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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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

Nezavisimaya Gazeta
Noviye Izvestia
Rossiiskaya Gazeta
Novaya Gazeta
Komomolskaya Pravda

Moskovsky Komsomolets


The story describes new terrorist acts in Chechnya and new victims from both sides. The war is continuing, though officially it's non-existent. Five State Duma deputies, TV analysts and public figures answer the following questions ? When will the problem of Chechnya be settled and how? Also covered in Kommersant Daily, Vremya MN, Vremya Novostei, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Komsomolskaya Pravda.

According to Italian journalists and The Financial Times, who referred to a leaked rough draft of the latest International Monetary Fund review, the world economy is on the brink of a slump. The story examines several pessimistic prognoses from the review (it will be made public in late September), focusing on how Russia has responded to them.

Director-General of the Russian Academy of Entertainment Andrei Agapov, commenting on City Hall's ban of the Portuguese bullfight in Moscow, stated that he will never organize a corrida in Moscow ? instead, he believes camel races will be a hit in the Olympiisky Sports complex next year. Also covered in Vremya Novostei, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Moskva Supplement.

Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov has signed a government decree suspending state subsidies for the Moskvich auto plant. Rumor has it that the Siberian Aluminum company has bought it. The story features the fate of this auto giant.

The story comments on results of the State Council's session Wednesday that discussed the concept of education reform. Also covered in Kommersant Daily, Vremya Novostei, Vremya MN, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Obshchaya Gazeta.

Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov presided Thursday over a government session that will discuss the content of school textbooks on Russia's modern history. One of them is the textbook for 9th-graders that has been approved by the Education Ministry. The story examines the textbook with a critical eye. Also covered in Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Novaya Gazeta, Obshchaya Gazeta.

Chief Sanitary Physician of Moscow Nikolai Filatov has called on school principals to pay more attention to the pupils' health. With this aim in view, he recommended cutting the number of classes and improving the pupils' food at schools. The story describes his other recommendations. Also covered in Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

The United States is willing to back France's proposal on canceling the embargo on weapons deliveries to Yugoslavia that was imposed by the UN three years ago. Russia and China already long ago demanded it. The story comments on the issue.

The Federal Circuit Court in San Jose, California, was expected Thursday to hold the first hearing on the case of Russian computer programmer Dmitry Sklyarov, who is accused of creating a software, which, in the FBI's opinion, is capable of illegally making copies of books sold through the Internet. The story details his case. Also covered in Kommersant Daily, Noviye Izvestia, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

Forensic medical experts Wednesday made their judgements on the incident that took place between TV journalist Sergei Dorenko and Captain First Rank Valery Nikitin. Also covered in Kommersant Daily, Komsomolskaya Pravda.

The editor in chief of the NTV Information Service Tatyana Mitkova, who Wednesday visited the St. Petersburg Interfax Branch, speaks about NTV's plans in Russia as a whole and in St. Petersburg in particular. She also describes her company's complicated relationships with authorities, focusing on serious problems with the Kremlin administration in covering the operation of lifting the sunken Kursk submarine.

A Wine Festival opened in the Moscow Hermitage Gardens on Wednesday. The story describes the event and its participants.

Former clergyman of the Belogorsk St. Nikolayevsk Monastery Archimandrite Veniyamin Trepalyuk staged a hunger strike Wednesday. The Moscow Patriarchate assures that it's the first case in church history. The story gives details.

About 7,000 policemen will be responsible for maintaining discipline and order at the Moscow city holiday on Sept. 1-2.

The Council of Ministers of the Russia-Belarus union state on Wednesday discussed a draft of the common military doctrine, which will be signed by Presidents Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko. The story comments on the document, saying why experts have doubts about the plans to shape the single military structure of the two states.

The government has determined the procedure of providing state guarantees to the Federal Agency on Mortgage Housing Crediting. The story examines its major aspects. Also covered in Kommersant Daily.

The story describes a complicated situation at the Kama Pulp and Paper Combine in Krasnokamsk (Perm Region), which is the last non-privatized enterprise in the sector. Its present external manager Gennady Tolman, who was sacked last week, is unwilling to leave his post.

The American Levi Strauss company, one of the world's leading jeans producers, suspended its trade in the "Glossy Finish" clothes line. The story says why.

Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko turned 47 on Thursday. The story examines specific features of the political and economic life in Belarus over the past seven years that were determined by the president.


Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov on Wednesday reported to President Vladimir Putin that inflation in August will be close to zero. The story examines several conclusions that the Finance Ministry has made from the government's August victory over prices.

Law-enforcement officers in Lipetsk on Wednesday seized a private television company that criticized Lipetsk governor Oleg Korolyov. The local public staged a protest. The story gives details.

Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov, when speaking in Interfax on Wednesday, allowed himself to use tough tone in relation to the Rostov regional leadership that barred Communist Leonid Ivanchenko from participating in the gubernatorial election. Zyuganov hopes that Central Election Commission head Alexander Veshnyakov and President Vladimir Putin will help restore justice.

