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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

Moskovskiye Novosti

Komomolskaya Pravda



Reforming the state service (administrative reform) is a priority today. The story examines what it was before the October Revolution, in Soviet times and what it should be today. In an interview First Deputy Chief of the presidential administration Dmitry Medvedev, head of the inter-departmental working group responsible for this reform, examines its major aspects.

Mayor Yury Luzhkov on Monday decided to ban the Portuguese corrida shows scheduled for Sept. 8-9 at the Olimpiisky Sports Complex. In a couple of days, Luzhkov will sign a directive to legally justify his ban. Boris Ustyugov, press attache of the Russian Entertainment Academy company, said they will take the mayor to court. The story comments on the issue.

The Congress of Russian Germans began its work Monday . It is specially timed to coincide with a sad date — 60 years ago the Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic of Povolzhye Germans was abolished, and all the Germans from the European part of Russia were deported to Kazakhstan and Siberia. Many policymakers view it as a grave error. The story examines major issues being discussed at the Congress.

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin Monday met with President Vladimir Putin to discuss several articles of the 2002 draft budget concerning so-called reserve fund dubbed the Fund of Future Generations. The story examines the fund's planned money, which will cause heated debate in the State Duma.

Argentina's state securities Monday again fell in price after some growth last week following the IMF's promise to release it another $8 billion. The story reports on how world rating agencies have responded to the financial crisis in Argentina, focusing on how it may influence the placing of Russian securities abroad.

The Presidium of the State Council in its present membership is expected to hold its last session today to discuss again a draft of education reform before it is considered at the session of the State Council tomorrow. Another hit today will be a report by Presidium member Yury Luzhkov, who will speak about reforming the bodies of state power. The story examines several points of his report.

Rospan International Acting External Manager Mikhail Rubtsov on Aug. 22 sent to the Federal Securities Commission Moscow Regional Department documents for registering a project of the additional issuance of his enterprise's stock. Stock market analysts say Rubtsov is trying to register the issuance by a face value of stock to the tune of 1,200,000 rubles. They believe that the registration of this emission may turn into a big scandal with a participation of the Federal Securities Commission. The story says why.

The government through its decree, starting Jan.1, 2004, will impose the single tariffs on water, heating and garbage removal for the population and enterprises. The story repots on how they will gain from the measure.

Rosenergoatom stated Monday that the Anti-Monopoly Ministry had accused Unified Energy Systems company of violating Article 5 of the Federal Law concerning competition and limiting monopoly activities on commodity markets. According to Rosenergoatom, the Anti-Monopoly Ministry commission demanded that UES remove the violation and allow the concern to export its energy to Georgia. The story examines UES's response.

An UralAZ representative at the auto show Monday made public the production plan of his enterprise this year, including its exports. As it turned out, a considerable part of Ural truck exports this year (3,000 out of the 4,500 autos) will go to Iraq. The story comments on the plan.

Fifteen domestic football clubs have founded the Premier League, the founding conference of which took place Monday . In an interview, its head Vitaly Mutko speaks about its major aims.


Several television channels Monday aired a video-cassette with a recording of a session of Chechen field-commanders headed by Emir Khattab. The federal military assured the cassette was designed for an account before international terrorist organizations. Such cassettes, however, as several Kommersant Daily reporters have managed to find out, are being spread throughout Chechnya and refugees's camps. The story details about the origin of the displayed cassette.

State Customs Committee head Mikhail Vanin has signed an order, according to which, starting Sept. 25, all autos brought to Moscow city and region by unofficial dealers will undergo customs registration only at the Avtomobilny customs warehouse. The story comments on the document.

President Vladimir Putin on Monday met with a group of education system specialists (their names are given) to discuss education reform before tomorrow's State Council session that will be devoted to this issue. They spoke in favor of the state's greater role in this sphere. The story describes the meeting.

LUKoil head Vagit Alekperov on Monday made a statement saying that he was willing to invest $1 billion in the unique petrochemical complex of Belarus. Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko, instead of thanking Alekperov, promised to think over whether to take the money or to find another investor. The story comments on their meeting.

Belarussian opposition representatives Monday confirmed their accusations against Belarussian authorities of abduction and liquidation of political opponents. On the same day a new video-recording appeared in Minsk with testimonies by two KGB men. The story examines this new wave of kompromat against President Alexander Lukashenko and his team.

Samara Unity leader Alexander Ilyin has been accused of embezzling party money. The story details his case.

Crime. Two terrorist acts that were committed in Grozny on Monday, left 5 OMON soldiers and one Chechen militiaman dead and 13 people injured. The story gives details.

The Amber Hope-2001 military exercises with 2,800 servicemen from 14 NATO states and those planning to join the alliance will begin in Lithuania on Aug. 29. The story describes their major task.

The Moscow Regional Military Court Monday announced results of the additional explosion-technical expertise on the murder case of Moskovsky Komsomolets journalist Dmitry Kholodov . As it has turned out, no one intended to kill him. The aim was to harshly intimidate the journalist. The story comments on the results, focusing on negative responses by his lawyers and colleagues.

