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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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



Nezavisimaya Gazeta

Komomolskaya Pravda

Moskovsky Komsomolets

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

Noviye Izvestia

Moskovskiye Novosti



The head of state audit chamber, Sergey Stepashin, said Monday that republican politicians in Yakutia will be held responsible for misappropriation of funds allocated for the restoration of Lensk. In fact, the republican officials should share responsibility with the federal officials who were engaged in the restoration in Yakutia after the spring floods ? namely, the minister for emergency situations Shoigu and state construction department head Anvar Muzafarov, the author argues.

President Putin on Tuesday will attend the inauguration ceremony of a new nuclear submarine in Severodvinsk, which will be presided over by the new North Fleet commander, Vice Admiral Dubroskochenko. He was the only high ranking North Fleet commander who was not punished Saturday, when the presidential decree blamed 14 military officials for the Kursk disaster in August of 2000. This is evidence that the government commission on the Kursk investigation has come to a conclusion already. Also covered in Kommersant

In his television address to the nation, the Israeli premier announced the start of a "war with terror." He blamed Palestinian leader Yassir Arafat for the recent acts of terrorism in Jerusalem. Israeli missiles hit Arafat's house in Gaza almost simultaneously with the television address. Also covered in Kommersant

The All-Russian Society of the Deaf is ready to sue the ORT television channel for discontinuing the service of interpreting its news into sign language.

The Anti-Monopoly Ministry has accused Bank Moskvy of attempting to threaten the Ministry's officials, after the Ministry started its investigation of violations of free competition rules by placing the Moscow city's money in Bank Moskvy. The Bank's authorities have refuted allegations. Also covered in Kommersant

Cosmonauts Vladimir Dezhurov and Mikhail Tyunin made an unplanned exit Monday into open space which was caused by faulty decking of Progress M-7 cargo ship with the international space station. The mission was completed successfully, which was very important, because the timely launch of the American Endeavor depended on it.

The conference of Russian control and audit bodies opened in Moscow on Monday. At the opening session, head of the State Audit Chamber Sergey Stepashin said that his body would try to raise its status and broaden its powers in the Russian regions. Also covered in Kommersant

Famed conductor Yevgeniy Svetlanov gave an interview to the daily after his return to the country where he has not performed for a year and a half. He said that he would conduct Puccini's Madam Butterfly in the Bolshoi theater in Moscow and that it would be "an absolutely Japanese performance."

Lieutenant Colonel of Justice Roman Grigoryan, who was the deputy military prosecutor in Chechnya, was shot and killed in Argun. Another act of terrorism has killed Urus-Martan commandant Major General Geidar Gadjiyev. In Grozny, federal troops conducted an hour-long battle in the central square Minutka. Thus, the situation in Chechnya has greatly exacerbated on the eve of the PACE delegation's visit to the republic. Also covered in Kommersant

On Tuesday, the small businesses congress will meet in Moscow. In the past few months, many Russian state authorities have included working with small businesses in their agenda. The congress will discuss tax and administrative reforms relative to small enterprises, that currently suffer greatly from high taxation and widespread corruption. Also covered in Kommersant

On Wednesday Sergey Mironov will be elected the new Upper House chair. His candidacy is supported by incumbent Yegor Stroyev.

According to a recent poll, conducted by FOM (Public Opinion Foundation), 4 percent of Russians believe that patriotism means pride for their country, while 32 percent think that it means love of their country. Among the priority values for Russians appeared to be "safety," "peace" and "family."

In the past weekend, the Sibneft oil company held an extraordinary meeting of shareholders that approved the purchase of Terra trader. This is the third trader that Sibneft has acquired this year.

The State Customs Committee held a news conference yesterday, where they spoke about the problem of illegally imported cars. They said that control will be toughened in the near future and that owners of such cars may face confiscation. Also covered in Kommersant

Ulyanovsk and Smolensk regional administrations have no money to pay debts for electricity to the energy company RAO UES. Both regions may face blackouts.