The Belarussian KGB intends to declare a search of two intelligence officers, who last Monday made public a kompromat against authorities, and the following day disappeared without trace. The story details the case.

Sverdlovsk governor Eduard Rossel stated that the SUAL-Holding company had come up with a proposal to build in the region a new aluminum plant that will operate on the bauxites of the Sredne-Timansky deposit. SUAL-Holding officials have confirmed the project, but the beginning of its realization means that SUAL-Holding's talks with Russian Aluminum on a joint development of the deposit have failed. The story examines the project.

The Mosenergo shareholders' meeting that will take place tomorrow will consider the issue of replacing the company's director-general Alexander Remezov. In an interview Remezov and UES Corporate Management Director Oleg Oksyzyan explain the origin of the current conflict between Mosenergo and the Unified Energy Systems.

Anna Belova, former deputy head of the Development of Business Systems consulting company, has been appointed Deputy Railways Minister in charge of monitoring the structural reform of the Railways Ministry. The story comments on the appointment.

The story examines sensational results of the study of the mobile telephone market conducted by Gartner Dataquest ? the volume of their sales for the first time in the existence of cellular telephones has considerably decreased. The story gives figures to illustrate the point.

State Duma Property Committee head Viktor Pleskachevsky stated that a draft bill concerning self-regulating organizations on financial markets will be submitted to the State Duma in mid-September. The law is designed to change the alignment of forces ? to decrease the share of state regulation in market regulation and increase self-regulation. The story focuses on the expediency of this legislation.

The transition of Russian network staff to Western retail companies is irreversible, according to Vadim Zuikov, head of the National Trade Association.


Investors' hopes that the change of the Gazprom management will speed up reforms in the gas monopoly have not justified. Though the government has announced its intention to divide the gas monopoly into extracting and transporting, Gazprom head Alexei Miller, like his predecessor, is reluctant to conduct radical reform and would like to preserve the pipeline system as a component of the company.

Special services are showing interest in the current situation on the domestic debt market. FSB officials this week have visited the Finance Ministry to investigate whether or not financial workers make any attempts to manipulate the debt market for their own advantage.

Vedomosti has obtained an unusual document ?an appeal by several governors who propose to their colleagues to give up one of the most significant gubernatorial prerogatives ? the right to approve the issuing of licenses on using natural resources. Well informed sources say that the real initiator of the appeal was the Nature Ministry, which is trying to intensify its influence.

The volume of revenues from customs duties collection in the first six months of this year amounted to 152.5 billion rubles, or 80 percent of the planned annual targets. This was stated by the Finance Ministry. Brief.

Economic analyst Olga Romanova describes Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov's optimistic report to President Vladimir Putin on the expected zero inflation this month, focusing on how the government has managed to obtain it.

The legislation on state support of mass media and book publishers has released them from paying VAT and the profit tax only this year. Starting Jan.1 2002 the publishers will have to pay all taxes. How serious will be the consequences of abolishing benefits for the periodicals? Six experts share their views on the issue.

In a couple of days a seizure of the Mosenergo building by force may take place Wednesday, according to Mosenergo general director Alexander Remezov. He said that the attack may be carried out by the court bailiff service on behalf of UES.

The story features several positive tendencies in the domestic economy. Industrial output in major sectors for the first seven months of this year was up 5.4 percent, in agriculture, 6.1 percent. The volume of investment in major capital increased by 7.3 percent. The food industry became the leader among the economic sectors with growing figures.

The merger of Moscow's Sonic Duo cellular operator with St. Petersburg's North-Western GSM and Mobicom regional cellular companies within the framework of the ambitious Megafon project has completed the division of the domestic cellular communications market. In an interview Sonic Duo general director Alexander Yesikov speaks about the deal, its initiators and participants.

Vedomosti. Companies and Markets

The Energy Ministry asked the government to consolidate its role as a coordinator of directions in exporting oil. The ministry's plan, however, is to create its own oil trader for the work on the foreign market.

The Gazprom management on Tuesday was again unable to find $700 million in order to preserve control over SIBUR, a leading domestic petrochemical company. It was an unpleasant revelation for company head Alexei Miller. If he invests such a sum into this daughter company, Gazprom will still lose control over it eventually.

The cancellation of a Portuguese bullfight in Moscow may bring losses to ROSNO insurance company, which insured the event for almost $1 million.

The export of affinity precious metals from Russia will be resumed in full measure after Sept. 10. This was stated today by Deputy Finance Minister and Gokhran leader Valery Rudakov. Brief.

The Siberian-Urals Aluminum Company, or SUAL has had modest success in the struggle with Energoprom Corp. for the Novosibiirsk Electrode Plant ? the Federal Financial Recovery Service on Wednesday withdrew a license from its external manager Anatoly Fudchenko, who was undesirable for SUAL.

Sheremetyevo international airport has won the first series of suits filed against Transaero aviation company after its transferred its operations to Domodedovo airport. This accounts for only one-fifth of the company's debt to Sheremetyevo, which has vowed to obtain full payment.

