Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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

Nezavisimaya Gazeta
Moskovsky Komsomolets
Rossiiskaya Gazeta
Vremya Novostey
Noviye Izvestia


The State Duma on Friday approved the bill on the "temporary ban of human cloning," which is viewed as a move to support the western stance on the issue. The five-year moratorium on making human clones does not have any practical implications in Russia, because, due to insufficient funds, experiments have not been even conducted here on even animal clones.

The Gorky car plant started manufacturing the new all-terrain vehicle Vepr, or wild boar, that is designed to be used by special detachments of the police and of the Emergencies Ministry, following the pattern set up by western police forces, Bundeswer and NATO. Unlike its GAZ predecessors, the car is quite comfortable to ride in, while its cross-country ability leaves them far behind.

Georgian talk-show host Georgy Sanaya was found murdered Thursday, which has caused civil unrest in the Georgian capital. Due to this situation, President Eduard Shevarnadze cancelled his important official visit to Baku on Friday. Political implications of the murder are examined in the article. Also covered in Kommersant Daily

President Vladimir Putin's cabinet on Friday approved a federal program on reforming the defense industry by 2006, which was proposed by deputy premier Ilya Klebanov. The document calls for the reduction of the number of military enterprises by half and signifies a new era in the industry. A series of mergers are expected to result from the creation of 36 holdings.

The Russian fishing trawler Petropavlovsk was detained in the Bering Sea by the American Coastal Guard group Storis. The ship was accused of trespassing in U.S. waters and was escorted to Alaska.

Members of the Kursk International Foundation held a news conference in Brussels on Friday, about the environmental risks of the operation for lifting the sunken nuclear submarine Kursk whish is now underway in the Barents Sea. They denied that there was any danger of nuclear contamination, while independent experts, interviewed by the daily, are not that optimistic. Also covered in Kommersant Daily

Nizhny Novgorod Mayor Yury Lebedev has come under suspicion of embezzlement, according to the Criminal Code clause "On abuse of power while in office." He reportedly spent $23 thousand of the budget's money on several stays in the Moscow Sheraton hotel. Yury Lebedev said that the investigation was prompted by presidential envoy Sergey Kiriyenko. Also covered in Kommersant Daily

The article includes a profile of Bashkortostan president Murtaza Rakhimov, the general political situation in the republic and prospects for a treaty on delimitation of power with the federal center.

The federal program on development of the Southern district was prepared by presidential envoy General Kazantsev and submitted to premier Kasyanov for his signature. However, Dagestan leader Magomedali Magomedov refused to approve the prepared program demanding that special conditions should be provided for his republic.

At a news conference Friday, U.S. Commerce Secretary Don Evans said that America would play a big role in the development of Russia's aerospace industry. In addition to the projects already under way, namely the Sea Launch Progam and international space station, the countries will cooperate in creation of a new regional plane.

The largest oil-chemical company in Russia, Sibur, has concluded an agreement with the German company BASF about the establishment of a working group to arrange the first oil-chemical joint venture.

The government discussed prospects of Russia's ascension to the WTO at its closed sitting on Friday, discussing the degree of possible concessions that the country can make to gain admittance. Also covered in Kommersant Daily

The Lithuanian cabinet approved a deal between the Russian company YuKOS and American Williams International on the former's purchase of a 26.85 percent stake in Mazeikiu Nafta. YuKOS's competitor in Lithuania, TNK, told Izvestia that they are still going to fight for control of Mazieku.


Chechen Magomed Tashuhadjiyev, 15, who shot and killed the well-known Chechen field commander Magomed Tsagaroyev on July 23, died of wounds Friday in a military hospital in Mozdok. President Putin awarded him the Hero of Russia posthumously. Previously Russian high-ranking military commanders had said that Tsagaroyev was killed during one of their special operations.

Friday's presentation of the book "Black Vulture's Feather" by Kuzhuget Shoigu, the father of Unity leader and Minister for Emergencies "Sergey Shoigu" turned into a major political event in the Tuva republic. After the presentation, the collective farm "The Flame of Revolution " was renamed "Sergey Shoigu's State Farm." Also covered in Izvestia

US Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill visited Nizhni Novgorod on Friday to examine the work of American-owned enterprises in the city. He met with the presidential envoy in the Volga region, Sergei Kiriyenko and with regional officials, who made presentations of new investment projects.

The Railway Ministry's Council for Technical Feasibility postponed the construction of a new high-speed railway link, the Sokol, on the Moscow-St.Petersburg route because of insufficient technical readiness.

Pavel Borodin, the Russian-Belarussian union state secretary traveled to Minsk on Friday. He informed Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko that Russian businessmen donated $100 thousand for surgery treatment of Belarussian children. Both Lukashenko's supporters and opponents viewed this as a gesture of Moscow 's support for the Belarussian leader at the upcoming presidential election.