The American government has imposed additional control on passengers who come to the United States on Russian air carriers, including Aeroflot. The customs and immigration officers are checking every baggage item, which makes waiting in JFK airport in New York much longer.

The ALROSA diamond-mining company board on Monday considered the draft trade contract with De Beers. The two sensations of the proposed agreement were that Russian producers aim at selling diamonds, totaling at $4 billion, and that the agreement is unlikely to take force at the beginning of 2002. Also covered in Kommersant

Peasants of Gofitskoye village of Stavropol Krai won their court appeal on changing the plots of land allocated to them for a more fertile land.

Prospects of cross-polar flights were discussed on Monday at the Krasnoyarsk aircraft salon.

Workers of the Ulyanovsk aircraft plant Aviarstar held a strike yesterday, refusing to work until the a director is appointed for the plant, which has endured corruption in management.

On Thursday, Kuzbassugol may get a new general director after the Severstal and Magnitka merger.


Commenting on the bankruptcy of Enron, the story examines its global impact and possible trends in development of the Russian energy industry. Also covered in Kommersant

The State Duma has considered a new law on privatization in the second and third reading. Its main drawback is that privatization can only be initialized by state authorities, thus ignoring any initiative of entrepreneurs.

The Railways Ministry's investment program is unlikely to be confirmed by the government before new railway tariffs are determined. This makes a real revolution in funding of the industry said former Finance Minister Alexander Luvshits in his interview.


The head of the IMF mission in Russia Gerard Belanger came to Moscow on Monday. He was received by deputy premier Alexei Kudrin. The parties discussed the prospects of paying off Russian debts to the IMF, which has been reduced from $21 billion as of 1998, to $8 billion as of the end of 2001.

The Council of Europe's delegation in Chechnya, led by Lord Judd, met with the leadership of the republic on Monday. The PACE delegation stated that significant progress was achieved in protection of civil rights in the rebel republic.

Natural gas monopoly Gazprom has started assessments of its media assets. It will be consulted by Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein (DrKW). The head of its Russian branch, Bob Foresman, told the daily that the assessment will be finished in January 2002. After that media companies will be sold by Gazprom.

At a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, the head of the pension fund Mikhail Zurabov informed Putin about the proposed increase of pensions in January 2002 that will affect 10 million pensioners, and about the general policy of pension adjustment against inflation.

Georgian President Eduard Shevarnadze stated Monday that he would not fulfill the Georgian Parliament's demand about the withdrawal of Russian troops from the rebel republic of Abkhaziya. Shevarnadze said that there is no military force in Georgia to replace them.

A presidential candidate in the South Ossetia, a rebel province of Georgia, Eduard Kokoyev, who leads the race after the first round, said that he would strive to make South Ossetiya an associate member of the Russian Federation.

Reporting from the trial of Kizlyar terrorist Salman Raduyev, the story examined testimonies of the Penza OMON who surrendered to terrorists. They were released in December 1995 with the mediation of Boris Berezovsky.

The inter-Afghan talks in Bonn failed to elect the head of provisional administration for the country so far. The story discusses possible candidates.

The attempt of the State Customs Committee (GTK) head Mikhail Vanin to replace the head of the GTK's northwestern division, Vladimir Shamakhov, has failed. This is perceived as an episode in the fight between Moscow and St.Petersburg customs services.

Over the weekend Russian Trade and Economic Development officials held consultations with EU officials about the future of Russian steel supplies to EU countries. The new agreement stipulates the raising of Russian quotas in the EU, but imposes additional limitations on certain brands of steel.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

Pop-artist Dmitry Vrubel, who became famous after his picture of 'Brezhnev's kiss with Honneker.' holds an exhibition in Moscow. The hit is a calendar for 2002 with thirteen portraits of President Putin.

