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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
Moskovsky Komsomolets
Komomolskaya Pravda
Novaya Gazeta


Izvestia
www.izvestia.ru

This week the Russian fund Interaction and Reconciliation will start paying off compensations to victims of fascism living in Russia. The first to receive the money will be prisoners of concentration camps and ghettos, the head of the F

fund's board of trustees Lyudmila Narusova said. She said that the 10,000 recipients on the first list will get 15,000 DM each in the near future. People who worked at agricultural or private enterprises of the Third Reich will get from 1,500 to 10,000 DM later, she said.

At today's meeting of the Chechen government, Viktor Kazantsev, the president's envoy in the Southern region, will officially introduce the new Grozny mayor, Oleg Zhidkov,45, who is also the vice president of the Association of Law Enforcement Officers in Russia. The appointment was made Saturday in Rostov-on-Don and was a surprise to the head of Chechen administration, Akhmad Kadyrov. Zhidlov, a native of Grozny, is a former KGB officer.

Belarussian opposition politicians met Sunday to choose their candidate for the upcoming presidential election in Belarus. They agreed to nominate Vladimir Goncharik. The newspaper argues that he is hardly a serious rival to incumbent Alexander Lukashenko.

British publications the Independent and Economist named the organizations that are most influential in resisting economic globalization. Russian-Ukrainian group Rainbow Protectors comes third in their ranking, following a German and a Swedish organization. Izvestia interviewed one of the Rainbow coordinators, Sergei Fomichev, about the objectives of the movement.

Justice Minister Yury Chaika made another statement against the existence of the Presidential Pardons Commission, saying that the commission was "forced on the President as a necessary attribute." The Kremlin responded by saying that the commission will stay but that professional lawyers will be added.

Izvestia interviewed Japanese forensic expert and professor Tatsuo Nagai, whose work on the identification of bone fragments excavated near Yekaterinburg in 1991 has suggests that the remains do not belong to the last Russian tsar.

President Putin will go to Belarus on Wednesday to attend the 10th International Slavic Bazaar festival.

Kommersant
www.kommersant.ru

Saturday's meeting between the Russian and American presidents resulted in a sensation: their joint statement has, in fact, cancelled the AMD treaty of 1972, saying that now offense and defense should be discussed in package. Moscow will receive U.S. presidential advisor on national security Condoleezza Rice to discuss the concrete details of the AMD surrender.

Lichtenstein prosecutors accused two of its citizens with money laundering and abuse of trust. They are accused in buying shares of St.Petersburg Immobilien und Beteiligungs AG (SPAG) at inflated prices with money laundered from Colombian drug deals. President Putin and Economic Development Minister German Gref worked as consultants to these companies when Putin was St.Petersburg deputy mayor and Gref an economic advisor at the mayor's office.

Three people were killed and dozens injured in fire and blasts at an ammunition depot near Gusinoye Lake. The locality was destroyed and residents are unwilling to return home because the ground there is covered with unexploded shells.

Social democrats from the Volga regions, led by Samara Governor Konstantin Titov gathered in Kazan on Saturday at a conference. It was expected that former leaders Boris Yeltsin and Mikhail Gorbachev would participate. Neither made it in the heat, so Tatarstan President Mintimer Shaimiyev became the keynote speaker even though opposition groups have very weak positions in his republic.

The XXXII congress of the Union of Communist Parties, or CPSU, took place Saturday in Moscow. The congress announced a division in the present-day Communist ideology saying that followers of Lenin and Stalin have nothing in common with opportunists, led by Communist Party of the Russian Federation General Secretary Gennady Zyugano?? The Congress also cancelled the resolutions of the XX and XXII CPSU congresses, which unveiled Stalin's personality cult.

A personnel reshuffling took place in the leadership of the Russian Navy. A presidential decree appointed Admiral Mikhail Zakharchenko the first deputy Navy commander-in-chief. This means that, if Navy Commander-in-Chief Vyacheslav Kuroyedov is dismissed, he will be replaced by Zakharchenko.