Russian first deputy premier met with Kazakhstan premier Kasymzhomart Tokayev Friday to discuss the situation concerning the Caspian Pipeline Consortium, which was not put in operation as scheduled. Several reasons for this delay are listed in the article.

The Black Sea Fleet's Navy Day parade is expected to be especially solemn this year, because the Russian and Ukrainian presidents met for this occasion in Sevastopol. On the contrary, the North Fleet refused to celebrate the holiday in connection with the approaching first anniversary of the Kursk disaster.

The State Commission that investigated the recent crash of the Su-33 plane that resulted in the death of its pilot, Hero of Russia Timur Apakidze, came to the preliminary conclusion that the crash resulted from pilot error, Interfax reported Friday.

The Culture Ministry will soon start the privatization process for a number of cinema studios, as stipulated by the presidential decree "On privatization of state studios". The first one to go public is the Gorky cinema studio, as was decided at Thursday's closed meeting between Culture Minister Shvydkoi and the studio's director Vladimir Grammatikov.

Coca-Cola Corp. announced Friday the future sale of its Russian and Baltic production and distribution business to its major franchising partner the Greek and British Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling company.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

Speaking at Thursday's meeting concerning the spring floods in Yakutia and in the Siberian city Lensk, President Vladimir Putin ordered that all restoration works be finished by winter. Emergencies Minister Sergey Shoigu reported that the construction works are being conducted according to schedule. The daily published its own report from the construction sites in Yakutia that emphasizes difficulties of the work and casts doubts on the Minister's promise.

The head of the Unity Party's executive committee, Sergey Popov gave an interview to Nezavisimaya, commenting on the new political situation in the country and on his own party's prospects at the Moscow City Duma election in December. He confirmed the party's plans to create divisions at each of the seven federal districts.

Oil pollution has been detected, covering several kilometers of coastline near the Sainavolok beach on Lake Onega. The Karelian government allocated 400 thousand rubles for a cleanup operation. The source of the leak has not yet been identified.

A plan for reforming the state service is expected to be submitted to President President Vladimir Putin soon. It is being prepared by the first deputy head of the presidential office, Dmitry Medvedev. The plan stipulates that certain professions, such as teachers and doctors, are to become part of the state civil service. Meanwhile, a much more radical plan for changing the system of government in the state was proposed by Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov.

Moskovsky Komsomolets

Friday's meeting between Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov and Moscow city militia bosses resulted in a serious rebuke for the militia. The Minister demanded that the militia crack down on well-known organized crime groups, such as the Solntsevo, Izmailovo and Chechen groups. The paper gives figures on the crime rate in the Russian capital.

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

At Friday's news conference, coordinator of the State Duma Commission on investigation of the Kursk submarine wreck, retired Admiral Valery Dorogin told journalists that the true reasons of the catastrophe are unlikely to become clear even after the submarine is lifted from the sea bottom.

The Stavropol regional court passed its sentence on the case of spring explosions in Nevinnomyssk. Natalya Kurebeda, 25, who earned money as a prostitute, was found guilty in putting explosives in a trash bin near the city market, which she did as per the instructions of several Chechens. The men paid her one hundred dollars US, that later appeared to be counterfeit.

Kaliningrad Governor Yegorov gave an interview to the daily. He reported about the Security Council meeting that discussed the problems of the enclave some days ago in Moscow and described the economic situation and the economic status of the region.

The President's decree "On the order of delimitation of state property at the territory of the Chechen republic," which allows for the handing over of federal-owned property to the republic.

Head of the Chechen administration Akhmad Kadyrov commented on the decree above, and answered other questions on the financial situation of Chechnya.

On July 30, deputy premier Ilya Klebanov will submit the government commission's final report about the reasons for the Tu-154M crash near Irkutsk on July 4.

Vremya Novostey

On August 1st, a march for peace will set out from Chechnya to Moscow. Refugees will march without any flags or banners, because they do not want "to provoke the Russian military", organization committee chairman Alexander Lyuboslavskii told the daily.

The Military Prosecutor's central office reported Friday that investigation was completed in the case of former head of the Defense Ministry's military budget Colonel General Oleinik. He is charged with exceeding his authority while signing contracts with Ukraine and may face up to ten years in prison. The deal involved former Ukrainian national energy grid CEO Yulia Timoshenko.

Noviye Izvestia

Last week Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov made a statement about the future of the Russian naval base in Vietnam, Cam-Rangh, saying that it should be abandoned, because "the cost and the quality of its maintenance are incomparable." The story reports about the history of the Russian military presence in Cam-Rangh. It states that the base will probably be turned over to the United States or China.

In the Ural mountains, a collector named Aidar Khakimov is buying monuments to Communist leaders and other items of sculptural propaganda in the Sverdlovsk region. He reported that he paid from fifty to five thousand rubles for different works of art from the Soviet-era.