Famous tycoon Boris Berezovsky wrote an open letter to Mr. Chubais, Mr. Voloshin, Mr. Kasyanov and to "others whom enemies of Boris Yeltsin call "a family". The letter contains analysis of Putin's presidency mistakes and an appeal to the "family members" to resign as a demonstration against imposing "the law of dictatorship in Russia".

Sergey Shoigu has become a de facto leader of the party that united 'Unity' and 'Fatherland'. This happened at the founding congress of the new party, where Fatherland's leader Yury Luzhkov named Shoigu as the head of the Supreme Council.

On Tuesday EC commissioners Christopher Patten and Pascal Lamis arrived in Moscow to conduct talks on the creation of single economic space in Europe within the high-level working group that was established at the October Russia-EU summit. The global project is much deeper than Russia's accession to the WTO. What the EU wants from Russia is more compromises in its approaches to trade with the Kaliningrad enclave region.

This week premier Kasyanov will discuss the policies of cutting crude oil output with leaders largest oil companies. Experts forecast that he controversy between Russia and OPEC about the size of the cut will result in price wars.

A rally was held by the Eurasian party in Moscow, bringing together 2 thousand people who protested against racism and nationalism in the Russian capital.

Sunday's catastrophe of the IL-76 cargo flight that claimed 17 lives could have resulted from its overload with goods ? experts say.

Situation in Rosneftestroi ? a state-owned company that replaced the Soviet Ministry for Oil and Gas Construction and inherited huge property from it. Numerous financial violations were detected by the Audit Chamber and other bodies, which included building a pyramid of promissory notes.

Komomolskaya Pravda

Reports of and political and culture activists' opinions about the recent sacking and demotions of high-rank Navy commanders.

Naval officers' opinions about the reasons for the Kursk tragedy.

Moscow city police has started a new operation on detaining underage beggars and beggars with children.

Rules that are currently regulating the status of foreigners in the Russian capitals are described by leading specialists from the Interior Ministry's passport and visa department.

A list of major federal officials who descended from St. Petersburg with profiles.

Moskovsky Komsomolets

The problem of tax privileges for the printed media, which was promised by the government earlier this year. However, now the government seems unwilling to fulfill its promise.

Moscow Patriarchate's press service said that Patriach Alexei's starring in the promotion video of LUKoil company was a volunteer appearance, from which the Church did not get any profits.

Moscow zoo has passed two of its polar bears to foreign partners ? one in Berlin, and the other in Japan.

Journalist Alexander Hinshtein wrote that Deputy Prosecutor General Yury Biryukov has granted his protection to Chechen terrorists, now living in Moscow. Transcripts of phone talks are published.

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

State Duma resolution 'On the Amnesty for Underage People and Women.'

Federal law 'On Investment funds.'

Federal law 'On Amendments to Tax Code Part 2 Clause 228.'

Federal law 'On Amendment to Federal law 'On state protection of Judges and law enforcement bodies officers' clause 2.'

Political technologist Gleb Pavlovsky refuted media's allegations that two teams in the Kremlin are fighting for domination in the political establishment. He said that there is no political controversy in the Kremlin, but admitted that some officials are "irritated by the requirement to work for state salary only 'without extra shadow income'.

In Obolensk, a former Soviet secret center for bacteriological weapons production, former scientists are making and bottling ketchup and getting ridiculous wages. Report about the history and the present of the former center of gene engineering.

Noviye Izvestia

The appearance of Russian soldiers is the main talk of Kabul markets. The Taliban is spreading rumors that Russian landing troops have come to Afghanistan again.

State VGTRK channel is getting ready to merge the private TV-6 channel, the license of which will be recalled soon. In the Kremlin, they say that only top-managers of TV-6 will be replaced, but it may be that the whole team of journalists will be dismissed. Also covered in MOSKOVSKIE NOVOSTI.

Moskovskiye Novosti

In the famous Moscow suburb Peredelkino, which served as a refuge to Moscow writers in the Soviet times, cottages of new Russians are ousting old country houses that belong to descendants of old cultural figures. The 'writers village' is managed by Literary Fund which has huge financial problems.

