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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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

Izvestia
Kommersant
Vedomosti
Komomolskaya Pravda
Moskovsky Komsomolets
Nezavisimaya Gazeta
Moskovskiye Novosti


Izvestia
www.izvestia.ru

Russia doesn't want to get too involved in the military operation against Taliban. Putin clearly defined the level of Russia's involvement, and most Russian politicians support this decision. Russia will provide the Northern Alliance with arms and military equipment and will provide humanitarian aid for Afghanistan. However, a Russian military division located in Tadjikistan is fully prepared for action.

The journalists of Izvestiya were the first Russians to talk to representatives of the American State Department after the start of the military operation. The meeting was pre-arranged but wasn't cancelled after the first missile shots. The journalists were able to get all the details concerning the start of the operation.

In an interview, Nikolay Reznichenko, head of Russian Chief Headquarters, first deputy director of the Federal Frontier Service of Russia, talks about possible problems at Russian borders. The Russian frontier troops located in Tadjikistan are fully prepared for possible confrontations.

Yesterday the Kursk submarine was finally lifted off of the bottom of Barents Sea. Izvestiya gives details on the further procedures. It seems that within a week the submarine will reach the dock.

Another war can start near Russia's state borders. Abkhazia is mobilizing against Chechen soldiers who have already tried once to invade the republic. It is possible that some Russian military forces will also be involved in the operation.

The long awaited plan of pension reforms could be prepared and submitted to the State Duma by the end of October. Prime Minister Kasyanov met with the key ministers, while President Putin pressed the government to have the laws prepared and passed as soon as possible.

It is expected that the military operation in Afghanistan will cause great changes in the world economy. However, the oil and gold prices have not jumped too high. An article talks about what has changed and what will continue to change on the world markets as the operation continues.

On late Sunday night Chechen soldiers attacked Achkhoy-Martan. The attack was repelled, however there are casualties and some buildings are seriously damaged. Around 1 am on Monday the soldiers left the town. It seems that such "stinging" attacks are becoming usual for the Chechen bandits and will probably be repeated in the near future.

The tragic story of the Tu-154 plane that exploded over the Black Sea continues. The relatives of the plane's passengers today will be brought out to the location where the plane crashed into the sea. In the meantime, officials are trying to find out the causes of the explosion. The Ukrainian side is eager to prove its innocence.

Yesterday a plane crashed in a Milan airport. There were 104 passengers on the plane; there are no survivors. An article discusses the possible causes of this crash.

The form of ownership is not the only factor in effectiveness of Russian bank system, says Yury Ponomarev, president and head of the Board of Directors of Vneshtorgbank. In an article he talks about the bank situation in Russia and about what needs to be done to improve it.

Kommersant
www.kommersant.ru

The Central Election Committee (Tsentrizbirkom) decided that the acting president of the Republic of Yakutia Mikhail Nikolaev cannot run in the republic's December presidential election for a third time. The justification for this decision is not very clear; there is a collision of federal laws and the law of Yakutia. One thing is clear ? the Kremlin has refused to support one of the most powerful regional leaders.

Yesterday representatives of the Russian United Social-Democratic Party, Russian Party of Social Democracy, as well as socialists represented by Ivan Rybkin and Alexey Podberezkin announced that in the near future they are planning to form a United Social-Democratic Party of Russia. This is not the first attempt of the left centrists to unite; the last one failed.

Yesterday the Swedish royal couple ? Karl XVI Gustav and his wife Silvia ? came to Russia on an official visit. There are a lot of plans on their agenda, although the Swedish King has already announced that he is not planning to sign any official documents.

Two ex-candidates in the Orel region governor elections are suing the Orel regional election committee. The election committee refused to register the two candidates on October 3. The Orel regional court must decide whether the decision was legitimate. Elections will take place on October 28.

The Vice Governor of Moscow region, Mikhail Men, has held a press conference to inform journalists about how the region is planning to sell land after the new Land Code of Russian Federation comes into effect. The prices and taxes will be lowered.

Pakistan's Islamites are protesting both against the American and British strikes on Afghanistan and against their President. It is possible that the country is in for some serious political turmoil. (10)

Vedomosti
www.vedomosti.ru

While the United States was striking Afghanistan, a Russian delegation was flying to one of the most important arms exhibitions in the world, LIMA-2001. There were not many Western participants this year. Russia, on the other hand, presented all of its latest achievements, including the SU-30 airplane and MiG-29M2 helicopter.

The financial markets of the world are still waiting for changes. First the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 and now the attacks in Afghanistan are likely to affect oil prices and stock indexes. The Russian market has also been affected ? so far it has been dropping, and there are no signs of a possible increase in oil prices.

Vedomosti reviews some of the new acts and decrees in Russian legislation. These includes changes in tax laws and business accounting, laws on economic and business activities, banking and stock laws and customs laws, as well as legislation on land, natural resources and nature conservation.

On Monday Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov discussed pension reforms with some representatives of the State Duma and some leading Russian businessmen. Kasyanov said the government will take the opinion of businessmen into account when preparing the draft law.

Vice Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko refused to allow Gazprom and the Federal Energy Committee raise gas rates this year. Gazprom was asking to raise gas prices by 20 percent for industrial customers and by 25 percent for the general population, and the Federal Energy Committee also wished to raise the rates.

Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov was scheduled to travel to Prague on Tuesday to discuss Russia's debts inherited from the U.S.S.R. Different methods of repaying the debt were to be discussed; one of the proposals involves the use of Russian gas.

Different analysts and businessmen give their opinions on how the military operation in Afghanistan will affect U.S. economics.

