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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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




NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA


The Gazprom-Media company is conducting negotiations on buying a package of stock in the Media-MOST holding on the strength of clearing off unregulated obligations of $211.6 million before Gazprom. This was stated by Gazprom-Media general director Alfred Kokh. A short commentary is made regarding the content of the current negotiations.


The failure of the Middle East peace negotiations in Camp David may signify a new stage in the Arab-Israeli conflict. The story examines the results of the summit, focusing on Russia's new chance to join the process of negotiating a peaceful settlement in the Middle East.


Turkey's State Minister Abdulkhalyuk Chei has again criticized Russia's military operations against Chechnya, comparing President Vladimir Putin's policy in the North Caucasus with "Hitler's actions against Jews." The Turkish official has demanded that Moscow stop the violence. The story comments on Chei's pronouncements.


Reserve Lieutenant-General Alexei Petrov examines major differences in approaches by Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev and General Staff chief Anatoly Kvashnin to the concept of reforming the Strategic Rocket Troops. Petrov focuses on the origin of these differences, saying that the joint service of the two military commanders today is unlikely.


President Vladimir Putin's meeting with big business bosses tomorrow will radically differ from such encounters of the Yeltsin-Chernomyrdin epoch. The story examines the meeting's new features, explaining why federal authorities need oligarchs and what their relationships should look like.


Moscow regional Governor Boris Gromov has replaced deputy government head Mikhail Babich, who controlled all financial flows in and out of the region. The story explains Gromov's actions. Also covered in Noviye Izvestia.


Alexei Chesnakov, director of the Center for Political Studies, analyzes the state of Russian-Azeri political relations today, focusing on both sides' understanding of their constructive roles and tasks in making these bilateral ties long-standing and stable.


Full text of the Communique of the Group Eight Summit in Okinawa.


Russia and Germany on Wednesday signed a bilateral agreement in Berlin on another restructuring of the Russian debt to Germany. According to the document, the current payment of 8 billion Deutsche marks ($3.85 billion) will receive a moratorium up to the year 2016. The story comments on the document.


In an interview, State Duma Deputy and famed singer Iosif Kobzon speaks about what troubles him most of all today.


In an interview, Bishop Konstantin, rector of the St. Petersburg Spiritual Academy, explains a mounting interest today in Orthodoxy, which only ten years ago seemed hardly possible.


IZVESTIA


Russian labor unions have always been a useless social institution. After the breakup of the USSR and the collapse of socialism, labor unions lost a considerable part of their property in Ukraine and the Baltic states, and, hence, lost financial authority. The story features their much-diminished role today.


If everything outlined in the Gref government economic program takes effect, then in five to 10 years, Russians will live, study, get medical treatment, pay utility bills and get pensions in a new fashion. In an interview, First Deputy Economic Development Minister Mikhail Dmitriyev reflects on how all this will be.


Executives from 84 enterprises and organizations in Omsk have proposed to Omsk Mayor Valery Roshchupkin that he resign in a month's time. In return, they provide a guarantee that there will be no accidents in local heating systems or heating disruptions in winter. The story reveals the essence of Omsk locals' demands.


Political analyst Andrei Kolesnikov reports on how the claims of the business elite on President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov may seriously affect economic progress in Russia.


Frequent cases of switching off electricity in Crimea may spoil children's summer vacations, for which their parents have paid a dear price. As an example, the story describes the sad situation in the Prometei children's resort in Anapa.


The conference of CIS and Baltic Jewish communities is taking place this week in Israel. In an interview, Yonya Gorin, executive director of the Federation of Russian Jewish Communities, speaks about this event and its meaning for the Jewish diaspora in Russia.


James Harmon, head of the state Export-Import Bank of the United States, arrived in Moscow on Wednesday for a three-day visit to see if serious business relations may be maintained with Russian leaders. His Eximbank was a big partner of the former USSR. The story also looks at other goals of Harmon's visit .


The world Visa payment system has announced the creation of e-Visa, its Internet branch, which will deal with issues of the company's electronic trade. The story describes the functions of Visa's Internet site.


Vladimir Mau, head of the Working Center for Economic Reform under the government, analyzes problems linked to economic growth, the pace of which, as he stresses, depends on effective economic policy rather than on bad weather or world oil prices.


Stories on pages 8 and 9 are devoted to Internet technologies, which are becoming ever more popular in Russia.


NOVIYE IZVESTIA


Gasoline prices in St. Petersburg have skyrocketed by 6.4 percent in July. The story comments on the event, listing new prices.


According to results of the latest opinion poll conducted by the VTSIOM Public Opinion Research Center, what troubles Russians most of all today are the rising prices of food and other products. The story gives concrete figures.


The professional golf tournament BMW Russian Open 2000 will take place in Nakhabino, in the Moscow region, in early August. The story features the forthcoming event and its participants.


NOVAYA GAZETA


Sociologist Boris Kagarlitsky comments on the new tax reform in Russia, explaining what the Finns have invented to make visits by tax police a joyous event for the population.


Celebration undertakings devoted to the 25th anniversary of the Helsinki Human Rights Agreements are being held in Moscow. The Moscow Helsinki Group, or MHG, was created in the USSR at the initiative of outstanding human rights activist Andrei Sakharov. In an interview, Yury Orlov, an MHG founder who spent many years in concentration camps because of his struggle for human rights and who is now an American citizen, speaks about the origin of the Moscow organization.


In an interview, highly regarded satirical writer Vladimir Voinovich speaks about the changed role of literature in society today when thought has ceased to be a great force.


OBSHCHAYA GAZETA


Baku journalists assert that Russian special services have helped them arrange interviews with Chechen field commander Shamil Basayev and Chechen leader Aslan Maskhadov. The story comments on scandals the Chechen theme has caused in Azeri mass media lately.


In an interview, Mayor Yury Luzhkov explains his stand on the first round of confrontation between the president and regional leaders, sharing his view on the draft law on the procedure of forming the Federation Council.


Highly regarded lawyer Nikolai Gagarin shares his viewpoint on President Vladimir Putin's complicated relations with oligarchs.


The story features several scandals that have erupted at the Moscow International Film Festival.


The story reports on how, in Soviet times, authorities used to send healthy f but undesirable f people to mental hospitals, while today it is being done by their relatives.