The story describes events that are proceeding in Murmansk and Arkhangelsk to honor the 60th anniversary of the arrival in the USSR of the first ally convoy 9 dubbed Dervish.

Deputy Finance Minister Bella Zlatkis on Monday said the Finance Ministry had allocated the promised 2 billion dollars for debts on the deposits of Soviet Gosstrakh. The story comments on her statement.

The Sakhalin-1 project may be closed due to whales, which became the reason why the Natural Resources Ministry Monday banned Exxon, an operator of the Sakhain-1 project, to conduct further seismic-surveying work on the Odoptu deposit northeast of Sakhalin.

SIBUR head Yakov Goldovsky stated Monday his company is considering the possibility of taking part in projects to develop the gas-condensate deposits in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area. The story examines the company's plans.

The government Monday adopted new rules of restructuring region's debts before the federal budget on agrobonds. The story examines some of them.

The Agency for Investment and Privatization company has sold 34 percent of stock of the Togliatti Fosfor company. The brief mentions the new owners of Fosfor stock.

LUKoil and YUKOS and also the Austrian OMU AG company have shown interest in purchasing a package of stock of the Greek Hellenic Petroleum SA oil refining company. This was stated by the Bloomberg agency. Brief.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

Four CIS countries (they are named) today will begin to deploy their Air Force and Paratrooper units on the Ashuluk training ground in the Astrakhan region to launch a military exercise on Aug. 30 as part of the main third stage of the coalition military exercises known as "Militant Commonwealth-2001." The story examines their program.

Gazprom's media property NTV brings ever more trouble to the company, since it lacks enough money to keep it. NTV's upkeep next month alone will cost Gazprom approximately $7 million. The story describes what Gazprom intends to do in this critical situation.

In an interview the presidential representative in the Privolzhsky Federal District, Sergei Kiriyenko, describes what has changed in his region and in the whole country since the presidential decree on creating the seven federal districts took effect a year ago. He also talks about his response to the victory of Communist Gennady Khodyrev at the recent gubernatorial elections in the Nizhny Novgorod region. Also covered in Noviye Izvestia.

A draft agreement on restructuring Ukraine's debts for Russian gas will be ready before Sept. 10. This was stated by Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Viktor Chernomyrdin.

Alexander Livshits, deputy director-general of Russian Aluminum, tries to answer the following two questions, which no one has answered yet: On what conditions does Russia intend to join the World Trade Organization? And when?

The so-called "Black Book of Communism" by several authors from different countries, which the Union of Right Forces Party, or SPS, has decided to re-publish (100,000 copies), has caused a new spiral of ideological confrontation between left- and right-wing forces. The story presents their viewpoints on the book.

Transneft has developed an unusual system of ecological safety at large pipeline facilities, which was demonstrated last week in Almaty at the presentation ceremony of the Baltic Pipeline System. The story examines Transneft's novelty.

Georgia's former Defense Minister Tengiz Kitovani examines major reasons behind the Sukhumi-Tbilisi confrontation.

Noviye Izvestia

The Olympic National Committee, or ONC, has submitted to the Kremlin a draft of the future presidential decree that is sensational by its destructive character. Its authors intend to make the ONC rather than the State Sports Committee prepare national teams for performances at high sports forums. The story comments on the document.

The Primorye administration is taking measures aimed at preparing for next winter by freezing social programs. This is causing hunger strikes among municipal workers, who have not seen their wages for several months already. The story describes a tense situation in the region, focusing on numerous protests.

With a bumper grain crop of 72-75 million tons this year, Russia can export about 5 million tons to Transcaucasia, the Middle East and to Europe. This was stated Monday by Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev at a farmers' fair in St. Petersburg. Also covered in Moskovskiye Novosti.

Wives of those missing and arrested Belarussian policy-makers and public figures have appealed to Federation Council Speaker Yegor Stroyev with a letter, in which they asked him to change his mind and give up his support of Alexander Lukashenko at the presidential elections. The story explains why they have appealed specifically to Stroyev.

The article reports on how Alfa-Group has seized by force another industrial enterprise — the NOSTA metals combine.

Regional governors more often than not ask questions about the role of federal inspector-generals in their regions. Who are they? Just an irritation or do they stand for partnership? The story examines the issue from several angles.

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

Writer Valentin Rasputin is worried about the ecological situation in and around Lake Baikal, which for many years has been polluted by the local pulp and paper combine. The writer spoke about the lake's difficult fate at the recent meeting of UNESCO specialists, international experts and Russian officials. The story features the meeting and Rasputin's indignant speech.

Education Minister Vladimir Filippov speaks about the expediency of educational reform, focusing on a special report on the theme (prepared by a working group) that will be presented at the State Council session on Aug. 29.

The full text is given of the government's decree concerning the tariff regulation of raw sugar and white sugar imports in 2002.

The Samara Prosecutor's Office, supported by the regional and supreme courts, has resolutely come out against the local law concerning special economic zones in the Samara region. The story examines the viewpoint on the issue of the Samara Prosecutor's Office.