Sergey Pugachev, the head of Mezhprombank (International Industrial Bank), is said to have a personal connections with President Putin. This has enabled him to obtain special privileges. Mezhprombank is the only large bank in Russia that has the status of limited responsibilities company, while all others have become joint stock companies, according to the Central Bank order of 1998. True owners of the bank are unknown yet, but the bank itself owns 'Moskovia' TV channel which is known to have nationalist orientation. Rumor is that Sergey Pugachev will become the representative of Yakutia at the Upper House, if Vasily Kolmogorov wins the presidential election in the republic.

The first attempt to draft Chechens to the Russian Army has failed. The draftees have announced hunger strike with a demand to send them back home.

The most numerous deserting in the Russian army occurred in the 22nd brigade of Spetsnaz last week. Seventy one servicemen of landing troops left their premises, saying that the commander has promised them the privilege of early dismissal from Armed Forces after they had been at combat actions in Chechnya. They were returned to the place of service and five activists punished.

Georgian President, Eduard Shevarnadze, after his meeting with President Putin and other CIS leaders in Moscow. He was asked about the problems of the breakaway Abkhazia, about Chechen militants at the Georgian territory and about Badri Patarkatsishvili ? a close ally of the Russian oligarch in disgrace, Boris Berezovsky.

In view of the approaching 10th anniversary of the Belavizhian agreements, the weekly interviewed Stanislav Shushkevich, the then president of Belarus and a participant to the historical meeting. Shushkevich named Yeltsin as the main initiator of the decision that resulted in the Soviet Union dissolution.

Moscow deputy mayor Valery Shantsev discussed the proposed rent and utilities reform in Moscow.

The Russian Booker Prize winner will be announced this week. The story discusses nominees.


Russian Diamond monopoly ALROSA will get the right to sell 5 percent of each consignment of its diamonds on the free market, according to the draft agreement to be concluded between ALROSA and De Beers. This will enable ALROSA to test the diamond market.

Gazprom on Monday prevented the default of its daughter company, oil refinery holding SIBUR, by granting it $2.2 billion as a loan for canceling its promissory notes. The loan was mortgaged by SIBUR's real assets.

On Monday the government brought in a draft bill on taxation of enterprises operating according to the law on Shpanies aared production agreement. The bill has numerous legislative gaps, including prevention of double taxation but foreign companies appealed to consider it as soon as possible nevertheless, because there is no tax legislation on shared production at all so far.

Russia and the European Union will conclude an agreement according to which arbitration disputes on Russian export to EU states will be decided according to WTO rules, a Russian representative at the EU reported.

In January, several dozen Russian regions will be unable to collect sales taxes, because they have failed to conciliate their tax legislation with the federal law. This will result in 1.5 billion total losses for regional budgets in 2002.

The situation with licensing auditors for Russian banks has become much more complicated after the Central Bank liquidated the corresponding department in itself.

The daily interviewed Nissan President Carlos Gon who spoke about actions he has taken to make the company profitable, about its cooperation with Renault and about the company's marketing policies in Russia.

Vedomosti. Companies and Markets

French company Michelin, the number two world tire producer, has started construction of a plant near Moscow. The plant will produce tires for foreign brands of cars manufactured in Russia. The project will be funded by credit from the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development.

Gazprom will probably sell its assets in metallurgy ? Lebedinsky ore-concentrating plant and Oskol elctro-metallurgical plant.

The Transportation Ministry's River Fleet department is conducting talks with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development about obtaining a $30 million loan for reconstruction of Kochetovo gateway.

Large Russian corporations are making order in their bank assets by concentrating them in their own banks. The banking business has become much less profitable, and industries fear a new crisis on top of this.

The Federal Court has dismissed the suit of Bank of New York shareholders against bank authorities in connection with alleged money laundering through the Bank of New York.