The Austrian CE Oil and Gas (CEOG) investment company has gained control over the Hungarian petrochemical combine Borsodchem. Analysts believe that the Austrians sooner or later will sell stock of Borsodchem to Russian SIBUR, possessing now 24.7 percent of stock of the combine.

The competition on a sale of the last state package of 25 percent of stock of Zaporozhstal is supposed to be announced on Sept. 5, 2001. This was stated by Ukraine's Property Fund head Alexander Bondar. Brief.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

The elections for a new president of the Russian Academy of Sciences are scheduled for Nov. 12. The story gives a long list of candidates for the post, focusing on their chances of winning. It also notes that it's not excluded that the Communist and Nobel Prize winner Zhores Alfyorov will head the academy.

The story reports on how rumors of the early death of the American dollar has incited Russians living in different cities to go to Moscow to spend their dollars.

Chechen policy-maker Bislan Gantamirov, chief federal inspector in the Southern Federal District, speaks about his major task now: to begin the creation of the constitution of Chechnya. He also speaks about how he envisions a political settlement of the situation in the republic.

A Norwegian buoy with devices to measure radioactivity levels has been discovered not far from the area of the operation to lift the sunken Kursk submarine. This was reported by Deputy Chief Commander of the Navy Igor Dygalo. The buoy was installed without notification to the Russians.

A landslide Tuesday in a sand-pit at the Maisky state farm in the Amur region left five children dead. The story describes the tragedy. Also covered in Noviye Izvestia.

The draft privatization program-2002, an inalienable part of the budget, is to be endorsed by the State Duma and will become law. The document was submitted to the lower house of parliament together with the draft budget. The story examines several provisions in the program that may cause heated debates in the State Duma.

Tajikistan in a couple of days will mark the 10th anniversary of its independence. In an interview its ambassador to Russia Ramazon Mirzoyev talks about the state of Tajik-Russian relations, focusing on Russia's significant role in the country's economic development.

Noviye Izvestia

The recent public opinion poll of 1,600 respondents taken by the sociological service in 100 cities in all the seven Federal Districts has shown that 33 percent of Russians believe in the existence of UFOs. Forty-six percent don't believe. The brief offers results of the poll.

The story reports on how the idea of renaming Volgograd into Stalingrad originated and on how regions have responded to it.

St. Petersburg in its whole history has never seen such a great number of cars and traffic jams on its roads. The story describes this acute problem, focusing on measures taken by city authorities to improve the situation.

Putting into effect the Tengiz-Novorossiisk oil pipeline that has been built by the Caspian pipeline consortium should be viewed as a success of Kazakhstan's economic policy, which explains why Kazakhstan's oil companies now depend on Russian Transneft monopoly considerably less. The story examines the first positive results of Kazakhstan's economic strategy.

The Rostov Regional Court has at last finished the trial of 14 gangsters, who were convicted of killings, robbery, kidnapping and armed attacks. The story examines their sentences.

Aug. 31 marks the 60th anniversary of the death of poet Marina Tsvetayeva. The story describes the last tragic days of her life when she decided to commit suicide.

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

The government for the first time in all the years of reforms has decided to back the aviation sector. The names of the companies, which will do it, are Ilyushin Finance and the Financial Leasing Company. This year they will receive 3 billion rubles for building aircraft and between one billion and 2.2 billion in 2002. In exchange they will give to the state their controlling stakes. The story comments on the government decision.

The financial pyramid Russkiy Dom Selenga is known to have deceived 3 million Russians, but few people know that this money went on founding the Aviakompania RDS-Avia. The story describes its fate.

Novaya Gazeta

The story examines several serious problems linked up to school textbooks (particularly Russia's modern history textbooks) experienced by the Education Ministry today.

Journalist Anna Politkovskaya examines with a critical eye what stands behind the figures that Chechen and Russian bureaucrats reported at the government sessions in Moscow about the state of schools in Grozny: 44 schools are ready to receive almost 19,000 children and 2,000 teachers.

Journalist Grigory Pasko asks the question ? Why are so-called espionage trials in Russia veiled in secrecy?

Nobel Prize winner Zhores Alfyorov, vice president of the Academy of Sciences, shares his views on educational reform.

Komomolskaya Pravda

The story describes the tragic death of Muscovite Larisa Gamzatova, 36, who was bitten by a wasp. Doctors warn that this fall wasp attacks are very dangerous.

The feature story is about a beauty contest for cows that was held early this week in the Nikolai village in the Vologda region.

Moskovsky Komsomolets

Mayor Yury Luzhkov has abolished the post of prime minister (premier) in the Moscow government. The story comments on the decision.

On the eve of the festive celebrations of the 950th anniversary of the Saint Assumption Kievo-Pechora Lavra, Ukraine's presidential administration has sent out invitations to representatives of all Orthodox churches in the world. Patriarch Alexy II has also received the invitation. The story says why he felt offended.

The story describes the origin and specific features of ethnic army hazing in Russia.

According to Moscow epidemiologists, the number of sick children in the city has considerably increased over the past 5 years. The story gives figures to illustrate the point.

Sheremetyevo customs officers have detained a Syrian barber, who tried to take away from Russia rare old icons. The story gives details.