A report highlights Priest Nikolai, who is raising 50 children in the Saraktash settlement in the Orenburg region.

Ukraine's Prime Minister Anatoly Kinakh examines his country's economic achievements of independent development over the past 10 years. Also covered in Rossiiskaya-Biznes-Gazeta Supplement.

State Duma Budget Committee head Alexander Zhukov has accused the Cabinet of continuing a vicious practice of downgrading future revenues. The story comments on the issue. Also covered in Rossiiskaya-Biznes-Gazeta Supplement.

Moskovskiye Novosti

Russia's trade mission head in France, Viktor Yaroshenko, who has created a Museum of the Russian Flag in Paris, talks about how he did it.

Highly regarded economist and former Finance Minister Alexander Livshits comments on the draft budget-2002 that was submitted to the State Duma last week.

The State Duma at its first sessions after the vacation will have to pass in the first reading amendments to the law concerning the election system. Central Election Commission head Alexander Veshnyakov said that it should be done in order to make the election legislation correspond to the new law on political parties. The story examines several draft amendments.

The story describes the latest stage of the presidential election race in Belarus, with four candidates taking part.

Komomolskaya Pravda

The local courts in the Voronezh region have ordered that the grain harvest in agricultural associations be confiscated for debts. This decision has caused the farmers to revolt. The story gives details.

Muscovites use twice as much water as they need. In an interview Mosvodokanal director-general Stanislav Khramenkov says that such a good life will end when the city residents pay for it in full. Also covered in Moskva Supplement.


The government plans to accumulate 57.95 billion rubles as a financial reserve to clear itself of foreign debt in 2003, said a top government official, who also said a similar sum is being planned in the federal budget of 2002. Brief.

Profit tax collection of 279.7 billion rubles made up 26.6 percent of all revenues to the consolidated budget over the first seven months of this year, said the Tax Ministry. Brief.

New Gazprom head Alexei Miller's attempt to gain back the assets that were withdrawn from the company by its former leadership has not produced any real result. Restoring control over its former subsidiary, Zapsibgazprom, Gazprom will not obtain the most valuable property of this company, which is now controlled by little-known firms working in the interests of the Itera corporation.

President Vladimir Putin on Monday praised Mikhail Kasyanov's Cabinet on the 2002 draft budget. Along with this, Putin noted that the task now is to persistently persuade deputies that all figures in the document are correct. Thus, the bargaining is beginning.

The State Customs Committee has presented new rules for conducting one of the most painful customs procedures: exercising control already after issuing a commodity into free circulation. It provides customs workers with the right to confiscate property and fine it several years after being registered by the customs post.

The government has proposed that the regions to restructure their 3 billion ruble debt on agrobonds that have been kept in the Finance Ministry's portfolio since 1997. The bonds have not found buyers and the regions do not pay debts on them.

Cheap mortgage credits and loans are fraught with tax misfortunes: If they cost less than 9 percent in hard currency or 3/4 of the rate of refinancing by the Central Bank in rubles, this is viewed, according to the present legislation, as a material profit, which is liable for the income tax ranging from 13 percent up to 35 percent.

Russia has written off $560 million of the foreign debt to Zambia, said Zambia's Finance Minister Katele Kalumba. Brief.

In an interview (his first one after the appointment to the post last month) Irkutskenergo Director-General Vladimir Kolmogorov speaks about his new job, about his priority tasks, about problems and about his plans.

Vedomosti. Companies and Markets

The co-owners of the Ust-Ilimsk timber-industrial concern have launched an overt struggle for control over a pulp and paper enterprise. The story examines the origin of the concern, its founders, the present state, the struggle and competitors.

AvtoVAZ, a leading domestic carmaker, is creating a new family of gasoline motors — VAZ-3116, said AvtoVAZ department chief Vyacheslav Meshkov. Brief.

The Ukrainian Industrial Union of the Donbass company has won the competition to sell 76 percent of stock in Khartsyzsk Pipe Plant in the Donetsk Region. Gazprom also took part in the competition. Brief.

Toshiba and Hitachi have announced their plans to fire 20,000 employees. The story examines several factors that have caused such a harsh measure.

Russian oil companies show interest in the Belarussian Naftan company in Novopolotsk, a leading petrochemical enterprise in Europe. LUKoil head Vagit Alekperov in Minsk on Monday let it be known that his company would like to obtain control over Naftan and also over Polimir.

The Romanian government have annulled the deal to privatize the chemical Oltchim giant. The Canadian Exall Resources company that has bought 53 percent of its stock has voiced its protest.

Zenit Bank controlled by Tatneft plans to place shares on an open market. The story reveals its plans.

The government decision to hand over its shares in the Svoboda cosmetic association to the Moscow government as a compensation for its debts to the federal budget has made it possible to evaluate the cost of the enterprise. As it has turned out, Svoboda costs more than $22 million.

The Parnas-M meat-processing plant has won control over the Ukrainian Bilkozin plant. The story comments on the deal.