Vedomosti interviews Ilka Salonen, president of the United International Moscow Bank. International Moscow Bank and Bank Austria Creditanstalt. Russia were the first of the biggest banks to unite, although the Central Bank of Russia has long been attempting to persuade banks to consolidate. Mr. Salonen gives his view on the situation and outlines the plans and perspectives of the newly united bank.

U.S. diplomats are negotiating with the former king of Afghanistan, 86-year-old Mohammed Zahir Shah. It is possible that Zahir Shah's return to the Afghan throne could help stabilize the situation in the country. However, the monarch doesn't see believe it is possible to restore monarchy in Afghanistan, although he is willing to help form a temporary government and prepare the country for democratic elections.

Vedomosti. Companies and Markets

The leaders of Russian ferrous metallurgy, Severstal and Magnitogorsk Metallurgy Industrial Complex, or MMK, were able to gain control of one of the largest coal companies of Russia, Kusbassugol. Even though the rest of the stock is owned by their competitors ? Novolipetsk Metallurgy Industrial Complex and Eurasholding and Belon companies ? Severstal and MMK are still satisfied with the results.

Most of the cartridges for printers and copiers sold in Russia are actually refilled old cartridges. It seems that the foreign manufacturers of printers won't put up a fight fight ? the new program on fighting fake cartridges, organized by Canon, Epson, Hewlett-Packard and Xerox, is rather weak and has a very small budget.

It is possible that at least 11 new operators of GSM cellular communications will soon start functioning in Russia. The Millicom International Cellular group has big plans for the Russian cellular market; so does another big cellular holding, MCT Corp.

It seems that the Gorky Car Factory will not give up the idea of mass production of the new Volgas, model GAZ-3111. Although the market perspectives of the new car are not very clear, the factory wants to start developing the production and see what happens.

Komomolskaya Pravda
www.kp.ru

One of the most dangerous places in Pakistan right now is the city of Peshavar. It is located near the Afghanistan border, and many of its residents have relatives in Afghanistan, among the Taliban members. The streets of Peshavar are full of enraged people, crying out against America. This is becoming a dangerous place not only for Americans, but also for Russians and any representatives of the Western world.

It seems that many Russian military men would be willing to participate in military action against terrorism. The newspaper made an experiment to find out just how many, by publishing an advertisement saying that the Russian-American Volunteer Center is looking for mercenaries. Some days later another ad was placed for the Russian-Muslim Volunteer Society, for men seeking practical study of the Koran in the southern countries. Both ads promised salaries in US dollars. Both of the ads brought results ? the newspaper publishes the recordings of telephone conversations with people saying why they are willing to fight and for how much money.

LUKoil, the Russian oil giant, is getting settled in the Caspian Sea. While the oil businessmen have their own problems, there is still the question of the legal status of Caspian Sea and the ecological situation in the region.

Moscow is afraid of terrorist acts. The city takes great safety measures. The most precautions are taken in the food industry and in scientific institutions that work with virus infections and highly toxic materials.

Moskovsky Komsomolets
www.mk.ru

Different political experts give their opinions on the possible scenarios and consequences of the military operation in Afghanistan. For Russia it is most important that the war does not spread into Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

How much does the American war with Afghanistan cost? The newspaper discusses the costs of the planes and missiles involved in the operation, mentioning also the power of American bombs.

Although the Ukrainian authorities keep claiming innocence in connection with the plane crash in the Black Sea, Moskovsky Komsomolets discusses the Ukrainian missile version as one of the most likely causes of the tragedy. There are too many coincidences for this version to be put aside; also, in the past there have been cases of mistakes in firing missiles.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta
www.ng.ru

All of the former Soviet republics have their own opinions about the situation in Afghanistan. During a meeting with the German chancellor, the President of Kazakhstan said that the republic is willing to do all in its power to help the West in its quest against Islamic terrorism. The Georgian President criticizes Russia and the UN and says that Russia is wrongly accusing Georgia of patronizing terrorists. Uzbekistan is under a real threat of war, however, the country wishes to stay a "humanitarian territory." Turkmenia has not yet been touched by the military operation against Afghanistan; the country is trying to stay neutral, opening its airspace only for planes carrying humanitarian aid. Tadjikistan announced its support for the American efforts against international terrorism; the country's Muslim leaders stay rather neutral, while the frontier troops are ready for trouble.

On Dec. 23 the Krasnoyarsk region will elect its legislative assembly. These elections will be a rehearsal for the governor elections, with the traditional fight between the Communists and Unity Party, who are so far leading the race. The governor's party, Honor and Motherland, is in third place. The democratic powers, such as Yabloko and SPS, are far behind.

On Sept. 22, the Cuban leader Fidel Castro gave a speech about the economic and political situation in the world and about American plans to fight terrorism. The newspaper publishes a translation of Castro's speech.

Moskovskiye Novosti
www.mn.ru

The visit of Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov to Moldova brought positive results. The countries have solved some of the debt problems and have made friendly agreements in the realms of both business and politics.

Two large political forces in Russia, Unity and Fatherland, are speeding up their unification process. In his interview to Moskovskie Novosti Vyacheslav Volodin, head of the OVR group in the Duma, gives details on what the new Unified Fatherland will be like.

Poland has a new Prime Minister. The newspaper gives a short biography of Leshek Miller.

Volgograd Governor Nikolay Maxuta is going to bring back the old name of the city ? Stalingrad. Stalingrad was the name during World War II, when the city went through tragic and heroic battles. However, its seems strange that the name of the great Russian river Volga can somehow affect or belittle the heroism of the Stalingrad battle.