Russians suffer from. Eye doctors over recent years have done a lot to combat this ailment.


In accordance with the Finance Ministry's decision, all budget organizations of Chechnya will be funded directly from Moscow. The story comments on the decision.

In an interview State Duma deputy Boris Nemtsov, leader of the SD faction of the Union of Right Forces, shares his views on the presidential initiatives of reforming the state power bodies.

In an interview Moscow pensioner Alla Nelyubina talks about Tatyana Andreyevna, great granddaughter of the great Russian writer, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, who is living in poverty today. Nelyubina every month sends money to Tatyana to support her materially.

Parisian construction workers are renovating the building of Moscow University (MGU ) on Sparrow Hills (Vorobyovy Gory). The story features the major renovation project.

The Health Ministry intends to sign a draft of a human rights international convention. The story examine the major provisions of the document.

The story offers eight little-known facts from the life of the Patriarch Alexy II.


In an interview Valery Miroshnikov, ARKO deputy director-general, talks about the future fate of SBS-Agro Bank and about what is awaiting its private depositors in the future.


In an interview academician Abel Aganbegyan, rector of the Academy of the National Economy under the government, shares his views on the new presidential regional policy.

Document. The Rules of Certifying Services offered to passengers in the federal railway transport. Full text.


Sixty million Russians today live below the poverty line. The figure quite recently was 49 million, but after the government signed the decree on the new subsistence wage, it increased overnight. In an interview Alexander Surinov, First Deputy Head of the State Statistics Committee, explained why it has happened. Political observer Vitaly Golovachev offers his commentary.


A story is devoted to Chechen woman Khadizhast Gatayeva, 34, a medical nurse in Grozny, who together with her husband has adopted 83 kids over the years of two Chechen wars.


In an interview Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin speaks about priorities in the 2001 budget, focusing on defense articles.


An article offers a political portrait of Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Kudrin, Number Two in the new Cabinet. Why has he failed to become Number One - Prime Minister? There was much talk that Kudrin will take up the job.


A story reports on how construction workers, arriving in Moscow from former Soviet republics and other cities to earn money, toil days and nights without days-off in construction sites, building elite apartment houses. They work like slaves going hungry and without being paid for several months.

Authorities have decided to exempt from taxes winners of prestigious international, foreign and Russian prizes for achievements in science, technology, education, culture, literature and art. The story comments on the government decision.

According to the plan of the Health Ministry, all Russians will undergo comprehensive medical examinations, the measure that will be timed to take place alongside the national census in 2002. The story reveals the details of the project.

According to reports from the Moscow Prosecutor's Office, 836 people died as victims of different crimes over the first five months of this year, which is 67 more than the figure for the same period last year. The story gives other figures on the crime rate in the city.

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, who together with his daughter Irina and granddaughter Anastasia is on vacation on the Caribbean coast, nearly drowned. His daughter Irina was nearby to be able to call for help.

The story describes elite houses that have been selected for so-called inspector-generals in the seven newly-formed federal districts according to the presidential state power agencies reform.

The incident over the release of Israeli boy Adi Sharon from kidnapping has unexpectedly brought disgrace to Minister Vladimir Rushailo yesterday when, answering a question from Israel's Radio Channel 2, he stated that the boy's release was timed to take place on the eve of his (Rushailo's ) visit to Israel. The story gives details.