Two pontoons are being built at the Severomorsk machinery plant for the final stages of the raising of the sunken Kursk from the Barents Sea bottom. The job was contracted to Mammoet, a Dutch company. Meanwhile, deep divers started cutting holes in the Kursk's shell.

A Belarussian military court declared German citizen Christopher Letz guilty of espionage. The convict is not going to file an appellation but counts on pardon.

Fearing a recurrence of the energy crisis in Primorye, the anti-crisis headquarters, led by RAO UES deputy CEO Mikhail Abyzov, arranged a meeting in Vladivostok on Saturday. Abyzov held three-hours talks with Primorye Governor Sergei Darkin that resulted in a decision to make a joint address to the government of Russia with a request to enforce limits on the growth of transportation tariffs to the Far East.

Tyumen oil company, or TNK, may participate in the privatization of the Ukrainian state oil company Ukrneft. TNK has been very active in the oil markets of former Soviet republics. LUKoil may become the main competitor in TNK in the deal. Meanwhile, Interfax Ukraine reported that Odessa city authorities addressed LUKoil president Vagit Alekperov in a request to grant US$3.7 million in financial aid, offering city-owned utility companies as mortgage for the deal.

A record was set on Sunday for the number of people to drown — 18 — in a single day in Moscow. Health care officials report that 211 people altogether have drowned in Moscow since the beginning of the year. Head of the All-Russian Society for Water Safety Valery Novikov said that every day some 150 people drown in Russia, and 30 percent to35 percent of those are children. He said that in the capital, the worst record among bathing places is that of the Moscow River near Serebryanyi bor.

Saturday was the last day of Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov's visit to Armenia, where he examined enterprises designated for Russia as payment on the Armenian debt of $115 million. Klebanov also confirmed that Russia will participate in the construction of a gas pipeline beween Iran and Armenia that will unite the Russian and Iranian pipeline systems.

In Bukhara, Uzbekistan a court trial started on the Korayev family and accomplices, all accused of mass murder. It is believed that the Korayevs killed several dozen people in order to sell their body parts abroad.

Vedomosti
www.vedomosti.ru

President Vladimir Putin appeared to be an easygoing partner at the G-8 summit in Genoa. He did not speak about Russia's economic problems to anyone except the U-2 soloist Bono, and made concessions to President Bush at the talks concerning the AMD 1972 treaty. Putin also agreed to the proposed writing off of debts of poor countries.

At their secret meeting on Wednesday, several State Duma deputies and Presidential aide Alexander Voloshin have come up with a new plan to bring the Central Bank under the control of the government and the parliament. A participant at the meeting, Duma Banking Committee chair Alexander Shokhin, told Vedomosti that the National Banking Council is to be created as the main body to control the Central Bank.

In early June, the government passed classified resolution 511-30, aimed at "the restoration of the Russian Federation's exclusive rights on brands of alcohol products". The Interior Ministry, FSB and Prosecutor General's office are commissioned to take away the popular trademarks from private liquors manufacturers.

The Natural Resources Ministry intends to recall licenses from oil wells where licensing agreements are being violated. A list of 62 mostly minor oil wells has been prepared. Leading analysts of the oil market comment on prospects of oil companies in question.

The Finance Ministry confirmed that the American side on the HCU-LCU contract has been missing payments, and that talks have been disrupted concerning schedules and prices for the low-concentration uranium. Nevertheless, the Nuclear Power Ministry and the USEC corporation that represents the American side in the contract have stated that the deal is proceeding without any delays. The author concluded that the contract may be reconsidered.

Vedomosti. Companies and Markets

The market share of popular brewery Baltika is constantly declining. Analysts believe that the advertising strategy of Baltika beer should be changed.

Large Yekaterinburg enterprise UralChemMach has been without its shareholders' register for two weeks. Two businessmen from the Ural region, Pavel Fedulev and Malik Gaisin,are fighting for UralChemMach, and the latter is suspicious that the former must have hidden the register to prevent its transfer from Ural deposit registration company to NIKoil.

The Russia-Belarus joint company Slavneft intends to work on oil wells in Sudan. The company is not concerned by possible dangers related to the civil wars in the African state.

Evrazholding Co., which is managing the Western-Siberian metallurgic plant is trying to gain control over the main supplier of raw materials to the plant — the Korshunovsky ore-concentrating combine. It seems that Evrazholding has support of Irkutsk Governor Boris Govorin in its efforts.

MDM bank CEO Andrey Melnichenko and former Nuclear Power Minister Yevgeny Adamov planned to direct 80 percent of the funds of the nuclear industry in the Conversbank and to then merge the bank with MDM bank. However, after the dismissal of Adamov in late April, the likelyhood of a union of the two banks has been in doubt. Two special shareholders' meetings are to be arranged by competing managers of Conversbank in the near future.

Finnish SanomaWSOY has won the tender on the magazine market from the Dutch media company VNU. They concluded a deal of 1.25 billion euros.

Russian students of western business schools have to contend with stereotypes about their homeland while pursuing their studies. The story gives details of several Russians' educational experiences abroad.

Moskovsky Komsomolets
www.mk.ru

The price of crude oil has dropped to $22 a barrel. The article examines how this may affect the Russian budget and predicts that the Finance Ministry may either cut the funding for social programs or try to bring in additional revenue by selling stock in state-controlled companies, including Svyazinvest and RAO UES.

The Slavic Bazaar music festival opened July 20 in Vitebsk, Belarus. Five thousand visitors from many countries of the world were in attendance. Numerous Russian celebrities will perform, including Alla Pugacheva, Filipp Kirkorov, Valery Leontyev, Dima Malikov, Nikolai Baskov, Maxim Galkin, Lyobov Polischuk and many others. The MK correspondent wrote that he was beaten by Fillip Kirkorov's bodyguards in the train en route to Vitebsk.

Komomolskaya Pravda
www.kp.ru

The southwestern district of Moscow has got its own flag. One part of the heraldic symbols depicted on the flag is a representation of three golden coins, which probably hint at the wealth accumulated in the headquarters of Sberbank and Gazprom, located in the district.

Over 190,000 Moscow families are eligible to receive free apartments, according to state legislation. This figure represents the "the waiting list" of potential beneficiaries, in which some unfortunate families have waited for 10 years. At its last sitting, the Moscow City Duma determined the order of priorities in granting free apartments (published in the article). One of the city's priorities is the resettlement of residents from communal apartments.

A joint decision of the Culture Ministry and the State Property Ministry created the Federal Agency on the Management and Use of Historical Monuments. The Agency will supervise almost all historical buildings in Moscow. The other day, it approved the list of 660 historical objects that are to be transferred to the federal property from the Moscow city property. A major part of the list includes highly-profitable buildings in downtown Moscow that have recently been renovated. Moscow city authorities have appealed to the President and the government about threats to the capital's city-owned property.

Novaya Gazeta
www.novayagazeta.ru

FSB officers, whose official salaries barely exceed the living wages, make money on providing consulting services to businessmen. The higher the rank of an FSB officer is, the larger the company he is eligible to work for. FSB deputy director Yury Zaostrovtsev reportedly had his hand in the furniture trading company Tri Kita, where he allegedly reduced the duties the company paid at customs. Zaostrovtsev was also a co-founder of several companies in the recent past when he was on leave from the FSB.

Numerous incidents of the alleged misconduct of federal troops in Chechnya have still not been investigated properly. The article examines the attitude of the Russian society to the "banditry" of the Russian troops, calling for a broad anti-war movement.

The weekly published excerpts from the transcript of talks between Gazprom head Rem Vyakhirev and Turkmenistan President Niyazov about the export of Turkmenistan gas to the west. Their conversation consisted mainly of informal bargaining about gas prices.

Excerpts from the indictment of the participants of the 1991 GKChP putsch are published on two pages. Other unique documents that relate to GKChP will be published in the next issues in connection with the upcoming 10th anniversary of the Communist putsch.

The article describes the drinking and smoking habits of Russians, as well as their laughing, crying and weeping patterns, according to a poll of two thousand respondents. The poll was conducted by the All-Russian Polling Center (VTsIOM).